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. 

old joe pink high res

The University’s clock tower, at the centre of our Edgbaston campus, is affectionately nicknamed Old Joe in memory of the University’s founder Joseph Chamberlain. Officially titled the, Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, the tower was completed in 1908 and is the tallest free standing 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.

In addition, it is important there is a meaningful connection to the University itself.

To ensure that when Old Joe does change colour, the impact is noticed, there is a limit on the number of times the clock can change colour in a calendar month.

The request must also align with the University’s strategic framework and have planned communications content. The Estates team retain the right to decline a request if it is deemed unsuitable.

Information to consider

  • Old Joe can usually only be changed to one colour at a time. You can choose from: white, red, green, blue, orange, pink, purple or yellow.
  • Old Joe’s colour can only be changed for three consecutive days.
  • Ideally, a notice period of one month will be needed to process requests.
  • 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 make a request to change the colour of Old Joe, email us at and please include the following:

  • The date/s of the change
  • The colour 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. 

Due to a change in systems, we are reviewing how recharges for colour changes are managed. Please email for more information.

Who can I contact?

Not sure whether your request is suitable? Send your questions to, or refer to our Old Joe calendar for a flavour of what causes have been promoted in the past, and what is scheduled for the future. 


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