Fund-raising in village where time’s stood still

Cotswold Journal: TIMELY: Committee members Freda Bugge, secretary, left, Helene Thompson, Alyson Ripley and Peter Bugge, chairman. TIMELY: Committee members Freda Bugge, secretary, left, Helene Thompson, Alyson Ripley and Peter Bugge, chairman.

TIME has stood still in Paxford after the 140-year-old clock on the church in the heart of the village stopped working about a year ago.

Pub-goers leaving the Churchill Arms opposite the tiny Victorian church, which once doubled up as the village school, could be forgiven for wondering if they might have had a drop too much to drink, after checking the time on the clock, whose hands are stuck firmly at 9.40.

Villagers are now hoping to get the clock ticking again, and have set up the Paxford Village Clock Appeal to raise the £1,500 cost of repairing it.

Appeal committee chairman Peter Bugge, whose wife Freda is committee secretary, said: “It is felt by quite a lot of us that the clock is in the middle of the village and is part of the history of the village.”

Mr Bugge, who lives near the church in Paxford, near Chipping Campden, added: “Every time we go out of the door we see this poor clock doing nothing. We thought it would be worthwhile to get it fixed.”

The appeal committee has discussed the clock with the parochial church council, which is responsible for the church, and has the backing of churchwarden Frances Stone to get it repaired.

Fund-raising efforts will be launched at a coffee morning in the village hall on Saturday, September 29, from 10.30am to noon.

Appeal committee member Mike Sessarego, former headteacher at St Catharine’s Primary School in Chipping Campden, has produced a pamphlet of walks, many based around the Paxford area, which will be available for £5.

Fellow committee member Alyson Ripley, husband Phil and daughters Carys, aged 21, and Bethan, 19, are planning a sponsored walk up the 3,983ft Ben Lawers, one of the Scottish Munros, on Thursday, November 1, to help boost funds.

The appeal committee, supported by villagers Bill and Maralyn Harvey, is also organising the bar and raffle at the Blockley Picturehouse screening of the hit movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on Thursday, October 25, at 7pm for 7.45pm.

Villagers are also being asked to dig deep, and are due to receive a letter asking them to make a gift-aided donation to the clock appeal fund, which is being established as part of the village hall account, a registered charity.

“We didn’t feel we could start asking outside Paxford, initially at least. We think we can find most of the money through the village,” said Mr Bugge, who is hoping the clock will be working again by next spring.

Appeal committee member Helene Thompson hopes the restored clock will be a fitting tribute to former churchwarden Don Keyte, who died in April last year aged 88, and who had looked after the clock, winding it each week, for many years, as had his father Charles before him.

In recent years Mr Keyte’s son Paul had taken over the clock-winding duties, which require a precarious climb to reach the clock mechanism.

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