by Joe Earp
The Emett Clock also known as The Aqua Horological Tintinnabulater was designed and created by Rowland Emett. The Clock arrived at the Victoria Centre in 1973. Since it’s installation the Clock has become a much loved local landmark and a popular meeting place.
Since its first installation the clock has chimed on the hour and half hour, playing ‘Gigue en Rondeau II’ (1724) from Rameau’s (1683–1764), ‘Pieces de Clavecin’ Suite in E-minor. This musical animated sculpture was originally situated between Boots, Next and John Lewis (formerly Jessops) on the lower mall of the Victoria Shopping Centre. At some point, the clock was modified to chime and play the music every fifteen minutes.
In 2014 the future of the clock looked grim. There were reports in the media and in the local community that the clock was going to be dismantled and would no longer be displayed in the Victoria Centre. Thankfully the clock was not going to be moved. In 2014, after over 40 years at the heart of the shopping centre, the Emett Clock was lovingly restored by local Engineer Pete Dexter and The Rowland Emett Society. Over the summer of 2014 the clock went on display for a exhibition at the Millennium Point in Birmingham.
After it had been on display in Birmingham it was put into storage until December 2014. The parts were then transported back to Nottingham where further refurbishment work was carried out by Pete Dexter. It was then officially reassembled in its current location on the north end of the upper mall in the Victoria Centre. Its stature, colour scheme and most of its original water features were restored. It was officially re-started on 17 June 2015 by Emma Jaggers, grand-daughter of Pete Dexter.
So the future of the clock looks safe for now. A common little local custom connected with the clock is to throw a coin into the clock’s pond and make a wish. Many children and adults alike have done this over the years and the custom has become very popular among shoppers to the Victoria Centre. All donations are given to local charities.