Grandfather brings back landmark

Peter and Emma Dexter turn on Emett clock

The Emett Clock is back in the Victoria Centre after a year away and it’s bigger and better than ever, thanks to one man’s innovation.

Pete Dexter, 58, from Mapperley, decided to take his young granddaughter to see the famous Nottingham monument a couple of years ago only to be shocked by the state of it.

“Emma was still in a pushchair when I took her to see the clock, but it was doing very little. I contacted the centre manager asking if it needed some engineering input.” Pete said.

Pete works as an engineer and wanted to help as much as he could with restoring the clock. Although he admitted it took a long time to rejuvenate the landmark, he was more than happy to do it.

“The time went very quickly really, because I was doing work that I enjoy. It flew by. I didn’t realise just how many hours I was putting into it.”

He explained how he went about restoring the clock which has been part of Nottingham for over 40 years since Frederick Rowland Emett invented it.

Emett invented many things before he died in 1990, most notably a number of contraptions that appeared in hit musical film ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’. Present at the unveiling of the clock was his professional lookalike, Phil Carroll, who revealed the clock’s real name is in fact ‘The Aqua Horological Tintinnabulator’.

Emett lookalike

Phil Carroll, Professional Rowland Emett Lookalike

Before being taken away for restoration, the fountain was home to thousands of coins that had been collected over the years. Pete Dexter’s granddaughter Emma, 5, was in charge of reviving this tradition and was the first to throw a coin in the new clock and also had the responsibility of pressing the big red button to turn it back on.

Young Emma was very proud of her Granddad’s hard work and she was not the only one as many passers-by looked on in awe of the great Nottingham landmark.

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