Alternative Uses For Scaffolding

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Scaffolding in various forms has been around ever since man first starting building large structures that created the need for it. From simple frames with wood tied at right angles through to the complicated precision engineered system scaffolding in use today.

But it isn’t only employed in the construction and repair of buildings.

Due to its versatility, scaffolding is used in hundreds of other applications from a self-employed plasterer trying to reach a 12ft celing through to stage rigging and seating platforms.

Spot The Scaffolding

The following are a couple of examples spotted on my travels around the UK this year.

How about being used as a frame to hold the set for the Great Hall at Hogwarts as witnessed at the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour.

Or as a platform on the moving rigging used to animate the giant uncle in a Sea Odyssey as witnessed on the streets of Liverpool earlier this year?

Very impressive, eh?

Temporary Structures

One of the more common alternative uses for scaffolding in the scaffolding industry is for temporary structures.

Examples of such include:

  • Temporary Roofing – A weather proof covering that helps to keep new works or an existing structure dry whilst work is completed, perhaps during an extension or following fire damage.
  • Virtual Buildings – A temporary roof and saffolding walls covered by sheeting that can be used to create a temporary waterproof indoor work or storage area.

More Scaffolding

For more insights into the fascinating world of scaffolding, take a look at my previous posts: Does that scaffolding meet EU regulations? / Holiday Scaffolding II

Now that’s a big tree!!

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Not been on for a while, so this is just a quick one. Pause. Wonders how many blog (and real life diary) entries worldwide start with such a line. If I had a pound…

Just got back from a holiday to Vegas and California and thought I’d post a photo from my travels.

Sequoia National Park

The photo in question is of trees, but not just any trees, bloody big trees! Giant Sequoias in fact. Now, these aren’t the biggest in the world, but they’re quite close to ol’ General Sherman himself within Sequoia National Park.

Need a reference for size? The tiny dot waving from the bottom of the middle tree is my wife who is 5′ 10″ tall.

You’d always be able to find your way home drunk with one of those at the end of your driveway. Would certainly put arguments over leylandii into perspective.

And there we go, short but sweet…

A Few Impressive Driveways From My Travels

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Continuing my Holiday Huffing theme of recent posts, I thought I’d share a few photos of some impressive driveways that I’ve encountered on my travels.

Now, these humble access roads don’t use the pattern imprinted concrete method that my customer of Swap yer for a driveway? fame does, but they’re all a beauty to behold.

St Michaels Mount, Cornwall, England

Lets start with a driveway from my home country. The tidal access route of St Michaels Mount is swallowed up by the sea twice a day and getting a boat back is all part of the fun.

That’s after you’ve sampled some of the fine ale that is brewed on the island obviously…

Burg Eltz, Mosel Valley, Germany

Germany is one of my favourite holiday destinations and Burg Eltz in the Mosel Valley is a great illustration of why. This is one of dozens of fairytale castles that can be found along the course of the Mosel and Rhine rivers.

For best effect, don’t forget to traverse the Autobahns in a VW Campervan!

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

The oldest building featured. There are miles of huge wide stone paved and gravel access roads into the various temples to be found to the north of Siem Reap in Cambodia, but this is one of the most impressive.

This is from Angkor Wat, a temple complex measuring approx 1km square!

Driveways or Not?

Now some of you might be saying, these are very impressive, but are they really driveways?

Hmm… What counts as a driveway? Does it have to have been created post the invention of the motor car or horse-drawn carriage to count?

Well…

Let’s consider the following:

  • The Oxford Dictionary defines a driveway as: a short road leading from a public road to a house or garage.
  • An Englishman’s home is his castle.

In Conclusion…

Et voila! Case closed. They are driveways and they’re all very impressive!

Cool Canadian Graffiti (or Mural?)

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Just a quick one today. An example of some of the cool graffiti I’ve seen on my travels.

I’m sorry? Graffiti? Are you referring to the unsightly defacement of public buildings do I hear you ask?

Cool Graffiti

Weeelll, yes. But let me be very specific. It needs to be of an extremely good quality and of general interest, not just Shaz luvs DazBazza wuz ere or even a person’s tag, no matter how elaborate that tag might be.

And in that sense, those you’re about to see may actually have been commissioned or “allowed”, but having checked the old Oxford English, it makes no stipulation that the artwork has to be unwanted to achieve the moniker of graffiti.

You may think differently and choose the word mural. It matters not, the pictures are cool anyway:

Ooh, where are they?

If you want to see them in person, as best as I can remember, they’re in Vancouver somewhere underneath or close to the huge road bridge over to Granville Island.

It’s Not All Good

As stated above, not all graffiti is good. I remember with disdain my disappointment on visiting Venice in Italy to discover that the beautiful and famous Ponte Rialto had graffiti down the side of it.

You’d have thought the authorities might have quickly called in a graffiti removal firm, given how many holiday makers snaps (including mine) were being ruined.

In Conclusion…

So if you are tempted to graffiti, I think the lesson is please practice on your own property until your skills are good enough not to cause offence.

I wonder if that’s what Banksy did?

