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Swadlincote park gets new sundial to honour its historic past

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 26, 2014

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VISITORS to a popular South Derbshire park will be forgiven for thinking they have stepped back in time thanks to a long-awaited ode to an iconic feature.

A new sundial has been unveiled at Eureka Park, in Swadlincote, as part of restoration work being carried out by South Derbyshire District Council and funded through a £547,316 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund.

It is designed to reflect the old floral clock, which was a much admired feature of Eureka Park that appeared on Swadlincote postcards for many years.

Jim Hewlett, chairman of housing and community services at South Derbyshire District Council, said: "The floral clock has always been an eye-catching presence for residents and visitors, symbolising its unique history and heritage.

"It is socially and culturally significant, an emblem of where Swadlincote has come from, so we are delighted to ensure that its legacy lives on.

"Eureka Park is at the heart of the community and has been for generations. This funding is enabling us to deliver a wonderful park that continues to be fit for the 21st century and builds on its traditions. We are proud of its past and excited for its future."

Installed to commemorate the coronation of King George VI, the floral clock was officially handed over to Swadlincote District Urban District Council in 1937, having been tilted onto an angle to prevent water flowing through the face and onto the clock mechanism.

It remained in that position for decades, with park staff creating floral designs out of bedding plants and sedums, until cutbacks led to it becoming unused.

Now, to bring the past to the present, a timepiece has been reinstated in the form of the sundial, in the same location and at the same orientation.

When the old floral clock structure was carefully dismantled the original mechanism, assumed to be from 1937, was in excellent condition and is likely to be retained by the Magic Attic history archive in Swadlincote.

Its replacement was designed and installed by David Brown, a founder member of the British Sundial Society.

Work to restore Eureka Park began back in March and is soon set to be completed.

The main features include a natural water play stream.

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