For nearly five centuries St James’ Parish Church has stood as the beating heart of the historic, thriving, village of Barton under Needwood and its clock has marked the passage of time for over 120 years, chiming on the hour and every quarter.
Now, thanks largely to a £10,000 grant from the Barton & Dunstall Key Trust the clock’s faded faces are being restored and residents will again be able to look up and see the time.
Cheque presentation by Julie to Sue and Roy at St James Church. Lizzie Butler from Smith of Derby was privileged to be invited to the presentation.
L to R: Sue Gent Churchwarden; Roy Smith former Clockwinder St James Church; Lizzie Butler Smith of Derby Clockmakers and Julie Skinner Trustee of the Barton & Dunstall Key Trust
Originally installed by Smith of Derby in 1895 the present clock has dials on the North, South & East faces of the church tower. Reminding villagers and visitors that ‘Tempus Fugit’, or time flies; the painted clock faces, hands and numerals had faded making it difficult to see the actual time.
As an admonition against sloth & procrastination, the Latin motto is most splendidly adapted at Hertfordshire’s Furneaux Pelham church clock to read ‘Time Flies – Mind Your Business’ with a running figure of Father Time.
Rather than swathing the church tower with scaffolding Smith of Derby have used rope access to repaint the faces and re-gild the Roman numerals, outer ring and hands with double thickness English gold leaf. Not only does time fly but so does the restorer!
Sue Gent, Churchwarden, seen receiving the grant cheque from trustee Julie Skinner, of the Barton & Dunstall Key Trust said ‘We’ve been talking about doing this for years and now, thanks to the Key Trust, everyone in our community will be able to clearly read the time again in Barton’.
Tony Davies, Smith of Derby clockmaker applying double thickness English gold leaf to the north face of St James Church, Barton under Needwood. Rev’d Andrew Ridley and Julie Skinner at the top of the tower. With rope access @jasonbudd West Country Access.
Barton & Dunstall Key Trust’s Julie Skinner commented ‘We’re delighted to help St James’ Parochial Church Council in their hour of need and will be pleased to receive applications from other village organisations in Barton & Dunstall for up to £10,000 and individuals of any age who live in our communities for grants of up to £500.
Details and an application form are available at www.bartondunstallkeytrust.co.uk and at Barton Library.’ ‘Trustees meet three times a year normally in February, June/July and October’ added Julie.