Sunshine at Clifton Park

A NEW Sunshine Corner has returned to Clifton Park–thanks to big hearted contractors.The refurbished Grade II listed Walker Sun Dial was officially handed over to the Friends of Clifton Park on Friday and unveiled in its new home–the park&rsquo

A NEW Sunshine Corner has returned to Clifton Park–thanks to big hearted contractors.

The refurbished Grade II listed Walker Sun Dial was officially handed over to the Friends of Clifton Park on Friday and unveiled in its new home–the park’s walled garden.

The stone structure was commissioned and made by sun dial maker Samuel Walker in 1739.

Samuel (1715-1782) ran a School at Grenoside, until 1746,  but boosted his income by making sun dials. Now they are regarded as of historic importance.

In the 1970s, his sun dial was moved from its previous home at Ferham House and placed in the sunken garden behind the Clifton Park Museum.

It stood there until about eight years ago when it was laid flat after being damaged by vandals.

But now the sun dial, complete with brass gnomon (centre piece), has been fully restored thanks to the generosity of 19 different companies who have worked as sub-contractors for UCS Civils Ltd, the company which has spent the past year working on the park's massive £7.5 million renovation programme.

Paul Turner, site agent for UCS Civils, collected the contributions because he wanted to put something back into the park as the contract nears completion.

He said: "This has been a very different contract. It has been something very special and now with the collection all the companies involved have been able to put something back with the restoration of the sundial.”

Elaine Humphries, chairman of the Clifton Park Friends Group, said the group was deeply indebted to the contractors and added: "Thanks to their kind donation we have been able to restore an important listed structure which is also an important piece of local history."

The new walled garden is just one of a series of major renovation and improvements works made to the 56-acre park during the past year thanks to funding through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund's Parks for People programme.

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