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

London Contract Secured

Rafferty’s have secured a sizable contract to carry out maintenance works on 2 No. 89m high twin flue steel chimneys and 1 No. 33m high multi flue steel chimney for a valued customer in London, UK.

The maintenance works are planned to start at the end of September and will require a specialised team of steeplejack operatives for a duration of nearly 8 weeks.

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Emergency Repair Works Complete UK Power Plant

Rafferty’s have successfully completed emergency structural repair works to 2 No. steel chimneys on a Power Plant in the South West of England.

The 65m high x 6.3m diameter stacks had suffered corrosion attack and deterioration to the steel shell which required immediate structural plating works. An innovative scaffolding arrangement enabled safe access for our steeplejack and welder plater operatives to undertake the works from both inside and outside of the structures throughout their full circumference.

Rafferty’s highly specialised workforce along with their vast experience of structural repairs to steel chimney structures proved paramount on this project. Our swift and professional approach ensured the future structural integrity of these chimneys, much to the relief of our valued client.

The following photographs show the typical defects located and our steeplejacks and welder platers at work. Please click on the images to enlarge.

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Northern Ireland Contract Secured

Rafferty’s have secured a contract to carry out structural repairs and modifications to a 73.2m high multi flue steel chimney for a valued customer in Northern Ireland.

Following a re-design and feasibility study of the structure it was determined that the existing helical strake wind stabilisers should be removed and a new liquid filled stabilsing damper system be installed. Steel stiffening work is also required to areas of the chimney windshield where metal loss has previously occured.

The contract is expected to take approximately 4/5 weeks and will be undertaken by a team of 3 steeplejack operatives, two of which are fully coded welder platers.

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Rafferty Steeplejacks Take Transport Seriously

The management of Rafferty Steeplejacks regard the transport of their labour and equipment as an intergral part of our safe and reliable service to our valued customers. Rafferty’s continually review, maintain and update their fleet of transport and have today taken delivery of a new £20,000.00 Mercedes Vito van. The new van can comfortably transport 3 steeplejack operatives along with large quantities of plant, equipment and materials required for all types of chimney work. The van has also been fitted with a custom made roof rack to enable steeplejack ladders to be safely secured to the roof of the van during transport.

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Boddingtons Brick Chimney Demolition Manchester UK

Realty Estates Ltd – Boddingtons Site, Manchester City Centre 2010.
Demolition of 55m High Brick Chimney.

In September 2010 Rafferty’s successfully tendered for the complete demolition of the iconic 55m high Boddingtons brick chimney in Manchester city centre. To be involved in the demolition of the Boddingtons brick chimney would always be done with a slight grievance by anyone associated with the steeplejack industry, as grand chimney structures such as this are now very few and far between. However, with all nostalgic feelings aside and the demolition unavoidable, we were delighted to be awarded with this high profile task.

Due to the densely populated location of the chimney, Rafferty’s 62 years of experience within the steeplejack industry was put to the test to ensure that the chimney was demolished safely, with minimal risk and no disruption to the general public. The method chosen by Rafferty Steeplejacks was to demolish the full height of the chimney in a piecemeal fashion, depositing all demolition rubble down the inside of the stack.

To provide safe and suitable access for the demolition, a moveable band modular frame scaffold deck was installed directly below the ornamental string course brickwork at the 45m level. Tubular scaffolding was then erected to the termination point to completely envelope the top 10m of the stack. Micro netting was installed at each scaffold lift to ensure that no demolition debris would become airborne and fall to ground level externally. With all scaffolding and safety equipment in position, the demolition could commence.

The Boddingtons brick chimney had three steel liners which ran throughout the full height of the brick structure internally. Therefore, before any brickwork could be demolished, the three steel liners had to be removed first. To remove the internal liners required the use of a 200 ton mobile crane. The crane would initially take the entire weight of each liner from the termination point of the chimney. The steel liner would then be hoisted approximately 10m above the termination point where it would then be supported. Once the liner was supported it would then be cut throughout its full circumference to enable the 10m section to be safely lowered to ground level. This process would be repeated until the full height of each liner was completely removed.

