Famous Wrexham clock restored to mark firm’s bicentenary

Reporter:

Matt Sims

CUSTOMERS visiting a pharmacy yesterday could be forgiven for thinking they had travelled back in time to the early 19th century.

Staff at Rowlands on St Georges Crescent, celebrated the company’s 200th anniversary by dressing up in Georgian era costumes.

Rowland Cole, fifth generation of the Rowland family and former chairman of the company, unveiled its historic clock, which has been restored and returned to its spiritual home outside the Wrexham pharmacy to mark the bi-centenary.

The original clock was located at the company’s first pharmacy on High Street, Wrexham, in 1810.

This clock, itself almost 60 years old, is the fourth replacement for the original but has spent the last 12 years in storage.

Mr Cole said: “I’m delighted to be asked to perform the unveiling ceremony today.
“It’s a great honour. I remember the clock when it was in High Street in the 1960s and it was a landmark back then.

“It’s great to see it restored and back in use today.”

In its heyday, the Rowlands clock received notoriety among the locals, who relied on it for the correct time.

They found they were missing their buses, which stopped on the High Street, as the two faces of the clock showed different times.

Brian Hughes, 75, from Minera, read about the clock unveiling in the Leader and went along to see the event.

He used to repair it in the 1960s when he worked for his father at his electrical shop on Charles Street.

He said: “This is a proud day for me, seeing the clock restored and operational again.

“I remember replacing the bulbs in the clock regularly and I also remember it had two mechanisms working on an electrical pulse, so when one stopped working, the clock showed different times on each face and it did cause problems for the locals who relied on it to tell the time.”

Rowlands Pharmacy opened its first branch in Wrexham in 1810 and from there, the business grew to what it is today, with more than 500 branches spread throughout the UK.

Managing director Kenny Black said: “As a company, we are proud to say we have served the community for 200 years and looked forward to celebrating this success with our customers and our staff today.

“Although our pharmacy branches today have no resemblance to our pharmacy branches back in 1810, we do know, however, that what is the same is that we’ve always had our customers at the heart of what we do.”

See full story in the Leader

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