A VILLAGE is marking a moment in time.

The clock at Haworth Parish Church celebrates its 150th birthday next Thursday (Oct 15).

And the landmark will be recognised in a church service and with a special series of chimes.

When the clock – made by Jonathan Cryer, of Bingley – was installed in the tower of the famous Bronte-connected church in 1870, the building had to be specially modified to accommodate the giant timepiece.

The clock’s four 8ft-diameter dials were too big for the space left by its predecessor, so the tower walls were adapted and roof raised – at a cost of £64!

Funds for the new clock, which replaced a 200-year-old one, were provided through public subscription and it took a year to raise the £260 needed.

Noted Worth Valley mill-owner George Merrall performed the task of setting the clock in motion at 4pm on October 15, 1870, and – with the exception of some enforced stoppages due to work being carried out within the church – it has continued to keep time for Haworth ever since.

As part of the celebrations marking the clock’s launch, Springhead Band – the precursor of today’s Haworth Band – performed a programme of music from the top of the tower.

For many years the clock has been cared for by octogenarian Jens Hislop, the church horologist and a member of Haworth Band.

He said: “It’s a wonderful piece of Victorian machinery and still keeps perfect time.

“It is a big effort to wind the clock up but I shall continue to undertake that task so long as I’m physically able to do so.”

To help ensure that the clock remains in good hands in future years, Jens has written a combined operating manual and history of the timepiece to be passed on.

And once the Covid-19 pandemic allows, he will undertake a training course with several people from the village who have volunteered to wind the clock and its chimes in the future.

It had been hoped – as part of the anniversary celebrations – that Haworth Band may have been able to replicate the Springhead Band concert at the top of the tower, but the idea has been scuppered by the pandemic restrictions.

However, Jens has set the clock’s chimes to sound 150 times in succession at 4pm next Thursday to celebrate the major milestone.

And the birthday will also be marked as part of a service at the church on Sunday, October 18.

The rector of Haworth Parish Church, the Rev Peter Mullins, said: “The chimes are the heartbeat of Haworth, I was told.

“I’ve hardly had a word of complaint about the things Covid has prevented us doing, other than when there was a period during which the clock could not be wound and the chimes stopped.”