Friday, 22 July 2016

Fantasy & Freeman

Window cleaner Will KuyKhoven hangs out as Spider-Man from The Advertiser building in Waymouth St., Australia.
Window Cleaner Lives Out Fantasy: Was that Spider-Man scaling the outside of The Advertiser building on Waymouth St this week. In reality it was window cleaner Will KuyKhoven, who finally lived out his fantasy of incorporating his day job with his love of super heroes. “I’ve been doing this job for 12 years now and friends are always asking ‘do you feel like Spider-Man?’ or ‘do they let you dress up?’,” he says.

Mr KuyKhoven, 34, also shares his passion for caped crusaders with his sons Jacob, 14, and Byron, 5, but unlike the Marvel comic books, the reality of abseiling down large buildings is vastly different to the adventures of Spider-Man.

“There are obviously many checks and balances involved,” says Mr KuyKhoven. “We use two ropes, a main one that we work off and a safety line, and where we’re connected at the roof needs to be very secure. “All our equipment is checked and double-checked every time we do a job.”

We’re also not sure if Spider-Man ever had to do the week-long abseiling training in Melbourne that Mr KuyKhoven needed before he began work.

Kevin Smith (top right) became a "Freeman" of Lancaster.
Window cleaner becomes freeman of Lancaster: A window cleaner is among 11 people who have been named Freemen of the City of Lancaster. Kevin Smith from Morecambe will now have the right to pasture a limited number of beasts on the Marsh and enter Lancaster city free from the payment of tolls.

Nowadays the role carries few rights, but remains popular amongst those who are proud of their heritage. Those eligible to apply to become a Freeman include sons or daughters of a Freeman or Freewoman, those who have served an apprenticeship to a Freeman or Freewoman of the city for seven years, anyone born within the old city boundaries or who has lived within the old city boundaries for a period of seven consecutive years. You also have to be 16 or over.

The new Freemen could, in time, also be eligible for their share of an annual payment known as ‘Marsh Grass’. This stems from 1900 when the Lancaster Corporation secured Parliamentary powers under which the Freemen’s rights in the Marsh were extinguished subject to the payment by the Corporation of £13 per annum. Each year the 80 senior Freemen (or their widows) resident within the old city boundaries are entitled to claim the payment.

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