Race against time

Waipā District Council parks operator leading hand Mike Tobin carries out routine maintenance on the Cambridge Town Clock ahead of daylight saving.

Time waits for no man, so the saying goes, but as daylight savings kicks in at 2am on Sunday, the Cambridge town clock may be waiting a wee while before an expert arrives to set the correct hour.

“We’re just working through the logistics, but at this stage it looks like it might be Monday morning before anyone is available to move the hands of the clock forward an hour to daylight saving time,” said Waipā District Council parks operations team leader Matt Johnston.

Adjusting the clock is a specialised skill and no one in the council’s team is trained to do it.

“We hire a company to do this, but they’ve got dozens of clocks all around New Zealand to change at the same time, so it’s just a matter of waiting until they are available,” Johnston said.

The town clock originally sat atop the Cambridge post office in Victoria St, but was dismantled when cracks appeared during the 1931 earthquake. A new tower was built at its current site and the clock was restarted nearly 86 years ago at 3pm on Friday, October 5, 1934.

Johnston said the historic icon was in good condition and an updated maintenance plan to extend its longevity was currently being devised.

A submission for Waipā District Council’s long term plan suggests upgrading the clock so that it will not require to be manual times changes or winding.

Daylight saving time will begin at 2am Sunday when clocks should be moved forward one hour, and will end at 3am on Sunday, April 24 next year.

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