After almost six weeks work the scaffolding is finally complete. An Ecologist has been out to check for nesting birds and bats – fortunately no evidence was found in either case.
Prior to work commencing a photographic record of the lead graffiti on the tower roof was taken, before several pieces were carefully removed, some of which will eventually be put on display inside the church. The photographs were taken by Andrew Siddons who is a professional industrial photographer.
The pieces depict various outlines of shoes and hands with names and dates from the 18th and 19th centuries. One of them clearly depicts the outline of a clock face with numbers – a clock winder from another era perhaps?
The restoration work has now begun in earnest by Alliance Technical Services and is expected to be completed early September.
It is planned that the clock face will be repainted whilst the scaffolding is in place, and also the clock mechanism itself will be overhauled as it’s currently out of sequence.
Photo by Alex Beloe.
The parapets have been stabilised, the lead renewed, the roof door repaired,rainwater drainage systems re-routed and a huge amount of pointing done – all by a dedicated and very diligent team of skilled workmen.
During the works, there’s also been a plumber on site to fix the leaking water pipe behind the organ, drain and clean out the heating system and connect mains water to serve the system in the future rather than the rainwater drainage. The plumber drained 250 litres of ‘sludge’ from the system – a problem with rainwater draining off the roof into the header tank and bringing with it lots of dirt and debris over the years.
The final part of the restoration is re-painting the clock face, cleaning and re-setting the clock mechanism and synchronising the chimes with the clock, which will be done in the next 10 days before the scaffolding is removed completely.
And the clock chimed six…
The scaffolding is down, the area around the tower raked, all the debris removed and, after a lot of cleaning, repair work and general TLC, the clock is now working again!
All in all, a very productive three months!