Beadnell village clock appeal receives support from overseas

Residents at Beadnell who have are raising money for repairs to the village clock have received support from overseas

The clock at St. Ebbas Church in Beadnell
The clock at St. Ebbas Church in Beadnell

A fundraising drive for works to a Northumberland village clock has received support from across the Atlantic, thanks to The Journal.

Residents at Beadnell are recreating history by seeking to raise money for repairs to its clock by public subscription, the method used by their ancestors to fund its purchase in 1902.

Their campaign, which includes an open garden event this weekend, has now been received a boost from the US, with an American resident whose forefathers launched the 1902 appeal having made a donation as a result of coverage in The Journal.

The original fundraising drive launched by the Craster family, local landowners then and now, sought to cover the cost of a clock to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII.

St. Ebbas Church in Beadnell
St. Ebbas Church in Beadnell

A member of the family’s name adorns the front of a notebook recently found in the church which records the donations given by villagers, including one from the Crasters.

The necessary £69 was raised allowing a clock to be bought and placed above the doorway at St Ebba’s Church.

Villagers are now seeking to raise around £2,000 to replace cables in the clock.

Stories on The Journal’s website about the appeal were brought to the attention of Joanna Nichols, whose mother was a Craster and who lives in Alabama. Contact was made with the treasurer of the current appeal and a donation of £150 made.

Mrs Nichols said: “I heard about the appeal through my son in law Jason Drebitko, who lives in Vermont, and is very interested in Northumberland and likes to read the Newcastle Journal online.

“As I now own three houses in Beadnell, and with the family connection, I wanted to do my part in helping the repairs of the clock, as my ancestors had done by donating to the building of the clock in 1902.

The workings of the clock at St. Ebbas Church in Beadnell
The workings of the clock at St. Ebbas Church in Beadnell

“As I now live in Alabama, USA it is hard for me get over to England as much as I would like, obviously I was not able to be at the fundraiser for this coming weekend, and I wanted to do my part.”

Peter Jenkinson, one of the villagers behind the current appeal, said: “We are absolutely delighted that history has repeated itself and that people who donated in 1902, their descendants are now donating in 2014.”

The fundraising effort sees fifteen villagers open their gardens to the public today and tomorrow, from 1pm to 6pm. Passports for entry to the gardens cost £4, with children admitted free with a paying adult.

Maps will be available and flower signs will be in place around the village. Dogs must be kept on a lead.

In addition to the open gardens, there will be live music, a craft market, cream teas and stalls selling produce, plants and cakes.

The Journal recently reported how the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland had followed in the footsteps of the 1902 duchess in donating to the appeal, with the initial campaign boosted by her contribution of £2.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
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