The Descent of the Cockerel Weathervane
The Descent of the Cockerel Weathervane

Alas, after one hundred and twenty years at the top of All Saints Church clock tower the cockerel/weathervane, which also doubled up as a lightning conductor, has flown so to speak.

Following a terrible storm in October last year and another in February this year, it was severely weakened, and began to tilt precariously over the church roof. Scaffolding was erected to the top to investigate the cause but on inspection it had rusted to the core; but worse, the metal pin inside the church apex that held it in place had turned into a brown dusty powder. The cockerel, which was mounted on the cross, was big and heavy (see image) and was unsupported! We were told that it could come crashing down onto the church roof at any moment and was a health and safety hazard.

The cockerel apparently was unique. The repair would be slow and costly, during which time we would have to pay large hire charges to keep the scaffolding in place – none of which would be covered by insurance. It was therefore reluctantly decided to have it taken down for safety reasons and also to protect church funds.

The lightning conductor system has since been repaired and upgraded and the cockerel was left ‘resting’ in the choir vestry. All is not lost though! The congregation has decided to have it partially renovated and mounted onto a plinth and hopefully it will be on display inside the church in the near future.

Frank Prescott