The practice of crane climbing, while thoroughly enjoyable, is not something I’d usually consider worthy of a full post, (especially not from a single crane). Yes, the nocturnal photos you can glean of the enviable views the crane drivers and jib-walkers get to bask in on a daily basis can be pretty spectacular, but the journey, which in my opinion is the most important part, normally consists of hoping over a fence and climbing a series of ladders. Doesn’t make for a very interesting read that does it? The Student Castle construction site just off Oxford Road in Manchester is a bit different.

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The reason I’m spending a bit of time writing about this wretched structure is that it’s been there for well over 10 months, and no-one I know of had made it to the top.

This isn’t because of the insane number of PIRs and vibration sensors on the scaff, the massive hording, the cameras, the fact that every internal door of the building is locked from the inside, the cameras and sensors on the actual crane or the anticlimb skirts on the way up, the reason is the sixth-sense ultra-mega securiton sat in the office on site.

Every time we’ve tried it, we’ve avoided the cameras, sensors, been quiet as you like, yet he was always there, appearing from nowhere every single time. It didn’t take long before he knew us all individually.

WHAT IS THIS??

he would shout.

WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS COMING HERE? YOU CAN’T CLIMB THE CRANE! HOW WOULD I FEEL IF YOU FELL? YOUR DEATH WOULD BE ON ME!! NOW GET AWAY OR IM CALLING THE POLICE!!

Poor man. Climbing cranes is not a normal thing people do so I’m not really surprised he was reacting in the way he did, especially after the fifth, sixth tenth or whatever time. By the end, we were just getting silly with it, trying it ten deep and running straight past the cameras with our fingers crossed. Unsurprisingly this didnt work either. The crane, rather than being the golden goose it should have been seen as, became a blight on the landscape, mocking us like the ineffective noobs we were and visible from everywhere in the city.

While it is was still on our radar we’d kind of put it to the back of our minds, having a look at it every now and again (and having security stroll out to tell us not to bother) but stopped any serious attempts for a good month or so.

It wasn’t until Gone’s birthday weekend, in which a few notorious Londoners were to make their journey north, that talk of another crack came
about. With the fresh eyes of prolific London rooftoppers Dicky and Andrew set on it, we made a decision to get it done not long after their carload landed in manc.

After much dicking about in the city, we split up into small groups to have a look at a few other things.

They hit it first, and by the time me and
Katie hit the scaff, I got a gloating picture message in my inbox….

Lets have it.

There were a couple of sketchy parts on the way up which necessitated climbing outside the structure of the crane itself past the locked hatches, but nothing impossible. The real miracle was that we’d made it past our man.

It was an utter joy to get up here, and the views were lovely. Just goes to show – if at first you don’t succeed. Try, try again.

Would have been rude not to do the building as well..

props to my companions for the push, esp to dicky and andy for touching that counter weight first.

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