As others have mentioned a non-fork already exists.
It has a control panel already - the Gnome 3 one. Get Tweak and set desktop to be controlled by Nautilus. Learn the magic keystroke - hold down alt when right click on toolbar and you have access to the Gnome 2 applets. Remove center clock and add a new one to the right.
You can even move main toolbar to bottom and add a task switcher and you have a Mint like setup.
There are a few limitations on placing applets on toolbar - it works more like Xfce in the way the icons are positioned.
Other than that it is Gnome 2.x by any other name.
Fork done, time to move on.