Birch Memorial Clock Tower

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The Birch Memorial Clock Tower standing in front of the Ipoh State Mosque was unveiled in 1909. The square tower has a clock on each face. The clock tower has one mother bell, 6 ft 6 in diameter weighing 1,000 pounds and four smaller bells weighing together 1,000 pounds and was designed to strike the chimes of Big Ben.

The clock used to chime every quarter of an hour. It ceased to chime for the past several years and MBI has not bothered to repair and maintain the clocks which are not working.

The clock tower is historical and an important landmark. It is strategically located and a tourist attraction. However, the small park surrounding the clock tower is reasonably well maintained.

MBI should repair the clock immediately and make it functional; let us hear the pleasant chimes of the clock. While doing the maintenance work, plants growing on top of the tower must be pulled out before they damage the concrete.          

A.  JEYARAJ

5 thoughts on “Birch Memorial Clock Tower

  1. This clock tower is one of two in South East Asia. The other, I have been informed is in Hong Kong.

    Perhaps if the Ipoh Heritage Group starts a save the clock tower campaign and raise some funds, I anticipate it’s staus will remain unchnaged for another 20 years. Oh by the way, the funds are of course for the repairs to the mechanism of the clock and chimes !

    So what say you guys ??

  2. ipohWorld ran another Old Town heritage walk this morning, this time for 5 Irish teachers, here for a short exchange with local teachers who have recently been to Ireland.

    Sad to report we found the town in just as bad a state as it was last time and the time before, exactly one year ago. Only this time, if it is possible, the litter problem was worse as it had spread and now encompasses the railway station gardens as well, even though there were empty litter bins close by. What is wrong with Ipoh people that they prefer to litter the town rather than walk a few steps to use the waste bin provided.

    Of course the Birch Memorial Clock Tower was just as bad as before, although someone had taken the hint and removed the broken bed. But of course the area is still the home of long-term litter and the clock still does not work.

    Also the pavements throughout Old Town continue to deteriorate and have become a serious hazard for the old, infirm and youngsters. Whoever had the contract to lay the paving should be made to do the job again at their cost for the first effort was clearly inadequate.

    How long do we have to go on apologising for the inadequacied of the the City Council and their contractors and the lack of hygiene skills of the people?

  3. As the original article was about the J W W Birch memorial clock tower, may I bring our readers back to the subject while linking it with MBI and how they are doing. Well, if you look at http://www.ipohworld.org/blog/?p=370, posted for all to see on 6 April 2009, you can judge for yourself how well they are doing.

    Now you may say that was 8 months ago, but in December we took a party of Singaporean students there on an Old Town heritage tour. We reached the clock tower as the last item having witnessed the dereliction of a number of buildings and numerous broken pavements. Nothing had changed, at the tower. There was still rotting food and rubbish to navigate past as you visit Ipoh’s heritage and the broken bed was still there. In addition the students had to squeeze past the additional stalls, apparently deliberately erected in the entrance to the square. There was a definite feeling that visitors to the site are not encouraged.

    So what will the students tell their parents back in Singapore. Do you believe they will say: Go to Ipoh, its a beautiful place. Of course not, they will most likely say: Don’t go to Ipoh, it is falling down and dirty. And we are trying to improve tourism to Perak. As Santa would say “Ho Ho Ho”.

  4. MBI has not been efficient for quite some time. This afternoon I took a walk around town and for the 1st time went up the skybridge connect Sam Tet & Ipoh Parade.

    The footsteps near the Sam Tet end was FULL of rubbish and I don’t think the skybridge was ever cleaned ever since it was put up.

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