Kirkby's Nag's Head clock has 'brought the heartbeat back into town'

Kirkby residents have described the renovated Nag's Head clock as "bringing the heartbeat back into town" after it was unveiled today (March 22).

The clock, which sits outside the Nag's Head pub on Station Street, had been in storage for five years after it was taken down in 2013.

Residents and councillors celebrate the opening of the clock.

Residents and councillors celebrate the opening of the clock.

However, thanks to efforts from the Kirkby Heritage Centre and Ashfield District Council, it has been renovated and restored to its original spot by the pub.

Ashfield District Council held an official opening ceremony at the site, with a speech from Councillor Jason Zadrozny, council leader, and resident Keith Gore, who sang a song he had written about the clock before it was taken down more than half a decade ago.

Bringing the clock back started as a petition from the Kirkby Heritage Centre a number of years ago and, when the centre was contacted by Ashfield District Council, volunteers outlined the clock "as a priority".

Christine Kidger, 71, is a leading volunteer at the centre.

Christine next to the clock.

Christine next to the clock.

She said: "We had the petition to bring the clock back after it was taken down because it was part of the town's identity.

"Then the council came into our shop and asked what are our biggest concerns with the town and we highlighted the clock as a priority.

"I was just 12 when the original clock was unveiled and I've lived in Kirkby all of my life, and it's great to see the clock back in pretty much the exact location it used to be in - however it looks a lot more fresh now.

"People have missed having it here, I know it might be just a clock but it boosts morale and makes the town look like Kirkby again.

Keith Gore, who wrote and performed a song.

Keith Gore, who wrote and performed a song.

"A big thanks to everyone at the council and everyone behind the scenes who have worked hard to bring it back.

Keith Gore, 62, who sang a song at the opening, is also a lifelong resident of Kirkby and said seeing the clock "back where belongs" has given the town "its identity back".

He said: "The town lost its heartbeat when the clock came down.

"I wrote a song about the clock literally right before they decided to take it down, with the song being about the town and one of its biggest landmarks.

Christine Kidger, of the Kirkby Heritage Centre.

Christine Kidger, of the Kirkby Heritage Centre.

"I wanted to write a song that was about Kirkby people, about the town and for it to be a catchy poppy song - not a negative take on the town.

"Although Kirkby is not perfect we all love it, and the clock is something that symbolises the town and is a big part of the town centre.

"I had sat on the song for a few years and when councillors knocked on my door to find out my biggest concerns I told them about the clock, mentioned that I had a song and they asked me to send them a copy.

"They loved it and gave me the opportunity to sing at the launch.

"I think the heritage centre deserve a lot of credit for this, because their petition helped start this movement up and I know it means a lot to them."

Keith has recorded a music video for his song with the council, which will be released next week on YouTube.

The clock.

The clock.

The clock has been cleaned, painted and received a new movement, glass cover and lighting.

The renovation and re-siting costs will be funded by unallocated Section 106 developers money, ring fenced for the regeneration of Kirkby town centre.

The Nag's Head

The Nag's Head