All in good time: Diamond Jubilee celebrations mark the unveiling of Debden village clock

THE Jubilee celebrations held extra significance in Debden with a royal connection with the village’s Victorian clock continuing.

Dating back to the 17th century the clock, which was moved from the church to the primary school in 1887, had needed to be hand-wound every five days – involving climbing a 12ft ladder to access it. It had stood still for 18 months.

However, a project to automate it was completed in time for the weekend, and unveiled on Friday. The event coincided with the primary school’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and saw the school bell rung in keeping with the clock during the ceremony.

The project, which included installing electronically-driven synchronised parts, was funded by the Debden-based Searle Trust.

The unveiling was in keeping with other historic dates attached to the landmark – it already has the dates 1937 (Queen Victoria’s coronation) and 1887 (her Golden Jubilee) inscribed on it, while the clock was also last repaired in 1997, the year of the current Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

Parish councillor Roger Forster, who is on the village historical society, said: “The clock is an important focal point of the village and it felt fitting that the royal connection was tied in with the Jubilee.

“It was an important occasion and nice for the children to be involved in it.”

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As well as their involvement in the opening of the clock, the primary school also held a Jubilee-themed street party lunch, while in the village a memorial exhibition and tea party was held on Monday.

• There will be a vehicle rally of classic cars and motorbikes from 6.45pm on Friday June 22 at Dedben Village Hall. The rally is a curtain-raiser for the village fete the following day (Saturday June 23) which takes on a Jubilee theme, at 2pm on Debden Recreation Ground. It include music, stalls, barbecue, a fancy dress parade and a fun dog show.

And, as part of a ‘Debden Double’ of celebrations, a village sports day is being held on Sunday June 24 to celebrate the 2012 London Olympic Games.