Everyone needs a hobby. For Richard Pim, that hobby has long been his giant cuckoo clock.
Pim is a 72-year-old retired hydrogeologist whose legacy includes irrigating dry farmlands in Saudi Arabia and Nepal. As a gardener, that legacy includes England’s largest cuckoo clock.
The 25-foot-tall, $31,000 giant cuckoo clock is powered by a stream located in his water gardens in Herefordshire, making use of his scientific career background. It’s a remarkably complex machine, too. Cantilevers, counterweights and pulleys work in unison, with a 3-foot cuckoo emerging to toll the hour, every hour, like clockwork (read: pun).
The only question is: Why a giant cuckoo clock?
“I think it’s quite fun and rather beautiful. I wanted to make something that made people laugh. It took a while to build, but I did almost all the work myself,” Pim said of the massive project.
“I had a local carpenter and local machinists help me with some of the frame and the metalworking though.”
He also hired an organ-maker to help him build the large and complex machine that makes the bird “cuckoo” each hour. It uses pipes and bellows, creating a compressed air pump routed through a music box, and tuned to sound like a bird call.
Unfortunately, the weather is complicating the accuracy of Pim’s cuckoo clock.
“It’s gaining a few minutes every day at the moment,” he bemoaned. “The warmer weather causes the wood to warp slightly and makes the water flow differently through the system of pipes and tanks.”
You can check out a clip of Pim’s giant cuckoo clock in action below, or jog on over to the Daily Mail for pictures. Tell us what you think!
[Image via: sue120502, Shutterstock.com]