AN intricate operation to remove Dewsbury Minster’s clock face had onlookers spellbound this week.
It took a specialist firm around five hours to take down the face and hands of the clock for cleaning and restoration.
Poised high above the church grounds, experts first removed the hands before lowering the face – measuring more than 5ft across – to the ground.
Churchwarden Gill Gaskin who watched the procedure said it was ‘a fantastic occasion’.
The clock is being spruced up in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and two local milestones – Kirklees mayor Coun Eric Firth’s civic service and the 150th anniversary of Dewsbury borough.
The Rev Canon Kevin Partington said: “The clock has looked a bit sad for a while now, but cleaning it has been fairly low on our list of priorities. However, with the formation of Friends of Dewsbury Minster, there is money in the pot for a project like this.
“We hope to get the clock back for May 12 when we host Coun Firth’s civic service and celebrate the creation of the borough. So sprucing up the clock is our gift to the town in honour of all these events.”
The clock face – made in the 1960s and wooden with gilded figures – has been taken away by the Cumbria Clock Company of Penrith who will give it a complete makeover.
“It will look fantastic when it is done,” said Mr Partington. “Traditionally, clocks on public buildings were for the benefit of the town so there is a real civic element here.”
Mrs Gaskin said the restoration firm said there were signs of a clock in place on the Minster tower since 1767. “They thought the clock was beautiful,” she said.