The tower cranes of a city – appreciating the view

The tower cranes of a city

Working in construction I think I can get away with my obsession with tower cranes. I have no idea where it comes from. Maybe it goes back to the image of the New York workers sitting on a steel beam over the city. There’s something about tower cranes which just feels synonymous with prosperity.

I’ve been used to observing tower cranes around London. The habit of walking to familiar locations, marked by the skyline. The constant of cranes as buildings emerge from the ground and alter the view.

And now I’ve been able to witness the same in Cardiff.

For the past six weeks I have been enduring longer trips to London. And I really do mean enduring. I am used to the weekly journey but whilst the Severn tunnel has been closed for electrification works the diversion has put an hour onto my journey. It’s the hour which takes travelling from bearable to exhausting.

Part of this is caused by the waiting. My local train gets into Cardiff at 6.40, and whilst my ‘usual’ train would leave at 6.55 I’m now left waiting until 7.25 for a train.

And new habits form. I pick up a coffee and sit in the waiting room. And as dawn washes over so the city comes to life.

The reason I associate tower cranes with prosperity is that the construction industry is always the first to go into recession and the last to leave. Tower cranes means we are building, which means recession is a little further away. 

And like prosperity, the first sign of a city coming to life are tower cranes moving.

As I sit with my coffee, and light takes over the city, so you can watch a solitary man climbing. I’m not sure if he’s stopping for breath at platforms or just absorbing the view. The tower cranes of a cityAs he climbs I can’t help but think of this as a perfect job. Breathtaking views of my favourite city.

Then my practicality kicks in. He doesn’t appear to be carrying anything. What about food and drink? Dare I even think about other necessities?

And as the tower crane swings into life so the building begins. Concrete and steel moved to create structure storey by storey.

A city grows.

Whatever the city, the story’s the same.The tower cranes of a city


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  • Reply
    November 16, 2016 at 12:45

    Hi Debbie,

    My heart goes out to you for the constant delays suffered in the UK with regards to transport, it’s one of our less finer qualities. I hope you found a lot of great things to focus on other than the wait. You have a great take on the views of the crane dotted landscape. In many ways it’s serene and hypnotic. Your photography is great, you have really captured the essence of the shot with your camera skills, thanks for a unique insight into something most people would just ignore

  • Reply
    Kunal Raval
    April 17, 2020 at 11:26

    Cranes are very useful to lift heavy things or good, I visited one site there I saw without crane it next to possible to lift goods and heavy material. I really like your blog, Thanks for the sharing!

  • Reply
    Welders Auckland
    September 12, 2020 at 15:03

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  • Reply
    Outboard Servicing Auckland
    December 17, 2020 at 10:11

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  • Reply
    William Son
    February 24, 2021 at 10:18

    Thank for Sharing such a nice post.

  • Reply
    Jame son
    March 11, 2021 at 09:14

    Thank you for this Post that was so helpful for me.

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