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Time for GTAccess to help St Peters Church


12 October 2018

St Peter’s Clock project gets a boost from GTAccess

After the successful restoration of the organ at St Peter’s, attention is now being turned to restoring the tower clock dial saved during the demolition of St Luke’s in Cradley Heath. The dial was a prominent feature on the High Street of Cradley Heath for sixty-seven years, providing a time check for the community, at the heart of the chain making industry in the Black Country. It is hoped, that when completed, the restored dial can serve the community of Cradley, in a similar manner, over many years to come.

The church wants to install it in the tower of St Peter’s in Cradley for the benefit of the whole community and to preserve the memory of St. Luke’s. The first priority was to confirm if the dial from St. Luke’s would actually fit the opening at St Peter’s. A call for help was put out by the church on social media and was answered by GTAccess who provided them with a Skyjack SJ63AJ articulated boom (cherry picker) to help them measure the empty space on St Peter’s tower where the clock is to be installed.  

There are three parts to the project:

1. Dial Restoration and Installation

The dial restoration would consist of stripping down the ironwork, repainting it, re-gild the three concentric rings and replace the damaged glazing with vandal resistant acrylic. This would return the dial to its original appearance as it was in 1949.

2. Installation of quarter hour and hour chimes

The chimes would use electromagnetic hammers on the existing bells to sound the hours and quarters. A night silencing device would be added so that the clock can be stopped from chiming through the night.

3. Floodlighting of the tower

It is an ambition of St Peter’s to make the church more visible at night. Currently the church is quite hidden at night due to it being set back from the road and surrounded by its eight acres of churchyard. Plans have been drawn up to use energy efficient LED lighting to light the Victorian tower and remind people of the presence of the church in its community. 

The Church's “Just a Minute” Appeal is where, for a donation (people can give as much as they wish), people and local businesses choose a certain minute on the clock dial from St. Luke’s and write in no more than 100 words, why that particular minute is important to them. With 1440 minutes in 24 hours, there’s plenty to choose from, but once a minute has been selected by someone it cannot be selected again by someone else so get in quick!

The church wants people to select a memorable time, such as when they were born, started school, got married, went on a wonderful holiday or a poignant occasion. It is hoped that at the end of the project and once the clock is installed, they can put all the contributions and names into a book and have it on display in the church for future generations. Donations can be made on their CrowdFunder webpage.

To restore the clock dial and install it at Cradley will cost around £15,000. In addition to the “Just a Minute” Appeal, grant funding bodies will be approached to apply for external funding. Any surplus money from the project will be used for the ongoing maintenance of the church.