MYSTERY surrounds why it has taken six years to repair two historic clocks removed from a tube station during a refurbishment.

The distinctive timepieces were removed from Wanstead station in 2006 while work was carried out and never returned, despite a promises in a report of the work at the time.

The Wanstead Historical Society has been pushing Transport for London to return the clocks, believing they of significant historical interest.

But the group claim they have been told the clocks are in storage in Acton and have not been returned due to problems mounting them on the new station cladding.

And members have not been provided with a time-scale for their return.

Society member John Smith said: "The clocks are special to Wanstead. When you are going to repair or upgrade and ignore and not replace something of that importance it is almost criminal."

Denis Keeling, the society's vice-chairman, said: "It is ridiculous it has taken this long to sort the problem. We will keep it under review and make sure the clocks come back.

"We haven't got much 20th century architecture in Wanstead, so the station is a really important modern building, especially the huge window which looks out over Eastern Avenue.

"The station is a public building and we will get the clocks back."

The clocks made up part of the original features of the station when it opened in 1947 and was designed by one of the most famous architects of the 20th century, Charles Holden, who designed many tube stations.

A report outlining the station refurbishment, written in 2006, stated the clocks, which feature the underground motif instead of numbers at the hour positions, should be retained and restored in situ because of their historical importance.

TfL cannot confirm when the clocks will be returned to the station.

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