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The dark winter of 2010 offered little light in the day. Perfect for scaling towers, old and new – and cranes! There is nothing quite like being far above the bustle of the ‘don on a clear crisp night. The first exprerience for me of exploring construction sites, and its always a more edgy one. You’re fully aware that the rules of tresspass don’t change, but the flickering lights, fresh equipment and odd beep are all constituents of one big nerve pie. the big daddy was , and is (until completion) Heron Tower. Situated next to both the Gherkin and Tower 42, it will is and will be the highest building in London until the Shard comes along. I visited a few times. Once very misty and rainy, another a beautifully crisp and clear but freezing night. Accompanied on this occasion by Edd from Manchester and Urbanity, we attempted the fitness test that is ascending 40+ flights of stairs. Dang… the fry up diet displayed in all its glory right there. With eyes closed, I could have mistaken my adventure for a siberian mountain climb. When open I was met with these sights…

Taking refuge a couple of floors down on my second visit…

The clearer nights exploits…

The stairs…

Inside a floor, construction city…

Later in the month, I met back up with Edd, and we had a new site in mind. This night we spied the Athena tower in Stratford. It had a nice big crane for starters, and in a different area of London for some alternative views. This was a funny one, a week after publishing the photos, a rather popular breast fond tabloid decided to slap one of the shots in a YOUTH VANDALS classic article! £50 compensation later, im smiling.

Athena tower, in all its steel and glass glory…

The crane was first on the list, after searching the freshly fitted apartment rooms inside for the window leading to the crane, we got it. Couple of paranoid scares as light sensors flick on. Shit! PIR? nah says Edd with a cool tone. Phew.

On the way down from the crane, we pass the roof access, lower than the crane, but it would have been rude not to (a common phrase for greedy explorers). see Canary Wharf?…

Finally, me being a dangerous twat. But the Daily Star enjoyed it, so you should as well…

Finally, lets take another trip up high, not as much so as the last 2 monsters, but a different area once again, and equally cracking views. Temple court is a building by St Pauls, under demolition. Around 14 storeys it offers some nice views of the cathedral and surrounding area. The ease of access here has led to it becoming a favorite for picnics and  more relaxed occasions. I visited on a foggy night with my then recently aquainted partner Brad, and by the end of the session there was 8 of us!

View absorption…

Couple of panoramics, my favorite of all photo techniques…

Finally, another develpment just opposite (ish) Temple Court above, is New Court (funny eh?). Myself and my main exploring pal Winch (he’ll be popping up a fair bit, I shall link you to his blog soon) hit this one up with Brad (also shall pop up a fair bit, a far greater writer and documenter than myself, watch out for a link to his blog also). The site itself during our visit wasn’t particularly exciting. There were however a couple of nice big red cranes. I think the fire truck red colour made the kids in us take over. Also i didn’t mention, this was me and Brad’s first crane climb.

Looming above…

I most enjoy the concrete counterweights on the back of tower cranes. I have a belief that everyone has a fear of heights, however some channel that slight fear into adrenalin filled pleasure by forcing themsleves into doing stuff they know is rather dangerous. First thing i did on top?

The panoramic from the same place…

There is a certain element of raw excitement from contruction sites and cranes. They are playgrounds in the true sense, ones where there are no limits, no parents watching out, or soft chippings to cushion your fall. Real cold steel and the wind in your face…

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