Drone footage of the storm-hit Deeside landmark shows the damage done

The DRONE footage gave a great insight into why funds are being raised to help bring an iconic Deeside landmark back to life.

Conservation activists are in a race against time to carry out emergency work on the John Summers Clock Tower following a trio of storms.

Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin have hit North Wales over the past week bringing high speed winds and heavy rain with them.

The triple storm header has accelerated the need for crucial replacement and repairs to the roof of the Grade II listed tower.

The drone footage shared with The Leader above just shows the extent of the damage to the building.

Enbarr Foundation director Vicki Roskams and her fellow ‘Guardians’ have set up a CrowdFunding page in a bid to reach their £350,000 goal.

‘Guardians of the Clock Tower’ is appealing to building supply dealers, roofing companies and industrial suppliers to help with materials and labour, including beams and felt and wooden batons.

Over £600,000 in grants and financial support for the £5.2m site redesign has been secured over the past 18 months from organizations including the Welsh Government, National Lottery and County Council of Flintshire.

PIC: Funds are being raised to help restore the John Summers Clock Tower in Deeside.

But Vicki says that much of that capital is earmarked for other areas of the project.

She said: “The grants we have received over the past few months are for the basement and the building itself, not the roof.

“We have fixed it as much as possible after years of vandalism and degradation, but storms and bad weather throughout the winter have had a major impact and mean we need a permanent solution, and quickly.

“There is no way the roof will survive another year in its current condition, there is important work to be done and we need the experts to do it, so we are calling on local businesses and suppliers to Contact us.”

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She added, “As more funds come in, there will be opportunities to work together in the future, and anyone who comes to our aid will be able to use the facilities and services for free in the end, but for now, we rely on kindness and generosity.”

With the backing of new directors including former Tata Steel apprentice and now Ethikos Group CEO Scott Davis and Charlotte Summers – great-great-great-granddaughter of Victorian steel tycoon John Summers – she is convinced that they will find a solution and calls on the community and volunteers to support them like never before.

“We’ve had incredible support since day one and have made tremendous progress over the past few years,” Vicki said.

“But in the end, if the roof is in poor condition and lets rain in, it affects the whole building and will become a safety issue in the future.

The leader:

PIC: What the clock tower currently looks like.

“Construction is now underway on the site, but it is our priority; it is the focal point of this area, bringing people together and offering a ray of hope to so many who have experienced so many challenges lately, including the pandemic.

“This is a critical development milestone, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you can promise your help – we really appreciate any help you can give us.”

The John Summer Clock Tower building opened in 1907 and housed the general office of Shotton Steelworks – now Tata Steel – on the banks of the River Dee, before closing in 2009 and falling into disrepair after being sold by the ‘business.

Plans for the site include a community hub, heritage skills and training center, cafe, library, woodland garden, live event venue and more.

Visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/savetheclocktower—raise-the-roof to show your support for the Raise the Roof call.