September 29, 2021 3.06 pm

Grimsby Minster needs £50k to fix broken clock

Setting a “bad example” for visitors for over a year

By Local Democracy Reporter

Grimsby Minster is facing a bill of £50,000 to get its clock working correctly again.

The church’s Director of Music says they would dearly like to get it moving once more but would need to find the large sum of cash first.

The clock has not been telling the correct time in more than 18 months, with the hands currently showing five minutes past midnight.

A councillor recently criticised the stopped clock for setting a “bad example” when visitors come to Grimsby, compared with the refurbished St James Square.

Steven Maxson, the director of music at Grimsby Minster, told Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine that it was a matter of meeting the large costs that have been quoted.

“There is nothing we would love more than to have the minster clock running again and to have the clock chiming at the quarter hours,” he said.

“But it is expensive business. The minster tower is very, very high, and is surrounded by stonework on the rest of the building which would require lot of scaffolding and work.

“We’ve got estimates and we know what it’s going to cost. It’s just a question of finding the nearly £50,000 we need.”

In response to Jeremy Vine’s suggestion that the repairs could be carried out from within the clock-tower, he said: “It is a route I know well as we take the minster choir on top of the tower.

“But it’s not a route I would want to go up with machinery, equipment or spare parts.

“We’ve had a number of companies take a look and give us a quote. What they are telling us is they would need external access for at least some of the work.”

The clock showed two minutes past twelve for a several months. However, it was recently run for a few minutes as part of a quote.

Mr Maxson says the minster received “lots of excited phone calls saying ‘The clock is working again!’” – only to learn later that it had been a test.

Labour councillor Tim Mickleburgh recently called for the repairs to be made to the clock.

Speaking at a council Tourism and Visitor Economy Scrutiny Panel meeting, he said: “A lot of money has been spent around St James’ Square, but the clock still isn’t working.

“When people come from all over, such as when they did for the memorial service for Austin Mitchell, it doesn’t look good if the clock isn’t working – it’s a bad example.”

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