For Peter, it's just a matter of time

TIME has stood still at Warrnambool’s most famed clocktower for more than a month due to a faulty motor which controls the timepiece’s hands.

The T&G clocktower’s hour and minute hands became motionless before Christmas but a mission to the top of the 73-year-old landmark yesterday aimed to get them moving again.

Timekeeping expert Peter Hogg has been charged with the duty of keeping the clock operational for more than two decades.

He said it was the first time the 1940s motor had broken down since he started repair work on the tower.

“It shut down just before the Christmas holidays but with a fair few hot days, there hasn’t been an ideal time to get up there,” Mr Hogg said.

“There’s a fair bit of climbing up and down involved. You have to get to the top of the stairs, then onto the roof itself before you can get the motor out.”

The electric motor was taken down to be mended yesterdy morning and is expected to return to its rightful place during the next few weeks.

Mr Hogg said the clocktower was loved by generations of Warrnamboolians, even if many checked the time on their wristwatch or mobile phone.

“I think plenty of people when they’re walking along Liebig Street still look up to check the time,” Mr Hogg said.

“Especially when the clock hands aren’t moving. It’s something everyone keeps an eye on.”

The T&G building on the corner of Liebig and Lava streets has been home to a bank or building society since it was opened in 1940, replacing the Congregational Church.

Victorian Savings and Loans (VS&L) occupied the site from the early 1970s after it replaced T&G Mutual Life Assurance Society offices. VS&L was later replaced in 1992 by NSW-operated St George Bank, which was superseded by Bank of Melbourne three years ago.

alex.sinnott@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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