National Recording Project


Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

In the Nick of Time


Type Sculpture

     Free standing steel structure in form of arch with clock in centre. On the hour, the clock splits open accompanied by flashing lights allowing skeletons, angels and devils to appear. John Newman describes it as 'a parody in polished steel of the Euston Arch.'
     The Newport Clock was commissioned by Newport Borough Council as their exhibit at Garden Festival Wales in Ebbw Vale, before moving to its permanent home in John Frost Square in November 1992. A Sculpture Selection Committee was formed with grant aid given to the scheme by the Welsh Development Agency and the European Regional Development Fund.
     The designers 'drew inspiration from the exuberant architecture of Newport's Victorian centre, as well as being influenced by the 15th century astronomical clock in Prague.' They wanted their design 'to remind people not only of time passing, but of their own mortality. On the hour the devil, skeletons and angels all put in an appearance, as the whole structure itself seems in danger of splitting apart. Can the cuckoo wake the boiler suited angels and save the clock for another hour?' Andy Plant describes his work as "a cross between a cuckoo clock and an expresso machine - the only white knuckle clock in the world".

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Plant, Andy Designer
Wood, Ali Designer

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Whole work Steel 945cms high

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • No damage
Structural condition
  • Other
  • None
Road John Frost Square
Precise location In centre of square
A-Z ref 63 1F
OS ref None

Sorry, we have no precise geographical information for this item.

Date of design 1992
Year of unveiling 1992
Unveiling details 1992
Commissioned by Newport Borough Council
Duty of care Newport County Borough Council
Listing status Don't know
At risk? No known risk

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