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BIRMINGHAM, Imperial Arcade, Dale End 5, 3-0-7 in F


The arcade was built by Thomas Hall and opened at Christmas 1883. The clock was made by William Potts and Sons of Leeds and sounded the Cambridge quarter clock, five bells with four automatic figures”. The bells were dated but uninscribed, and were cast by an unknown maker in 1883.  They were mounted on cast iron pillars suspended from the roof. The real attraction of the clock was its four large automaton figures carved in solid oak. The two central figures, or "Jacks" depicted Guy, Earl of Warwick, and a Saracen adversary. These two figures stood 7ft. 6in. in height. The other two figures represented Guy's Countess and a retainer. These smaller figures were over 6ft. in height. On the hour and the quarters, the four figures would strike the overhead bells.

The Imperial Arcade was the edge of the town and was not a great success. When the clock broke down in 1904, money for its repair was not forthcoming and the mechanism fell into disuse. In 1935 the clock transferred to the Market Hall (q.v.) and the bells recast.

(Most of the above information is quoted directly (with permission) from the research notes of Chris Pickford).

Details of the Bells

1. Unknown    1883  0-1-04    10.75"  F#
2. Unknown    1883  0-1-08.5  12.00"  E
3. Unknown    1883  0-1-15    12.50"  D
4. Unknown    1883  1-2-01.5  18.50"  B
5. Unknown    1883  3-0-07    24.00"  F#

 Photo Gallery

Birmingham Market Hall - Source: Percy Shurmer

(As restored at
the Market Hall)
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