Cheesemaker uses £3 household item to fix £50k worth of damage on church clock

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A cheesemaker used a household item that only costs £3 to fix a damaged church clock that engineers were quoting £50,000 for repairs.

Grimsby Minster’s clock had been stuck at 12:02 for the past 12 years, until Rick Haywood, 47, and 15-year-old Jay Foley decided to fix it.

Experts, including the firm working on Big Ben’s £80million restoration, said scaffolding was needed around the 287ft tower, to carry out external repairs and quoted the church £40,000-50,000.

But the unlikely pair took it upon themselves to fix it, as they were due to perform maintenance on the bells.

Rick, of Grimoldby, Lincolnshire, said: “We did not think we could do any more damage.

“We found various dead pigeons gumming up the bearings. Some of the bearings were very dry. We gave it grease and WD-40 and managed to get it running.

“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.”

Jay, of Killingholme, Lincolnshire, added: “I think the main reason it stopped was age.

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“When we went up there, all the gears and stuff were not in the right alignment. The minutes, hours and seconds all have separate sections, which were out of order.

"We got the dead pigeons out and it slowly ticked along after we greased it and cleaned it out.”

The pair then used their mobiles to set the time for the four clockfaces on the tower, but the clock is around two minutes late because it took “that long to tighten everything up”.

Churchwarden Chris Daniel, 68, said: “It’s amazing because you would not believe how much hassle you get when a church clock is not working.”

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