Bolton Parish Church clock gets £15,000 golden makeover
WE’RE not winding you up — Bolton Parish Church clock’s £15,000 facelift is finally complete.
The project at the church — where steeplejack Fred Dibnah first made a name for himself — to restore of the clock’s 12ft dial and its inner workings has taken six weeks to complete by engineers and specialist clock repairer Mike Tomlinson.
Time has stood still at the iconic clock tower since it broke down in July — but with new dial brackets, black gloss finish on the iron dial, and repairs to its inner workings, the stunning Grade II listed building is back to its best once again.
The final touches were put on the Roman numerals yesterday afternoon, which have had approximately 560 sheets of delicate gold leaf painstakingly laid out onto them.
Mike Tomlinson, who works at Smith of Derby clockmakers, said: “Now that it’s finished I’m very pleased with it. It’s been a very big project due to the sheer scale of the tower.
“There are about 190 steps to the top and we’ve been walking up and down between five and 10 times a day, which has taken its toll.
“There are hundreds of pieces of gold leaf sheets on the Roman numerals which is 23 carat gold. We used 28 books and there are 20 sheets per book.
“I am really proud of it and I’m pleased the warden, Cllr John Walsh, is too.
“We estimate you get 25 years out of a restoration, but I would say it will be nearer to 30 to 35 years at least.”
Cllr Walsh was also present at the completion of the project which was paid for using church funds.
He said: “It’s wonderful to see it finished, and it looks magnificent.
“It has taken a while longer to get finished — it’s been about six weeks since they first took the hands off — but it quickly became a bigger job than we first thought.
“At least now it will be keeping good time for a long time. It should have a 25 to 35-year life span so thankfully I don’t need to worry about it from now on. I would personally like to thank Mike and his colleague for the excellent and efficient work they’ve carried out.”
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