FOR a century and a half, Lyonshall’s landmark church clock marked time for passers-by until its movement came to a juddering halt last year.

Many generations have been kept up to speed by the familiar timepiece, and its reassuring presence on the church tower has been greatly missed.

Now after a 400-mile round trip up north where it has been expertly repaired, the mid-Victorian clock mechanism has returned home to St Michael and All Angels where a ding-dong welcome party is planned.

On the stroke of noon on Saturday, November 16, the clock will be blessed in church and everyone is invited to celebrate its grand return with soup, teas and a range of activities.

Local businessman and Lyonshall church treasurer Malcolm Thompson has closely monitored the clock’s progress since it came to a standstill in June 2018.

The mechanism was carefully removed and transported to Dacre in the Lake District where the Cumbria Clock Company then got to work.

Since 1873 the timepiece, built by Tuckers, a London-based clockmaker, has been a familiar sight alongside the A44 at Lyonshall.

Mr Thompson, who is church treasurer, explained that the clock has a rare mechanism generally seen only in the capital and along the east coast.

“The clock movement is fitted tightly within a constricted corner formed by the junction of several heavy medieval oak timbers,” he said.

“The clock takes the form of a cast-iron cage frame movement, an hour strike driving the single dial with an anchor escapement.”

Mr Thompson “willingly and lovingly” has the weekly task of winding the handsome clock with its Roman numerals, minute marks, outer ring and hands finished in golf leaf.

He described the clock’s long journey: “It had to be taken apart and lowered 20ft to be rebuilt again, before being transported to Dacre in Cumbria,” he said.

The clock company, whose slogan is “Still doing Time”, then set about the task to meticulously clean, measure and re-engineer certain parts before running a three-month workshop test.

“It was taken apart again, then rebuilt in the clock tower at Lyonshall and finally, fine-tuned over two days,” said Mr Thompson.