Apparently yesterday, Friday, was World Photography Day. News to me, I have to say, but I thought perhaps I should share what I was doing on such an auspicious day.
I got up at sparrow fart and drove to Poole to photograph the finishing touches being put to some large roof light sections of the new Farringdon Rail Station in central London. I photographed the same sections at a much earlier stage in their fabrication, but yesterday was to see two of these enormous erections transported from one side of the country to the other and raised into place.
It dawned on me that it would be the only journey these structures would ever make, and that once in position they will never move again until such time as the station is demolished, and who knows when that might ever be. I then realized that I am the only person to have witnessed the entire journey from the ground in a yard in Poole, to the roof of the station. But by the power of photography, you can witness it too.
Roof light lifted onto the wagon at the fabricator's yard in Poole, Dorset. This is one of nine such sections, eight of which, like this one, weigh 13 tonnes. Photo: © Michael Cockerham 2011
Loaded onto the wagon and ready to go. Two rooflights were moved in convoy with escort vehicles. Photo: © Michael Cockerham 2011
Once out of Poole the roof sections head for London on the M27. Photo: © Michael Cockerham 2011
The convoy parks up at Fleet Services for a rest. Photo: © Michael Cockerham 2011
The convoy had to leave the M3 at junction 3 and go across country to avoid a low bridge on the motorway. Photo: © Michael Cockerham 2011
There were many places along the route where the clearance between items of street furniture was measured in fractions of an inch. Photo: © Michael Cockerham 2011
Last light as the convoy passes through Hanger Lane. Photo: © Michael Cockerham 2011
Once the haulier pulls up outside the site on Farringdon Road, the erection team get to work quickly to attach the rigging ready for the lift. All the traffic on the road is stopped once the lift begins. Photo: © Michael Cockerham 2011
Once lifted from the wagon, the section is raised to the roof by a 600 tonne crane. Photo: © Michael Cockerham 2011
The section is gently lowered into place on the roof of the new station building. The crane driver is blind at this point and the whole operation is guided by a skilled banksman. Photo: © Michael Cockerham 2011
In their final resting place the roof light sections wait for the first day break they will see from the same position for the rest of their lives. Photo: © Michael Cockerham 2011