Man who climbed 120ft electricity pylon in protest at mental health care apologises for chaos he caused

Wayne Boyd scaled the pylon between Middlewood Way and the Silk Road near to AstraZeneca at Hurdsfield, causing traffic chaos for morning commuters - and says he doesn't regret his actions

By: Karen Britton

A man who brought the town to a standstill when he climbed to the top of a 120ft pylonhas apologised for the chaos it caused, but says he doesn’t regret his actions.

Wayne Boyd, 36, scaled an electricity pylon between Middlewood Way and the Silk Road near to AstraZeneca at Hurdsfield, causing traffic chaos for morning commuters.

Around 20 emergency vehicles attended, the electricity was switched off and police had to call in a negotiator to talk him down.

When Mr Boyd was persuaded to climb down four hours later, he was arrested and was later given a 12-week suspended prison sentence for causing a public nuisance by Macclesfield magistrates.

Mr Boyd said his actions were a protest at the mental health support and care he has received. He’s had issues with depression as far back as a teenager and 10 years ago started drinking heavily.

Mr Boyd lived at a drug recovery service run by Adullam Homes on Mill Lane in Macclesfield until a few months ago.

wayne-boydWayne Boyd


He says climbing the pylon was a last-ditch attempt to get service providers to recognise the help he needs.

Mr Boyd, who now lives on Grimshaw Avenue in Bollington, said: “I’m sorry for the chaos I caused that day, but I’m not sorry for the reasons I had for climbing up there.

“I’d had enough and thought they are going to listen to me. I felt so let down by mental health services.

“When I was up there I could hear the crackling of the lines and listened to Pink Floyd as I watched the sunrise.

“I was scared of heights but had a sense of calm.”

Mr Boyd has taken other protests over mental health provision over the years, including posting banners around Macclesfield and buying the domain name to post concerns.

pylon-manWayne Boyd pictured on top of the pylon


The dad of two, who volunteers with Cheshire Streetwise at Elim Church, in Macclesfield said he became unwell with a busy job as an electronics engineer looking after his young family.

He said: “I was mentally exhausted and everything started to fall apart. I started drinking to feel better but it led to chaotic behaviour. I’m not drinking any more. I became angry with social services and didn’t feel I belonged at Adullam [supported housing].

“There’s not enough understanding of the mental health issues behind people’s drug and alcohol addiction. The system needs a complete overhaul.”

A spokesperson for Adullam said: “It would not be appropriate to comment on one individual.

“This service is staffed by dedicated and caring professionals who support residents towards independent living with great success. The issues raised by Mr Boyd have been thoroughly investigated both internally and by the external commissioner and have been found to be unsubstantiated.”

Cheshire East council said they were unable to respond to his criticism of mental health services.


Credit: Manchester Evening News

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