Last week we took delivery of the crane, which will now be in residence on the East Side of the Mansion until August. There was much excitement as the crane boom seemed to rise from a very compact area to extend to its full length.
To many visitors’ amusement a man was soon seen dangling from the the crane as the engineers calibrated the weight and lifting.
The crane is here to lift the steel components of the new roof as well as the aluminum gutters, outer lantern for the Nash Staircase and the glass. In order to keep the crane steady there are 50 tonnes of concrete blocks providing ballast. You can see them best through the Boudoir window.
It takes great skill and a large team to get the steel from the secure compound on the East Side of the Mansion, right over the top of the building to its final resting place in the centre.
One of my favorite roles is the ‘Slinger Banksman’ – a strange title, but actually really important! The Slinger Banksman is responsible for the ensuring the safety in crane rigging and slinging operations, where he selects and attaches the lifting gear to the load to ensure a safe and secure lifting operation.
Some interesting facts!
- The crane acts like a weather vane – it knows which way the wind is blowing and moves to accommodate the weather, this is very disconcerting if you see it move after the crane driver goes home!
- The steel structure on its own weighs 8 tonnes. When the glass and aluminum gutters are added, it will weigh a total of
- The total length of the structural steel components is approximately 330m, that’s a 1/3 of a kilometre (or 11 blue whales lined up tail to tail!).
- The new roof is 133 square metres or 1200 square feet. There will be 52 panes of glass, none of which are square,
ranging in size from 0.75m to 2.5m wide x 1.5m to 2m long.
All the photos in this post were taken by our lovely Volunteer Roof Photographers Richard and Angela Knisely-Marpole.