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What a top coat!

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Bessemer Lid Bracket

All of the rim brackets have now been fitted and the angle iron support frame has been bolted permanently, as shown in the image above. The angle iron have nuts welded on their underside, our Conservation Engineers can bolt the plastic lid section onto them from above. The lid will be fitted as the last job although the Engineers will trial fit it as soon as its ready, this will save them time on the last day before the scaffold comes down.

Our Engineers have spent time making a cardboard template of the opening at the top of the Bessemer, as shown below. The opening is a complex shape due to the rivets and old wear and tear around it’s pouring edge. The plastic sheet under the cardboard will be cut to fit the template and then tailored to fit as best as they can on the job.

Cardboard cut out of Bessemer Lid

The top coat of the black two pack paint started going on last week and was completed on Friday 12 May. Final touches will happen during the removal of the scaffold and the plinths will be painted after the site has been cleared. The new plastic lid was fitted on Thursday 11 May. 

Mid section of Bessemer

The image above shows Day two of the top gloss painting and shows that the upper half is nearly all black. The gears will be started on Day three and then placed onto the waistband of the Bessemer. The level below this is a complex section and will take a few days but we should be getting more labour on the job to help complete this.

The open gears shown below now have a top coat of black gloss paint on them. Everything is getting two coats of black paint so it should last for years to come.

Bessemer Gears

The image below shows two motors and the enclosed gearbox that have been painted twice with the top coat gloss. Our engineers can now get to work on making them less attractive to roosting pigeons! The voids in the castings had made nice nesting boxes for the feral pigeons.

Bessemer motors and enclosed gear box

Our engineers flushed 13 pigeons from inside the Bessemer and sealed the top with a poly carbonated lid to be bolted in place. Next they will place a silicone seal around the rim to stop the rain from getting inside. From the picture below you can see that the pigeons have shown their displeasure with the new lid already!

Bessemer New lid

One of the last jobs our engineers did before they lost access at height was to fit the bird deterrent spike under the motors on the Bessemer to stop pigeons nesting. This image can be seen below. They have more to fit once the scaffold is down in areas where the scaffolders still need access to get the scaffold down.

Motor Bird Spikes

Bird spikes have been fitted on the window sills outside of the boiler room (shown in the image below) which seems to be the pigeon’s favourite place to sit as it is very warm due to the daily boiler runs. 

Windowsill Bird Spikes

The picture below shows the scaffolders removing plastic sheets from the structure and they have now moved on to removing the top levels of the scaffold. The removal of the scaffold will be completed over two long days with two teams of guys working on it. It is raining on them today and will be the same tomorrow!

You can also see out new plastic lid reflecting the sky from this angle.

Scaffold coming down

Arts Council England

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