If you’re hoping to read about The Rolling Stones or The Who then I’m sorry but I’m going to disappoint you – instead I am talking about when “Mother Nature” flexed her muscles (and the tower!) with a show of strength and force by way of “Storm Doris” on Thursday 23 February 2017.
We had a “Seeing is Believing” demonstration booked for the afternoon, despite a few people having cancelled the day before (maybe they heard about the predicted winds!), but in true Studor fashion we decided that “the show must go on”! Around lunch time we could feel the tower rocking and rolling in beat with the wind, and decided that as we had a few minutes to spare before our guests arrived that we’d travel to the very top of the tower.
The journey in the lift should have prepared us with a few side scrapes on the way up in the lift car, but when the doors opened at the top… WOW! Never before in the 2 years I have been at the tower had I ever felt the experience of such a sway! Ed Wright, the National Lift Tower Manager, had an app on his phone which measured the sway at about 2 degrees from centre. We quickly decided being that high and starting to feel land sick from the swaying motion that it was a good idea to get down lower!
What exactly is 2 degrees at that height? Well, thanks to Phil Henry of Polypipe Terrain obviously paying attention to trigonometry classes at school, and the rest of us trying to look clever with the aid of a little friend called Google(!), the calculations were done – we worked out that the top of the tower was moving about 75mm off centre with each gust of wind.
Needless to say, the show went on regardless, and the Studor System once again proved to outperform the standard vented drainage system built to the code in every way, but for the next 24 hours I could still feel the sway in my legs!
I’m sincerely hoping that “Storm Ewan” stays well clear of the tower whilst I’m up there this week…