Chamberlain Clock, an iconic landmark in Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, came about in 1903 as a commemoration of Joseph Chamberlain, an MP for the area in the 1900s.
Chamberlain was a resident of the Quarter, living on Frederick Street. He was actively helping jewellers with his campaign to annul Plate Duties, a tax that had affected jewellery tradesmen of the time. He had also hoped to revolutionise the British Empire into one united trading block. He believed that advantageous treatment should have been given to British companies producing goods for the home market, essentially protecting them from low-cost, foreign goods. This continues to remain an issue even now, especially within the jewellery trade.
The unveiling of the clock was actually done whilst Chamberlain was still alive by his third wife, Mary Crowninshield Endicott. The Edwardian clock tower stands tall at the junction of Vyse Street, Frederick Street and Warstone Lane, at the heart of the Jewellery Quarter.
The clock’s original timepiece was a clockwork winding handle, later being adapted to the more modern electrical contraption. Unfortunately, it fell into a state of disrepair after standing in its original condition for eighty years, losing its chime in the process. But, in 1989, Chamberlain Clock was fully restored.