Time for a spot of high-altitude weeding as bush stops church clock

When the huge clock on St Oswald’s Church Tower in Oswestry stopped, it was assumed that it would right itself the next day as it does with power cuts.

Matt Day from Wallwalkers
Matt Day from Wallwalkers

But when that failed to happen those who look after the parish church brought in a clock maintenance company to investigate further.

It found a bush growing out of the masonry on the tower, right through the clock face, which was stopping the hands from turning.

This week specialist abseilers, WallWalkers, travelled to Shropshire to remove the offending vegetation and get the clock ticking again.

Paul Crosby, chairman of the building and fabric committee at St Oswald’s said: “We have noticed that seeds either blown by wind or dropped by birds get into cracks in the mortar and plants grow.

"The vegetation needs to be removed every seven to eight years.

“This is the first time one has grown through the clock face and stopped the clock.”

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