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Time no longer stands still in village

PUBLISHED: 09:41 24 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:17 03 July 2010

It is often said time seems to stand still in picturesque Norfolk Broads villages - but not for one happy community yesterday.

St Catherine's Church in Ludham was able to tell the time for the first time in many months after, in what was a hair-raising and delicate operation, the golden gilt clock hands were put back as the final part of a £250,000 restoration project.

It is often said time seems to stand still in picturesque Norfolk Broads villages - but not for one happy community yesterday.

St Catherine's Church in Ludham was able to tell the time for the first time in many months after, in what was a hair-raising and delicate operation, the golden gilt clock hands were put back as the final part of a £250,000 restoration project.

As well as abseiling down the church tower, horologists from Norwich-based Michlmayr Clock and Watch Makers refitted the clock's 150-year-old steelworks which had been painstakingly cleaned and renovated.

The work was watched by about 100 villagers and it now means people only have to look up 60ft to tell the time in Ludham.

Perhaps the most delighted person to see the clock restored to its former glory was the Rev Neville Khambatta who had to store the giant clock hands on a shelf in his study while the renovation was carried out.

Mr Khambatta was disappointed he could not help put the hands back himself as he loves abseiling. He said: “Many people had been missing the clock and I suppose you do not realise what you have got until it goes.”

Villagers were instrumental in raising about half the £250,000 to renovate the church, which culminated in yesterday's unveiling of the £4,500 clock works.

Yesterday was a double celebration for St Catherine's after it was chosen to be the first church in Norfolk to take part in a children's science trial.

When schoolchildren visit the church, they will be set a series of science and maths questions and tasks, such as finding out what the font is made off, drawing shadows cast by stained glass windows and how to keep church candles burning.

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