New clock hands tick-tocking at Bank Hall in Bretherton
Time moves on again as clock hands are back ticking at a Jacobean mansion in Lancashire.
The new hands at Bank Hall in Bretherton are part of the restoration to save the Grade II* listed country mansion, which had been steadily decaying since 1971.
Fabrication engineer at Keighley of Longton, Simon Swarbrick, says he was honoured to make the new hands.
“I was approached by Janet Edward from the Friends of Bank Hall,” he said. “She had seen some of the work I had done.
“She came down with some pieces of fingers that they had managed to find when they cleared the building out.
“They gave me the back of the minute finger and the top of the minute finger.
“They also gave me a report that had been done on the original fingers.
“There was a picture of the fingers there and from looking at the pictures and the fingers I managed to replicate the originals. They were made in 1830.
“I made a few sample sets for them. I made them in the old fashioned way. I didn’t use any grinders or tools I used tin snips, files and mallets for bringing out the shapes and a fly press that they would have had back in the day just to get the final shape of them.
“I really enjoyed using the old tools.
“My apprenticeship was in the 80s when they were still using old fashioned tools.
“The clock hands are now up on the clock tower of the North and South face. It took me about three days.
“I really enjoyed making them.”
Bank Hall was the home of the Bannister family whose ancestors came from Normandy with William The Conqueror. The Friends of Bank Hall, formerly Bank Hall Action Group, have worked since 1995 to save the hall which had become derelict.
The restoration project aims to conserve and convert Bank hall into high quality living accommodation.