Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England

The death of a swan

Date December 2007
Posted December 2012
Climbing the condemned Swan Hunter crane
The cranes had been condemned to exile, along with the other parts of the Swan Hunter shipyard that hadn't been earmarked for scrap. Ultimately most of the metalwork would end up in India, China or Singapore, but not before being given a late-night winter send-off. I remember clearly the night we made it to the very top, frozen half to death as we crept through the well-secured yard and worked our way up a series of internal ladders to the cab. From here it was a harrowing climb with little or no protection all the way up the jib, the colossal thing bouncing with the bitterly cold wind coming in off the Tyne. As the icy blast howled around us we peeked over the top of the crane and down to the black water below. Only then did the gravity of the situation I'd placed myself in truly become clear...

Swan Hunter Shipbuilding, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England (2007) courtesy of adventuretwo.net

Swan Hunter Shipbuilding, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England (2007) courtesy of adventuretwo.net

Swan Hunter Shipbuilding, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England (2007) courtesy of adventuretwo.net

Swan Hunter Shipbuilding, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England (2007) courtesy of adventuretwo.net

Maybe some day I'll go and hunt down the giant red cranes in India...

Swan Hunter Shipbuilding, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England (2007) courtesy of adventuretwo.net
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Further reading...

Last cranes go BBC
Swan Hunter Wikipedia
Shipyard stories twmuseums.org.uk

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