Clarence chimney has had its original scaffolding removed and
new scaffolding erected by our own Bailey International Steeplejack
Co. Ltd. They have been commisioned to fix the loose bricks (picture
below) and re-point the top of the tower.
What went wrong?
In the week beginning 6th September 2010, work was carried
out by steeplejacks to remove the foliage of plants growing on
the chimney. It seems that during this operation, which was completed
by Friday 10th September, it was noted that the plants had dislodged
a number of bricks near the top of the stack (see the picture).
These bricks were deemed to be a safety risk (why did
it take a week to take any action?) - there was a danger of them
falling off and precipitating a progressive collapse of brickwork
from the top two or three metres of the stack.
The most important thing to note is that
the chimney is not said to be in any danger of collapsing - there
is simply a concern that bricks may fall from near the top. If
they do they will fall down the side of the chimney
and land on the scaffolding now erected beneath the damaged
The closure of the canalside for a whole week caused significant
difficulties to the businesses located on the canalside, including
Kellico and, especially, the Café Waterside.
Centre was also closed for the week. The closure was so devastating
to these businesses because pedestrian visitors were not
able to cross the canal or the canalside mill yard.
All these premises are open, together with the canal
bridge, while the present work is carried out.
What is happening now?
The original steeplejacks have removed their scaffolding
and new scaffolding is being erected by Bailey International
Steeplejack Co. Ltd. of Bollington, all this because Bailey's bid
a better price for the repairs. The top of the chimney is being
pointed and will not be reduced in height. Hooray for that!
Work has very recently been carried out at the top of the chimney
at Lowerhouse mill (pictured right) and similar techniques are
expected to be employed at Clarence.