GES234 - Media Church, London
I teamed up with GE063 to tackle a certain cheese crumbling skyscraper that had recently topped out. While walking along I heard my name shouted, it was GE079 leaning out of GE038's car. GE042 was also in attendance, as well as GE036. The first time I met GE036 he was a quiet unassuming chap. After a few explores with GE038, he was suddenly talking and acting like a bad boy gangsta?! GE079 had observed the crane was still moving at 1am as it now was, and GE038 had spotted a worker wandering in the stairwells, so it wasn't looking promising. They had also put a sentry guard on each corner, and spiralled razor wire over another way in. Unfortunately explorers had been going in long before it had topped out, with a number being caught. The result being the introduction of these measures. Despondent, I suggested a church I had as a backup not far away. Everyone piled into their respective transports, and I took a reluctant GE063 on the back of my bike.
The area around the church was super dead quiet, although the surrounding building had a number of cameras. I went for a quick toilet trip, and when I got back I found those in the car working their way up the scaffold that surrounded the church. I joined in, and avoided the alarm they'd pointed out. At the top we encountered a couple that had got up there. They had a bottle of wine and were chilling out. The guy seemed erked and surprised that we'd got up there. It turns out he was working there, and had turned off the alarms to escort the lady up there. He also told us he'd slept up there a number of times.
The church itself, St. Brides, is also known as the Media church, due to it's proximity to Fleet St. Lots of media orientated religious fixtures were mostly held here. A church has stood on this site since the 7th Century, and may be one of the oldest in the country. Since then six further churches have been built on the site, the last being designed by 17th Century super star architect, Sir Christopher Wren. The same Sir Christopher Wren that designed the nearby St Paul's Cathedral, 42m higher than the 69m height of St. Brides. The current church has stood since 1675, with the famous spire added in 1703. It suffered during World War II, and was left gutted after a fire-bombing raid by the Nazi's. It continued to have services in the shell of the church, until it was renovated in late 1950s to it's present form. Looking East to the City of London and Wren's masterpiece.
Those from the car decided to leave, as did the couple, which left GE063 and I with the place to ourselves. GE063 hopped up fearlessly onto the scaff rails and grabbed some shots.
It being early July, I was keen to get up some buildings to enjoy dawn and get some shots high up. Looking North West to Soho, the Royal Courts dominate the foreground.
Sadly there wasn't quite the dawn I'd hoped for, and I also wasn't quick enough to get the red ball of the sun as it hid behind one of the Barbican towers. The spire of the Old Bailey just visible in the foreground.
The Thames flowing East, with the sky piercing Shard tower, and Tower Bridge in the background.
Millennium Bridge leads to the Tate Modern across the Thames.
Looking North. After the group that arrived by car left us, they went to the building wrapped in white sheeting on the left, flashing torches at us!
The top of the church, the weather vane and ball recently painted in Gold. How did we know?
A sign on the ladder that lead up to the top section of scaffold made it clear. Although as we climbed in the dark, we didn't see it until we descended. The floor below has '28' painted on it, denoting we'd climbed 29 layers. That's a lot of ladders!
Just below the top of the spire, a replacement piece of stone work on the left side, can be compared to the ones facing the camera, showing the result of acid rain.
Inside the stairwell to near the top of the spire. The date on the side just out of view on the left is 1902.
The stairs out of the spire that lead down into the top of the church and the belfry.
Various parts of the spire laid out ready to be replaced and repaired.
We dropped off the scaff and climbed over the precarious spiky fence. GE063 ripping his clothes in the process. It was still early, so hardly anyone about. Thanks to GE063