This is not the Tower we’re looking for


Blackpool Tower reopens

This has nothing to do with Blackpool

Someone asked me about the spiral staircase at the end of the Great Hall extension – they wanted to know where I’d got it and how it fitted into my ad hoc shaped tower arrangement.

I wrote about it a little on the page “Seconds away – round two” but, as ‘S’ is always saying – I tend to write a bit obliquely.

Apologies all round (and particularly to Jer, who asked me the questions) here are some pics which I hope make some of my fumblings and general ‘under the carpet’ sweepings a little clearer (and if possible a little more wholesome).

Dress making meets spiral stair

The Tower was built to house the spiral stair.  I’m not so sure now from which of the suppliers I bought the stairs, but it’s the one that can be purchased from ‘The Miniature Scene’ – though I suspect I paid a little less at the time.  It came ready painted mid grey and with a rough, stone-like finish.  Note this last point ‘cos when I needed to carve/saw bits off to shape better to tower profile I went through blades like nobody’s business.

Originally the thought was to cut open a very large poster holder type tube.  This I did and painted stone.  I even made a round floor of correct circumference.  When I presented these items plus stairs it somehow just didn’t feel right.  It lacked appeal.  I seriously think that if I’d used sandstone grout/paint for the stonework I wouldn’t have felt so bad about it, but in grey and with a smooth, rounded profile it felt wrong.  And I knew that all the other stonework was going to be like the stone I could see around our house:  a mix of greys with a little highlight of other colours.  Hence the totally backwards way of going about the whole thing – “so you don’t like this for a Tower, then what is it that you want, huh?”  I built the Tower and the stairs had to try it on, have some nips and tucks made and be generally modified.  The Tower, also, had to be more firmly bent around:  this was possible because I’d made the joints out of slightly thicker than cereal packet cardboard, fixed to the outer side as the quoins and painted them over and over again with a plastizing glue to hopefully reduce cracking.  It kept the shape fairly flexible with a movability of approximately 1″-1.5″.

The following gallery of images illustrate most of the tale of the fitting.  If you click on an image it should open out and reveal a short narrative below.  Having clicked one you can go on from the opened out page back and forth along the gallery using the arrows at each side at the bottom of the enlarged picture.  Have fun and if it still isn’t clear, just yell.


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