Earlier Update

We have received an incredibly generous response to our appeal to restore the face of the Church clock and are delighted to report that we have now raised almost £9000.   We have received a number of generous grants – from Ermington Parish Council, South Hams District Council, Devon County Council and The Allchurches Trust as well as from Ermington Village Fund;  in addition Devon Rural Archive arranged a very successful tour of Shilstone which gave a big boost to our funds and the tours of the Pinwill carvings in the Church were exceptionally successful.  We also did very well at our stall at the Twilight Fair and benefitted from a very successful “gig” in the Crooked Spire on New Year’s Eve. 

The Parochial Church Council has now received the Faculty from the Diocese of Exeter and we are therefore able to go ahead with the clock face restoration, which we hope will be carried out within the next two months.   As soon as we have a date we will let people know as we think it will be fascinating to watch - the workmen will abseil down from the spire, lower the clock mechanism down the outside of the tower and carry out the restoration work on the clock face virtually hanging in mid air!

We have now re-named ourselves the GRANSMORE WAR MEMORIAL CLOCK PROJECT and emboldened by our successful fund raising to date have increased our target to £14,000 - to enable us to install an automatic winding device and pendulum regulator in the clock. 

Smith of Derby, who installed the original clock nearly 100 years ago (and who will be carrying out the restoration of the clock face), have fitted automatic winding devices to numerous clocks in the UK including Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral and it will be of immense benefit to the village if we are able to install such a device in Ermington Church.  At the present time the clock has to be manually wound twice a week; this involves someone climbing the ladder inside the tower and winding up three sets of extremely heavy weights – one for the clock, another for the Westminster chimes and a third for the striking of the hour.  The installation of an AWD will ensure that the hours and quarters chime without manual intervention but will maintain the heritage of this historic clock.   Also, at the present time the clock has to be manually corrected on a regular basis to compensate for fluctuations which occur as a result of temperature and humidity changes; the installation of a pendulum regulator will monitor the timekeeping, compare this to the actual time and adjust the timing accordingly, thus ensuring that the clock always maintains the correct time. 

We have several new fund raising initiatives in the pipeline including more tours of the Pinwill carvings in the Church on 14th April, a Silent Auction, private tours of Flete House and Gardens, and – at the kind invitation of Paul and Marilyn Fletcher - an Edwardian Garden Party in the grounds of Thornham (where the Gransmore family lived) on the afternoon of Sunday, 15th July.  Ermington Village Fund will be working with us on this event and we hope that several descendants of Captain Rodney Gransmore will be able to join us during the afternoon.

One of the original reasons for the restoration of the clock face was to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War and we are delighted that the work will be completed well in advance of November 2018 when the whole nation will commemorate the centenary of the Armistice and the end of the Great War.

Gill Hucker and Grant Elliott : March 2018


The Gransmore War Memorial Clock Project
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