The Winter’s building’s iconic clock is now chiming again in Stockport town centre following a sensitive restoration as part of works to bring the site back into use.
The original clock was manufactured by Sainsbury Brothers, Walthamstow, who were established in 1734. There are only a small number of this type of clock still operated by a mechanical clock movement left in the UK, and these can be found at Norwich Cathedral, Wells Cathedral, Wimborne Minster and St Dunstan’s in West, London.
Over the past six months the clock has undergone a painstaking restoration by specialists The Cumbria Clock Company. This has involved dismantling the clock and cleaning and repairing all the components off site before re-instating them at the historic building. The three figures that give the clock great horological importance – a soldier, sailor and father time, have also been refurbished in a palate of vivid and striking colours, staying true to the original colours which have faded over the years.
The historic Underbanks building will soon reopen as a French restaurant, Bistro Marc, Stockport Council revealed earlier this year. Led by husband and wife co-owners – Chef Marc Molé and Rachel Winter Jones, Business & PR Manager – Bistro Marc at Winter’s will be a cosy French bistro, offering French comfort food, such as French onion soup, croque-monsieur, boeuf bourguignon, pot-au-feu, crème brulée and other French favourites.
Cllr David Meller, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration at Stockport Council, said:
“The clock looks absolutely stunning and was well worth all the hard work to bring it back to its former glory as it has so much historical importance and I know it is much loved by local people.
“We’re committed to ensuring this historic area of the town centre is given the attention it deserves and with so many new openings, despite challenging times, more and more businesses are seeing the area as a great place to set up business. The return of the clock represents the exciting times ahead for our town centre – and we should all chime about it!”
Chef Marc Molé, and Rachel Winter Jones, said:
It was so wonderful to hear the newly restored Winter’s clock chime after so many years. The clock figures look amazing, particularly Father Time with his gold wings! We are so honoured to be the tenants of Winter’s and soon look forward to starting our refurbishment to transform the interior into a French bistro, while respecting the beauty and history of this iconic building.”
The restoration of the Winter’s clock is part of the Council’s wider programme of work to restore and improve buildings in the Underbanks, with significant funding and support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.