Applause as Beverley Minster clock's facelift is complete with a golden touch

A long-awaited facelift has been given to the clock of one of the most spectacular places of worship in the region as workers had to abseil down the historic building to finish the job.

Beverley Minster has it's clock hands returned to the clock face after restoration work by expert workers Stuart Morrison and Stephen Davies. Photo credit: Richard Ponter/JPIMedia
Beverley Minster has it's clock hands returned to the clock face after restoration work by expert workers Stuart Morrison and Stephen Davies. Photo credit: Richard Ponter/JPIMedia

Beverley Minster’s historic clock has been in service for roughly 120 years and has not had a freshen-up since 1960, according to the Minster’s tower captain and steeple keeper Mike Robson.

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But now thanks to a specialist team from the Cumbria Clock Company restoration has been completed on the clock dial, including a special addition of gold.

When the work was completed yesterday, Tuesday June 15, there was a jubilant round of applause from members of the public. Photo credit: Richard Ponter/JPIMedia

The first jobs to be done involved stopping the clock, removing the louvres and abseiling down to remove the hands from the clock face.

The hands have since been cleaned and regilded with 23-carat gold leaf.

Mr Robson, 64, who has held his role since 1977, told The Yorkshire Post, he was delighted to see it restored to how it would have looked in 1901.

He said: “It looks really fresh. It is now more than 50 years since the dial was last inspected and repainted.”

A long-awaited facelift has been given to the clock of one of the most spectacular places of worship in the region as workers had to abseil down historic building to finish the job. Photo credit: Richard Ponter/JPIMedia

To see the work unfold has proved an unusual spectacle for visitors to the Minster, local residents and passers-by.

And when the work was completed yesterday, Tuesday June 15, there was a jubilant round of applause from members of the public.

Mr Robson said: "We had lots of people down yesterday morning and they gave a round of applause to the workmen when they abseiled down after doing it, which was really good."

The project took eight days to complete at a cost of £10,950 plus VAT - which was funded by the Friends of Beverley Minster with Mr Robson overseeing the project on their behalf.

Pictured Stuart Morrison (left) and Stephen Davies take a break after completing the job. Photo credit: Richard Ponter/JPIMedia

The clock had previously been painted in 1960 with the use of gold paint used on the minute hands and numerals rather than gold leaf.

Mr Robson said: “The gold had deteriorated quite badly. But now it looks like it originally would have been. It will last a lot longer with the gold leaf.

“I think it will be another 50 or 60 years before we have to think about having it done again hopefully.

“I probably won’t be around then so it’s great to see it looking so good now.”

The Cumbria Clock Company looks after notable clocks including Salisbury Cathedral, Hampton Court Palace and the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool.

In 2007, the company manufactured and installed a temporary drive unit to the Westminster clock - Big Ben.

For 12 weeks, this unit kept the world’s most famous clock showing the correct time, until restoration of the mechanical clock had been completed.

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