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‘They wore suits and ties’: amazing photos of fearless workers on cathedral spire

PUBLISHED: 08:55 20 September 2020 | UPDATED: 08:55 20 September 2020

Kim's grandfather George Paul working on the belll tower. Picture: Supplied by Kim Paul

Kim's grandfather George Paul working on the belll tower. Picture: Supplied by Kim Paul

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Amazing photos have come to light of death-defying workers replacing the weathercock on Norwich Cathedral spire in 1963.

Kim's grandfather George Paul (left) working on the belll tower. Picture: Supplied by Kim PaulKim's grandfather George Paul (left) working on the belll tower. Picture: Supplied by Kim Paul

The men are looking cool and calm as they lean out over Norwich - with nothing between them and the ground hundreds of feet below.

The photos came from Kim Paul, whose grandfather is one of the men, and whose interest was piqued by last month’s refurbishment of the weathercock.

For many years Miss Paul, from Costessey, did not know the role George Paul played in the last restoration project in 1963.

More: Norwich Cathedral’s weathercock to shine bright once again after restoration project

It was only following his death in 1999 the family discovered pictures of him working on the spire.

Kim's grandfather George Paul working on the belll tower. Picture: Supplied by Kim PaulKim's grandfather George Paul working on the belll tower. Picture: Supplied by Kim Paul

When the 44-year-old heard about the works taking place at the end of August, she knew she had to see the weathercock for herself as she would not see it again in her lifetime.

Her connection with the cathedral began in 2017 when she started working on its peregrine project.

There she met her now fiancé Chris Skipper, who proposed to her last year on the bell tower. The couple were due to marry in the cathedral in May but have postponed their big day.

Miss Paul said: “When I do go through those doors to get married, I will be thinking about Chris on our special day, but it is going to be more emotional because of that connection with the weathercock, I will feel a part of my granddad there with me on the day.”More: Meet the man who took down Norwich Cathedral’s weathercock in 1963

Mr Paul was working for WS Lusher and worked with Bob James, from Sprowston, as part of the team tasked with removing the cockerel from the spire 57 years ago.

Kim's grandfather George Paul working on the belll tower. Picture: Supplied by Kim PaulKim's grandfather George Paul working on the belll tower. Picture: Supplied by Kim Paul

Speaking to Mr James, she learnt he helped put up the scaffolding and was at the top of the spire to bring the cockerel down.

Miss Paul said: “He didn’t really go into it much. As the years went by the cathedral would come up in conversation. You have to speak to people, it’s so important to speak to your own family to get that history and all that information. It’s so difficult to get that information and all the pieces of the jigsaw once they are gone.”

More: What a view - but would you dare? Experts remove weather vane from Cathedral spire

On Thursday, Miss Paul watched as the renovated weathercock made the 315ft journey up to its home at the top of the cathedral’s spire.

She said: “When I look at some of the pictures and he is standing there so relaxed all these feet up in the air and not a care in the world. They all wore suits and ties as well.”

Kim's grandfather George Paul (left) working on the belll tower. Picture: Supplied by Kim PaulKim's grandfather George Paul (left) working on the belll tower. Picture: Supplied by Kim Paul

You may also want to watch:

Kim Paul and fiance Chris Skipper with the weathercock after it was brought down in August. Picture: Chris SkipperKim Paul and fiance Chris Skipper with the weathercock after it was brought down in August. Picture: Chris Skipper

Kim Paul with the newly restored weathercock before it was returned to the top of Norwich Cathedral spire. Picture: Kim PaulKim Paul with the newly restored weathercock before it was returned to the top of Norwich Cathedral spire. Picture: Kim Paul


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