Time for a facelift as St Peter’s Church clock is taken away for repairs

Dorset Echo: TIME GENTLEMEN: Tony Davies, left, and Chris Craven, from Smith’s of Derby, with the clockface TIME GENTLEMEN: Tony Davies, left, and Chris Craven, from Smith’s of Derby, with the clockface

IT’S only a matter of time before a church clock is repaired.

Braving howling winds and heavy rain, technician Tony Davies abseiled down the tower of St Peter’s Church in Portesham to retrieve the clock face which has been damaged in recent storms.

It has been taken away for repair, although parishioners are assured that even though there is no dial the clock mechanism will continue to chime out the hours.

A specialist team was required to retrieve the dial and repair it, and the church called upon bespoke clock makers Smith’s of Derby.

They are not connected to the clock’s original makers, Smith’s of Clerkenwell.

Secretary of the Friends of St Peter’s Church, Ann McKinna, said: “Our church clock, which has been faithfully keeping time and chiming out the hour for a couple of hundred years, has gone into ‘hibernation’ for some of the winter.

“During the recent violent storms, the face of the clock suffered severe damage, with the minute hand being blown off-course, making it necessary for its removal – for the safety of those walking through the churchyard, and in the surrounding roads.

“However, not only did the hand need replacing, but the whole dial needed a ‘facelift’ and some serious tender loving care.

“This specialist job is being carried out by Smith’s of Derby, who have been looking after the clock for many years.”

She added: “We now wait with bated breath for the clock to be returned, pristine and with two complete hands.

“It’s planned to hold a coffee morning in the church for village residents and visitors to watch it being replaced.

“Everyone is welcome, and any funds generated will be donated to Friends of St Peter’s Church, who have helped to fund the repairs and refurbishment. So watch this space for a date and time.”

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