TWO railway organisations are calling on Network Rail to get a famous piece of Northwich's history ticking again.

It is now more than three years since the J.B. Joyce clock on the Northwich station platform told passengers the correct time more than twice a day, having stopped at 11.22.

Now, the Mid Cheshire Rail Users Association and 8E Railway Association are campaigning to get the clock – a notable feature in many old Northwich photographs – working again.

Mike Lenz is chairman of the 8E Railway Association, who meet at the Gladstone Club in Northwich every month. Rooted in servicing steam engines stabled at the former Northwich Steam Shed 8E, the group feels a 'deep responsibility' for the station's heritage.

Mr Lenz said: "The clock features on the front cover of the next edition of our 'On Shed' magazine and we are saddened to see the clock has not worked for some time.

“I remember the late Alderman Ron Carey BEM, who was a well-known engine driver at Northwich Shed, unveiled the clock when it was refurbished in 2006 as part of the renovation of Northwich Station buildings into the Work Zone.

“The travelling public in Northwich should at least know the right time when they are departing Northwich by train."

Restoration work was started in 2005 after former rail officer John Kitchen helped put together a restoration package for the station and vandalised clock.

Now, the work is thought to be the responsibility of Network Rail, who are being asked to restore the clock – made by the same company as the iconic Chester Eastgate timepiece ­– to its former glory.

John Oates, MCRUA chairman, said: “The J.B. Joyce Clock at Northwich Railway Station is a well-known landmark on the Mid Cheshire Line that connects Chester to Manchester via Northwich, Knutsford, Altrincham and Stockport.

“We are now inviting Guardian readers to get behind our campaign with the 8E Association to get the clock ticking again.

“It is ironic that other notable Joyce clocks are at each end of the Mid Cheshire Line.

“In Chester the listed Eastgate Clock was built by Joyce and the listed Royal Exchange in Manchester has a clock from the same Whitchurch supplier.

“Whilst the Eastgate Clock in Chester is the most photographed clock in the UK after Big Ben, the least we could have in Northwich is a clock that tells the right time. Northwich deserves a railway station clock that is right more than twice a day.”

Mr Kitchen told MCRUA that the anti-vandal restoration 14 years ago cost £11,000, and was unveiled by the late Honorary Alderman Ron Carey.

He added: “It would give me great pleasure to see it ticking again in Ron’s memory.”

Contact MCRUA or visit to register your support for the campaign.