The Minster Clock 

MINSTER CLOCK 2017AFor everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Rev Simon Ward

I have discovered that many folk in the town are aware that the Minster Clock has stopped and people have asked me when it is due to be working again. Much to my regret, I can’t give a clear answer! What this does reveal is that people in the market place do look up to the Minster tower and they are genuinely sorry that it doesn’t work. Facing out from the clock it’s not hard to ponder all of the scenes of town life which fall under its watchful eye
There has been a clock there for many years and was noted in 1829
MINSTER CLOCK 2017BThis clock was replaced in 1919 and was presented by Frederick Marsh, a pawnbroker of Great Yarmouth, in thanksgiving for victory in the First World War. This clock was destroyed in the Second World War, although the face was relatively undamaged and was preserved. A new clock, made by Cope of Nottingham, was inserted in 1959 and the clock’s face was painted and gilded. It has a three train electro-mechanical movement, a gravity escapement with an electrical re-wind and electrically driven strike and chime. The clock strikes on the quarters


painting the clock fac in 2008

It chimes on the hour with a nine-note tune adapted from Bach’s B minor Mass. This tune was adapted by the Revd. Gilbert Thurlow, the Vicar of Great Yarmouth from 1955 to 1964. The clock is unusual in that it strikes nine of the 13 church bells in the tower. More usually turret clocks strike only six bells. The bells are struck by hammers attached to wires, which are operated from the clock
The clock was restored in 2009 by Simon Michlmayr and Co. of Norwich who considers the Minster church clock to be a fine one. The clock’s face was re-gilded and repainted and mechanisms fully restored. The striking of the quarters and hours can be programmed electronically not to strike during the night
MINSTER CLOCK 2017COn Sunday 1st February 2009 a re-dedication service was held in St Nicholas’ Church attracting much media attention. I am sure many in Great Yarmouth will remember this
Wind forward to the present: Unfortunately the clock has suffered extensive damage as a result of pigeons getting into the tower. The quotation from Michlmayr’s to repair the clock is over £11,000! I am determined that the clock will be repaired but we need to raise funds to do this. If you wish to donate towards this or have any good ideas to raise funds, please do be in touch with us
It would be pleasing to know that the Minster clock could help keep the town in time today and for generations to come
Fr Simon
with thanks to Paul Davies for historical information

An engraving of St Nicholas Church showing a clock dated 1829

as published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life