Restoration of Copper Dials at St Mark’s Church, Fairfield

November 20, 2023 Uncategorized

We are pleased to announce the successful completion of the restoration project for the copper dial at St. Mark’s Church in Fairfield. Steering the refurbishment with a keen eye has been our Complex Projects Manager Martin Butchers.  

Embarking on this journey, a careful examination revealed the copper dial’s gentle dislodgment by the wind. The original attachment, featuring traditional wooden plugs and slotted screws, had weathered over the years, leading to instability.

The restoration unfolded as a process, bringing the dial back to its original black colour, adorned with gold leaf detailing and hands. Our team were able replaced the previous clock movement and refinements were made to the attachment method, securing the dial’s attachment to the wall for many years to come.

In a nod to history, and at the request of St. Mark’s Church representatives, the Royal cyphers of both King Charles III and the late Queen Elizabeth II were painted onto the dial. This addition pays homage to the Coronation of King Charles III and the impactful life of service of the late Queen.

“At Smith of Derby, we take great pride in our work. It has truly been a privilege to contribute to the restoration of the dial at St Mark’s Church. This project ensures the dial’s longevity and functionality for the future.” – Martin Butchers, Complex Projects Manager

About the Fairfield Clock:

Originally installed in 1953, during the coronation year of Queen Elizabeth II, the clock underwent a recent reinstallation to coincide with the coronation of King Charles III. The restoration became necessary as the clock had stopped working and fallen from its position at the west end of the church.

Often incorrectly assumed to be the Church’s Clock, the clock on St Mark’s is a Public Clock that, like many around the country was funded by the entire community who wanted time to be visible from the tallest building in the community.

According to a Bromsgrove Messenger report in 1953 “The Coronation Committee decided that a clock costing £10 be put in the wall of the Church where all could see it”. A plaque attached to the wall below the clock reads “The clock in this church was installed by the people of Fairfield and District to commemorate the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II June 2nd 1953”.

The cost of the clock refurbishment is over £8000 and has partly been funded by Mrs. Margaret Must in memory of her husband, Chris, however, more money is needed to pay the balance of the refurbishment bill. (above photo, Mrs. Must with Rev. Canon Wyn Beynon at the service of rededication), which the community are continuing to raise money for at the moment.

Wyn Beynon, Priest in Charge at St. Mark’s, said “The clock face looking out on to the village is a shared community asset. It may be on the church building, but it was put there by the village for everyone, and indeed was originally paid for by public subscription. We hope you will appreciate the skill of the makers, and those who have beautifully restored the face. It has still got an electric mechanism (it was never clockwork) and this new one is exactly the same type as is installed in clocks in Middle Eastern deserts and Siberian snows… but we hope it’s up to British weather!


About the author

Nicholas Whitworth: