As one of Melbourne’s sleeping icons suddenly flickered back to life yesterday, speculation became rampant – who exactly turned the famous Nylex Clock back on, and how did they manage to do it?
The famous neon monolith that sat dormant atop silos on Punt Road for seven years had new – albeit temporary – life breathed back into it yesterday, and those behind the revival revealed themselves earlier this morning.
A group of anonymous people known as the Nylex Clock Collective came forward to claim responsibility, confirming their involvement on 3AW. A spokesman for the group – identified only as “Byron” – stated they were all engineers and electricians that had grown dismayed at the increasing state of disrepair the much beloved sign had fallen into.
“A lot of us were fairly dismayed to find in the last six months or there was a lot of graffiti and vandalism taking place. Every time we drove past it we’d look at it and grow a bit sadder and we were waiting for someone to get up there and do some damage to the clock, so we made the decision that we were going to go up and have a look to see if we could get it running again.“
The group had planned for a number of years to attempt to resurrect the clock, but the window of opportunity had opened itself up wider much more recently.
“We noticed in the last six months that the site itself had become a lot less secure. On our little excursions up there we had seen the clock … and it seemed to be in very decent order.“
But, contrary to most reports and speculation, getting it operating again wasn’t as simple as merely flicking on a switch, with “Byron” stating that the whole operation “took a few nights.”
Using harnesses, the group dropped an extension cord through one of the silo’s back windows. Then, via a spiral staircase inside the building, the group plugged in and turned on the clock at about 11pm on Wednesday night.
The site is in the process of being redeveloped, with plans for a boutique brewery and museum to be installed. The property’s developer has stated intentions to restore and reactivate the clock on a permanent basis, but the timeline for that remains unknown at this point.
Photo via The Age.