We are delighted to announce that we recently appeared on Channel 5’s ‘The Thames At Night With Tony Robinson’. It was a privilege for us to be able to work with Tony and his team to show just what goes into maintaining the windows of some of London’s largest and most spectacular buildings.
St Thomas’ Hospital
Tony was originally joined by Ricky & Tom from one of our window cleaning teams that cover St Thomas’ Hospital, focusing on the south wing that is overlooking the River Thames. We began work at 4AM and started to clean the building’s windows with water-fed poles, allowing us to reach heights of up to 80 feet.
Tony was curious about why exactly we carry out this work so early in the morning. Ricky & Tom explained that, during the day, the windows dry out very quickly and so to ensure that they dry naturally, we work while it is still dark. Not only this but this area, as well as most of London, gets very busy and so it is natural to try to avoid the heavy traffic of people so we cause minimal disruption.
They then explained how we use purified water with our water-fed poles so that the windows remain streak-free. If we were to use regular tap water, it would leave marks essentially rendering the job pointless.
Ricky & Tom had fun joking back and forth with Tony as they continued to clean the windows, explaining how they usually cover 200-300 windows each time they carry out a job. Tony even seemed to be a natural, impressively cleaning multiple windows without issue.
Tony was able to appreciate the dedication that Ricky & Tom have when it comes to maintaining these buildings’ windows, something we are extremely proud of ourselves. We are fortunate to have such specialist window cleaners and we are happy that everyone was able to see that too.
Tony then moved on to City Hall and was joined by Danny, another of our incredibly experienced professional window cleaners. Instead of using water-fed poles, this time we took Tony on a cherry picker, enough to make any person who is scared of heights nervous.
Here you got to see first-hand the risk that all of our window cleaners take when cleaning some of these tall, prestigious buildings. This particular building was designed by architect Norman Foster, making it have a unique process when it comes to cleaning the windows.
Danny showed Tony how you have to release a catch to open them as each section is actually 2 windows with a blind sandwiched in-between them, which is why it is only accessible through using a cherry picker or by using abseiling, which Tony was happy to give a miss this time.
At this point, you could see how dirt can be found in multiple places. Danny explained how dirt accumulates on the blinds and also gets trapped in the glazing of these windows, due to the airflow and ventilation which cycles all throughout the building, causing dirt to build up.
Because of the unique design of these windows, Danny showed Tony how to apply a winch so that the blinds could be lowered which would allow them to access the window behind. The design of these windows was completed by Norman Foster to ensure environmental sustainability so this unordinary method to clean these windows is a small price to pay to be eco-friendly, which we always advocate ourselves.
Danny finally explained that he works on this particular building every day, cleaning 100s of panes without ever faltering, which Tony admired. With 25 years of experience, you can see just why he is such an expert who we are lucky to have to work with us at All Clean.
We are extremely grateful to Tony Robinson and Channel 5 for allowing us to take part in this documentary and giving everyone the opportunity to see some of the unseen commercial window cleaning that we and many other workers carry out in London.