Benevolence and Education
Type Clock Tower
Four-faced clock tower with a small spire. Door set into NW face. Decorative stone plaques set into NE and SW faces of tower. The plaque on the NE face is labelled 'Benevolence' and shows a seated female figure with her right arm around the shoulder of a child standing at her knee. The plaque on the SW face is called 'Education' and shows the carved figures of a seated female with a child kneeling at her feet.
Stanley Bean Atkinson was a prominent citizen and local government member at the turn of the century. The clock tower was erected in his memory in 1913 in Burdett Road. It was moved to its present location in 1934, an event recorded in the Daily Mirror for 29 January 1934:
'Memorial Moved from Busy Centre - The 30 ton memorial to Mr Stanley B. Atkinson moved to Stepney Green Waste E. from Burdett Road, where it had stood since 1913. The removal was made at the request of the Minister of Transport. It is an attempt to reduce the number of accidents at a busy spot'.(1)
The removal and relocation of the clock tower took place overnight on 28 January 1934. The tower was restored in 1994 and given a new clock with an hour bell cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.(2)
Stanley Bean Atkinson
In incised capitals on a stone tablet on SE face of clock tower:
IN MEMORY OF / STANLEY B. ATKINSON. J.P. / M.A., L.L.M., M.B., B.Sc. / M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., BARRISTER-AT-LAW. / STEPNEY BOROUGH COUNCILLOR. / GUARDIAN OF THE POOR. / MEMBER OF METROPOLITAN ASYLUMS BOARD. / BORN 1873. DIED 1910. / THIS TOWER WAS ERECTED / IN 1913 IN RECOGNITION OF / HIS UNSELFISH DEVOTION / TO THE PUBLIC GOOD. / [in smaller capitals] "GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, / THAT MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE / FOR HIS FRIENDS." / JOHN 1.13.
On plaque on SW face of clock tower, in top left corner of plaque, in embossed capitals, partially indecipherable:
EDUCA- / TION
On plaque on NE face of clock tower, in top left corner of plaque, in embossed capitals:
PMSA recording information