Client: Pendrich Height services (a PTSG Group company). Working on behalf of Blackpool Council, the towers owners.
Blackpool Tower is a Grade 1 listed building. Erected & opened to the public in 1894 it was the tallest man made structure in the British Empire. It is 518 feet (158m tall) and is the 125th tallest freestanding tower in the world.
A survey by Pendrich & Structural Engineers ARuP identified that the existing ladders were no longer fit for purpose. Safety Fabrications were invited to design replacement ladders to create Safe Access between the Roof of the Tower Buildings & the Sky deck (Tower Eye) at 380 feet (120m).
The unique design of the Tower – inclined in two planes meant that at no point could the ladder between platforms be vertical. This created an additional challenge as it meant that no fixing bracket position replicated up the length of the ladder – each bracket having to be secured to the lattice work of steel members which make up the towers intricate structure – a structure which moves & flexes in high winds.
The ladder design was dictated by the location of the existing landing platforms – this was a required to not detract from the aesthetics of the Grade 1 structure.
Once the design was approved the manufacture of the ladders commenced at Safety Fabrications Sheffield manufacturing facility. Once complete the ladders were then galvanise coated & specialist painted to protect the finished ladders from the ravages of the Irish Sea.
In the first instance Aluminium fixing brackets were supplied to allow the ladders to be temporarily fixed by Pendrich’s on site team of specialist steeplejacks & abseilers. Once installed these aluminium brackets were subsequently removed & used as templates for the manufacture of the permanent mild steel brackets.