Ringstead's hands of time restored: Bridget Crofts
The church clock at Ringstead has a reputation for being somewhat unreliable but the Diocesan Church Clock Advisor, Colin Walton, has over several years worked tirelessly to give it a new lease of life. At approximately 170 years old the mechanism was in need of TLC and has also had an electronic winding system added to save the Churchwarden having to scale the tower on a weekly basis to wind both the hands and the strike.
Despite this work however the clock continued to stop - always at 20 minutes to 2 - and it was apparent that the dial and hands (last given an overhaul in 1986) were also in need of refurbishment and restoration. On 9th April Colin and his colleagues carefully lowered the clock face and hands to the foot of the tower, loaded them onto a bespoke roof rack on his car and took them to his workshop on the other side of the county, leaving the clock mechanism still running and reliably striking every hour to give the villagers an audio time check if not a visual one!
On Friday 10th May the newly painted and gilded clock was returned and, in slightly less than ideal weather conditions, was lifted back to its rightful position. The scaffolding was taken down and the clock revealed in all its glory on the 23rd of May.
The Churchwardens and members of St Andrew’s PCC would like to extend their thanks to all who made this project possible: Tony Thorpe and his colleagues at 5 Star Scaffolding in Docking for their help throughout, Dan Short and his colleagues at Lime and Flint in Rougham for making good the stonework and mortar and the fixings behind the dial, and of course to Colin and Norman for their dedication and care of our beautiful clock. Finally, a big vote of thanks to the Chairman and members of the Friends of St Andrew’s Church who have kindly financed the restoration of our historic timepiece.