Updated: Saturday, 22nd February 2020 @ 5:50am

Don't look down! Pics reveal life as a window cleaner of Manchester's tallest building Beetham Tower... 500 feet up

Don't look down! Pics reveal life as a window cleaner of Manchester's tallest building Beetham Tower... 500 feet up

| By Glen Keogh

Enjoying the breathtaking view of Manchester’s skyline from Beetham Tower’s 47th floor should be the perfect way to relax – but not when you’re hanging on the OUTSIDE of the building 500 feet in the air.

You won’t find the traditional ladder and bucket anywhere in sight when this pair of fearless daredevils start cleaning windows.

David Smith, 32, and Anthony Marshall, 33, instead dangle from abseil ropes when assigned to polish the windows of one of Britain's tallest apartment blocks.

Their average workday could come out of a heart stopping scene from Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol where agent Ethan Hunt played by Tom Cruise abseils down the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

But David and Anthony have taken a shine to their foam, scrub and polish treatments on the sides of the glass-fronted Beetham Tower.


JUST PASSING THROUGH: Daredevil cleaners David Smith and Anthony Marshall (© Cavendish Press)

The landmark 47-story building stands a total of 169-metre high and bemused drinkers at swanky bar Cloud 23 – on the 23rd floor – hoping to enjoy the best view of the city regularly get a shock when a sponge covers the skyline 250ft above the ground.

David and Anthony completed a strict abseiling training course before being allowed free reign to clean the windows - and take in the breath-taking views each morning.

Their boss Tony Camilleri, 51, from Salford, who runs Tudor Contract Cleaners, said: "The lads absolutely love it. It's got to be the best job in window cleaning.


UP THERE? The fearless abseilers have a head for heights  (© Cavendish Press)

"They aren't running through backyards with a ladder like I was when I started, they're seeing some of the best sights in the country. Not many people get to say they've been up to the top of Wembley Stadium.

"In the summer they go rock climbing. It's their hobby. It's like being a footballer which starts out as your hobby then you get paid for it. So they came to me with their skills and I trained them up and taught them how to clean windows."

Tony said he began teaching his staff to abseil when his soldier cousin came back from the Falklands war 25 years ago and asked for a job.

"I asked him 'what can you do' and he said he could abseil," Tony added. "That's when I stopped using traditional cradles and started using rope abseils.

''Now we have people wanting to do it the other way round. We have local window cleaners who want to progress in the company and they ask to do abseiling. If they pass the test then they can.

"When the girls in Cloud 23 saw the cleaners on the windows they had a look of shock on their faces. They were saying 'oh my God, there's a man outside the window'. For the lads to do that I think they should be paying me rather than me paying them.''


THAT'S NOT TWO BIG PIGEONS: Not your traditional bucket and ladder job (© Cavendish Press) 

But with health and safety officials always keeping a beady eye open, Tony makes sure his men scaling some of the country's biggest landmarks are trained to the highest standard.

"We even need to do health and safety assessments on how to make a cup of tea," he said. "That's not even a joke. We go from that to having abseilers on the roof of Beetham Tower."

Father-of-four Tony decided to clean on his own 30 years ago after managing to pick up a contract for the Portland Hotel in Manchester.

After working seven days a week for five years on his own - cleaning a different hotel each weekday - Tony managed to take on new staff and Tudor now clean every hotel in Manchester.

Business nous runs deep in Tony's family, with the name 'Tudor' coming after a popular café his father ran in his home city of Salford.


DROPPING IN: Two ladies enjoying a drink in Cloud 23 get a surprise (© Cavendish Press) 

He added: "The Tudor Group are close knit. Without all the staff and the people I have around me we wouldn't be where we are today."

Beetham Tower, one of the tallest buildings in Europe, opened in 2006. The space up to floor 22 is occupied by a plush four-star Hilton Hotel, with the remaining floors let as apartments.

Former Manchester United and Everton footballer Phil Neville recently had an apartment occupying three linked stories on the market for £4million - or an eye-watering £15,000 per month, with the tower's designer Ian Simpson owning the top-floor penthouse which even contains an olive garden.


HOW'S IT HANGING? All in a day's work for David and Anthony  (© Cavendish Press) 

Pictures and story via Cavendish Press.