Lighting up Old Joe

The University’s clock tower, at the centre of our Edgbaston campus, is affectionately nicknamed Old Joe, and you can light him up to promote your special cause. 

A close-up of Old Joe's clockface which is lit up pink

Named in memory of the University's founder, the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower was completed in 1908 and is the tallest freestanding clock tower in the world.

Do you want to light up Old Joe?

To celebrate, commemorate or raise awareness for a cause or event, changing the colour of Old Joe can bring your university-related campaign coverage and exposure.    

As the University receives many requests, we need to manage these carefully to ensure there are no clashes and to factor in the time it takes to physically change the clock's colour.

It is important there is a meaningful connection to the university, and the request must align with the University’s strategic framework. If the request is deemed unsuitable, the Estates team retain the right to decline the request.

Information to consider

  • Old Joe can either be changed to one or two colours at a time. You can choose from: white, red, green, blue, orange, pink, purple or yellow. Please note there is a charge for more than one colour at a time.
  • Ideally, a notice period of one month is required to process requests.
  • Old Joe's colour can only be changed for three consecutive days.
  • Have you considered how you will communicate the reasons for the colour change? When you submit your request, please send any text or content relating to the change, and what it symbolises, so that the University’s Marketing and Communications team can distribute this accordingly.

Making a request

To change the colour of Old Joe, please send your requests to with the following information:

  • The date/s of the change.
  • The colour(s) you would like.
  • The event/cause for the change.
  • University links to the cause.
  • Attach communications text or content relating to the colour change.

You will receive a reply from the team as soon as possible verifying whether your request has been approved. 

Who can I contact?

Not sure whether your request is suitable? Send your questions to


Professional Services