Posted on 18 March, 2014 by Smith of Derby.
In collaboration with Smith of Derby clock restoration team and the All Saints Church Project Team, the town of Ammanford has given new life to the clock of the historic All Saints Church to recognise those lost in World War I. This project is a part of a World War I commemoration initiative, advocating towns to honour those lost in the Great War in tribute of its centennial year.
The iconic All Saints Church, a Grade II listed building settles on a hill overlooking the town of Ammanford. The church was paid for by voluntary donations and public subscriptions by the town and the foundation stone was laid by Lady Dynevor in 1911. The initial church construction was completed in 1915 and the first service took place in March 1915. Phase I, however, did not include a clock tower, but in 1923 more voluntary donations and subscriptions allowed for construction of the tower and belfry as a war memorial for Ammanford soldiers who had fallen in the Great War. An oak remembrance board recording the names of the soldiers was placed in the tower entrance to commemorate the fallen soldiers and in 1926; a clock was added to the tower.
The All Saints Church tower clock was purchased second-hand by the father of an Ammanford soldier killed in the war, designed by Charles Mercer of Swansea, and installed by Smith of Derby clockmakers. As a result of its later addition, the clock hangs above the bell lights which were a part of the original structure in 1915. The clock tower and clock has always been considered locally as the memorial for those who lost their lives in the war that was to end all wars. Upon completion, the church was an essential space for a wide variety of community uses and worship for nearly a century.
In 2010, however, an inspection of the church fabric revealed wiring and heating issues and the clock tower and tower entrance was in need of urgent repair. As part of a plan to make the building more adaptable for community use and preserve the Grade II listed church, Grants Officer Peter Pemberton and his project team applied for grants funding to repair the building in 2011. Successful acquisition of grant funding, along with generous donations established an initial project budget of around £50,000. Some work could be started while waiting for other grant application responses.
With these funds in hand, the project team began the church renovation by approaching the clock restoration team at Smith of Derby. As the original clockmaker, Smith of Derby completed repairs and restoration of the clock in September 2013. The clock is, once again, the heartbeat of the church as well as a gentle reminder of those from Ammanford who sacrificed their lives in World War I.
Smith of Derby is proud to be doing our part in communities to recognise the centennial year of the Great War and the people of Ammanford are excited to see the All Saints Church clock keeping correct time again!
Smith of Derby believes in the 'expression of time.' Through public clock maintenence, church clock repair, and dial restoration we preserve time in communities for future generations of time-telling. We are the UK leaders with over 150 years of experience.
What is your community doing to honour the centennial year of World War I? Smith of Derby would love to hear about it! For queries regarding a World War I commemoration project in your community feel free to contact us.