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Rock climber called in to change 50ft high theatre lamps

PUBLISHED: 15:44 28 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:01 28 June 2018

Simon Waite works on the St George's Theatre lights
Picture: St George's Theatre

Simon Waite works on the St George's Theatre lights Picture: St George's Theatre

Archant

When the theatre lamps need changing and they are 50ft up in the air who are you going to call?

Simon Waite
Picture: St George's TheatreSimon Waite Picture: St George's Theatre

Simon Waite!

That call was made by St George’s Theatre at Great Yarmouth after its roof lights needed fixing.

Theatres bosses turned to electrician Mr Waite, who is also a rock climber.

Mr Waite, 56, from Honing, near North Walsham, has 25 years’ experience scaling ladders to fix lighting in churches, commercial and farm buildings.

Simon Waite works on the St George's Theatre lights
Picture: St George's TheatreSimon Waite works on the St George's Theatre lights Picture: St George's Theatre

But he is also former Scout and Scout leader who has helped lead walking and climbing expeditions on Duke of Edinburgh silver and bronze award expeditions in places such as the Peak District.

He said: “The lighting work tends to be from greater height than the climbing actually – but it has never bothered me, ever since I started climbing trees as a boy.

“It is not just about going up a high ladder but having to take your hands off at the top and work.

“Some people just could not do that, but I enjoy it.”

Simon Waite
Picture: St George's TheatreSimon Waite Picture: St George's Theatre

The work at St George’s involved scrambling up and down the ladder around 40 times to replace bulbs which illuminate the former church’s stunning roof, and also provide “house lighting” for the auditorium.

A - literally - shining example of his work is a lit cross on the top of his home village church at Honing, which can be seen from 10 miles away at night.

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: “Nearly all the 48 bulbs needed changing but when I looked up I got vertigo it was so high up.

“I knew about Simon through his work at Honing, where my mother lives, so he was the perfect man for the job – an electrician with a great head for heights.”

St George’s is now gearing up for the summer season which includes a regular season of Sounds of the Summer music and variety shows, a farce and a thriller, a family festival of magic, and, for the first time, some action-packed wrestling.

See more programme details at www.stgeorgestheatre.com or call 01493 331484.

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