Two tonnes of bird poo removed from Sheffield landmark during clean-up

Workers shift two tonnes of bird poo from the Bessemer Converter.
Workers shift two tonnes of bird poo from the Bessemer Converter.

More than two tonnes of bird droppings have been removed from an iconic Sheffield landmark during a massive clean-up.

Workers at Kelham Island Museum were given the unenviable task of clearing the huge pile of waste from the building's bessemer converter, which has stood guard over the museum for more than nearly forty years.

The landmark outside Kelham Island Museum.

The landmark outside Kelham Island Museum.

A spokesman for the Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust said: "It hasn’t weathered well due to a matt finish paint being used as well as it being the local hotspot for nearby pigeons.

"We estimated there was approximately two tonnes of bird related waste inside. Due to the open top, the waste had been dampened by rainwater and as a result the water often wept out of the joining around the bottom.

"The unusual waste needed removing before the renovation could take place."

The iconic converter is being restored and re-painted thanks to a grant to the museum from the Prism Fund.

The Bessemer during its last clean-up in 2008.

The Bessemer during its last clean-up in 2008.

The Bessemer was last painted back in 2008 by Forge Master apprentices and has been on display outside the museum since 1982.

Before the bottom of the landmark could be dropped, a 6mm hole was drilled into the bottom through an old drain plug that couldn’t be removed.

Added the spokesman: "The hole acted as a tap to release any excess water from the Bessemer before the waste could be emptied. The water continued to flow out of the hole for the rest of the day and was still dripping the following morning.

The waste was over two feet deep at the rear of the Bessemer and one foot deep at the front and workers had to don bio hazard overalls, dust masks, safety glasses and chemical resistant gloves as they shovelled 2.6 of bird waste into 88 bags.

Grit blasting will begin next week followed by painting which will take approximately three weeks.