Wednesday
Mar222017

EMPIRE STATE OF MIND

This year is the 200th birthday of the roller coaster, the first, "The Russian Mountains of Belleville" was built in Paris in 1817. This was little more than a hill and wheeled cart, since then they have become faster, higher and not for the faint hearted. For this reason I found myself at Thorpe Park for TNR and Taylor Herring to celebrate with a group of maintenance workers. 
 
I have been to the park many times and have been to the top of all of its roller coasters and you never quite remember how high they are till you are at the bottom looking up. This is never more true than when it comes to Stealth the fastest and second tallest in the UK, on which you are propelled 62 meters up at 80mph. However this time would be a little different, instead of being locked in to very secure carriage I would be travelling to the top a little slower in a box, suspended from a crane. There is nothing to quite describe the feeling of looking at open ended cage knowing that you are about to be hauled 205ft up in air like so much building material. 
 
 
This was nothing compared to maintenance workers who were climbing all the way up. They looked like the tiny dots of climbers starting the accent of Everest now I have no fear of heights so long I am not the one in control of getting me to them. I have to admit as we got to the top and I had to let go of the side to operate the camera my stomach did lurch but there is something about the camera that stops you from worrying about how high you are and makes you just appreciate the view. The wind of course was blowing us around all over the place so that we had to take turns shooting as the basket spun around but overall it was pretty calming. The maintenance workers were of course totally unfazed literally hanging around having some cake sat on top. Just like the iconic picture of the builders having lunch on a girder during construction of the empire state (sort of) apart from with safety equipment and zero chance of death.
So in short just another boring day at work suspended by a crane higher than Nelson's column having a discussion with some guys sat on top of roller coaster about how they have run out of prosecco at 7am.

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