7th Mar, 2021

PICTURE SPECIAL - Steeplejacks reach dizzy heights to work on Bromsgrove's St John's Church spire

IF YOU don’t like heights – look away now.

These pictures show two intrepid steeplejacks who started work yesterday morning on Bromsgrove’s tallest buildingĀ  – the spire on the town’s St John’s Church.

Picture by Jo Slade. s

The team from Weston-super-Mare based Dawsons Steeplejacks attended the church to upgrade the repairs to the top of the spire.

The initial repair work had been carried out in December 2017.

The spire at St John’s, the tallest church spire in Worcestershire, stands 198ft feet tall, giving the two skilled workers a birds eye view of the town and surrounding countryside.

Constructed in the 15th century using sandstone blocks, the spire is a hollow structure apart from the top section.

Restoration work took place throughout the 1800s and in 1891, following a lightning strike to the spire, the top 25ft of the spire was rebuilt, including a large iron rod which holds the stonework together and the weathervane in place.

Over time the internal metal rod has rusted.

The rust has caused the rod to expand, leading to cracks in the stone.

Picture by Jo Slade. s

The current upgrading of repairs to the spire top involves re-filling cracks with resin and replacing the eight steel straps on the top section to ensure the stones are secure.

Dawsons Steeplejacks is a family-run firm, specialising in all areas of working at height, from restoration of ancient buildings through to the repair and installation of lightning conductors. The team of two at St John’s carried out the work using a ladder and roped access.

The repairs were funded by the Friends of St John’s, a charity dedicated to the ongoing maintenance and restoration of Bromsgrove historic landmark building.

Click here for the Friends of St John’s Facebook page and more information about the church, its restoration and how people can support the project.

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