Panther Called in for Medieval Inspections at Salisbury Cathedral

Lutterworth, United Kingdom, August 22, 2010 --( Panther has helped facilities managers carry out important structural surveys at Salisbury Cathedral – including the first maintenance inspection of the interior of its roof for 20 years.

New specialist powered access equipment supplied by Panther is opening up opportunities for working in ancient buildings previously out of the question. In some cases it means being able to reach places that have not been accessible for close inspection since the buildings were erected in medieval times.

At Salisbury Cathedral, Panther's Senior Sales Manager, Tony Ireland, carried out a detailed site survey of the 750 year old building to ensure the right machine was supplied.

For the interior work the Omme 2200 (pronounced Om–ee) was provided and at only 1.1 metres wide, it could easily fit through the cathedral’s doors. The Omme’s boom can reach up to 21.8 metres with an outreach of 12.2 metres and achieves its stability, once positioned, with four arms that come out from the machine making it the ideal choice for applications such as this.

Historical buildings like Salisbury Cathedral are rightly concerned to safeguard what are often ancient and precious floors. The Omme 2200 helps here, by having tracks, rather than wheels, which spreads its weight more evenly, therefore reducing the risk of damage.

Another very useful feature of this product is its tri-energy power source. For any external work undertaken, the machine works from diesel and it can also operate from a mains electricity supply. For the interior work at Salisbury Cathedral however its electric battery was used.

Panther’s Tony Ireland said it is also a very significant time saver: “Surveying the same area from scaffolding would have taken days, as the scaffolding structure would have needed to be taken down and rebuilt to access different areas. It would be much more expensive and in a busy, public building like a cathedral it might not have been feasible.

“There are many high roofs, nooks and crannies in ancient buildings which have not been inspected since they were built hundreds of years ago, mainly because of the sheer difficulty of gaining access and getting the job done. Our equipment makes such inspections possible for the first time.”

Ted Hillier from Salisbury Cathedral’s Works Department was very happy with the machine’s performance and versatility. He said: “Undertaking work at one of the UK’s most important cathedrals always demands a great deal of care when using machinery.

“It is vital that equipment is used precisely and always taking into account the proximity of interior features. The Omme was operated from a remote control hand set and offered exact manoeuvrability throughout Salisbury Cathedral.”

Panther can supply equipment to suit any access need – for further information visit the website: or call: 0844 856 0004

Emily Lowth
01455 206719