An historic clock that has stood in a village centre for more than century has stopped chiming – because pigeons are trying to set up home in it.
The birds are believed to have interfered with electronics in the landmark clock tower in Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, which was given to the village in 1911.
Repair work is now being carried out on the mechanism and council chiefs are investigating what action can be taken to stop the birds from getting into the clock. One suggestion is to install mesh wiring to stop the birds flying in.
Wolverhampton City councillor Wendy Thompson, who represents the Tettenhall Wightwick ward, said she had been contacted by a resident living near to the clock who had noticed it had stopped ringing.
Councillor Thompson said: “The chiming mechanism works from an electronic box that has to be repaired. Pigeons are getting in and dropping sticks. They are trying to build a nest inside it.
“It is an historic clock that is very important to Tettenhall, so I hope the issue can be resolved.”
The structure on Upper Green was donated to Tettenhall by local benefactors Mr and Mrs Edward Swindley to mark the coronation of King George V in 1910.
The listed building remained silent for the 20 years running up until 2004, when the city council approved a £3,000 grant to the Anne Swindley coronation clock maintenance fund, allowing the chimes to be repaired. Now the city council has stepped in again so that the bells can continue ringing.
The clock’s internal mechanism has been removed and sent to specialist clock company Smiths of Derby for assessment.
Wolverhampton City Council spokesman Paul Brown said: “The chime on the Tettenhall clock is not working because the electrical mechanism is faulty.
“Repair work is now being carried out and the mechanism will be returned to us in due course.
“Meanwhile, we are also investigating what measures can be taken, if any, to prevent pigeons getting into the clock tower.”
Geoff Hopkins, chairman of the Tettenhall, Tettenhall Wood and Sandy Hollow Tenants and Residents Association, said it was a long-running problem.
He added: “They are blaming the pigeons. What it wants is some chicken wire on the inside of the of the clock to stop them.”