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GES051 - Nido Tower, London - Night of Heights Pt 2 of 3

Night of Heights - Pt.2 Nido Spitalfields Building

One thing you have to accept with Exploring, is that sometimes you won't get to what you want to see. As we wandered through posh bars catering to City Whizz kids and Golddiggers in their finest heels and dresses. We chatted about the usual and what we'd heard about access to the Heron. Only a few had really done it, so it was still a bit fresh.

As we stood opposite the Heron, it's white hoardings wrapped around it like a small mini skirt lying around the legs of a wanton hussy desperate for wilful attention. GE041 and I debated as to whether we could see the cranes still moving. We decided we did see them move, and activated plan B. No need for secret packages or code words. Plan B was simple, we'd have a look at the Nido Spitalfields building. Also called Rodwell House, it was being built to house 1200 students, at 35 storeys/111m high. It was designed by TP Bennett Architects.

We set about a walk around the building, and GE041 shinned up lamp post for a look into the site. He gave the thumbs up, and we all piled over. First things first, and we looked for a stairwell, not too difficult to find. However it only went up a few floors, so we wandered through the brightly lit building, unfinished rooms on either side. As we walked along, I spotted what I thought was a dreaded PIR, but I was quickly informed that if that was a PIR, then so was the one behind us we'd just passed, d'oh! The wires protruding from the ceiling here and there suggested the floor wasn't live other than the lights. We found another stair well, and counted away the floors, waiting here and there for GE051 to catch up.

Finally we burst out at the top to the city spread out below us. The stairwell had no windows, so we hadn't seen outside since the ground floor. Suddenly to walk out and see the tiny lights of buildings in the distance was quite breath taking. I think I speak for all of us, when I say this was our first really high building or skyscraper if you will. The others busied themselves getting out cameras, while I keen to get to the top of the topper most (copyright John Lennon), climbed a ladder onto the actual roof. It was dominated by a large crane. I set up my camera and snapped the North Eastern view, Christchurch Spitalfields on Commercial Street being prominent.

The roof had a slightly higher section at one end, so I climbed up and shot along the building and with Canary Wharf ending the South Easterly view. A tower crane just to the side of the building, a wonderful job if you like heights and views.

Looking West, with St.Pauls just visible and the BT Tower marking the centre of the horizon.

Quite by accident, I discovered how Downfallen and others have got the shot above. I underexposed by -2 and then raised the light with the Fill function in the RAW editor.

Also looking South East with some zoom, was Canary Wharf.

I climbed down to the top floor to give others clear shots on the roof, and spotted some straps others had been swinging from. Behind me the elusive Heron Tower.

A closer look SE to Tower Bridge and I was pretty much done.

We all congregated again on the roof, and GE043 set up a camera for a group shot. GE041 seemed to be working out some complicated maths formula for the correct flash setting from his remote flash. The formula was obviously correct, as the photo came out brilliantly. L to R, Myself, GE043, GE041, GE044 and GE051. This is GE043's photo.

As we somewhat reluctantly descended from our prize, I felt dizzy going round and round the stairwell for 35 floors. At the bottom we were on the ground floor, with various bits of building equipment and materials lying about. I spotted an infra-red camera, but too late, it was walked into and an alarm triggered. We rushed to the access point and nipped off down the street.

As we did so, some men were reaching into a boot of their cars, wearing waders covered in brown mud. I recognised the hat on one of the men from a guy I'd seen at Millennium Mills. It was Zero with some Canadian guys he was showing the sewer highlights too. Somewhat irked he'd been spotted by people he probably considered noobs, he wasn't too talkative. It was strange, because when I first met GE002, it was at Millennium Mills. And that evening he did the Heron. Now, 4 weeks later, we were off to have another look at the Heron. As we were talking, a guy in his possibly later 50s rode by on a bicycle wearing a full red rubber overall suit of some kind?!

We left GE002 and the Canadians, and headed off to have another look at the Heron Tower. Could we be greedy and complete all 3 in one night?


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