Chamberlain clocks: Welcome home 'Little Joe'!

Birmingham has a number of Chamberlain Clocks and possibly the most famous and prominent of these is in the Jewellery Quarter at its junction of Vyse Street and Warstone Lane signposting the way into Birmingham's famous Jewellery Quarter where approximately 40% of the UK's jewellery is still made.

There is another of these Chamberlain Clocks at Five Ways at the junction of Calthorpe Road and Harborne Road in Edgbaston.

Chamberlain was a prominent local Birmingham business man who made his money from the great Birmingham screw and bolt maker Guest Keen and Nettlefold in Heath Street in Smethwick which still exists today as the giant engineering business GKN whose headquarters is still in the West Midlands in Redditch. Chamberlain’s business success led him to pursue a political career and he reached high political office without quite making it to Prime Minister, which his son Neville did achieve.

These clocks were built to commemorate the contribution to the city of Birmingham of one of its greatest sons and a man dubbed 'The Father of Birmingham' Joseph Chamberlain MP who created the modern Municipal Birmingham with the Elan Valley Scheme to pipe fresh water from Mid-Wales to Birmingham and the creation of the first of the 'Redbrick' Universities the University of Birmingham He also built Highbury Hall in Moseley as the result of his success.

One of these Chamberlain Clocks stood in Bearwood for many years until being moved to High Street in Birmingham, about 30 years ago and standing outside Marks & Spencer's for a number of years.

On Saturday 24th October, this particular Chamberlain Clock is returning to its original home in Bearwood and will stand at the junction of Bearwood Road and Adkins Lane, near to the soon to be refurbished Lightwoods House, built by local Smethwick Soap magnate William Adkins after whom Adkins Lane where Lightwoods House (1793) stands is named.

There will be an opening ceremony at 10am at the Adkins Lane site to welcome one of the remaining Chamberlain Clocks home to Bearwood after being renovated by Smiths in Derby.

Welcome home 'Little Joe'!

NB The original 'Old Joe' is the Clock Tower at the University of Birmingham....so it is nice for 'Little Joe' to be returning home, not too far from the University!

Part of Brummagems.....Birmingham History Buff Keith Bracey' s fantastic historical facts about Brum......

Find out more on his blog or tweet on @1truclaretnblu