A project team comprising of members of the Wherwell PCC, teachers and pupils from the village primary school and members of the local history group is celebrating after receiving a £9,000 Heritage Lottery Fund(HLF) grant.
The grant, awarded through HLF’s Sharing Heritage programme will be used to part fund the restoration of the church tower clock movement and replacement of the auto-winding system. The grant will fund a project involving thirty three pupils from Years 5&6 in the Wherwell Primary School, with support from teachers and members of the local history group. During the project they will learn about the history of the church and clock, as well as researching the physical fabric of the church, its place in a changing community and the technical aspects of the clock itself. Additionally Jan Smith, former County Archivist for Hampshire and local resident has kindly agreed to help the pupils develop research skills.
The hourly and quarterly striking clock was originally installed in 1911 to celebrate the coronation of George V. It was hand wound until the auto-winding system was installed in 1965. This is the second phase of the clock restoration, the first being the restoration and re-gilding of the clock face which was carried out in 2011 when major work was carried out on the nave roof and spire, also in part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
A further £3,500 of funding has been provided by the Church Building Council and the restoration work will be undertaken early next year by the Cumbria Clock Company who are recognised as one of the leading turret clock conservators in the country.