The Peace Clock which you can see on St Nicholas church tower was the idea of HD Cocks of Rectory Farm, Barton as a peace memorial. His suggestion was carried out by his wife and her friends, paid for by public donations in memory of the men of the village and others who were killed in the 1914/18 war.
The clock was made by Hartley and son of Chillingford in 1919 and set in motion by Mrs Cocks at a dedication service, conducted by the Revd Spokes of Barton on 6th September 1920. At the service, Mrs Cocks said “I sincerely hope the peace this clock proclaims may be a lasting one”. Prayers were also said by Revd Black, Vicar of Silsoe and the choir & congregation sang “O God our help in ages past”. Revd Black then gave a sermon in which he talked of the Peace of victory after 4 years of war unparalleled in its sacrifices, its heroism, its horrors and intolerable suspense. He spoke of the Peace Clock as a memorial for the men undaunted by temporary defeats, dying but never conquered, bringing victory out of certain disaster. He said that the Clock is a way of expressing sympathy for bereaved widows and their children and the necessity that those who come do not forget the meaning of the memorial, that Victory was the Lord’s doing.
The information in this page is extracted, thanks to the diligent research of the current Rector, Andrew Johnson, from an article found in the Bedfordshire Times, dated 17th September 1920.
See more photos of the Peace Clock, lit up for 2020 Remembrance Day, the 100 year anniversary of the clock’s installation.
Over the years, St Nicholas church has maintained the upkeep and repair of the Peace Clock to keep it working on behalf of Barton-le-Clay and the surrounding villages. The crunch has now arrived! The clock has not been working for some time. The Cumbria Clock Company has investigated the problem and basically, the mechanism being over 100 years old is in need of a complete overhaul at a cost of over £5,000.
St Nicholas church would like to ask again for the help of the people of Barton, in memory of those lost in all wars, to commemorate their sacrifice and our efforts to maintain lasting peace. Please help us get Barton’s Peace Clock working again.
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