Stewart given timely award for keeping Leyland clock ticking

Stewart Whillis has single-handedly cleaned and maintained the clock in Worden Park's Worden Hall for more than three decades

Stewart Whillis has single-handedly cleaned and maintained the clock in Worden Park's Worden Hall for more than three decades

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  • Stewart has single-handedly maintained the clock in Worden Hall for over 32 years
  • He has been interested in clocks since he was a boy
  • Volunteer Stuart presented with long-service award by the Mayor of South Ribble
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A dedicated volunteer who has clocked up more than 32 years looking after Leyland’s time-tellers has been honoured for his long service.

Stewart Whillis has single-handedly cleaned and maintained the clock in Worden Park’s Worden Hall for more than three decades.

The council decided they wanted to do all the buildings up in Worden Park and as I was interested in clocks as a hobby they got in touch,

Stewart Whillis

Every Friday, without fail, Stewart carefully climbs the ladder to the top of the turret and lovingly checks the mechanism and cranks up the clock – all in his own time.

The retired Leyland Trucks engine fitter and clock enthusiast first came into contact with the run-down clock in 1979.

“The council decided they wanted to do all the buildings up in Worden Park and as I was interested in clocks as a hobby they got in touch,” he said.

“There was no electricity in the hall at the time so I went up there with a torch to have a look.

“It was covered in pigeon muck and although the basic clock was there, many parts were missing.”

Stewart, who lives in Leyland with his wife Melanie and daughter Rachel, bought a new bell at a car boot sale and got new weights, pulleys and a count wheel made.

Over 12 months, he stripped down the clock, meticulously cleaned it and greased the parts.

“Finally I put it all back together again,” he added.

“I took it up to the tower and set it going, and hallelujah, it began to tick.

“For 19 years it had been out of action and I had got it working again.”

Stewart has been interested in clocks since he was a young boy, after helping a neighbour take a grandfather clock apart in his workshop.

He was presented with a long-service award by the Mayor of South Ribble.