Askrigg has the time but not the chime – yet

St Oswald's Church, Askrigg

By Betsy Everett

A month to the day since Askrigg’s century-old church clock showed a shining new face to the world the hands are finally moving – but villagers will have to wait to hear the hourly chimes.

The Victorian mechanism which drives the clock has been dismantled and repaired, but at the 11th hour, as horologist Mark Crangley started the motor which works the hands, it spluttered to a halt. Mark will now return the failing motor to the Cumbria Clock Company’s Penrith workshops, for more minor adjustments.

“You want to get these things right first time, but there are so many complicating factors it’s not always possible,” said Mark, who helped to remove the old clock and mechanism, which had not worked properly for years, in December.
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However, he came up with an ingenious stop-gap measure to ensure the village could have a functioning timepiece: the new motor which drives the chimes was working well so he swapped it round to work the clock itself. 

“It means we will have to wait a while to hear the clock striking the hour, every hour, but it will be worth it. The main thing is that it’s working again and telling the time,” said MaryRose Kearney who has overseen the project.

The £10,000 restoration began in December when the 100-year-old mechanism and weather-beaten clock-face were removed. The back board was recreated in inch-think marine plywood and stainless steel rods hold it in place. The face is also now of stainless steel painted in black and the roman numerals have been applied by hand in gold leaf.

Once the motor is fully repaired and connected, the clock will strike every hour, on the hour, 24 hours a day.

Jonathan Simpson, left, and David McVicar, of Cumbria Clocks, get ready for the first lift.
Careful steps. . .


Nearly there . .


Perfect fit.