Culture Magazine

Aqua Horological Tintinnabulator

By Carolineld @carolineld
The Victoria Centre clock is a Nottingham landmark, and has been since its installation in 1973. A kinetic sculpture as much as a timepiece, its central bronze sunflower opens every fifteen minutes to reveal an animal orchestra.

The clock was created by Rowland Emett. A cartoonist for Punch, he also brought his ideas to three-dimensional life in a series of sculptures (or as he called them, 'Things'). Among his most celebrated work was the Far Tottering and Oyster Creek Branch Railway at the 1951 Festival of Britain.

There are few surviving examples of Emett's work on public display in Britain. That makes the Victoria Centre clock all the more important, but at some point it ceased to work. Thanks to the efforts of Pete Dexter, a local engineer, and the Rowland Emett Society, refurbishment was carried out and completed in 2015. The clock, or aqua horological tintinnabulator, is now delighting shoppers once more.

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