Just in Time. The Clock Tower Restoration Project

by Tony Wood in Southsea, England, United Kingdom

Total raised £2,797

raised so far



Help us restore the clock faces and mechanism, refurbish the woodwork, repair the weather-vane and replace the ornate zinc tiles of the roof

by Tony Wood in Southsea, England, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 31st July 2020 we'd raised £2,707 with 52 supporters in 56 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

Just in Time - The idea!

Summary: To help raise funds towards the restoration of this iconic Southsea building we are offering you the chance to sponsor a zinc tile on the roof, with your name initials engraved by hand. Or you can contribute to the skilled labour costs by sponsoring an hours work. We are also offering a Guided Tour of the building and a limited unique opportunity to wind the clock mechanism. 

"Time flies" 

History of the building: The Clock Tower is an iconic Grade II listed building on the junction of Castle Road and Great Southsea Street. Portsmouth. UK. A quintessentially British road with Sir Peter Sellers born at one end of the street and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle living at the other. The Clock Tower remains the tallest building, and one of the oldest left in this corner of Southsea. It survived the blitz of Portsmouth with bombs landing either side of the street and the mainly wooden structure has withstood the wrath of many gales and coastal storms.  


The building was erected in 1903 by Ernest Smith the Cabinet Maker, his name is immortalized in the numerals of the clock face. It has only had a handful of owners, each reflecting the history and culture of the last century: Designed initially as a public house but used as a antiques and furniture store, it became a car show room for Ford Motor Company, then an antiques and artwork store to the Fleming family, Pat Staples Interior Design Shop and now the Tony Wood Hair Salon now owned by Liam Bradley Fry. 


"Time to get creative, time to be the crowd."

These names have dominated the main ground floor but many other businesses and 'characters' have worked and lived in the rooms above. In WWII it was an Officer's club and home to The Navy's Three Arts Club, 'Poetry, Music & Singing' and has for the last 75 years been office and workspace for craftsman, artists, architects, designers - a real creative industry hub in the heart of Southsea. 


"Something you buy for love - not money"

Tony Wood, a local Paulsgrove boy and Castle Road resident bought the building in 2004 from Alf Fleming - Antiques. With that comes the responsibility of looking after such an iconic 'wooden' building. Cosmetic maintenance has been ongoing, but it is 'time' for a major restoration of this historic local landmark. 

The building has survived echoing it's own moto, carved in stone above the door: 


Translating roughly to modern English~ 

"Do not yield to misfortune but overcome"


"Time to act"

Just before the Lock Down of C19 everything was in place. The scaffold was erected and a skilled team of craft and trades began work. To date Tony has personally funded everything to do with the Clock Tower. However, it is a local treasure and historic landmark for the whole city and we hope you feel the same. 

1589817704_portsmouth_society_2016_restoration_clock_tower.jpgDespite it's defining role within the local Conservation Area, it is only 'Grade II Listed' with English Heritage. Therefore it does not attract normal Heritage Grants or other charitable funding to help with this work. The blue plaque on the front of the building was Awarded by 'Portsmouth Society' for restoration work done by Tony to the lower building in 2016.


Already on a tight budget, the significant problems with the roof were unexpected, and are breaking the bank. But they are necessary and urgent. Covid19 has not helped our initial financial plans and schedule. So, in these difficult times, we have turned to you, for crowdfunding and offering some unique Rewards for your help.


"Time to fix it"

How can I help?  

There are 1200 zinc tiles and many meters of lead flashing, lots of woodwork, four clock Faces, a clock mechanism and The Castle Road weather-vane to raise essential funds for. Check out the Rewards and ways you can help. Thank you for your interest in our project.

Get your name initials engraved onto a zinc tile for posterity. Two letters per tile.  But you can buy a couple for you and a loved one or a family, even a whole row between friends. Perhaps you help by buying 'hours' of craftsman's time or just fancy a nose around this beautiful building with a personal tour inside and out. You might even want to wind the clock tower mechanism.


Initials will now be hand engraved not stamped. But you get the idea ;-)

 - Quick reminder -

This is what you are helping us with

In summary we need help with - the weather vane, the wood work, the clock and the tiles.


This project offered rewards

£10 or more

£10 Time for Love - support the Clock Tower

This is such a lovely building and a true landmark among the modern architecture around it. Give it some Love with a tenner and we will do our best to keep it there for future generations to enjoy.

£15 or more

Time for a Tile! Buy a zinc tile for the roof.

Get your initials engraved by hand direct onto the pressed zinc roof tile. Two letters only. This covers the cost of the tiles which are being hand made by a traditional metal company as a 'special job' by one of their oldest craftsman working their zinc fly press machine. A proper restoration job using the original materials and craft skills. How many can you sponsor? Perhaps a single tile, a pair, a row or even a whole side of the roof.

£25 or more

Chip in for the Woodwork and Tradtional Trades

The clock tower is a wonder of woodwork and traditional building skills. This means we also need the best crafts and trades people we can find to work on it. Skilled and semi skilled trades cost money and here you can pay for an hour or more, to help us do the best job.

£40 or more

Time Travel! - Guided Tour of The Clock Tower

Pledge £40 today and we'll reward you with a Guided Tour of this unique building by the owner Tony Wood. A small group tour inside and out with some local history and curiosities. Limited to small groups, couples, families. Min - max number of 6-10 people for booking dates tbc. See Options below. We will be in touch to discuss dates available and Social Distancing etc. Perfect activity for Summer holidays, local family activity and tourists.

£60 or more

Save Time - Every Second Counts

These heavy cast iron clock faces surround the beautiful interior clock mechanism. She needs to be wound up by hand each week and has taken some wear and tear over the last century. It needs a good service and some critical repairs to ensure it lasts another 100 years. It It is a focal point for traffic, commuters and pedestrians. £60 buys you that extra minute, and a chance to wind the clock yourself, perhaps make that wish, promise or proposal?

£100 or more

Time Flies - Restore The Castle Rd Weather Vane

Towards the cost of repairing the weather-vane. The copper castle sculpture and metal work all need repair and restoration. After 117 years in the wind and rain this local landmark needs urgent repair and it must happen when we now have the expensive scaffold and access to it.

£1,500 or more

Time To Get This Done

10% of the Target - Lets just get this done before we run out of Time

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