From our office window we have a wonderful view of Salts Mill and we were somewhat surprised yesterday to see men abseiling down the enormous chimney. Closer inspection, on my way home, revealed a series of ladders roped together (looking fairly precarious, it has to be said!) going all the way up to the top. The workmen were constructing a scaffold platform. The technology used doesn't appear to have changed a great deal since the chimney was first built - a few ropes and pulleys, and the planks and scaffold bars being hauled up by hand, one by one, from the men at the bottom to the men at the top.
An article in the local press says they are steeplejacks (wonderful word, I always think!) from Access Steeplejacks Ltd in Leeds, who will be working for the next six weeks or so to plug the chimney against rain, replace the lightning conductors and carry out repointing and other essential repairs. I'm glad the chimney is being preserved - but rather them than me!
At least it wasn't raining today, though you would rarely see a duller August day. :(