Stratton Methodist Church

Historic Stratton Methodist Church Clock Set to Tell the Time Once More!


In a tale reminiscent of the beloved 1980s film "Back to the Future," the iconic clock adorning the Stratton Methodist Church had been frozen in time. As time stood still on its face, attempts to revive the old mechanism proved futile, leaving the heart of the Stratton community without its century-old timekeeper.
The venerable clock, now a historic landmark, has been an integral part of the Stratton Community for a remarkable 100 years. Its hands have tirelessly ticked away, marking the moments and memories of generations past. Standing proudly on the front of the Stratton Methodist Church, this time-honoured timepiece has been cherished by locals and admired by those who pass through the area, whether on foot or on the bustling roads.

Alas, the clock's inner workings had grown weary, bringing its rhythmic dance to a halt. Despite valiant efforts to resuscitate the timekeeping treasure, the community faced the grim reality that the expertise of clockmaking artisans was the only path to restore its function and revive its role in serving the public.
The prospect of a fully operational clock resonated with the entire Stratton Community. Thankfully, with support of the Stratton St. Margaret Parish Council, the Leonard Laity Stoate Charitable Trust, (Founder, Leonard Laity Stoate, 1885 – 1970 was from a family of staunch Methodists), St Margaret’s PCC and Stratton Methodist’s own members funding was secured to embark on the much-awaited revival.

Enter Smith of Derby Ltd, a renowned clockmaker established in 1856 with an illustrious history of preserving heritage timepieces including that on St Paul’s Cathedral, London. To restore the clock's heartbeat, the expert horologists employed a state-of-the-art pulse slave movement, carefully selected for its precision and reliability. This modern marvel of engineering, harmoniously blended with the clock's historic charm, guaranteed accurate timekeeping for generations to come.

In a nod to the clock's past, the existing hands, weathered and wise from years of service, were refurbished with tender care and painted a deep, dignified black. As they were reattached to the resuscitated clock face, a symbol of continuity and resilience was brought to life.

As the restoration, project managed by Property steward and Trustee, Keith Harmer, neared its completion, the community eagerly awaited the moment when the clock would once again tell the time. Deacon Stephen Roe stated, “As you drive down Swindon Road, before turning right into Ermin Street, take a look up at the front of Stratton Methodist Church and check the time for yourself”.

Swindon Advertiser - August 2023


Clock 2

The workings from inside the church.