Jersey's steam clock ticks again after four years out of action

Jersey's infamous steam clock is finally ticking on time again today after at least four years out of action. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Jersey’s infamous steam clock has started ticking on time again after more than four years of not working.

The Ariadne steam clock, which is the largest in the world, has been controversial since it was first commissioned by the Waterfront Enterprise Board in 1996, at a cost of £250,000. It then came under the ownership of Ports of Jersey in 2016, but fell into disrepair.

But today (14 September), Ports engineers fixed the two electrical clock faces, although the steam function and water feature is yet to be repaired.

Deputy Montfort Tadier, the Assistant Minister for Culture, had called last week for a government debate on the state of the clock, after repeatedly failing to get a response from Ports of Jersey.

It takes a painfully long time to get decisions made and I think this was just a very simple but poignant example of that - how something which is relatively easy to do was getting dragged out for years, but I'm really pleased to have that pleasant surprise today.

Deputy Montfort Tadier

Ports of Jersey says major refurbishment to return the clock to full working order would come “at substantial cost”, and has had to be put on hold due to the pandemic.

Deputy Tadier told ITV News he will need to consider whether to withdraw his proposition, but believes there is now a wider conversation to be had about how to regenerate the port area as a space of cultural heritage.