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Last Updated: Monday, 27 November 2006, 11:42 GMT
Clock climber, 74, to get a rest
A 74-year-old volunteer who has climbed a Lincolnshire church tower for the past six years to wind the clock is to get a rest.

Doug Page has climbed the steep steps of St Nicholas Church tower at Snitterby near Market Rasen each week.

But now the century-old clock is being restored and converted to an automatic mechanism, with a 10,200 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

An exhibition about the clock will also be created with the funding.

Village heritage

The north-facing dial of the clock has not been working for years, but Mr Page has continued to wind up the south dial, so villagers can see the time.

Mr Page said: "I have to climb up a spiral stone staircase and then up a dead straight ladder and have to hang on.

"I will miss it but I'm sure I'll get used to it. It will be a good thing to have it automated because who will do it when I can't?"

Avril Parsons from the local Parochial Church Council added: "The steps up to the clock are very hazardous and almost perpendicular, but without Mr Page and his brother before, the clock would have stopped and also the single bell which strikes when the hands reach every hour.

"Without the clock being automated our village would lose a vital part of its heritage."

The clock, which was installed to commemorate Queen Victoria's Jubilee in April 1899, will be restored in the New Year.

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