The village clock in All Cannings has been restored in a £12,000 project and no longer will someone have to climb up to the tower to wind it.

The clock face had suffered from the ravages of time and and the Parochial Church Council also decided to install electricity so the clock could wind automatically.

The job of winding the clock by hand had been done by villager Michael Luffman, 78, twice a week for the past ten years.

This involved climbing 65 steps up a spiral staircase and then on to a step ladder to get on to a platform to do the winding.

Churchwarden Peter Griffin said: “We wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on if he had an accident. Some people said the winding by hand had been done for 100 years and there had not been an accident but that wouldn’t wash in court had there had been one. It is fairly unusual for churches to have someone winding the clock by hand.”

As well as an automatic winder the clock face was repainted and regilded, similar to how the clock faces at St Mary’s and St John’s churches in Devizes look.

The work was done by the Cumbrian Clock Company and the clock face was dismantled and taken to a workshop in Devon.

Last Thursday and Friday two workers fitted the clock face. The weather vane was also painted and regilded. A villager paid for the flood lights to be switched on for a fortnight to celebrate the occasion.

Mr Griffin said: “It looks super. The clock face was dowdy, the paint was almost gone and the gold had come off the numbers. Following the work all the villagers are very pleased with how it looks.”

The repair was financed by donations with the major contributor being Viridor Credits Landfill fund. Other donations came from the estate of David Curwen, a local engineer, fundraising by residents Les and Hilary Antrobus, the rock concert held at the King’s Arms pub, parish and county councils and the Historic Churches Trust.

The clock was made by Thomas Cooke and dates back to 1850 and is one of only two in the south of England.