DYMOCK is certainly becoming the village where time stands still, because the hamlet's clock recently broke down for the fifth time in a little over three years.

It is all becoming something of a head-scratching mystery for the parish council, which has the responsibility for maintaining the wayward time piece, in the tower of St Mary's Church.

And the saga of the break downs and repairs is proving to be somewhat trying for the councillors.

But parish council chairman, Terry Ball, said the problem could be down to the clock's hard-working mechanism, despite three recent re-builds.

He said: "The problem was, once again, the auto-rewind unit. It's now had its third rebuild and has been completed once again under the warranty from the first rebuild."

This means the latest repairs have not cost Dymock Parish Council taxpayers a penny.

Cllr Ball added: "Rewind units are used to cut out the manual winding up of the clock every day. In place of a long chain on the drive weight that would go 24 hours, they use a short chain and rewind it automatically every 20 minutes.

"So obviously, as it operates 72 times in every 24 hours, it really does a lot of work."

The clock, however, does appear to have a mind of its own.

Last February, when it had to be taken down for yet more repairs, it started ticking again of its own accord.

But despite its unexpected performance, however, the clock was still officially broken and was taken away again by an engineer, for tests at Smiths of Derby.

Following the most recent breakdown, the clock mechanism is once again back in its tower again, and working: until, perhaps, the next time.