Report - - Oxford road tower crane Manchester- may 2015 | High Stuff | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Oxford road tower crane Manchester- may 2015

mr pink

building magician!
28DL Full Member
Oxford road tower crane Manchester

Erected to build the student castles 37 story high student accommodation the crane will top out at around 99 mtrs (approx 324 ft), I am unsure how high it is at the moment but it's a fair old size.
The £45 million building* will rise to 112 mtrs once complete second only to the Hilton tower on deans gate, completion was expected in 2012 I have read so I assume costs have also risen considerably since their original estimate as these things tend to do or there was a type error where I get my information from.
The building will have 520 beds and has been designed to accommodate undergraduates, post graduates and international students so I imagine some pretty wild parties are going to occur here should the world not end before completion.

One weekend in may we decide on an attempt

I had been working in Manchester over the previous weeks and visited the target a few times to work out the best way in and onto the crane. Stone monkey and I have been after nailing a crane for many years before we knew that urbex existed but this would be our first.
A river separates the site from the Oxford road station with a wall which nearly circles the site and is wide enough to ride a bike along although not this time!
The security fellow seemed quite keen and during one recce we were asked why we were looking at the building after only being there five minutes, so I had chosen to go in from the opposite end to his cabin, this access would involve a bit of sneaking under people noses so just added a little extra spice.
Around 10 pm we travel to Manchester and grab a quick bite to eat, relax for five mins and discuss the job.
I'm feeling pretty strung out as I had been up late the previous night on a gas tower in sunny Lancashire but the excitement was starting to build and this lethargic feeling soon subsided.
Now I reckon to have this job pretty cased and know exactly how we will get to the crane, having mitigated the most possible amount of risk there was, it was now just a case of having a go.
I have heard it said that risks are something taken by urbexers desperate to impress but if we are honest well there is more left to chance than we would like to believe.
We arrive at a carpark near the job and take a quick look from the train station that overlooks the site to make sure nothing's changed since I last had visited, all looked well so we dropped down and skulked down an alley to a gated bin area which we entered over.
A bank of balconies are looking down on to us and our intended inroad to the site, the sound of pissed up students on the balconies makes us a little cautious and we mount a wall to walk round to a crossing point over the river onto the site. Across this and into the site we duck behind a wall to work out the best way up to the crane.
At this moment the security guy comes out of his cabin shouting "get out" which puts us into flight mode but his attention is not directed at us but some other people he has spotted perhaps with the same idea we had.
He escorts these folk out of the site and all goes quiet so we scale a couple of floors up the half built structure before sneaking into the stairwell near the crane to have a quick chat about tactics and a smoke...i look round at the security cabin just as he opens the door to do his rounds again and i freeze, has he spotted us, are we about to be denied this chance?
I haven't been spotted even though he was looking directly at me. He may have seen movement though and is obviously coming for a look.
We bolt up the stairs and out onto some rebar of a partially built floor pretty certain he does not get paid enough to follow us out there whilst we wait til it all goes quiet again, which it does, nice..
Down the stairs we go and after a quick check round to see that mr secca is in his cabin happy and satisfiied he has repelled an intrusion earlier, we climb over a ply formed wall surrounding the crane, onto the first set of ladders to a locked hatch barring access.
Stone monkey squeezes through a tiny gap climbing to the next platform past the hatch and I follow.
We stop around halfway to admire the view before we ascend the endless ladders to the top of the crane..an ambulance and several police cars turn up on the road below to tend a inebriated youth who is spark out on the pavement so with the blue lights flashing below we top out onto the boom.
Hands are shook whilst we look down on the twinkling lights of Manchester centre, the sounds of nightlife drift up along with the occasional sound of emergency vehicle sirens screaming about..otherwise it's strangely peaceful from up here.
The view is stunning so we set about taking a bunch of bad photographs with bad cameras that we barely know how to use for the next twenty minutes before down climbing and sneaking our way off the site the same way we entered.
Although quite a technically simple job the security and exciting sneaky approach all put in to make a fantastic experience that seen us awake for the rest of the night.
High on endorphins we drive home for a beer and another one is crossed off the list....a list that's growing and growing every time we walk down the street.

Thanks for reading


mr pink

building magician!
28DL Full Member
Not a novel kenning just another tall but true story but thanks for the compliment

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Good effort lads and a good write up too :thumb

@Ojay what gear?? 2 crappy cameras is all we took.
And I'm sure we would be able to pull you through. Lol
I don't think it's the cameras or equipment he'd struggle pulling up these days, think he's eaten too many safety pies recently :D

mr pink

building magician!
28DL Full Member
thanks lads
hey nowt wrong with pies, they are part of my targeted diet for climbing, which has served me well over the years.....keep at the pies ojay

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