BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘heights’

#365daysofbiking Hanging around

December 19th – Spotted high above the street, steel erectors chat and dangle whilst working on the new Primark in Birmingham, seemingly oblivious to life below, and completely unaware of the fear such feats inspire in many of their audience.

The new store is what used to be the Pavillions shopping mall, and the conversion symbolises the malaise in these 80s temples to consumerism – so far Birminham has lost 4 – The Pavillions, City Plaza, Paradise Forum and Fletchers Walk. I find this shift in retail thinking interesting.

The aerial daredevils had safety gear, and were confident and clearly competent. But the lad dangling from the sliding support in the C channel: Looking at how that’s fixed, that’s a lot of confidence in someone else’s mechanical engineering skills.

My respect and best wishes to them. I respect anyone who can work at heights.

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February 8th – Back to Telford mid-morning and I noted the tree surgeons at work still clearing scrub from around the pedestrian bridge at the station, in preparation for the new one to be built.

This nonchalant, confident lumberjack was just hanging around about 8 metres up, his chainsaw dangling from a lanyard.

I so admire people who work at heights.

July 11th – If you fancy a free, breathtaking aerial entertainment display, get your backside down to the Tame Valley Canal, and just look up.

High tension lines run along the canal from a control compound at Ocker Hill to another at Ray Hall, and this interlink is currently undergoing service. Huge scaffold towers and nets span roads, canals and railways, to support lowered lines; engineers scramble and dangle high above from the steel lattice-work, oblivious to the toe-curling peril they appear to be in.

They work quickly and with precision amongst a baffling array of hawsers, catenaries, safety lines and fall arresters, materials and tools being hoisted ip in a sack via a block and tackle hoist. 

And below? I watch, open mouthed at these confident, sure-footed and highly skilled engineers. Whatever they’re paid, it can’t possibly be enough.

July 24th – I’ve waited a long time to catch these technicians in action, and finally, on my homeward commute from Blake Street today, I spotted them.

These are very long range photos of a pair of engineers working on the dismantling of the temporary changeover TV transmission mast at Sutton; it’s about a mile away from where I stood.

Nonchalantly, they work inside the latticework, hundreds of feet above Sutton. Their lift cradle is called to an intermediate platform, they climb in, and are lifted to a higher part of the mast to carry on with the job. As they’re lifted, one of the duo casually checks his mobile.

I don’t know what these people are paid, but they’re clearly worth every penny, and seem quite, quite fearless. Respect to them.

September 6th – I don’t really want to think about this, but that’s remarkable scaffolding on the side of the former Midland Hotel on the corner of Colmore Row and Church Street in Birmingham. I can’t imagine how you even begin to erect something like that. My admiration for those who do is unbounded. Ugh.

January 4th – Another really, really windy day. One thing about being ill that’s not been too bad it that it’s been during some thoroughly lousy cycling weather. I was surprised, therefore, to note the guys recladding Humpries House – Brownhills last remaining high-rise block – were pottering about on their mobile platforms near the top of the building. Until I started to think about that, my stomach had been quite settled. My respect for those chaps is boundless. You’d have to anaesthetise me to get me up there on a still day…