Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Vault Inspection I

The Cathedral has been invaded by a monster, a huge yellow spider that dwarfs its operators, thrusts chairs aside, and reaches up into the gloom of the ceiling vaults! In the lower picture, Tom Botting (our electrician) seems to be challenging the monster as it squats in the nave of the Cathedral.

Here it crouches, more like a scorpion than a spider!


The machine has been brought in this week to inspect the underside of the domes of the Cathedral close up. This has not been done for a long time - we think not since the restoration work done soon after the Second World War, and so I have considered it a long overdue operation. However, such an extraordinary hoist was not available until recently - the operators told me that the machine was developed in Italy just over ten years ago.

Such a close inspection demanded clear lighting, and the Cathedral maintenance team (Tom Botting and Bernie Young) constructed an extraordinary array of searchlights to illuminate the domes. The inspection takes place at night - I went in last night at about 9.00pm, and found later that Simon, our Organ Scholar, had not been idle. Hence, a mixture of photographs from us both, over several postings - focussing both on the monster machine, and on the extraordinary sight of the domed vault illuminated for the occasion. These amazing pictures above were taken by Simon, some from the high-level galleries. The one below, showing the domes illuminated, is a taster for more to come!


6 comments:

Dcn Scott Dodge said...

I certainly hope the domes proved structurally sound!

Mark said...

That's actually scary! It reminds me of a science fiction film!

Administrator said...

There are some extraordianry pictures of the close-up imnspection of the domes to be posted tomorrow, which leave me feeling giddly just to look at them! Then (as if that weren't enough) I have to wait for the news as to whether the inspection has revealed any problems!

FJM Madden said...

How did you get 'the thing' inside the Cathedral?

Administrator said...

It walks up steps! It was driven onto the Piazza outside the Cathedral, and came in through the main doors. Nothing will stop it!

Andrew said...

How ever did they perform inspections in the old days when there were no monsters and flood lights?