Video: Steeplejack gets birds eye view of Leeds

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A lone cockerel standing high on top of a landmark church spire is getting its very own makeover, as well as stopping traffic.

Repair work to the historic copper weather vane on top of St Michael and All Angels Church, near Headingley’s cricket ground, has been attracting attention.

YEP photographer Mark Bickerdike who climbed to the top of St Michael's Church steeple in Headingley to picture steeplejack David Newall with the new weather vane.

YEP photographer Mark Bickerdike who climbed to the top of St Michael's Church steeple in Headingley to picture steeplejack David Newall with the new weather vane.

Vital improvements to crumbling stonework holding the spire in place are also taking place after environmental disintegration from the elements.

The project has meant that a huge scaffolding tower has had to be erected so steeplejacks can work in safety, hundreds of feet up.

Church verger Ben Ellis said people had been stopping and asking what was happening.

“Some have even been taking photographs of the workmen up there, it is so high. It is becoming a talking point.

“Repair work is only possible thanks to the church parishioners who have worked tirelessly to raise funds with events 
such as sales and fairs to pay 
for this much needed improvement.

“It is just deterioration from the weather, but this is the first major repair work which has taken place.”

He said the church was 
built around 1886 and the 
cockerel was the original, only taken down once before for painting.

Repairs include the removal of crumbling stonework and repairs to the spire.

Vicar Tony Whatmough added: “The spire has been in place for around 130 years.”

PINNACLE OF HIS CAREER!

YEP photographer Mark Bickerdike has years of experience capturing the best images of events from sports to courts and the makeover at St Michael and All Angels Church left him compelled to climb hundreds of feet alongside steeplejacks to reach the restored weather cockerel. He was assisted by the specialist firm brought in to help carry out the work, M Hird and Sons of Keighley.

Mark said: “This is one of the high spots of my 25 years at the YEP. I’m just grateful to have got down safely.”

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