The historic clock above the Buttercross in Witney which has been motionless for years has been mended by the son of an expert from BBC’s Repair Shop.

Fred Fletcher, 20, of The Clock Workshop, carried out the repairs overseen by David Mitchell, a clockmaker who has been working with the Fletchers for many years.

Fred is following in the footsteps of dad Steve, horologist on the beloved BBC show where a team of restoration experts take precious family heirlooms and possessions and restore them to their former glory.

READ ALSO: Popular 16th century thatched pub in Oxford for sale for 700k

The clock has been broken and its hands stuck for more than three years.

As the Buttercross is designated a scheduled monument special permission had to be sought from the Secretary of State to carry out any work on it, including accessing the clock mechanism. 

Very specialist building work first had to be done to make the roof space safe before the clock could be repaired.

The clock is radio controlled and picks up a GPS signal. The actual mechanism was in perfect order but the receiver which picks up the time signal was no longer powerful enough to consistently pick up the signal from the UK transmitter which had moved further north.

Meanwhile the clock hands were placed at 12 for stability and to help protect them.

Steve’s daughter Milly Fletcher, who is also learning about the mechanics at the family’s clock and watch repair business in Langdale Court, said: “There have been several delays in getting the clock fixed due to structural issues, and a difficulty in sourcing the necessary parts - obviously Covid didn’t help with these delays either.

“Once we had the parts we did the clock within a few days.”

Fred is the fourth generation of Fletchers to repair clocks in Witney and will be in charge of keeping the clock running from now on.

He has the same name as his great-grandfather, the first of the family known to have taken on the task of the clock's maintenance.

READ ALSO: A40 closed in both directions after serious crash

Steve Fletcher nearly missed out on being involved in The Repair Shop after receiving an email in 2016 “from a company that I hadn’t heard of asking if I would be interested in taking part in a brand new show.

“Not trusting anything that is on the internet, I nearly deleted it and would have done if my partner, Mel, hadn’t stopped me saying that it all looks OK."

He said: “The best part of being on the Repair Shop is the reaction of people when they see their transformed item - from excitement to true deep emotion.”

A whopping 600 responses welcoming the repair of the clock have been posted on Facebook.

A spokesperson for Witney Town Council said: “Councillors approved the purchase and installation of a new, more powerful receiver, identical to the one that is successfully keeping time for the Corn Exchange clock and it’s lovely to have the clock back in working order.”

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or 01865 425 445.