Saturday, 12 September 2009

12 September 2009 - Finnieston Crane

Built in 1932 and standing 165 feet tall, the Finnieston Crane is a familiar image along the Glasgow Harbour front. As part of the Rescue on the Clyde event I volunteered for a charity abseil down the crane, aptly named The Plunge.

I'm not in my comfort zone with major heights but thought this might cure or kill!

11:50 hrs I began the climb up the "rusty" stairs. An open stairway on the outside of the crane. Just how old was this crane? And when was the last safety inspection? and more importantly did it pass? Alas don't worry....... just up ahead was a member of the military, no doubt about to reassure me as I continued my climb. But no....... he was too full of funny stories about rusty old cranes! That's me to the left of the red arrow.

Perhaps Mr Military personnel no 2 would provide the reassurance that I needed as I reached a height which according to my peripheral vision was above the point at which I would survive a fall! Nope! Another story about how he hated these rickety old cranes...... oh and watch out for the few tripping hazards. What? they booby trap the crane as well?

Oh and someone's just moved the red arrow a bit further up now.

And as if the banter wasn't bad enough on the way up, nice to see our "rope climbing experts" has a sense of humour on the ground too.

Now I'd reached the point of no turning back. I should add my boss Lisa joined me on this abseiling adventure. At this stage we had removed our footing from the comfort of the ledge at the top of the crane and we were HANGING now, with only our trusty ropes. I'm the one at the top of this photo.

And just to highlight how vulnerable we were...... a photo taken virtually below us in the safe haven of "terra firma." Me on the right.

OK.... off I go on my "Plunge." That's me on the lower rope. Lisa I think was busy sight seeing above!

Hey, I'm getting the hang of this now!! hang? get it? By this stage I was thinking surviving was looking more likely now.

Wooo I did it, I did it! Quick pose for photos at the bottom. Clock the nervous smile.

So did I enjoy the experience? yes, it was exhilarating and what fantastic views.

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