Driffield News

Campaign to raise £2,000 to repair All Saints Church clock

The chimes of the All Saints’ Church clock have been a familiar sound across Driffield upon the hour for nearly 200 years.

But in recent months, the hourly tolls have left people in the Capital of the Wolds somewhat perplexed, requiring a need to check the time on their watches and phones.


The clock often strikes the wrong time – e.g. chiming once at two o’clock, rather than twice – and, during its recent ‘MOT’, a solution was put forward to correct the mis-timings.


However, with the cost of the repairs set to run to over £2,000, church officials are asking the people of Driffield to help restore one of the town’s most recognisable assets to full working order.


After being manufactured in 1834 and installed thereafter thanks to contributions from the congregation, the last time significant work was carried out on the All Saints’ clock was back in 1958.

Rev Stuart Grant and churchwarden Martin Salter


And its age is beginning to creep up on it, with something as little as a change in temperature knocking it out of sync.


A suggested new digital mechanism would solve the problem for All Saints’ vicar Rev Stuart Grant and his churchwardens, who are often required to climb a set of testing stone steps to make adjustments to the clock.


“The clock has a long pendulum and changes in temperature affect the swing of it,” Rev Grant told the Wolds Weekly.


“Therefore, it either gains time or loses it, however much we try and correct it.

The lady who delivers milk to the vicarage said she was laid awake at 3am and it only struck two, which worried her slightly, and that’s just what it does. But it’s good that people notice.

Rev stuart grant


“It’s housed at the top of a long and winding staircase and, as part of our safety considerations, any repairs must be done by two people.

“Even if we manage to get it right, the temperature can change the next day and we’re back to square one.


“Every year we get the clock serviced and it’s been suggested that there is a modern, electronic device that can keep it correct.


“The clock would run slightly fast and the device would work to slow it down by five seconds, ensuring the chimes are in sync.


“We believe this is the ideal way to keep the clock right and reduce the number of times we need to go up and down the staircase to look after it.”

Rev Stuart Grant and churchwarden Martin Salter


As well as chiming throughout the day on a regular basis, the clock also has a major part to play during commemorations and celebrations, including Remembrance Sunday and New Year’s Eve.


But the erratic nature of the timepiece often means that such events are marked at the wrong time, leading to Rev Grant’s inbox being flooded with complaints.


The vicar said that with significant interest in the workings of the clock, he hopes people will come forward and help towards its successful repair, with funds tight amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.


“The real problem is that churches don’t have much money at the moment,” said Rev Grant.


“Money is tight due to the pandemic and this would cost us around £2,000 to install.


“It would mean we wouldn’t have to change the time when the clocks move forward or back and it should stop us receiving Facebook messages asking why the clock isn’t chiming correctly.


“The clock is the biggest impact the church has on the town. People can hear it all over the town.


“When the clock strikes, we want it to be right. I was sent an email asking why the clock was wrong on New Year’s Eve, which meant the people of Driffield saw the new year in at the wrong time.

Church officials are asking the people of Driffield to help restore one of the town’s most recognisable assets to full working order.


“In 2018, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, the 11am we used in Driffield was different to that of the rest of the UK.


“The lady who delivers milk to the vicarage said she was laid awake at 3am and it only struck two, which worried her slightly, and that’s just what it does. But it’s good that people notice.


“There will be certain bodies we can apply to for grants, but even if we do, the usual maximum is half the amount, as they require evidence that you will be putting your own money in.


“The people of Driffield are interested in the clock, so let’s see if they are interested in putting their hands in their pockets to help repair it.

All Saints Driffield church clock


“Four years ago, we could have paid for it ourselves, but after other work we have done in the church and the last two years during the pandemic, that’s not possible anymore and we need a little bit of help.”


Anyone who would like to donate can do so at the church on Middle Street North from 10am to noon on Thursdays and Saturdays and during services on a Sunday morning (if there is no service on a Sunday, the church will be open from 10am to noon).


A card machine is available near the entrance to the church, whilst cheques and/or cash can be dropped into various bowls. Cheques and cash can also be put through the letter box at the vicarage on Downe Street.

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