TIME is set to stand still in Failsworth with repairs and servicing of the historic clocktower due to begin on Monday (January 18).

The faulty clock was spotted and reported in October by Failsworth councillor and Oldham Council leader Sean Fielding who tweeted an image at the time of one of the clock's four faces displaying 6.50am at 11.45am.

Clock repair specialists from Penrith-based Cumbria Clocks attended the site and attempted to reset the clocktower’s four dials but were only able to carry out work on three with the fourth frozen on the external face.

The decision was taken to order a full service of all four of the clocktower’s faces.

This involves removal of the hands and internal movements and polishing, lubrication, reassembly and testing off site in Cumbria Clocks’ workshop.

The removal and dismantling is now scheduled to take place on Monday with refitting happening, weather permitting, on Friday, January 22.

Failsworth East Cllr Liz Jacques, who also serves as district lead for Failsworth and Hollinwood, said: “Failsworth Pole is an historic site much loved by the people of Failsworth. The clocktower is not just a local but also a regional landmark. Clearly it is very important that it tells the right time.”

Failsworth Pole is a site of huge political and historic significance in the region.

A site of Maypoles for centuries the first "political pole", made from a huge ships mast, was erected on February 1, 1793 by loyalist Tories at a time when Failsworth was a split community following the French Revolution.

The 1793 pole was topped with a crown and intended to "overawe the Jacobins". In response the local left-wing radicals, who saluted the French and American Revolutions, built a Jacobins Library on the green opposite and read Tom Paine’s "Rights of Man" and other banned books.

The site was also the location of a gathering of the great Oldham contingent on their way to St Peter’s Field in Manchester in 1819. The group gathered on the green opposite the pole, in defiance of the establishment that the crown-topped pole represented.

The loyalist monument blew down in 1849 and further poles were erected in 1850, 1889 and 1924. The current clocktower was erected in 1958.