Peter Harknett is a steeplejack, which means he spends his working days climbing tall buildings without scaffolding. Watching him nimbly slip up an almost vertical ladder to the top of Rock Mill earlier today, I had at the back of my mind the various health and safety instructions I have heard in recent years about ladders - but it seems steeplejacks are immune to the working practices of mere mortals.
Peter specialises in renovating old and therefore unpredictably dangerous tall buildings - particularly church spires and windmills. But the rather unusual thing about Peter is his age. He is 81 years old and (as he told me in a matter-of-fact sort of way) the oldest steeplejack still working in Britain. He has been defying gravity on the top of precarious old buildings for no less than 67 years and doesn't appear to have slowed down - at all.
The photograph below is one of Peter's younger work colleagues.