http://www.sheffieldtoday.net/ViewArticle.aspx?SectionID=58&ArticleID=1911886Deadly climb craze
By Richard Marsden
A POTENTIALLY deadly new craze of scaling scaffolding on Sheffield's tallest buildings and exploring derelict sites was today branded "criminal".
Enthusiasts of urban exploration - described as the examination of normally unseen or off-limits areas of towns and cities - were condemned after targeting Sheffield Cathedral and the former Jessop Women's Hospital and then posting pictures on the internet.
Their exploits are detailed on website www.28dayslater.co.uk - one of a network of internet web pages dedicated to the risky pastime - and include two visits to Sheffield Cathedral.
Explorers boasted how they evaded a security guard, whom they claimed was watching TV, to get to scaffolding at the base of the cathedral for workmen to carry out repairs.
They said they also avoided the attention of nearby police by wearing high visibility jackets, before climbing up the tower and taking spectacular photographs of the view.
On a trip to the former Jessop Hospital, Brook Hill - now owned by Sheffield University - a group climbed in through an open window before peering around old corridors and even exploring the mortuary.
Urban explorers say they have also visited derelict warehouses and buildings once associated with the steel industry
They stress their aim is to take pictures of Sheffield's heritage before it is lost to redevelopment, and say they do not cause any damage.
Enthusiasts say they also targeted the cathedral because the scaffolding presented a rare
opportunity to see different views of the city. The Rev Canon Dr Joanne Grenfell, diocesan director of ordinands and residentiary canon at Sheffield Cathedral, said: "It has been brought to our attention that there have been attempts to climb Sheffield Cathedral's spire.
"These incidents will be investigated fully.
"Sheffield Cathedral takes security and public safety seriously, especially during our building and development work, and we undertake regular reviews of security and public safety in partnership with our contractors.
"We would like to remind climbers that they are endangering themselves and others by unauthorised climbing.
"We ask members of the public not to enter the building site, and warn that we will contact the police if anyone is caught trespassing."
A Sheffield University spokeswoman said today: "We continue to work with South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield Council to take steps to effectively manage the security of this site. This has included additional police patrols in the area and 24-hour CCTV monitoring .
"The site opposite St George's Church is being prepared for demolition and renovation and is therefore not an active University site. It has been handed over to demolition contractors who are responsible for the site.
"We hope to prevent any future misuse of the old Jessop hospital site."
One Sheffield explorer, who did not wish to be named but was on the visits to both Sheffield Cathedral and Jessop Hospital, said: "We normally visit places which are going to disappear and are a part of our history.
"The cathedral was a bit different. It was a unique opportunity to see the city centre from a different perspective. We never damage anything. Breaking in is something we would not do. Our motto is 'take only photographs and leave only footprints'."
"There is an element of risk but we take all precautions we can. It's worth it to see places which are so important and could be lost."