HUDDERSFIELD’S answer to Big Ben could be chiming again after nearly 30 years of silence.
Councillors will decide next week whether to help fund repairs to the clock at Christ Church Woodhouse at the top of Woodhouse Hill in Sheepridge.
The clock was built by Joyce of Whitchurch in 1892.
The famous company was closely linked to Edmund Beckett Denison – also known as Baron Grimthorpe – who designed the mechanism for the iconic clock at the Palace of Westminster.
But the clock has not worked since 1985.
Kirklees Council’s Huddersfield Committee will decide next week whether to provide £6,000 towards the £14,000 repair plan.
Clr Jean Calvert, who represents the area, backed the plan last night.
The Ashbrow Labour woman told the Examiner: “I’m keen on this because the clock is in a prominent place.
“Everyone who passes on the bus looks up to see what time it is but the clock is broken.”
Clr Calvert considered fundraising for the clock repair during her term as Mayor of Kirklees from 2007 to 2008.
She said: “I would have liked for it to have been my second charity, alongside the West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Trust, but I decided it would be better just to have one charity.”
Huddersfield Area Committee, which is made up of the town’s 21 councillors, will decide whether to commit £6,000 to the repair of the clock at its meeting at Huddersfield Town Hall from 7pm on Wednesday.
According to council officers, the repair work would help improve the area.
A report to the area committee reads: “The village of Sheepridge has had a poor reputation, particularly as an eyesore, characterised by derelict and shabby buildings.
“Improvements as part of the Deighton and Brackenhall Initiative have done a great deal to redeem this and to effect transformation and regeneration.
“However, on entering the community attention is drawn to the faded clock faces rather than the optimism and vibrancy of the recent renewal of the area.
“The restoration of the clock is part and parcel of the overall regeneration of the area, greatly enhancing the appearance of the area and the gateway to the Sheepridge village, which has had such a poor reputation in the past.
“The restoration of the clock, which was installed and dedicated to Queen Victoria, would also be a fitting response to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.”
Clr Calvert hopes the church can find the remaining £8,000 from other sources.
“I did suggest the freemasons, because I saw that they were offering heritage money for some local projects,” she said.
The construction of Christ Church Woodhouse was funded by Deputy Lieutenant of the West Riding John Whitacre.
The magistrate lived at Woodhouse Hall – now Sun Woodhouse Residential Home.
The church was completed in 1824 to serve the hamlets of Deighton, Fartown and Bradley.
Meanwhile, another of Huddersfield’s landmark clocks remains damaged. Scrap metal thieves removed the hands of the clock at Newsome Mill in 2010.
A plan to convert the Grade II listed site into 40 flats was put on hold last year.