• Nash Peake Works,Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 5BT England

Our 70th Year in Business

Our 70th year in business has been fantastic, with turnover for both the steeplejack/specialist access division and lightning protection division far exceeding original expectation.

Showcased below are just a handful of notable projects which highlight the variety of specialist work that we have successfully completed in 2019.

Concrete Chimney Demolition – St Helens, UK

Successful completion of the demolition of a 91.5m high reinforced concrete chimney in St Helens, UK.

The demolition of this chimney was carried out in a piecemeal fashion down 20m above ground level using our innovative sliding band scaffold platform which enables the scaffolding to be lowered as the demolition proceeds. The bottom 20m of the chimney was demolished using a high reach machine.

Our team of steeplejacks worked tirelessly throughout this contract and completed the project ahead of schedule and to the complete satisfaction of the client who had this to say on completion of the contract;

“Dear Matt,

Firstly please thank the guys from me again, they did a remarkable job without any issues/incidents and well within timescales, they are a credit to your team!

Secondly thanks to you, Carl and Nick for the management of the project.”

Site Engineering Manager

“I would like to extend my thanks to the Cowley Hill Team & Rafferty’s for their outstanding execution of what was quite a challenging project.

The work was completed without any safety incidents and on budget / to time.”

Strategic Program Director

The time lapse video below shows the demolition from start to finish.

Brick Chimney Repair Works – Stockport, UK

Refurbishment works on a 66m high redundant brick chimney in Stockport, UK.

Rafferty’s were initially contracted to carry out a full external inspection of the chimney and were subsequently employed to undertake repair works within the clients budget restraints.

The repair work consisted of and included;

  • Restoration of the decorative chimney head stonework
  • Re-pointing the top 14m of the chimney with a lime mixed mortar
  • Removal and replacement of all steel retaining bands
  • Modifications and repairs to the lightning protection system

We captured some fantastic drone footage of this particular project which can be viewed below.

Concrete Chimney Demolition – Bow, London

Successful completion of a highly complex project to dismantle a 42m high pre-cast concrete chimney directly adjacent to a live railway line in Bow, London.

The controlled demolition or dismantling of any tall structure is usually a highly complex undertaking in itself however, place this structure directly next to one of London’s main railway lines (which had to remain live at all times) adds a whole other level of complexity.

The construction of this particular chimney consisted of a square reinforced concrete base which was surmounted by 24 No. pre-cast concrete rings which formed the external concrete structure of the chimney. Internally the chimney housed 4 No. steel liners. Our remit was to dismantle all 24 No. pre-cast concrete rings and the 4 No. internal steel liners, leaving the base in-situ for demolition by others.

Two sliding band scaffold platforms were installed at the termination point of the chimney which are specifically designed to enable them to be systematically lowered throughout the course of the dismantling process. The bottom scaffold platform was used to prepare each concrete ring for dismantling by exposing the tie rods connecting each section together. The top scaffold platform was then used to enable the dismantling of each concrete ring section. Each concrete ring section weighed 7T and required a 250T heavy lifting mobile crane to carefully dismantle and lower each section to ground level. When considering the close proximity of the rail line and the small and restricted area of the site itself, the positioning and slew restrictions of this large crane had to be determined with such precision that our in-house CPCS Appointed Person had to produce CAD drawings to detail it’s exact position, as every millimeter counted to ensure that the jib of the crane would not fall on to the live tracks of the railway line in the unlikely event of a crane failure.

Our methodology for the safe and controlled dismantling of this chimney underwent vigorous scrutiny by Network Rail engineers and consultants however, our vast experience in complex industrial chimney demolitions in live environments and the meticulous attention to detail applied throughout this contract from start to finish enabled us to completely satisfy all requirements and the project was subsequently completed ahead of schedule and without incident.

Church Lightning Protection System Upgrade

This particular Church has been struck by lightning several times in recent years and in 2014 a strike caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage. Rafferty’s were awarded the contract to design and install a complete lightning protection system to the church in compliance with BS EN 62305.

