The Eastgate Clock - an International symbol of Cheshire

Chester's Eastgate Clock, built to mark Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897, is after Big Ben, said to be the second most photographed clock in the world.

A gift from Colonel Evans-Lloyd, the Eastgate Clock was built and designed by J.B.Joyce & Company, of Whitchurch.

Altogether, Chester raised £1,800 for the Jubilee Fund, one-third being for "general rejoicings", one-third for a nursing scheme and the final third for the clock tower which was designed by the famous Cheshire architect John Douglas.

When unveiled it was reported that the clock was run by weights instead of springs, thus enabling it to keep accurate time. The pendelum was said to beat every one and a quarter seconds and the pendulum ball weighed one hundred-weight.

At the official opening ceremony, Colonel Evans-Lloyd said the clock was his humble contribution to his native city and he hoped that by day and night it would prove to be a comfort and convenience, noy only to the citizens, but to the many tourists who visited the city.

For years, he said, he had wished to see a clock on the Eastgate and he had first investigated the possibility ten years previously, though the difficulty had always been to find a resceptacle on which to place it. The handsome Jubilee Memorial Tower had finally solved the problem.

The clock was formally unveiled by the Mayoress of Chester and Miss Sybil Clarke, Col. Evans-Lloyd's niece.

J.B.Joyce, the designers of the Eastgate Clock, continue in business to this day. Founded in 1690 the company is recognised as the Rolls Royce of the industry and its clocks grace buildings throughout the world.

Indeed, the Millennium was chimed in on all five continents by Joyce clocks.

One of the most famous is the magnificent mechanism and dial at the Shanghai Custom House. Built in the mid-1920s it was the largest clock ever made at the time and became affectionately known as Big Ching.

Other Joyce clocks are in the post offices in Sydney and Adelaide in Australia; in Africa, in Nairobi, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth; in Rangoon, Shanghai, Calcutta, Delhi and Kabul.

There are also Joyce clocks in North and South America and in Canada, and there's even one on the Falkland Islands, at Port Stanley.

These are clocks that have literally stood the test of time, a symbol in a way of the old British Empire, but none is more famous than the Eastgate Clock, in Chester.