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Nylex clock to be restored

Melbourne’s famous Nylex Clock is to be restored, which is good news indeed.

It was with much pleasure that I read today that the Nylex Plastics Company will pay the approximately $300,000 to restore the famous Nylex Clock, a Melbourne icon which sits above the No. 2 Cremorne Silos in Richmond. The Nylex Clock which was erected in 1961, is a much-loved Melbourne icon, perhaps not so much for its aesthetics, but its utilitarian value. The sign consists of metal shallow-trough letters reading “Nylex Plastics”, outlined with incandescent lights and neon tubes. Above the sign sits an LED clock that shows the time as well as the temperature.

The famous Nylex Clock

The famous clock can be seen for kilometres across Melbourne’s suburbs. In fact, its cultural value as well as its historical value is so great that it is listed in the Victorian Heritage Register (File Number H2049) as being of significance to the State of Victoria. Everyday, thousands of Melburnians, rowing on the Yarra, walking or riding on its banks, or catching the train in from the suburbs could check the famous clock for the time and temperature, until it was turned off last year.

Nylex Clock on top of the silos, viewed from street level

The clock has been the centre of controversy in recent years. In 2003, developers proposed demolishing the silos underneath the clock and constructing an office block instead, with the clock positioned in prominent position on the top (since its removal would be illegal). After many protests and objections, the Victorian Heritage Council decided to heritage-list the silos too, as a reminder of Richmond’s industrial past, and so the proposal was shelved.

Proposed office block, planned to replace the silos

According to the Victorian Heritage Council, the Melbourne suburb of Richmond has the greatest concentration of surviving sky-signs in the state, which also include the Skipping Girl, Victoria Bitter, Slade Knitwear and the Pelaco signs. However, it is the Nylex Clock which is most prominent.
The clock is scheduled to be partially removed and restored off-site, before being reinstated later in the year.
(Picture sources: 1. Victorian Heritage Council; 2.; 3. The Age)



8 responses to “Nylex clock to be restored”

On 15 April 2009, Danny Nimmo wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

I Love this Clock! and will record it daily in my Diaries, as come home in the early morning from my Night Shift – glad found your site because was wondering – What’s happened to (my) Nylex Clock ?

On 25 June 2009, C James wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

What is happening to the Nylex Clock again? Hasn’t been working for over a month now. Is there a friends group/action group associated with the clock?

On 25 June 2009, Stephen wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

My apartment faces the Yarra River. I have lived in Sth Yarra for many years and the Nylex Sign shapes my day when I get up at 4am (shift worker relying on outside tempertature and time I have to get to work).

I returned from a vacation in February 2009 and to this day the lights are off and there’s still no one home!
I miss the lights, the landmark in all it’s glory.
Please restore my faith in the Nylex Sign;more importantly restore its globes !
Keep me posted, Stephen of Sth Yarra

On 30 June 2009, Adam Dimech wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

I have contacted Nylex Limited. The company collapsed in February 2009 and is currently in receivership. A source at the company informed me today that the Nylex Clock was switched off as a result of the collapse, and is not likely to be switched on again until the company is sold.

There’s more info about the sign at Melbourne Neon.

On 4 September 2009, Graham wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

It’s an essential service to Melburnians. I have grown up with this clock….always marvelled at it and as I grow older, rely on it’s temperature and time as I pass each night on my way home. SWITCH IT ON! Surely there is enough State revenue to foot the bill.

On 18 September 2009, Belinda wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

I love the Nylex clock and miss it dreadfully. It is devastating to hear that the future of such an icon could be in jeopardy. What are we thinking to let landmarks die all around Melbourne? Our retained history is one of the things people love about our city. Dimmys in Richmond, the skipping girl and the Nylex sign are some of the historic sites which link generations of Melbournians. … and anyway, what will Paul Kelly do with his song line stating, “The clock on the silo says 11 degrees”?

On 25 December 2009, Chau Mullarkey wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

Hi, what blog platform is this? Is it working for you or..? I would really appreciate it if you could answer this question! Ciao!

On 16 May 2010, Graeme wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

Does anyone know what is happening with the Nylex Clock? It was been off for a long time now and would love to see it back up and running.

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