Pannett Park

Whitby's Town Park - Home to Whitby Museum and Art Gallery

History of the Floral Clock

The Floral Clock in Pannett Park was originally installed in 1953 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on June 2nd 1953. During the autumn of 1952 various ideas were discussed for ways to commemorate the coronation, with a general consensus that it should be a feature of a permanent nature. On 12th September at the Executive Committee meeting of the Whitby Chamber of Trade, John Tindale suggested that the Chamber might provide the mechanism for a Floral Clock.

The Floral Clock

Over the coming weeks the Whitby Gazette reported on progress with this idea, and on 17th October, reported "The suggestion … has found considerable favour, and the project was further discussed at the meeting of the executive on Friday night. Pictures of floral clocks in other towns were handed round, and these included the clock at Ostend. A local man was on holiday at the Belgian town when he received a copy of the Whitby Gazette which contained a report of the … suggestion made by John Tindale. He was sitting opposite the clock when he read the report, and at once bought a postcard picture of the floral clock and sent it to the Chamber of Trade." The report also went on to say enquiries had been made regarding the cost of the clock and "the lowest estimate was in the neighbourhood of £249."

By November the project was agreed and on 21st the Whitby Gazette reported "Whitby is to have a floral clock to commemorate the Queen's coronation next year. This was unanimously decided at a meeting of the Executive Committee of Whitby Chamber of Trade. The Executive decided to go ahead with the project even though the full amount of the cost had not yet been subscribed … so far promised was £150 11s, and over £70 was still required."

The clock was installed in the Spring of 1953 and for many years its fabulous floral displays were a much loved feature of Pannett Park and Whitby.

Each year a different theme was chosen and the planting depicted various logos and pictures. At one time a water fountain even circled the clock.

Unfortunately by 1979 the clock had fallen into disrepair, its hands were removed and the planting reverted to a normal flowerbed. It remained like this for 27 years until in 2006 the Friends of Pannett Park secured grants and sponsorship to reinstate the clock, create the Whitby Time Line, and carry out landscaping improvements to the surrounds.