THE countdown to Wearside’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations has started.
Time is no longer at a standstill at Sunderland Minster after the clocks on each side of the clock tower were fixed.
The Reverend Martin Anderson, from the Minster, said: “As of this week, our clocks at the Minster are back on and working again so we really are counting down to the jubilee.
“They have been out of action for over three years and they were a big miss in the city centre and people were always saying they either tell different times or don’t work at all so it’s nice to have them back working again.”
The clocks were fixed as part of a major project to restore and replace the bells at the High Street West church, with work under way to install the 10 finished bells in the tower.
It is hoped they will ring for the first official time to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, with plans for them to ring out at 9am on June 5.
“We are on schedule to complete the bell tower in time for the Jubilee,” Mr Anderson said.
“It will be a special moment when the bells ring out in the city for the first time in years.”
In 2009, the Minster’s eight bells were taken down and it was discovered that the bells’ rickety old frame had started to move, meaning two of the chimes were out of action.
Through fund-raising, Friends of the Minster wanted to get the bells fixed and increase the number from eight to 10.
The project has cost about £150,000.