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Towering Inferno: the ‘Walkie Scorchie’ chronicles

Posted at 2:30 pm, September 12, 2013 in News, Outdoor London
20 Fenchurch Street: The 'walkie talkie'

Last week the Walkie Talkie skyscraper (officially known as 20 Fenchurch Street) reflected the sun into a white-hot ray causing nearby objects to melt and burst into flames. Our scorchometer chronicles the unbelievable events of this unexpected heatwave…

Quite warm: August 28
Walkie Talkie Bystanders © Time Out

Passers-by are forced to shield their eyes. One compares the blinding light to ‘something from science fiction’. Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group – the building’s owners – claim it will only last for two hours a day and blame the ‘current elevation of the sun in the sky’.

Heating up: August 29
The developers of the building pay £1,000 after the beam melts the wing mirrors of businessman Martin Lindsay’s Jaguar XJ.

Warmer still: September 2
Staff from Re-Style barbers in Eastcheap complain that their carpet’s been set on fire by rays from the 37-storey lightsaber. Tony Nggy of nearby Viet Café says that the paint on his shopfront is melting and slates on his doorstep are beginning to crack.

Ruddy sizzling: September 3
Walkie Talkie Egg © Time Out

The pavement outside the Walkie Talkie is now literally hot enough to fry an egg on – and journalist James Waterson proves it, claiming that his egg was cooked to perfection in ‘around five minutes’.

Off the scale: September 4
The ‘Walkie Scorchie’, as it’s now been dubbed, is made safe as developers erect a huge black screen to absorb the ray, saying, ‘This solution should minimise the impact on the local area over the next two to three weeks, after which time the phenomenon is expected to have disappeared.’ Londoners, you’re safe… until next summer? Flo Wales Bonner

See what happened when we took a trip up the Walkie Talkie tower.

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