A TEAM effort by two volunteer helpers and a Keighley charity manager has brought a prominent piece of the town’s industrial history back to life.

The clock on the tower of Springfield Mill, in Oakworth Road, had been repeatedly breaking down and stopping for about four years.

But it is back to its old punctual self thanks to Gary O’Hara from Keighley Furniture Project, retired electrical engineer David Pollard and electrician Tony Emmott. The three clock faces also now light up after dark.

Mr O’Hara, manager of the furniture project charity, which occupies part of the mill, said: “The clock looks fantastic, especially at night. It’s such a nice feature.”

Mr Pollard, who lives in Warminster but visits Keighley to see relatives, said: “I think public clocks are beautiful things, and I never like to see one of them stopped.”

Mr O’Hara explained that a company had previously quoted a price of £3,000 for the overhaul necessary to get the clock ticking again, a dauntingly steep sum of money for the charity.

However, Mr Pollard, who had noticed that the clock was no longer functioning during his visits to the town, volunteered his own expertise. He has 40 years worth of experience of restoring clocks.

He took the Springfield Mill clock mechanism home with him, spent three days repairing it in his workshop at his home in Wiltshire using parts he constructed himself, then brought it back to Keighley.

Mr O’Hara said: “David overhauled the mechanism, serviced the clock and got it working again. He refused to accept a penny for the work he did, and we really appreciate it. We want to thank him for the time and effort he put in.

“Tony and I went up the tower and cleaned the three clock faces, which had probably not been cleaned for 100 years or more.

“Then we thought, wouldn’t it be nice if the clock was lit up at night?

“So we bought some LED lamps and mounted them inside the clock tower. When David returned to Keighley he was over the moon to see what the clock looks like now.”

Mr O’Hara said work began on building Springfield Mill in 1895 or 1896 and was completed in the early 1900s.

He said: “One side of the clock tower, where the fourth face of the clock once was, is bricked up.

“I’ve been told the owner of Springfield Mill fell out with the owner of another mill which that fourth clock face had pointed towards.

“So he removed this face because he didn’t want to give the other mill owner the time of day!”