Log Cabin Envy!!

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It all began whilst on holiday recently with my family in Cornwall. We stayed in a beautiful self-catering holiday cottage, if you can call something with over 10 rooms a cottage that is!

Y’know sometimes when you go self catering and there isn’t a bread knife, decent sized frying pan, ironing board or other household item we take for granted in our everyday lives… …well not this place!!

The Kitchen Sink

I told the family to pack a few essentials just to be on the safe side, but there was really no need. This place had everything you could possibly think of, including the crowning glory and the main reason I chose it…

A POOL TABLE!!!

My life and that of several other males of our party was complete. Chilled beers, Cornish sunshine and a few dozen games of pool.

What could be better?

What Indeed?

Well, I’ll tell you what. If it lasted for more than a week, that’s what.

Y’see, I’ve always wanted a full size slate bed pool table of my own and this only served to remind me, as I near the halfway marker of my life, that my dream remains unfulfilled.

Enter the Log Cabin…

And then it got worse. An existing customer who does joinery and building work asked for a new page on their website advertising that they can supply, erect, fit-out and furnish log cabins.

“No problems”, says I. “Would you like to come and see the one I’ve put in my back yard?”, says he. “Ooh, yes please”, I foolishly reply.

Admittedly, he used his for an office, but it was a perfect size for the pool table I crave so badly. Okay, now I’m jealous…

Life Is Sweet

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have a lovely wife, a nice house and a pretty decent sized garden so don’t start playing those violins just yet…

BUT… I don’t have the room or the money for one of these beauties.

I could lose a few of my carefully nurtured fledgling fruit trees, but that doesn’t address the more important financial question.

Five Year Plan

As the line from Wayne’s World goes though, “It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine”.

True, I may have to seek financial advice and consider getting another mortgage, but within five years I WILL be playing pool on a full size slate bed pool table located somewhere in a property I own.

Watch this space!

In Conclusion…

If you live in the Blackpool, Preston or Lancaster area and you’re looking for a web developer, give me a call.

Lord knows (and now you do too), I need the money!

Holiday Scaffolding II

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Okay, so we know that it has to be done. Old buildings need to be restored, repaired and generally supported to prevent them falling down before future generations get a chance to enjoy them.

But why does the scaffolding always have to be there when I visit?

A Familiar Picture

You know the story. You’ve flown half way round the world to see something and get a photo to show off to your friends back home… …and when you get there, it’s covered in scaffolding.

It happens to me all the time. Well, not all the time obviously, as I’m not continuously on holiday, but…

Notre Dame in Paris? Scaffolding. York Minster in England? Scaffolding! Angkor Wat in Cambodia? BLOODY SCAFFOLDING!!

“Aw, come on, that’s not that bad”, I hear you say, “it’s still a beautiful picture”. True enough, but it is likely to be the only time ever that I visit it and wouldn’t it just look so much better without the scaffolding?

The Solution

Fear not, scaffold-a-phobes, for I have a potential solution. Provided the scaffolding is of a sufficiently small size, simply place a loved one in front of it for a comedy shot:

Not quite the same classic postcard / calendar shot, but at least we can pretend there was no scaffolding. Yes, yes, I know you can see it under her armpit! I never said the solution was perfect did I?

As an aside, if you’ve never been to Cambodia or Angkor Wat, it is well worth a visit, scaffolding or no!

Blackpool “Scaffolding” Tower

And with a fairly tenuous link, we move onto scaffolding in Blackpool, my home town and another infamous (at least within the North of England) landmark.

Blackpool Tower has had scaffolding on it for ages now whilst it is undergoing a major overhaul, thus ruining thousands of holiday-makers’ snapshots, .

That said, the overhaul will include a new glass observation deck where people can stand on a glass floor looking down towards the promenade. Provided their nerves will take it that is!

At just under half the height of the Eiffel Tower, that’s enough to make your legs tremble. Can’t wait to go up and have a look.

In Conclusion

Well, as the above shows, I’d grudgingly have to admit that scaffolding is a necessary evil, preserving and improving our historic buildings and tourist attractions.

But just once, I’d like to turn up to somewhere famous and not see any…

Does that scaffolding meet EU regulations?

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Well, in this instance it doesn’t really have to as the scaffolding in question is in Marrakech in Morocco.

Whilst working on a website for a local business that offers scaffolding in Blackpool (my home town) and surrounding areas, we discussed the health and safety training required for his staff.

You said Marrakech?

Indeed I did. During our chat I chuckled to myself as I was reminded of a couple of holiday photos snapped whilst visiting North Africa.

Needless to say, I don’t think health and safety is top of their agenda:

The first one is my favourite, but I wouldn’t like to be carrying breeze blocks on a hod using these ladders:

C’mon mate, what would you prefer, “‘health and safety gone mad”?

Well now I’d be the first to deride the EU and the entire western world for taking health and safety too far, but surely there ought to be a happy medium.

In Conclusion…

It doesn’t require a risk assessment, cones, signage and a qualified electrician to change a lightbulb, but scaffolding on building sites should feel safer than this…

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