+
Science

A church faced a £50,000 bill to fix its historic clock. Two guys did it with two cans of WD-40.

wd-40, grimsby minster, clock towers

A can of WD-40 and historic Grimsby Minster in eastern England.

It’s hard to imagine an era when we couldn’t tell the time by checking our smartphone or wristwatch. But before a watch was even a thing, cities had bell towers that would bong every hour, on the hour, so the town’s folk knew the time.

During the Industrial Revolution, things became more technologically advanced, and clock towers popped up in public places so nobody was late to work.

Twelve years ago, at 12:02, the clock in the central tower at Grimsby Minster in eastern England stopped working. The church dates back to the 12th century and the central tower was added in 1365.

A group of experts that worked on the restoration of London's Big Ben came out to the church and said that it would require scaffolding to get the old clock back in order and the cost would be somewhere between £40,000 ($53,250) and £50,000 ($66,600).


Grimsby Minster.

via Wikimedia Commons

The church feared it would have to throw a massive fundraiser to get enough money to fix its historic clock. However, two guys that work on the church’s bells had a different idea. Rick Haywood, 47, and Jay Foley, 15, were performing routine maintenance on the bells when they decided to give the clock a look.

“We did not think we could do any more damage,” Haywood told The Sun. “We found various dead pigeons gumming up the bearings. Some of the bearings were very dry.”

Foley believes that the clock stopped running because of its age and the fact that its gears were “very dry” and “were not in the right alignment.”

“The minutes, hours, and seconds all have separate sections, which were out of order,” Foley added. “We got the dead pigeons out and it slowly ticked along after we greased it and cleaned it out.”

“We gave it grease and WD-40 and managed to get it running,” Haywood said.

The difference in cost to the church was miraculous. It could have spent tens of thousands of pounds to get the clock running, but all it cost was £6 for two cans of WD-40, and the labor charges for Haywood and Foley.

The workers say the clock runs about two minutes slow because it took a little time to get everything aligned after they looked at their smartphones. The pair are proud of their work and glad they could save the minster a few quid.

“The church had one or two engineers from big clock companies and they were starting at £40-50,000 to get it running again. We saved them at least £40,000 so I am hoping for a meal invite,” Haywood said.

The church’s warden couldn't be more pleased with the duo’s fine work. “It’s amazing because you would not believe how much hassle you get when a church clock is not working,” he said.

I don’t think there’s anything in the Bible about always asking for a second opinion after getting a quote. But it’s sure to be a lesson taught at Grimsby Minster for the foreseeable future.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
The Prince Charles Cinema/Youtube

Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Doom Patrol” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

Let us not forget his arguably most well known and beloved 90s character—Rick O’Connell from the “Mummy” franchise. Between his quippy one-liners, Indiana Jones-like adventuring skills and fabulous hair, what’s not to like?

During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less