A HISTORIC church clock made in the early 1700s was saved from the scrapyard by an inquisitive parishioner.

Rod Davey, a member of the parish at St Michaels Church, Braintree, was attending a house work party at the church when during a clean out of the Muniment room upstairs, he was asked to take the remnants of the old dismantled clock tower to exchange for scrap.

But noticing that one of the nuts used to hold it together was handmade, Mr Davey decided to investigate further and asked if he could take the components home.

He found a faded brass plaque attached to one section of the clock and on it the names Thomas Hutley and Coggeshall.

Mr Davey said: “Coggeshall museum told me that he was a bone fide clockmaker and if I wanted to see another one of his clocks I need look no further than Paycocke's.

“There were two Thomas Hutleys, father and son, and their houses still exist in Coggeshall.”

The inquisitive history expert also found out that the clock was made by the father who worked between 1704 and 1726 – meaning the clock ticked through The Battle of Trafalgar, The Battle of Waterloo Waterloo and the First World War.

With more information but still with no experience or knowledge of how to fix a clock, Mr Davey hit a stroke of luck when he was contacted out of the blue by Coggeshall horologist Ian Coote.

Mr Davey said: “He asked me if I would like him to rebuild it. I jumped at the chance, although it was me helping him to rebuild it.”

The Ipswich Horological Society, of which Mr Coote is a member, also agreed to fund the restoration, provided the clock was put back in the church for all to see.

After cleaning, restoration and some new parts being bought on ebay, that is where the clock now proudly sits.

Mr Davey said: “The process has been like peeling an onion for me, as I found one piece of information it lead to another.

“It is an amazing old item and to find someone else as enthusiastic about it as me was amazing.

“The clock ran for 230 years before it broke in 1936 and was taken out of the town – the electric replacement only lasted from then until 1990.

“It could have been in a skip somewhere but now it is back working again.”

The church is hosting an open afternoon where the clock will be on display on Saturday, August 19, between 2pm and 4pm. Mr Coote will also be giving a talk.