Clock chimes again

PUBLISHED: 11:05 02 February 2009 | UPDATED: 12:55 03 July 2010

THE people of a Norfolk seaside town can once again set their watches by a clock on the imposing tower of their parish church following a major restoration project.

THE people of a Norfolk seaside town can once again set their watches by a clock on the imposing tower of their parish church following a major restoration project.

Chimes from the clock tower of St Nicholas Church, in Yarmouth, rang out for the first time in 35 years yesterday while the hands of the timepiece are working again after being out of action for 18 months.

A special service of dedication was held outside the church, and the biting cold and wind failed to dampen spirits of parishioners, with loud cheers greeting the return of the chimes after more than three decades.

The majority of the money for the £10,000 repair work came from Dr Paul and Molly Davies in memory of their late son Jonathan. A plaque in his name was unveiled inside the church.

Canon Michael Woods, who led yesterday's service, said he was delighted to see the project completed before his retirement in April.

He added: “It has been a lot of hard work and a long wait. It's nice to see it completed before I go. The Davies family gave the money in memory of their son Jonathan, who died last year. They have transformed a tragedy into something worthwhile and beautiful.”

Money was also given by Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Deputy mayor Paul Garrod was present at the service.

He said: “This clock is an integral part of the market centre of this town. It is not only a timepiece; it is a symbol of the order that is important for people to live and work together. The citizens of this borough are pleased that this restoration has become part of the regeneration of Great Yarmouth in 2009.”

The event was also attended by local stonemason Colin Smith, who made the plaque in memory of Jonathan Davies.

Technicians from Norwich-based clock restorers and repairers Simon Michlmayr replaced the clock's defunct winding mechanism with an electronic system in a project lasting six months.

The chimes from the 900-year-old church will from now on be heard at noon each day.

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