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

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Google Instant Test #1 – Emergency Scaffolding North West

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Well truthfully, it’s the third test, but you’ll only know that if you’ve also read my I Hate Google Instant!!! and recent Google Instant vs Internet Explorer posts.

Y’see I’ve become rather obsessed with the pointless refreshes that Google makes to display unwanted search results before I’ve finished telling it what I’m actually looking for.

Obsessed?

Okay, so I am eating normally and going outdoors every now and then to soak up some vitimin D, but it does really annoy me. Read my previous posts if you want the full details.

Anyway, I’m determined to find out what the maximum number of these pointless screen refreshes might be when looking for a legitimate search term. The last posts revealed 11 and 8 respectively, but I’m sure we can beat that!

Here we go…

We’re going to search for ‘Emergency Scaffolding’ in the North West of England. How long before Google gets there I wonder:

  • E – gets me E! Online, an American entertainment news site featuring celebrity gossip and pictures. Hmm… Great, but will it hold my house up?
  • Em – pulls up Empire Magazine, a film review publication from the UK. Yeah, I need scaffolding as my exterior wall is looking like it might collapse after a fire. Not sure I want to read a review of a remake of Towering Inferno thanks…
  • Eme – now I get Emeli Sandé, a singer apparently. Oh good, now I’ll have something to listen to while I wait for the scaffolders to arrive!
  • Emer – brings up Emerald Publishing Group. Er, sorry no!
  • Emerg – results in a Wikipedia definition for the word Emergency, just in case I wasn’t sure…
  • Emergency – gives me a list of emergency tax codes from HM Revenue & Customs. Nope!!!
  • Emergency S – and now I get the Wikipedia page for the emergency services. They’ve already been thanks…
  • Emergency Sc – gets me Emergency Scotland 2011. WTF?!?
  • Emergency Sca – over to a forum page about getting an Emergency Pregnancy Scan. Nooo!!
  • Emergency Scaf – appears to get me what I want as the top result is a scaffolding company in Manchester that operates in the North West, but wait a minute… Under that are several London companies and national companies. Where are my other local solutions?
  • Emergency Scaffolding Nort – well, we’re in the right zone. We’ve got scaffolders, but now they’re in Northampton. Keep trying…
  • Emergency Scaffolding North – excellent, back to scaffolders from (North) London. Oh, and one from North Wales…
  • Emergency Scaffolding North Wes – and we’re finally there!

Just one letter off what I’d have to have typed if I’d done it in full and after suffering 12 unecessary screen refreshes. I’ve eventually got what I wanted though i.e. Emergency Scaffolding North West

Did you say 12? Yes, indeed I did. A new record methinks!

In Conclusion

Why not have a go yourself and see if you can beat it? No prizes I’m afraid, just the kudos of knowing you’ve outsmarted (ahem) a search engine?

P.S. Sorry Google, but it’s too late! Whilst faffing with screen refreshes my wall has collapsed. Off to a bed and breakfast for me tonight…

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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