Send us news by text, start your message Star News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Mystery St Helens Star snapper Robbob's latest photo mission is a real gas
9:53am Thursday 21st February 2013 in News
THE best way to describe Star snapper Robbob would be... well, he’s a bit like St Helens’ answer to The Stig!
OK, so one drives fast cars... the other is a hotshot firing off fantastic photos.
But what both men share is that their identities are shrouded in mystery.
We at the Star don’t know Robbob’s real name, where he lives or what he does. He just sends in hundreds of stunning photos to us, recording every aspect of St Helens life.
Just as current Top Gear Man in the Mask, Stig, is an unknown quantity to viewers, Robbob also closely guards his own identity.
Put Stig behind the wheel of a high-powered motor and he can squeeze every last ounce of speed out of it.
Put Robbob behind the lens of a camera and he will produce breathtaking shots of local wildlife.
For the past 18 months he has been consumed with one all-important mission... to record the demolition and final days of the Peasley Cross gas holder.
The towering landmark dominated the town’s skyline for more than 40 years. It has now finally tumbled to earth – 12 months after work got under way to dismantle it.
The gas holder on Jackson Street could be seen from miles around, and when it was built in 1972 was the largest of its kind in the UK.
Standing 85 metres tall, it had the capacity to store three million cubic feet of gas.
Bringing it down posed big engineering headaches for contractors Coleman and Coleman Ltd.
Where the gas holder stood was surrounded by businesses, and due to internal damage caused by a fire last year they had to develop ingenious techniques to take it down one piece at a time.
Robbob was there almost every day, come sun, rain or snow, chronicling the demolition work in photos and videos.
Robbob (all we can tell you is that he lives in Fingerpost and is often spotted kitted out in camouflage gear for his wildlife photographic forays) told the Star: “I got the front row seat for the gasometer demolition. I was about 30 feet away. I’ve recorded it all on video too.
“Big thanks to the manager of Travis Perkins, who kindly let me in his builder’s yard, with only a metal fence from me to the gasometer, and also to the guys at Atlas Salvage as I’ve been in their yard, getting wildlife and gasometer shots. I still go there nearly every day.
“To be honest, I took pictures up there every two days since demolition started and even before.
“I’m not sure if my wife understands why I’ve been doing it, but she knows how important it has been to me.”
With the gasometer now just a scarred patch in the ground, Robbob has got the call of the wild again... so watch out in Star Snaps for more incredible images of our town’s life and landscape.