THEY have dominated the landscape of Britain’s smallest city for the best part of 150 years.

Now, photographs have been released of the extensive restoration of the famous St David’s Cathedral clock dials, which have been re-installed after months of refurbishment by experts at Smith of Derby.

The pictures show how the clock dials, which date back to 1871, were taken apart and restored at the company’s workshop in Derby.

The clock was originally manufactured by J B Joyce & Co of Whitchurch and consists of a mechanical movement driving the dials.

Smith of Derby has been maintaining the clock annually for more than 50 years and was contacted by staff at the cathedral in 2012 after a regular inspection showed that part of one of the dial centres had come away.

After making the site safe, the dials were removed earlier this year and transported to Derby. The full restoration involved blasting the dials to remove the old rust, applying an undercoat and finishing them in their original blue gloss. The numerals, minute marks and hands were then re-gilded using 23 ½ carat double thickness gold leaf.

The three, 2.3m diameter dials were then refitted in September and all the work has now been completed.

Keith Cotton, technical sales engineer, said: “This was a major restoration and it is great to see the clock dials restored to their former glory. We have a very strong emotional attachment to the clock having been part of its history since its manufacture.

“It was a painstaking job which involved some very intricate, handcrafted work from our engineers. The results are superb and something the people of St Davids and the many tourists who visit will be able to enjoy for many years to come.”