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Photos by Martin Watkins Page last updated: 2016-11-30

28th November 2016, removal of UHF cylinder

Approaching from the southern flanks of Dartmoor at about a quarter to ten I was more than a little perturbed to see in the distance the crane already fully extended; however it became apparent that the old cylinder was still in place and as I neared the crane was retracting. Fearing the worst that my journey was in vain I arrived on site, but things were only just getting under way.

It wasn't long before the first rigger was climbing; it took no more than five minutes for any of them to scale the 150 feet.....

Meanwhile, the crane had been retracted in order to extend the cantilever top section which it turned out would be needed. It takes a while and a lot of fiddling, but the lattice section is hinged and swings out and round horizontally before being locked in place and in line with the rest of the crane sections.

Meanwhile, just below the cylinder work was going on to unbolt what could be unbolted without threatening the stability of the cylinder, and one of the riggers (in red trousers) climbed up inside and attached red strapping to the structural horizontal bar situated at the bottom of the cylinder.

All five sections of the crane, plus the lattice top, fully extended and heading for the tower.

Meanwhile the hatch is open and a head is sticking out!

Very sensibly the rigger at the top took cover as the chain approached.


The hoist line was then paid out a little more, so that the chain could be threaded through the cylinder top hatch and then passed on downwards, in order to be attached to the red strapping previously put in place.

There then took place another 45 minutes of work, loosening off what bolts were left holding the cylinder in place, and relying on the crane to take the strain when the time came.

.... and suddenly there was a little wobble and a slight list to port. The cylinder was finally free.

...laid down gently to rest.

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