Tributes paid to "brave" dad who died after becoming trapped at the top of a 290ft chimney

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Tributes have been paid to a man who died after becoming trapped at the top of a 290ft high chimney.

Tributes have been paid to a man who died after becoming trapped at the top of a 290ft high chimney.

Robert Philip Longcake, known as Phil to family and friends, died on Monday after 15 hours upside down at the top of Dixon's Chimney, in Carlisle.

Robert Philip Longcake, known as Phil to family and friends, died on Monday after 15 hours upside down at the top of Dixon's Chimney, in Carlisle.

Robert Philip Longcake, known as Phil to family and friends, died on Monday after 15 hours upside down at the top of Dixon's Chimney, in Carlisle.

The family said in a statement he had suffered "historic trauma" and had been "battling with poor mental health" in the run-up to his death and had been seeking professional help.

The father-of-two was described as a "strong, brave man who achieved a lot in his short life" in a statement issued through Cumbria Police.

Access to the building

His death came despite efforts by emergency services to launch a "very complex" rescue attempt involving a helicopter, industrial cherry picker and fire fighters.

Authorities believe he managed to climb the former cotton mill tower by gaining access to a temporary ladder, which started was 4.5 metres off the ground.

Carlisle City Council said work had recently been completed on the chimney, but the ladder had not yet been removed.

They added that the ladder intended for contractors was contained in a walled and gated compound.

Mental health struggle

The family said: "Phil was a strong, brave man who achieved a lot in his short life. Sadly, due to recent disclosures he made about historic trauma he suffered, Phil was battling with his mental health, with the love and support of his family and health professionals whilst trying to overcome this.

"He was a keen motorcyclist and would often spend weekends away with his son, Robert. He loved fell walking with his dog Ted and was a passionate musician who played the guitar, piano and accordion. He also loved to sing, and did his own covers of popular music.

"Phil was a fantastic granddad to his three grandchildren, James, George and William. They adored him. Phil had many wonderful and happy times with his family, and these memories will be treasured by his loved ones."

The man, who was in his 50s, leaves behind wife Andrea, his two children Robert and Laura, grandchildren James, George and William, dad Bill and brother John.

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