Market Harborough church's chimes will sound again

Stuart Morrison of the Cumbria Clock Company repairing the St Dionysius clock. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Stuart Morrison of the Cumbria Clock Company repairing the St Dionysius clock. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Have you noticed something different about Market Harborough in the last three weeks?

It’s been quiet... too quiet – because the church clock has stopped and with it the regular chimes.

On Wednesday, the clock was being inspected by the Cumbria Clock Company, based near Penrith.

Clock repairer Stuart Morrison replaced a broken pendulum spring – but then found more damage.

The chimes will return – but not until later this month.

The Mail navigated the very narrow spiral stairs up the clock tower to see the work in progress.

The mechanism of the 1902 clock, made by Gillett’s of Croydon, was metallically intricate but unmoving.

The broken pendulum spring stopped the clock at quarter past eight on September 11 – and halted the chimes.

Stuart Morrison, from the Cumbria Clock Company, said: “It’s a case of lifting the pendulum up nice and slowly and replacing the spring.”

But he then found a broken escapement bearing, which will also need to be replaced.

Out on the streets of Market Harborough, most passers-by were pleased that the chimes were returning to the town.

“They’re a part of life in Market Harborough - the heartbeat of Harborough you could say,” said John Nichols, from the town.

“Ooh yes, I’ve noticed the chimes have gone,” said Maianne Fletcher. “I’m just glad the church can afford to get the clock repaired - I had missed the chimes.”

“The chimes are coming back - that’s great; good news,” said Phil Johnson.

But not everyone is a fan. One woman, who asked not to be named said: “I was doing an exam in the Symington Building, which wasn’t going well, and the chimes every quarter of an hour drove me up the wall!”