You need a head for heights for this job

IT'S not a job for the faint-hearted . . . or those with no head for heights!But this week specialist staff have been making delicate changes to one of the biggest new landmarks on the Ipswich skyline.

IT'S not a job for the faint-hearted . . . or those with no head for heights!

But this week specialist staff have been making delicate changes to one of the biggest new landmarks on the Ipswich skyline.

The 86-metre crane which weighs more then 50 tonnes is one of three being used on the multi million pound regeneration programme on the Ipswich waterfront.

The crane has this week been operated by specialist workers, brought in from national company Select Cranes.

The fearless high rise workers could be seen high up in the sky walking the length of an arm, or 'jib', of the tallest crane at the site scampering back and forth across the lengthy stretch of crane perched hundreds of feet over the Ipswich Waterfront.

They could be seen from locations across the town getting down to work among the clouds.

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The high rise workers are operating one of the cranes building the 12-storey Regatta Quay development, built for client, City Living, which will eventually provide nearly 400 homes and a theatre, shops, cafes and office space.

The crane workers were lengthening the 55 metre 'jib' by an extra five metres in order to get a better site coverage.

Trevor Durham, 56, has been a crane driver for 30 years and he said he loves being on top of the world.

He said: “You're up there on your own and it's great for peace and quiet, I've never been scared of heights which is a good job really!

“It's also a fantastic view, you can see as far as Felixstowe and Harwich up there.”

Mr Durham said although the crane does occasionally sway from side to side it's not noticeable until you are working next to a still or static building.

He said: “Some days when it's windy we can't go down for a bit because it's too dangerous but we don't get stuck up there for long.”

Do you have a dangerous or unusual job? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Every tall building site uses tower cranes. Crane operators work slowly and carefully to hoist up the building materials and the cranes hold girders in place while workers rivet them.

The crane costs around £10,000 a month to use.

Crane operators have to take special care on windy days as wind can swing their loads around.

Workers often signal by two-way radio that the load is ready to be lifted or has been unloaded.

On the site at Regatta Quay special 'clash radios' are used to ensure the cranes don't crash into one another and that they keep a safe distance apart.

The 86-metre crane being used at the Ipswich site is the tallest free standing crane in the world.

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