Celebrations for clock refurbishment at Spalding parish church

Clergy and guests outside St Mary and St Nicolas before the service. SG151015-109TW
Clergy and guests outside St Mary and St Nicolas before the service. SG151015-109TW
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Gleaming gold leaf on the clock face at St Mary and St Nicolas Church is the most noticeable sign of a £7,500 restoration and it means anyone passing by can now clearly see the time.

The Vicar of Spalding, the Rev John Bennett, welcomed the Archdeacon of Boston, the Venerable Dr Justine Allain Chapman, to the parish church to conduct a special service of rededication to mark the completion of the clock refurbishment.

Head for heights - repairs being carried out to the St Mary and St Nicolas Church clock earlier this year. ANL-151028-125726001

Head for heights - repairs being carried out to the St Mary and St Nicolas Church clock earlier this year. ANL-151028-125726001

Among the guests were South Holland District Council chairman Coun Francis Biggadike and contributors to the restoration project.

Mr Bennett said: “The clock face needed regilding because it was fading.

“When there’s a public clock you want it to be clear and visible for people to be able to see the time as well as possible.”

He said there is provision for councils to give money towards public clocks and, after approaching South Holland District Council, ward councillors for St Mary’s, Howard Johnson, who has since stepped down, and council leader Gary Porter, gave money from their local budgets.

As well as the contribution of £1,258 from councillors, £600 came from the Friends of Spalding Parish Church and the balance from the church fabric fund, which is made up of legacies.

The clock dial and hands were fully restored as they were in poor condition with some areas down to bare metal. The metal was prepared, painted and finished with gold leaf.

The dial motion works were stripped and cleaned at the same time. The work was carried out via a rope and seat tackle – a bosun’s chair – by Smith of Derby.

This company were the original makers and installers of the clock in 1926 and continue to carry out the annual maintenance of the clock.

The clock is wound manually each week by a team of three volunteers, Richard Chadd, Philip Hall and Paul Doades. Phil and Paul are also bellringers.

Mr Bennett said the clock is wound up each Sunday by one of the team and this is increasingly rare as many church clocks have been fitted with automatic winding mechanisms. He’s also just discovered how they put the clock back an hour – it’s simply stopped and re-started.

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