After 71 years, Clock Tower chimes again

It’s something that hasn’t been heard in Tsim Sha Tsui for decades, so naturally people were all ears when the silence was over.

Large crowds gathered near the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade on Thursday evening to hear the Clock Tower chime again after 71 years.

The bell rang when the clock struck 6pm.

The bell at the landmark started reporting time 100 years ago, in 1921. But it stopped ringing from 1950 after it had gone out of synchronisation with the clocks in the tower.

To mark the centenary of the bell, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) started looking for help from experts and a bell manufacturer in the UK. While they couldn’t manage to repair the original bell – now sitting at the bottom of the tower – they found a historical bell that produces similar chimes.

Amy Ho, a senior LCSD manager, said experts had re-created the old chimes using digital technology.

The digital bell system is synchronised with the web clock of the observatory, and rings between 8am and midnight every day.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre will launch a series of activities and an exhibition this month to showcase the history and design of the Clock Tower.

The landmark in Tsim Sha Tsui was built in 1915 as part of the former Kowloon-Canton Railway Kowloon Terminus. The terminus was demolished in 1978, leaving behind only the clock tower, which was declared a monument in 1990.