Once the internal liners were dismantled then the demolition of the external brick structure could proceed. However, the original designers and builders of this grand structure would not make life easy for anyone wishing to demolish it as they decided to incorporate a 3.6m high cast iron head with a 1.5m oversail within the brick structure at the termination point. Due to the age of the chimney the cast iron head could not be removed as one section as there was a potential risk of it splitting. Therefore, it painstakingly had to be supported and dismantled in a piecemeal fashion to ensure that maximum safety prevailed throughout this contract. Once the cast iron head was removed then the chimney brickwork could be demolished. This again was done in a piecemeal fashion with all rubble being deposited down the inside of the chimney. The modular frame scaffold arrangement was lowered in conjunction with the demolition until the chimney reached a height of 20m. The final 20m of the chimney was demolished using a high reach machine, transforming the Manchester city skyline forever.

Rafferty’s 62 years of tackling high risk works at high level proved paramount on this contract, with the entire project being successfully undertaken to the complete satisfaction of the client and without any safety incidents or disruption to the general public. Our long history of successfully completing chimney projects throughout the UK and the World is why this Company has remained ‘At The Top Since 1949’.


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The Sam Rafferty Award

In 2010 the Steeplejack & Lightning Protection Training Group created a top award for the best candidate in both the steeplejack and lightning protection training categories. The training group decided to call it ‘The Sam Rafferty Award’ in recognition of the late Master Steeplejack Sam Rafferty. This ‘best of the best’ award was given to Bradley Whitehead at the recent CITB awards ceremony. The picture below shows Carl Woodroffe, Contracts Director of Rafferty Steeplejacks, proudly presenting the award to Bradley.  

The Directors of Rafferty’s would like to congratulate Bradley for his achievements and for being the first candidate to win this prestigious award. We would also like to wish him all the very best for the future in his chosen career.

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120m High Concrete Chimney Works UK Oil Refinery

UK Oil Refinery 2006/2007 Shutdown.
Inspection & Repairs to 120m High Platformer 3 Concrete Chimney.

Rafferty Steeplejacks have been involved in every major shutdown on this oil refinery since 1974. The major shutdown in late 2006 and early 2007 was no different and we were awarded several chimney inspection and repair contracts during this period. The contract highlighted above was considered the largest and most demanding during this particular shutdown.

A full internal and external inspection of the 120m high platformer 3 reinforced concrete chimney was required, along with possible repair works resulting from the inspection. This work was carried out by erecting traditional steeplejack ladders on one elevation to the termination point of the chimney. At 100m above ground level a safety fan deck scaffolding was erected which ran throughout the full circumference of the chimney. Modular frame scaffolding was then erected at approximately 118m above ground level and ran throughout the full circumference of the chimney to form a working deck. Suitable scaffolding was then erected over the termination point of the chimney to enable an internal inspection of the brickwork lining on all elevations from a man riding winch and steel gondola. An all elevation external inspection of the concrete chimney shell was carried out utilising man riding cradle access. The following photographs demonstrate the scaffolding and access methods utilised for this contract (please click on images to enlarge).

Following the inspection various repair works were carried out both externally and internally.

The external repair works included the following;

1. The existing termination point castings were replaced with a new stainless steel capping arrangement which was designed and manufactured in-house – please view the following images and click to enlarge.

2. Numerous concrete and fracture repairs were carried out throughout the full height of the concrete chimney shell on all elevations.

The internal repair works included the following;

1. Brickwork fracture repairs were carried out throughout the full height of the lining using Sairset acid resistant mortar.

2. The corbelled expansion joints at the top of each brickwork lift underwent repairs and were re-packed with ceramic fibre insulation and rockwool insulation – please view the following images and click to enlarge.

The aforementioned project was successfully completed within the required shutdown period, without any safety incidents and to the complete satisfaction of the client.

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