Vandalism

Discussion in 'Tower, Monumental & Street Clocks' started by doug sinclair, Aug 20, 2010.

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  1. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

    Aug 27, 2000
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    #1 doug sinclair, Aug 20, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
    The tower clock I look after has 4 foot diameter dials approximately 22 feet above ground level, and has been subject to the interference of vandals in the past. Things like peel and stick stickers stuck on the Lexan dial covers. That sort of thing.

    The "impossible" happened within the last week! Vandals surmounted the ground pillar the cupola perches upon, kicked in a stucco screen cover to a window in the bell room which is above the clock, and entered the bell room! There is a man door leading downward from the bell room into the small room wherein the clock sits. How they managed that, I have NO idea! The man door has no hinges or grasp handles to allow it to be lifted!

    I'll go and survey the site later today, but the alternate winder who notified me of this vandalism has indicated that everything appears to be okay, and the clock was running when he discovered the damage during his winding of the clock last Tuesday.

    In the picture you will notice a decorative ledge at the top of the ground pillar, at the base of the cupola. That ledge is made of some kind of STYROFOAM which has a thin skin of concrete sprayed over it. The creep who bust into the clock would, at one point, had to clamber over that syrofoam ledge to gain access to the cupola! It would have served him right if that ledge broke away and he ended up falling 20 feet to the concrete sidewalk! What MUST he have been thinking?

    Well! After 5 attempts to upload a picture of the tower and cupola, I have been compelled to desist! I don't think I am doing anything incorrectly. Perhaps I'll try again, later!

    I did it! Looking at the picture, would you not wonder how anyone would be able to squeeze through one of the narrow windows to gain access to the bell room? I can see the headlines now. SKINNY VANDAL SOUGHT IN TOWER CLOCK BREAK_IN!
     

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  2. the 3rd dwarve

    the 3rd dwarve Registered User

    Nov 3, 2000
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    Doug,

    That is so disheartening to hear. I hope that the movement and works are undamaged. Will the town be taking any steps to attempt to prevent it happening again?

    The cement (stucco) over expanded polystyrene foam is called Drivit. It's a commercially available process. You’re probably fortunate that he/she didn’t fall or get hurt as some lawyer would be suing the town and shutting down the site entirely.

    Senseless vandalism should be punished with many hours of community service.


    Regards,

    Jeff
     
  3. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

    Aug 27, 2000
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    Jeff,

    The alternate winder told me that when he found the damaged metal screen, he patched it as best he could with the materials he had with him. I checked out the clock and the bell which sits in a room above the clock to find no damage! Go figure! There are about sixteen of those openings in the cupola just above the dials, each being about 12 inches wide. It took me a few minutes to find the patched one. Exiting the cupola and the pillar it sits on would have been easy enough. But the whole area is closed off on the first level of an 850 car parkade, by a frost fence that is held shut by a chain and padlock. I have NO idea how he would have got past that, but I seriously doubt he'd have exited by the route he took to get in! As fancy as the cupola is, it is all sheet metal over a wood core, and the metal skin is held on with nails. Any part of it might has come off during his exertions!

    It seems he just wanted to see a tower clock, and once satisfied, he disappeared as mysteriously as he appeared.

    As to a lawsuit? Calgary is a city of over one million people, and I am certain there is a very capable legal department. As to preventing another such instance? I plan on checking into that matter, next week.

    Oh! The life of a tower clock person!
     
  4. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User

    Oct 18, 2001
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    An annoying situation I agree but maybe a case of curiosity and not malintent? I remember (barely) that, as a teenager in a one stop light N.J. town, I once was smokin' dope on the fire escape of the town bank when we realized the window wasn't locked! We wandered through the bank and did no harm. I imagine someone figured out we had been there because the window wasn't found unlocked again. Thank you for reminding me of this :) .
    -Cort
     
  5. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User

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    #5 4thdimension, Sep 4, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
    I just remembered another related tale. My step-Dad, who among other things, is a brilliant musician. His career is, I think, little tarnished by his one ancient record of arrest. That crime was wiggling into a church after hours in order to get some time to play on the pipe organ.
    The intruder in your clock tower did a wrong, and should be responsible for any damage done. It is good to note that there was no disrespect to the clock.
    -Cort
     
  6. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

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    I have to laugh every time I think of this individual trying to exit the ground pillar which the cupola and the clock sit on. He would have had to climb down 40 feet of ladder to exit through a steel door at the first level of the underground parkade. This door can be opened from the inside, but it locks against re-entry once it is closed. I can visualize him hearing the door close as he found himself confronted by a LOCKED frost fence GATE! Can't go back, can't go through, must go UNDER. There's about 8 inches of clearance under that gate! I'd have loved to have been there as he squeezed under that gate!:}The powers that be are talking about taking additional measures to help avoid this sort of thing in future. As Cort mentioned, it was possibly just curiosity, and no intent to vandalise (no vandalism). If he'd wanted a tour, my phone number is available in plain sight, and I'd have been glad to save him the trouble, and help him avoid the risk he took, and the ensuing panic when he found himself virtually a prisoner! :D This guy won't be back! :D
     

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