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Tick-tock tower tees off to swinging start

- Tinplate repairs heritage clocks at Golmuri Golf Course for Founder’s Day

Call it the Rip Van Winkle of clocks. The clock tower at Golmuri golf greens, Jamshedpur, is ticking again after 20 years.

And like the fictional character who went to sleep and woke up two decades later to an utterly changed world, the clock tower is finding itself awake in an era buzzing with Internet, cellphones and a marketplace flooded with global brands.

The 70-feet tower, which boasts at its crest four winding clocks manufactured by Anglo-Swiss Watch Company, was installed in 1939 by Tinplate Company of India (TCIL) to mark 16 years of service of its first general manager John Leyshon. But posterity remembers 1939 as the year the Second World War started.

In 1994, when Golmuri Golf Course clock tower stopped, an event on global greens made time stop. An 18-year old Tiger Woods won his US Amateur in spectacular fashion, earning the nickname “teenage golf phenom”.

In 2014, history will be made again, but this time in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The Golmuri clock tower definitely seems to have a tryst with destiny.

Repaired earlier this month by Calcutta-based Anglo-Swiss, owners Tinplate Company of India (TCIL) will formally display the vintage showpiece to Jamshedpur citizens on March 3, Founder’s Day.

The tower has also received a fresh coat of paint. Decoration work around it is on in full swing.

“The clocks stopped ticking over two decades ago due to lack of maintenance. But now, we’ll see to it that the clock keeps functioning,” a company official promised, adding TCIL-owned Golmuri Club would oversee its maintenance.

A senior Tinplate official said the clocks would be a pleasant surprise for a lot of people.

“I recall workers cycling or biking to Telco (now Tata Motors) for shift duty and timing their riding speeds by glancing at the timepiece tower. The clock tower was a part of everyday life for the workers. Many will remember it with fond nostalgia,” he said.

Indeed, a retired Tata Motors employee said exactly the same thing when The Telegraph contacted him.

“The tower was my timekeeper for decades. The clocks helped me adjust my timing while pedalling to Telco for duty,” said Golmuri resident Mahinder Sharma, now 80.

Birsanagar dweller Surender Tudu (72), a former Tinplate employee, said he remembered the gong of yesteryears well. “It kept us alert,” he smiled.

He likes the new sound also. “I cross the clock tower some five-six times a day. The hourly chime is very soothing to hear,” he said.

An amateur golfer said a functional clock tower would add more value and beauty to the 18-hole course. “The company has done a wonderful job with it. It’s a 75-year-old heritage,” he added.

A new clock tower will also come up shortly between Bistupur general post office and Talwar Mansion.

Are you excited about the 75-year-old clock tower? Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com