Clay Cross has a church to be proud of after clock restoration

Rod Layton, a church warden at St Bartholomew's Church in Clay Cross with the clock during it's renovation by Cumbria Clock Company who were putting the finishing touches to the timepiece on Wednesday.
Rod Layton, a church warden at St Bartholomew's Church in Clay Cross with the clock during it's renovation by Cumbria Clock Company who were putting the finishing touches to the timepiece on Wednesday.

A historic Clay Cross church clock that fell silent six years ago is ticking - and gleaming - away after expert repairs and a lick of gold leaf paint.

The clock at St Bartholomew’s Church is in pride of place again after the hands and mechanism were whisked away for restoration by the Cumbria Clock Company.

Jason Budd from Cumbria Clock Company applies the gold leaf to the St Bartholomew's Church clock hands in Clay Cross.

Jason Budd from Cumbria Clock Company applies the gold leaf to the St Bartholomew's Church clock hands in Clay Cross.

Church warden Rod Layton has been spearheading the project after securing a grant of around £2,500 from ChurchCare.

He said: “The clock stopped ticking around six years ago and to see it in action again means a lot to us as a congregation.

“The church is on the busy A61 and now drivers passing through will be able to admire our beautiful church and its working clock.

“The gold leaf is a lovely finishing touch and was made possible thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous supporter.”

St Bartholomew’s was completed in 1851 and has a peal of six bells which was cast in 1937.

Its clock boasts a rare mechanism which was produced by Smiths of Derby in the 1940s.

This was in safe hands with the Cumbria Clock Company, who have just finished repairs on the Royal Liver Building Clock in Liverpool- the UK’s largest clockface.

Staff ascended the church tower in October last year in order to delicately remove parts of the clock, which took around four hours.

Rod added: “It’s my belief that Clay Cross is undergoing somewhat of a regeneration at the moment, and the clock project has tied in nicely with that.

“When the clock stopped ticking, it almost made it look like the church itself wasn’t operational.

“Actually we’re a small but friendly and welcoming congregation and hopefully now people will see that the church is open to all.”