Church Clock Stops at Moment Man Who Maintained It Died Feb 12, 2014 11:20:32 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Feb 12, 2014 11:20:32 GMT -5
Church Clock Stops at Moment Man Who Maintained it Died
CLAPHAM, North Yorkshire, England – A church clock maintained by a devoted doctor for almost 30 years stopped at the very same moment he passed away. Dr. John Farrer climbed the narrow stone spiraled stairs of St. James’ Church clock tower in Clapham every week for three decades. He died at home, surrounded by his family and friends on New Year’s Day. He was 92-years-old.
The man’s son, also Dr John Farrer, glanced at his watch as his father slipped away – and later realized the church clock stopped at that same time. “The clock stopped literally to the minute of Dad’s death. As a family doctor I’m used to looking at my watch because sometimes it can be critical for the death certificate,” Farrer said. “It was just habit that I did it as we knew he was going to die. He was having palliative treatment, but I realized he had stopped breathing and I read the time on my watch as 8.15 a.m. It was only later when I spoke to two different people in the village that we realized the clock had stopped at the same time.”
Dr. Farrer’s death came just a few weeks after the 60th anniversary of his arrival in the village to take over the 10,000-acre Ingleborough family estate, which he had inherited. Although St James’ Church is not part of the estate, it was rebuilt around 150 years ago using Farrer family money.
“Something strange was certainly going on,” Farrer continued. “But it’s quite a nice touch when we think of all the time my father devoted to it. He had maintained it for 30 years, but it eventually became too much for him and he reluctantly had to hand over the responsibility. It’s the focus of the village and because the village is small enough to hear the clock chime, it’s a real time-keeper. It was very close to my dad’s heart.”
The clock was restarted following Dr. Farrer’s funeral, wherein he was remembered for his dedication to the village as well as his medical career. The elderly doctor became ill in November 2013 and following a period in the hospital, returned to his home of 60 years when it became clear he wasn’t going to recover.
Source: Lizzie Edmonds, The Daily Mail, February 9, 2014.