Time called on clock as upkeep costs rise

GERMARI HERSELMAN
Last updated 08:24 06/05/2014
Radio House building in Blenheim
SCOTT HAMMOND/FAIRFAX NZ
OUT OF TIME: The clock and temperature gauge on the Radio House building in Blenheim have been switched off due to high maintenance and repair costs.

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A Blenheim landmark has proved to be more loved by the community than its owners realised.

The MediaWorks clock and temperature gauge on Radio House on the corner of Main and Market streets have been off since daylight saving ended, leading to a flurry of inquiries.

MediaWorks general manager Mark Brown said the clock was switched off due to mounting costs.

He said a member of the public took a photo of the electricians who have serviced the clock for more than 15 years working on the clock, and sent the photo to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The electrical firm then had a visit from a workplace safety inspector, who outlined new safety guidelines that must be adhered to.

"The new requirements are way beyond anything required in the past and have raised the costs of doing any work on the clock astronomically," Brown said.

The cost of maintaining the clock had always been high. Brown had to have the costly neon tubes used for the temperature gauge handmade in Auckland as they were no longer on the market.

"We would like to keep the clock going and are looking for ways to get around the increasing cost of maintenance. We are considering all options available to either repair or even replace the clock," he said.

"It is sad that we've had to switch it off but we should have a decision in the next week or two."

He said he now understood how much the community appreciated the clock.

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- Marlborough

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