Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Makeover for village hall clock after 91 years

THE refurbishment of the clock tower at Goring village hall has begun.

THE refurbishment of the clock tower at Goring village hall has begun.

Workmen have removed the faces and decorative metalwork surrounding the clock, which was installed in 1925 to mark the building’s 25th anniversary, and are replacing the lead underneath it.

The work was urgently needed as the original lead was cracking due to age, causing rainwater to leak into the rooms below, where the Goring Gap Players store their props and costumes.

The clock faces will be stripped back to bare metal and re-enamelled while the hands, numbers and weather vane on top will be gilded. The contractor will also carve new wooden decorative finials as the old ones were rotting.

It is hoped the job will be finished in time for the village’s second Gap Festival, which runs for five days from June 15.

The work is costing £25,000, most of which has been raised from grants, fund-raising events and several large donations from individuals. The hall trustees are only about £3,000 short of their total and had enough for the work to start.

Chairman Bernard Novell said: “We’re very pleased to have got past the stage of dismantling the clock and to have reached the point where we’re putting it back together.

“We didn’t know exactly what we’d find underneath it but we have some great contractors and I’m confident that they can get it finished to a high quality.

“We’re very fortunate to have had the support of several local organisations and individuals. The parish council has been especially helpful in earmarking some funds, which we’ve made good use of.”

In recent months the trustees have also redecorated the main hall and the Belleme and garden rooms, the last of which opened in 2012 after a two-year campaign to raise £100,000.

Wi-fi has been installed and other improvements include energy-saving lights, loft insulation and new windows and blinds.

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