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This is why one of Bury St Edmunds' most famous faces fell silent today

We've all been suffering in the heat. Disturbed sleep, wilting at home, slurping iced lollies to keep cool.

But one of the stranger casualties of the heatwave is in Bury St Edmunds where the Moyse's Hall Museum clock stopped chiming last night – although it has since returned to working order.

Moyse's Hall has looked out over central Bury for almost 900 years and opened as a museum in 1899.

But the 2020 heatwave silenced the clock which rings out across the centre of town – which officials said was a first.

It's ironic - the museum plays host to St Edmundsbury's world class collection of horology including rare timepieces bequeathed by clock collector Frederic Gershom Parkington.

But shoppers today had to resort to other methods to tell the time while specialists got to work on making the timepiece whirr into action once more.

By 11.45am, the iconic clock was back working again, and officials told Suffolk News that it was the first time it had stopped of its own accord.

Cllr Jo Rayner, West Suffolk Council cabinet member for Leisure and Culture said: “This is the first time in living memory that the clock has stopped due to a fault. It was previously wound down two years ago to allow for a new fire alarm system to be installed.

"The clock has chimed four times an hour for 144 years in Bury St Edmunds town centre.

"While we have got it ticking a couple of times, we have called out someone to find the fault and repair the clock. I’m hoping that it won’t be long before residents and visitors alike can enjoy the sound of its distinctive chimes once more.

"In the meantime we have nearly all of the Gershom Parkington collection of clocks on display inside the museum with over 150 historic clocks to view.”

Earlier today, Moyse's Hall's official Twitter account apologised for any inconvenience, adding: "We’ve got a fault on the Moyse’s town clock, maybe the poor thing is struggling in the heat! Aren’t we all?

"We managed to get it going again but it stopped a few hours later so we’re calling in the specialists. Will hopefully be running again soon."

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