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Blue Peter star joins steeplejack for final cathedral climb
Salisbury Cathedral Spire
Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton climbing the spire of Salisbury Cathedral

A veteran steeplejack has been joined by Blue Peter Presenter Helen Skelton to scale Salisbury Cathedral's spire for the very last time.

The 404ft (123m) tall spire, the tallest in the country, has a number of warning lights installed to warn aircraft.

The job of replacing the bulbs normally falls to Brian Moor from East Harnham.

Brian has been climbing the 'metal hoops' set into the stonework for the last 40 years without a harness.

"You have to come out of a weather door at about 35/40ft from the top of the spire," said Brian.

"I have to take a safety line out first of all because there isn't one up there.

"Once I've set the line up then everyone else can come up."

Salisbury Cathedral Spire
Changing the cathedral's light bulbs draws a crowd

On Thursday, the 'everyone else' joining Brian on the spire included an abseiling BBC cameraman and Blue Peter's intrepid presenter Helen Skelton.

Helen, since joining Blue Peter in 2008, has run a 78 mile marathon in Namibia and kayaked the river Amazon.

"I had a talk with her first of all," said Brian, "and then I said to her when you get to the door make sure you look down.

"If you come out of the door and look up and the clouds are on the run, you'll tend to follow the clouds and it would certainly make you feel a bit dodgy."

It normally requires a number of trips climbing up and abseiling down the spire to change the four orange bulbs. But it's a job that Brian has become proficient at.

"If I was doing them on my own I'd do all the light bulbs in about an hour," said Brian.

"It took Helen [Skelton] a bit longer than that but she was brilliant. I take my hat off to her. She was brilliant."

Although it was supposed to be Brian's last climb up Salisbury Cathedral, before he retires from the business, a dud bulb meant that he was back up the spire the following day to resolve the problem.




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