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Thousands sought to repair historic Portishead clock

PUBLISHED: 15:55 01 November 2017

Paul Jeffery and Sandy Tebbutt outside St Peter's Church in Portishead.

Paul Jeffery and Sandy Tebbutt outside St Peter's Church in Portishead.

Archant

A fundraising appeal worth more than £15,000 has been launched to help restore a historic clock in Portishead.

The northern side of the clock face is damaged. Picture: Paul Jeffery. The northern side of the clock face is damaged. Picture: Paul Jeffery.

The Portishead Parish Clock was built in 1887 at St Peter’s Church to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, but in recent years its condition has worsened.

Paul Jeffery, one of the leaders of the fundraising team, said the once proud clock now ‘looks rather sorry for itself’.

The group believes the clock should be returned to its former glory to mark its 130th anniversary.

Mr Jeffery said: “The mechanism of the clock can be cared for and maintained from inside the tower but not so the dials and hands, which are outside the tower.

“It’s still in full working order, but over the years the effect of wind, weather and pollution has damaged the gilding to the extent it is now hard to tell the time.

“The clock, which the Victorians were so proud of, looks rather sorry for itself.

“A team has been set up to raise the money to restore the clock but it will cost a lot of money, approximately £13,000 plus VAT.

“We are hoping that, in the year of its 130th anniversary, the people of Portishead will be pleased to do what their forefathers did and be generous so this fine old clock is once again a credit to their town.”

This week, the group received some positive news as Gordano Civic Society agreed to provide £1,000 towards the project – money raised through sales of its Posset Pieces publication.

The cost of repairing the clock far outstrips what was paid to create it in the first place. Records show 89 contributors chipped in to pay the £189 17s price tag.

Paul said: “They thought it would be a fitting tribute to install a clock on the tower of St Peter’s Church which, at nearly 100 feet tall, would enable the time to be clearly seen by the people of Portishead as they went about their daily lives.

“The clock was purchased from Smith & Sons in Derby, which still makes clocks today. It’s tribute to the workmanship that the clock still runs well and keeps good time.”

Anyone keen to help the appeal can call Paul on 07932 909066 or email postmaster@pauljeffery.force9.co.uk. Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/portishead-pcc/portisheadchurchclock

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