July 12th, 2008 David
The rain managed to hold off for most of this morning’s fund-raising event. Some 20 people (many sponsored) paid £50 to climb the scaffolding ladders right to the top of the spire.
There was also no shortage of volunteers willing to pay £1 for the chance to jump over the weather vane, and receive a certificate to prove they’d achieved this never-to-be-repeated feat. But as the photo on the right shows, the jump wasn’t quite as hair-raising as it at first sounded!
As someone who suffers from vertigo half way up a ladder, I managed the climb only by taking it very slowly, and keeping a tight grip on the scaffolding. But the view from the top of the spire over the surrounding Leicestershire countryside made it well worth the effort.
As soon as I get a chance, I’ll create another photo slideshow of the day’s events. There were quite a few people with cameras today, so if anyone has any photos (or video) they’d like to share, please do let me know by clicking here.
It was fascinating to see the damage to the spire close-up, and hear the architects explain how near it came to completely collapsing during the earthquake. They also described the next stage of the work, which they estimate could take as long as three months to complete.
The top 30 feet of stonework will have to be carefully removed and lowered by pulley to the ground. Each of the stones will then be checked for damage and numbered so that they go back exactly as before.
The insurance loss-adjusters are presently considering bids for the work. But rumour has it that estimates range from £250,000 to £50,000 – which is a surprising difference. I’ll post any information received on when the work is likely to start. But everyone is hoping it will be sooner rather than later!
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