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New face for Norfolk church clock

PUBLISHED: 06:51 04 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:43 07 July 2010

Simon Michlmayr of Michlmayr Clock and Watchmakers from Norwich working on the new clock face.

Simon Michlmayr of Michlmayr Clock and Watchmakers from Norwich working on the new clock face.

Emma Knights

People in a mid-Norfolk village will soon be able to read the time on their local church clock once more thanks to a community restoration project.

People in a mid-Norfolk village will soon be able to read the time on their local church clock once more thanks to a community restoration project.

Norwich-based horologist Simon Michlmayr and his team spent a day suspended from the 17th century tower of All Saints Church in Litcham as they installed two newly-made clock dials on the church.

The work is the final part of a project started by Friends of All Saints Church a couple of years ago to restore the time piece to its former glory.

Kerry Walpole, who started the project with fellow Litcham resident Anthony Wilson, said: “I think being able to see the time on the clock tower is going to mean a lot to people in the village. People have really got behind the project. It shows how people really care for the village and what a great little place Litcham is.”

One of the old dials which had been on the clock for about 35 years fell off about five years ago and the other was removed last year for safety reasons. A mould was made from one of them so that the new 5ft by 5ft clock faces would match them as closely as possible.

Mr Walpole said that although the new dials had been installed along with the old restored clock hands, people would probably have to wait a few more days until they could actually read the time on the clock.

“It will be probably be the middle of next week before the clock face starts working because a small part still needs to be made and the measurements could only be taken for it once the dials were put up,” he said.

The first part of the project was completed in September last year when work restoring the clock mechanism, dated 1725 and originally made by Morris of Swaffham, was finished enabling the church clock to once more chime on the hour after being silent for about two years.

The whole project has cost about £7,500, and the Friends group has raised £10,000. The remainder of the money will be used for the Friends' next project which will be cleaning and retuning the church bells. All Saints Church is grade I listed and was largely rebuilt in the mid 14th century.

There will be a Friends of All Saints Church fundraising wine tasting event at the Old Rectory in the village on May 22. Tickets cost £15. To find out more about the Friends, make a donation, or buy tickets for the event call Mr Walpole on 01328 700161.


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