Clock winding competition attracting entries

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The new Audlem Online competition to find a better name for the The Audlem St James' Church Clock Automatic Winding Mechanism Fund Raising Appeal is attracting imaginative entries. The campaign, regular readers will recall, aims to raise the money to pay for a new mechanism to replace the clock's 97-year old manual winding gear. This requires, we are told, 275 windings a week, carried out on a Thursday, to keep the clock going.

The prize for a better name is a tour of the church clock tower and a chance to help with the winding. But what about that name — even the acronym TASJCCAWMFRA is a challenge. Audlem Online suggested Wind-Up, although we accept the vagaries of the English language mean that could sound like a new campaign against the planned wind farm, or worse, the brand name of a product to help babies burp.

Submitted suggestions so far include 'Financing Audlem's Church Clock Automatic Winding Fund', although we suspect the inevitable acronym might cause a raised eyebrow or two — especially with an Essex accent! An alternative is the JACCDAW campaign, a tribute to the birds that fly around and nest in the church tower — the campaign name is st.James' Audlem Church Clock Desires Automatic Winding.

Meanwhile a contrary view on the subject has emerged. Mike Mason has suggested a new Forum topic. He writes: "Alarming in these days of 'sustainability' and 'energy conservation' to hear of a campaign under way to replace the clockwork at St James' with an automatic device. For automatic read, presumably, electric — expensive to buy and with annual running costs too. How much are they asking for? And why, if the weekly manual wind up has served the village well for 97 years, should we abandon it now?

"I hear no complaints about the physical energy expended in pulling the bell ropes for two hours every Thursday night. What about linking said bell ropes to the clock? Then we can all sleep soundly during the weekly bell ringing wind up. This ticks all the right conservation boxes doesn't it?

"Let's all pull together on this and help turn the clock back to the good old days. By the way, shouldn't the acronym winner be awarded a gong?"


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