As the traffic works are finished on Hagley Road, and the building workers prepare to decant their site offices from the area around the junction, our thoughts turn to what we do with that area when they are gone. pAs part of the proposed improvement works along Bearwood Road, we are now in advanced talks with Birmingham City Council to repatriate the 'Kings Head clock'' back to the junction of Hagley Road and Bearwood Road.
Councillor Steve Eling said, “We have identified a sum of money of around a million pounds for improvements along the Bearwood Road, and there are a number of things that have already been suggested which will be the subject of a consultation exercise, and we will welcome further contributions, but an area we know needs some attention is the gateway entrance to Bearwood up towards the Hagley Road.”
After approaches to the City Council by ward councillors and Richard Marshall via the Traders Association, we now have an agreement in principle to re-site the clock on the land at the junction of Bearwood Road and Hagley Road.
Councillor Bob Piper said, “When we first floated the idea in the Bearwood e-Bulletin it was a bit tongue in cheek and we didn't hold out too much hope of getting it back, but talking to City Council officers over the highways improvements led to some positive noises coming back, and we are thrilled by the prospect of getting the clock back. It is an impressive structure, and the faces are to be renovated and illuminated at nighttime. We think it will be a real feature to underpin the gateway improvements.”
The clock was one of Birmingham's prized “Chamberlain clocks”, installed outside the Kings Head coaching station in 1900.
With its gas-lit dials and horse trough, the clock helped to service and monitor first the trams, and then the buses, plying the routes through Bearwood and Harborne. When the King’s Head became a major stop-off point on the Outer Circle bus route in the 1920s, such a clock was much in demand.
In 1971 it was removed for road widening, and for the last few decades has stood looking slightly forlorn and out of place in a shopping mall in the City centre. Now, we have the genuine prospect of bringing the clock back to Bearwood.