Shanklin’s Town Clock, in the United Reformed Church, is chiming again following a partnership project by the church, URC Wessex Synod and Shanklin Town Council.

It was celebrated with a special community event attended by more than 100 people where a new DVD ‘Growing Up In Shanklin’ was shown, in which residents (old and young) highlighted significant moments in the Town’s History, and commemorated wartime memories.

The Church was established on Gatten Orchard on the edge of the Old Village in 1841, with a Tower built by public fundraising as part of the current building erected in 1883. Severely damaged by bombing in World War 2, the tower was demolished and rebuilt in 1953, partially with War Damage Commission support.

Town Mayor, Steve Knight, said:

“This is an iconic feature of Shanklin, and at the heart of the Town, and I’d like to thank all involved in making this project the success it is, within budget and, literally, on time.”

Rev Brian Harley, Minister of the United Reformed Church, said:

“Working with partners to restore the tower and clock has been really positive and many folk have said they are delighted to hear the chimes again. We hope to continue to build and develop these relationships for the benefit of the local community.”

The evening included a specially commissioned cake, made by Jean Cunningham, a presentation about the project coinciding with the pealing of the chimes, and the High Sheriff, Gioia Minghella-Giddens, presenting Paul and Bridget Biddlecombe from Shanklin Voluntary Youth Centre (who secured funding for the DVD), with the National Citizens Award.

Richard Priest, who helped co-ordinate the projects, added:

“This has been a very worthwhile initiative, at times challenging, but always with the community at heart – as we approach the Centenary of the end of World War 1 – it is even more significant, especially given how recent conflicts have impacted on the town.”