Shanklin’s Town Clock, located in the United Reformed Church, is chiming again following a partnership project by the Church, URC Wessex Synod and the Shanklin Town Council.
The successful restoration was recently celebrated with a special community event attended by over 100 local people. At the event a new DVD entitled ‘Growing Up In Shanklin’ was shown, in which residents (old and young) highlighted significant moments in the Town’s History and commemorated wartime memories.
The evening included a specially commissioned cake – made by Jean Cunningham – and a presentation about the project, coinciding with the pealing of the chimes. The Isle of Wight’s High Sheriff, Gioia Minghella-Giddens, presented Paul and Bridget Biddlecombe from Shanklin Voluntary Youth Centre (who secured funding for the DVD) with the National Citizens Award.
The Church was established on Gatten Orchard on the edge of the Old Village in 1841, with a Tower built by public fundraising as part of the current building erected in 1883. Severely damaged by bombing in World War II, the tower was demolished and rebuilt in 1953, partially with War Damage Commission support.
Town Mayor Steve Knight, who has supported the renovation of the Clock over many years, said:
“This is an iconic feature of Shanklin, at the heart of the Town. I’d like to thank all involved in making this project the success it is, within budget and, literally, on time”.
Rev Brian Harley, minister of the URC added:
“Working with partners to restore the tower and clock has been really positive and many folk have said they are delighted to hear the chimes again. We hope to continue to build and develop these relationships for the benefit of the local community”.
Richard Priest, who helped coordinate the projects said:
“This has been a very worthwhile initiative, at times challenging, but always with the Community at Heart – as we approach the Centenary of the end of World War 1, it is even more significant, especially given how recent conflicts have impacted on the Town”.
Cake Photo – Shanklin Mayor Steve Knight (left) with Jean Cunningham and Rev Brian Harley from the church.