Introduction: In a celebration of heritage and community, residents of Bradford on Avon are enjoying the return of their clock to Christ Church, following an extensive £16,000 repair and restoration endeavor. The clock’s newly regilded hands and dial, perched atop the Grade II listed Christ Church spire, were reinstalled in October, marking a significant milestone 160 years after their initial installation.
A Special Two-Day Celebration: The restoration of the Christ Church clock was celebrated with a special two-day event that drew in over a hundred enthusiastic visitors. Among those in attendance were three classes from the nearby Christ Church Primary School, who had the privilege of witnessing the clock’s resurrection. Bradford on Avon’s mayor, Councillor Katie Vigar, was also present showing her unwavering support for this significant moment.
Blessing and Commemoration: As a poignant prelude to the clock’s return, Reverend Tessa Mann, the associate priest, bestowed a heartfelt blessing upon it. In a touching tribute, the fingerprints of all those present were collected and will be immortalized on a clockface as a lasting memento of this remarkable occasion. Becky Strike, the Community Outreach Project Officer for Discover Christ Church, expressed her delight, describing the atmosphere during the celebration as “amazing” and “incredibly emotional.”
A Glimpse into History: The Christ Church clock, an integral part of the early Victorian church tower, was initially installed in 1863 at a cost of £175. Over the years, the clock has been weathered by wind and rain, which has resulted in not only a malfunctioning mechanism and motor but also severe weathering of the dials. This prompted the much-needed facelift, which became an essential component of an ongoing restoration project.
In a heartwarming display of community spirit, volunteers from Christ Church visited the artisans at Smith of Derby to contribute to the restoration efforts by applying fresh gold leaf to the clock.