Picture number one shows the church as originally built, completed in 1835, having a narrow spire with pronounced ‘crockets’ and with four pinnacles at the base.

This survived until being badly damaged by a gale in 1897, and picture two is a framed plan, rather faded, in the possession of the church, showing the design for a replacement, by J.O.Scott.

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This was to be slightly broader with smaller ‘crockets’ and with eight pinnacles at the base. There were also alterations to the belfry below.

To hopefully stabilise this replacement spire against future storm damage it was to be held in place by a heavily weighted iron rod connected to the cross and down its entire length.

On my one and only trip to see the All Saints bells (a difficult climb) I was aware of a massive concrete block looming overhead, the weight at the base of this rod.

Picture three shows the 1898 work in progress by Marlow’s Lovells’ Builders.

Two figures are discernible up top – school friends Clifford Lovell, son of the builder, and Rupert Batting, later to take over his father’s furniture shop in Market Square.

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It is now usually believed that it is Clifford in front and Rupert behind, although this was a subject of disagreement between late Marlow Historians Jock Cairns and Cyril Chalk.

By 1963 the spire was again in need of tender loving care, and four is the church appeal for funds to carry this out.

The weighted iron rod gets a mention.

Picture five is not dated but the poor condition of the stonework indicates that it predates 1963. Two very brave steeplejacks are taking a look.

I am (sorry to tell you) not a regular churchgoer these days but I do have memories of attending a Christening service in the mid-1980s when the cross, almost five feet tall, had been removed and was displayed on one of the interior pillars.

It possibly was not replaced until 1992 when picture six was taken by the late Arthur Boarder showing a major renovation of the complete tower.

I remember that, before this, the spire had weathered to a strange green colour.

Another picture by Arthur, seven, is captioned ‘New gold cross fitted June 2002’.

Finally, to fill a blank space in the first picture, I have inserted eight, a photo I took about ten years ago, testing out the ‘Zoom’ feature on a new camera.

This troubled year has brought an additional meaning to the word ‘Zoom’.

One of my favourite pop songs by Fat Larry’s Band will need to be retitled!

Contact Michael on michael@jazzfans.co or 01628 486571