The time is right to remember Jean

Work is being carried out to refurbish the chuch clock faces, at Holy Cross Church, Byfield, for the first time in 100 years.
Work is being carried out to refurbish the chuch clock faces, at Holy Cross Church, Byfield, for the first time in 100 years.

STOPPED clocks at a village church have been refurbished for the first time in more than 100 years in memory of a long-serving churchwarden

Both clock faces at Holy Cross Church in Byfield have been re-gilded and refurbished in memory of Jean Hicks who served as churchwarden for 17 years between 1991 and 2008.

She died aged 83 in July after suffering a stroke and members of the public have paid £50 each to have one of the hours on the two clock faces sponsored in her memory.

Assistant treasurer of the church Barry Thompson said: “The response we have had from people reflects the generosity of the residents of Byfield.

“She was an absolutely remarkable woman, even at the age of 80 she was still bullying people, in the nicest possible way, to make sure things get done. She did so much during her time as the churchwarden in helping to raise funds. She only relinquished the position on attaining the age of 80.

“Jean was much loved and respected in the village. She will be remembered for her tireless involvement in just about everything that went on and will be greatly missed.”

It is the first time that any work on the clocks has been carried out since 1897. Work was started by Smith of Derby on Monday and is due to be finished later in the week.

The work has cost around £6,500, most of which has come from the Holy Cross Action Project funds.

Mr Thompson added: “The clock has currently stopped but it will be working again hopefully before the end of the week.

“The clock faces were originally put up to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897, and we wanted to do something for the jubilee which is happening next year.”

More work at the church is now being planned.

Mr Thompson said: “There was some work that needed doing to the church to make it more appealing for people.

“The next thing we will be looking to do is refurbish the toilets.”