To install the lightning protection system access had to be gained to all levels and orientations of the church building. The church spire rises to a colossal 59.74m (196ft) above ground level and the upper most roof apex rises to approximately 30m (98.5ft) above ground level. Our steeplejack & specialist access division teamed up with our lightning protection division to provide a full turnkey installation project, using various forms of specialist access and rope access techniques. Our versatility when working at height avoided the need to install scaffolding from ground level to the high level locations of the church building which paid dividends for the client on this project, saving them tens of thousands of pounds in potential scaffolding costs alone.

On-line Steel Chimney Repair Works – Northern Ireland

Successful completion of emergency repair works to a 91m high steel chimney in Northern Ireland.

The works included the installation of specialist steeplejack access equipment and scaffolding to enable the dismantling and replacement of a deteriorated and unsafe steel up-stand at the termination point of the chimney. The replacement up-stand section was designed in-house and manufactured from stainless steel. It was designed in flanged & bolted sections to enable installation whilst the chimney remained in operation, avoiding the need for an unplanned shutdown and the requirement to hire a large and expensive mobile crane to lift the new section in to position. The full height of the 91m high steel chimney was also cleaned down and re-painted as part of the project.

Our innovative design and access methods along with our vast experience of working on chimneys that are operational ensured that this particular project was successfully completed without the need for an unplanned and forced shutdown, enabling the client to continue their 365 day, 24/7 operation of the chimney.

Brick Chimney Repair Works – Aberdeen, Scotland

Full refurbishment of a 40m high redundant brick chimney on a new housing development in Aberdeen Scotland.

The Riverside Quarter housing development in Aberdeen is being built on the site of what was once Davidson’s Paper Mill. The 40m high brick chimney which previously serviced the Paper Mill was constructed in the late 1800’s and is to remain as a heritage feature of the new development.

Rafferty’s were initially contracted to carry out a full external and internal inspection of the chimney and provided a detailed written condition report complete with recommendations for a longstanding repair solution to which we were subsequently employed to undertake.

The work consisted of a complete refurbishment of the chimney and included;

  • Re-pointing the full height of the chimney with a lime mixed mortar
  • Removal and replacement of all 19 No. steel retaining bands
  • Design & installation of a purpose made steel capping arrangement to fully cap off and seal the termination point of the chimney
  • Design and installation of a new lightning protection system in accordance with BS EN 62305

The client had this to say on successful completion of the project;

The chimney is looking great and can I also say that dealing with your men on site and your business in general has been very professional. I would be happy to recommend Rafferty’s to others if they required similar works to be done.

Dave Scott – Contracts Manager, Barratt Homes

Maintenance & Painting of 3 No. Fuel Silos – Scunthorpe, UK

Our specialist skills and versatility when working at height can be adapted to any tall structure and this particular project highlights the cost saving benefits of the services that we can offer to clients.

Rafferty’s utilised specialist access and rope access techniques to carry out maintenance and the complete re-painting of 3 No. fuel silo structures, avoiding the requirement and associated expense for extensive scaffolding access.

The photographs below show before and after photos of the re-painting works.

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Climbing for Industry for 70 Years

The year 2019 means that we can now proudly and officially state that we have been in business for 70 years!

The steeplejack and lightning protection industry has changed drastically since we originally established ourselves in 1949 and we are extremely proud to have helped spearhead the industry in the UK over the past seven decades.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our valued clients, suppliers, employees and stakeholders who have all played a crucial part in helping us achieve 70 years in business, it would not have been possible without them.

We hope to still be climbing for industry for the next 70 years!

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2018 A Year for Diversification

First and foremost we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

The year 2018 will see the Company achieve its 69th year in business. Whilst predominantly being a leading name in the industrial chimney and steeplejack industry since 1949, the Company is now looking to diversify in to other sectors of the service industry which are closely linked to the services we have provided throughout our history.

