A Preston hero who won gold at the Invictus Games has performed the official switch on of the restored clock at new Fishergate restaurant Bistro Pierre.Advertisement
Afghanistan veteran Greg Dunnings was nominated by his best friend for the honour, after Bistrot Pierre launched a search to find the city’s most deserving community hero to officially open the restaurant.
After suffering a significant injury from an improvised explosive device just before his 19th birthday, Greg returned home from Afghanistan. Over the next few years he went on to set up – and win – Preston’s Strongest Man, study teaching at university, coach the wheelchair basketball team at West View Leisure Centre, and win gold at the 2017 Invictus Games.
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Greg also managed to fit in getting married, and became a dad five months ago. He now works for Lancashire Fire and Rescue in what he describes as his dream job.
Greg said: “It’s been a busy past eight years for me, but I always like to have something to aim for and strive towards. Aside from getting married and having my son, the highlight was representing the United Kingdom at the Invictus Games and winning gold in the indoor rowing.
“It’s a massive honour to be chosen to switch the clock on. They’ve done an absolutely amazing job with the restoration and it’s nice to see it brought back to life. I didn’t actually know anything about this until two days ago when my best friend told me. Luckily I’m on night shifts!”
The iconic 19th century clock has been restored as part of the work to transform the empty 16o year old church into the newest restaurant for the Bistrot Pierre group.
Church and public clock specialists Cumbria Clock Company, who repair and maintain some of the most prestigious clocks across the UK, including Manchester Town Hall and Manchester Cathedral, worked on the restoration.
72-year old signwriter Trevor Kervick, who has worked with the co-founders of Bistrot Pierre since they established the brand in 1994, was the man to bring the clock face back to life, scaling 36 metre scaffolding to paint the four clock faces by hand.
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Nick White, CEO of Bistrot Pierre, said: “With this particular building meaning so much to the people of Preston, it was really important to us to make sure it was a local celebration – both of the clock restoration and the community itself.
“We had so many worthy people nominated, but Greg’s story really resonated with us and he was the perfect choice to switch on the clock.”
What do you think of the restoration? Will you be visiting the restaurant? Let us know in the comments below.