Working the high life in Hawkchurch

VISITORS to the church at Hawkchurch recently will have had the chance to see some unusual work going on.

VISITORS to the church at Hawkchurch recently will have had the chance to see some unusual work going on.

With water getting into the tower, the church authorities called in the services of Jon Ingham and Guy Barrett, who specialise in conservation work, on the end of a rope.

The pair, who were both keen climbers, have been carrying out re-pointing work on the tower and while they were up there, have carried out a photographic survey of the structure.

Mr Ingham explained how they got involved in their specialist field.

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He said: "Both myself and Guy did a lot of climbing when we were younger and we both worked in conservation, so it seemed natural to marry up the two.

"It is an unusual business, with a fairly unique crossover of disciplines. There is not much competition."

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He also said it was a much cheaper way to carry out some repairs than bringing in scaffolding.

Among the projects the pair have worked on are the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and the Oxford Centre for Missionary Studies.

Mr Ingham said: "The work can be quite challenging and it depends on where we are asked to get to.

"Some places have quite elaborate buttresses and they can be challenging, because you are suspended on a rope."

He said they tend not to spend the weekends climbing now, as they are "a bit long in the tooth" for that but try to make a living from it instead.

He did say they take an active interest in outdoor pursuits such as walking and mountaineering.

The work at Hawkchurch has now been completed and took around two weeks to finish.

If you would like to learn more about the projects the pair have worked on, visit and click on the link.

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