Time running out for Minster clock?

The hands of the Minster clock are set to stop at 12. Picture CHRIS CARSON

The hands of the Minster clock are set to stop at 12. Picture CHRIS CARSON - Credit: Archant

Ancient Axminster timepiece in need of serious repair

The hands of Axminster Church clock are set to stop, as officials face a bill of up to £6,000 to repair the ancient timepiece.

A recent inspection of the electrical, self-winding mechanism has highlighted a serious problem concerning the operating voltage.

Church warden Jennifer Royle said it was causing great concern to the parochial church council, which is responsible for all aspects of safety regarding the clock.

In a letter to Axminster’s town clerk, Hilary Kirkcadlie, she says: “Twenty-four volt replacement units are available, but the whole installation could cost up to £6,000. A further and detailed report will be forwarded on this matter, but the support of the council will be needed.”

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In the meantime, Mrs Royle said they planned to stop the clock on Wednesday, September 16, for between three and four days to carry out a much-needed major overhaul.

She continued: “The work will involve the complete dismantling of the clock, cleaning and oiling of bearings, overhaul of the drives to the clock faces, and the hammers etc, re-assembling and re-adjustment of the settings.

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“During this time, the hands will remain at 12 o’clock, although they may occasionally move in a random fashion!

“The work will be paid for from funds held by The Church PCC on behalf of the town. These funds are made up from contributions from the council and other sources.

“This, as a matter of course, means that funds for emergency repairs if needed are severely depleted, but the major service is essential if the clock is to be kept going.”

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