 

Lightning Protection

Since its formation the Company has consistently carried out lightning protection work but in 2017 Rafferty’s recruited key employees to bolster this sector of our business, most notably, employing Steve Jacques who has 22 years’ experience in the industry. Steve gained his experience working for arguably the biggest Lightning Protection company in the UK and he has been tasked to head up our lightning protection services department. With the addition of Steve and several others, Rafferty’s can offer our clients a full comprehensive service whatever their requirements are in relation to lightning protection. For further information about our lightning protection services please feel free to contact us or have a browse the lightning protection services section on our website.

 

Specialist Access Services

Our vast experience and specialised methods of working at height on industrial chimneys can be adapted to almost any type of high level structure. We are now offering a multitude of services in high level inspection, maintenance and installation for industrial or commercial structures. To view our full range of services in this respect, please feel free to browse the specialist access services section on our website and contract us for any enquiries.

 

Our Objective

The key to the success of our Company during its 69 year history is repeat business and we have achieved this by providing our clients with a personal and quality service which is second to none. The Company has always been (and still is) a family run business and this ethos is engrained throughout the Company and will continue to apply to all services we are now proud to offer.

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Happy New Year

Rafferty Steeplejacks would like to wish their customers, suppliers and everyone associated with the company a happy and prosperous new year.  We look forward to working with you during our 68th year in business.

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Level 3 Rope Access Technician Required

Rafferty’s are seeking to employ a level 3 rope access technician with working experience in the steeplejack and lightning protection industry.

For all enquiries please contact Carl Woodroffe or Alex Bradley in our contracts department.

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Happy New Year!

Rafferty Steeplejacks would like to wish all their customers and suppliers a Happy New Year and prosperous 2016!

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Nick Rafferty Achieves 40 Years Service

The year 2015 sees Nick Rafferty, second generation of the Rafferty family of steeplejacks, achieve 40 years service with the company.

At the young age of 16, Nick started work for the Company on 1 April 1975 as an apprentice steeplejack which, coincidently, just so happened to be April fools day!  On his first day on the job he was tasked with laddering a 250ft brick chimney on Holditch Colliery in Stoke-on-Trent… At this point he began to wonder whether the date was really just an unfortunate coincidence!

Before the days of Health & Safety where ‘free climbing’ i.e. climbing without fall arrest equipment was the norm, Nick’s on-site training consisted of a word of advice from his father, Sam Rafferty, who pulled him to one side and said “Nicky… always keep a hand for yourself!” That was it, that was his training for the day. Thankfully, Nick never forgot those wise words of advice and worked as steeplejack for 6 years learning the trade up until a turn in his father’s health meant that he was brought in to the office to carry out more of a managerial role.

When Nick began his management career in the early 80’s the company was trying to grow and establish itself on a National basis.  Before the days of internet marketing this was no easy task and could only be done one way… by knocking on doors.  Nick travelled the length and breadth of the country in search of new customers and business and his efforts paid off.  His natural determination, enthusiasm and entrepreneurship culminated in Rafferty’s establishing itself as one of, if not, the most well known steeplejack company in the UK.

After firmly establishing the company as a major player in the UK market, Nick then set his sights oversees.  From the early 90’s through to the present day Rafferty’s have completed contracts all over the World in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.

Throughout his career Nick has taken the company to unprecedented heights… please excuse the pun!  Now with four grandchildren giving him the run around he is enjoying semi retirement and now only comes in to work when he needs a rest!  That being said Nick was, and still is, the most treasured and valuable asset of the business and we would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his decades of hard work which will always be appreciated.

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Rafferty Steeplejacks to Appear on The One Show!

Tune in to The One Show tonight at 7pm to see Rafferty Steeplejacks giving Santa a helping hand to climb down what could possibly be the biggest chimney he has ever encountered.

The show will also be available on iplayer 30 days after transmission.

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