Fearless teenager snaps heart-stopping selfies dangling from London’s tallest skyscrapers
A fearless teenager has snapped this heart-stopping series of images – while dangling from some of London’s tallest skyscrapers.
Daredevil Harry Gallagher, 17, and his pals shot these dizzying selfies after scaling some of the capital’s most famous towers to take photos of the city below.
He turned the dozens of multimillion pound high-rise towers in development into his own urban climbing frame.
And along with fellow explorers he has conquered iconic buildings including the 160m ‘Walkie Talkie’, the 225m ‘Cheesegrater’ and unfinished behemoth, the Pinnacle.
Last month the adrenaline junkie, from Essex, climbed 150m next to Canary Wharf without any safety equipment in a climb requiring planning like a Hollywood crime caper.
He said: “The Baltimore Tower in Canary Wharf is between 40 and 45 stories and the crane we were on was even higher.
“We’d been planning it for weeks, every little detail like what time we should arrive – we ended up at the bottom of the crane at 4am.
“There was security there but I was still surprised how easy it was.”
“The view was amazing. We could see all of Canary Wharf and all over the rest of London. We stayed up there for three hours but I wanted to spend the rest of the summer there.”
Harry is part of a growing community of cityscape adventurers known as Urban Explorers, people who venture into the far reaches of the city to explore London’s neglected infrastructure including extinct rail lines and disused reservoirs.
However Harry and his friends prefer to take to the skies, usually enormous cranes bestriding buildings, similar to the stomach-churning ‘skywalkers’ of Russia and Ukraine.
But the retail assistant insists his clan are more interested in the breath taking photos he takes than the death-defying risks.
He added: “For skywalkers it’s about the risk, to climb towers and balance. We go up to enjoy the experience and to take photos.
“As far as hobbies go, it’s just as dangerous as other extreme sports like motor sports, skiing or snowboarding.
“I feel perfectly safe whenever I climb because I’ve been training for a long time. I have been free running for seven years and I think that has given me strength and, importantly, balance.
“When I am at the top, I’m constantly making sure my hands have got a tight grip. I don’t move until I know I am secure.”
The last thing to do hundreds of metres above the ground, Harry explains, is to think about slipping and plummeting to inevitable death below.
He said: “I understand that I might not be setting the best example.
“My theory is that if I can do it at 10ft I can do it at 100ft or 40 stories. But I would be lying if I said I don’t think about falling. But if you think you will fall, you will fall. The key is to think positive.”
Not all climbs have had a happy ending – as he discovered after his first and only run in with police while climbing the frame of plush new apartments in Vauxhall, south London.
He explained: “We were arrested about six months ago – within about 30 minutes of starting the climb we were in the back of a police car.
“There were cars, a helicopter and police dogs looking for us.
“Luckily on that occasion the charges were dropped. I found if you respect the police, they respect you.”
After smoothing over relations with the law, Harry now faces a tougher challenge – convincing his mum to look at his impressive portfolio of snaps.
He said: “My mum knows what I’m doing. It was almost impossible for her not to find out because I was out all night.
“But she doesn’t want to hear about it. I can’t say she is happy about it and she doesn’t want to see any of the photos.”