On November 12th last year, the Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent visited Michelin House, Chelsea, to return a large clock after an absence of over 40 years. The clock was originally hung in Michelin House in 1910 just prior to the opening on January 23rd 1911. It was removed from Michelin’s UK Commercial HQ (the most important proto Art Deco Building in the world) at the outbreak of the Second World War and it was sent to the Company’s main factory at Stoke-on-Trent for safekeeping. After a chequered history, during which time it was sold as obsolete material but returned, then partially restored and moved from one department to another at Stoke; it was finally fully restored by a team of Michelin employees and returned to Michelin House by Stoke’s first citizen, another Michelin employee, the Lord Mayor, Councillor Tom Brennen.
The Mayor presented the clock to Mr. Paul Lezer, Michelin’s Chief Executive, whose efforts to restore Michelin House to its original condition are fast coming to fruition. Several other items have been returned to London in preparation for the 75th Anniversary in 1986, but the three large stained glass windows which adorned the sides and front of the building are still missing. They were also removed to Stoke-on-Trent at the outbreak of World War Two.