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Damage probe to Porthleven Bickford-Smith Institute clock tower building

By WBGraeme  |  Posted: February 17, 2014

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Waves crash against the clock tower in Porthleven on Friday evening

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IT is one of the most photographed landmarks in Cornwall during the storms - but the clock tower in Porthleven has been taking damage.

Steps will now be taken to look for any serious problems to the Bickford-Smith Institute.

The building is regularly pictured with huge waves crashing about its clock tower.

It has escaped this winter’s onslaught relatively unscathed but two windows were smashed by the repeated beating of the waves last week.

It allowed sea water to flood the main part of the building which is leased out as a snooker hall.

The club has been closed due to electrical problems from the water.

The building was originally set up by mine and factory owner William Bickford-Smith in 1882 as a scientific and literary institute, including a reading room and reference library.

Today, it is owned and maintained by Porthleven Town Council, which meets each month in the adjoining cottage, which also houses the office of town clerk Corrie Thompson.

She told councillors on Thursday night that the snooker hall was still damp and they would have to assess any further water damage.

The town council has already invested money in re-pointing the stonework and is looking at what can be done with damp inside the building.

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