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Hands of time are on the move

PUBLISHED: 14:23 15 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:46 03 July 2010

St Nicholas' Church clock at Great Yarmouth will be restarted next month after undergoing a £10,000 restoration project.

St Nicholas' Church clock at Great Yarmouth will be restarted next month after undergoing a £10,000 restoration project.

THE hands of time

will soon be on the

move again at Great Yarmouth's 900-year-old parish church.

St Nicholas' Church clock will be restarted next month after undergoing a £10,000 restoration project - breaking a 35-year silence when it chimes at noon on February 1.

THE hands of time

will soon be on the

move again at Great Yarmouth's 900-year-old parish church.

St Nicholas' Church clock will be restarted next month after undergoing a £10,000 restoration project - breaking a 35-year silence when it chimes at noon on February 1.

The restarting signals the end of a nine-month project by Norwich based clock repair specialist Simon Michlmayr who has installed an electronic mechanism, ending the need for manual winding.

Time had stood still in Yarmouth for around 20 years with the hands of the timepiece, which dates back to 1959, stuck at 10 past 12.

Canon Michael Woods will lead a service at 11am to commemorate the installation and said it was a special event not only for churchgoers but townspeople as well.

“It is part of the regeneration of Yarmouth,” said Mr

Woods, “this is a significant moment for everyone, not just church people.”

He added: “It is a strong architectural feature of the town. Coming into Yarmouth from the Acle Straight the clock tower sits as a crown on top of other buildings.”

Yarmouth Preservation Trust gave a grant of £500 towards restoration, but the bulk of the project has been funded by Yarmouth couple Paul and Molly Davies, in memory of their late son Jonathan.

Mr and Mrs Davies and deputy mayor Paul Garrod, will climb the narrow steps of the clock tower shortly before noon on February 1 when the clock will be dedicated to the memory of Jonathan Davies before being restarted at exactly midday.

Mr Woods said: “It is a major event for the town as the clock is used by lots of people in the course of a day.”

A clock has faced Yarmouth's historic Market Place since 1829, although it was replaced in 1919 after

a donation of Yarmouth pawnbroker Frederick Marsh in thanksgiving for the end of the first world war.

Heavy bombing during the second world war destroyed the clock, although the

face remained relatively undamaged and was preserved. The present clock, made by Cope of Nottingham, was inserted in 1959.

The clock chimes on the hour with a nine note tune adapted from Bach's B minor Mass. It is unusual that it strikes nine of the 13 church bells in the tower; generally turret clocks strike only six bells.

Mr Woods said the chimes will only sound at noon.

“With the nature of shift work you are bound to disturb someone, so the full chimes will only sound at noon each day,” said Mr Woods.


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