137 years after its installation in 1884 the corroded and weatherbeaten dial of St Peter’s Tower clock was professionally removed for refurbishment on 1st July.
A team of three experts from the Cumbria Clock Company provided something of a spectacle by abseiling down from the Tower roof to painstakingly detach the 7ft diameter dial, weighing 1.5 cwt, and then lower it with ropes on to the main roof of the church and thence to the ground. The event was recorded for posterity by a bevy of hand-held and drone-mounted cameras.
The Cumbria Clock team returned on 31st August and once again displayed impressive agility while hoisting the superbly refurbished clock dial into position, despite a difficult gusty wind. Once secured with 14 new bolts, and fitted with its re-gilded hands the next day, the fully restored dial attracted much admiration from High Street onlookers (as well as Pete Davies’s drone and a wheeling red kite).
Our Chairman, David Du Croz, brought the project to a happy conclusion by toasting the ‘Cumbrians’, Stewart Morrison, Steve Davies and Dan Curnow with a glass or two of Prosecco down in the churchyard.
Thanks to the earlier pollarding of the gigantic Holm Oak, the clock on St Peter’s Tower is at last visible again from almost all of the High Street.
Words by Jeremy York – Trustee and Tower Constable of St Peter’s Church , Marlborough
Photos Neil Goodwin (MarlboroughNews)