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The Listowel Clock Tower

November 2020

While clock towers are usually architecturally pleasing, whether as stand-alone structures or as an accent to a building, their original purpose was more of a practical one. In a time before watches (pocket or wrist) and wall clocks in homes and work places, clock towers were the most common way to tell time.

Clock towers were usually placed in the centre of town for the best view, often with bells that would ring out at designated times, like every quarter hour.

Big Ben in London, England, is one of the best known clock towers, with Canadians taking pride in the Peace Tower clock on the Centre Block of the Parliament Building in Ottawa.

While the Listowel Clock Tower only dates back to 1994, it’s a replica of the clock tower that once topped Listowel’s old post office, where the clock was housed from 1911 until the post office was demolished in 1982. The clock tower now serves as a nice accent to the village’s Cenotaph Park.

The three-storey brick building that featured a four-faced clock housed in a distinctive clock tower that included a 700-pound bell that would toll on the hour, once stood on the corner of Main Street West and Argyle Avenue.

The clock, originally made in the early 1900s by W.F. Evans and Sons in Birmingham, England, was restored by Neil and Tim Bakelaar of Bakelaar Jewelers, who have a shop in Listowel.

Sources: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b6212a3f79392bc619a9b8e/t/5b8ea55b032be40936b4c1a8/1536075100380/HistoricalTourGuide-NorthPerth.pdf, https://www.stratfordbeaconherald.com/opinion/columnists/reflections-the-post-office-clocks-of-perth-county,

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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