Paternoster Lifts: Dangerous, Obsolete and Quite Fun (including over the top!)

Paternoster Lifts: Dangerous, Obsolete and Quite Fun (including over the top!)


This is a paternoster lift. There are only
a few working examples of these left in the world, like this one at the Arts Tower of
Sheffield University. It is an open elevator shaft with a series
of connected carriages going round and round and round in it on a constant loop. One side goes up; and one side goes down and
you just get in and out. This is a 20-storey building, by the way, so this is a long chain.
A paternoster can carry more passengers than a regular lift, although obviously there’s
a bit more danger of trips, falls and injuries. This particular lift has a lot of extra safety
features to stop people getting injured too. But for that reason, and because they’re inaccessible
to anyone who can’t walk or is carrying big things, or can’t walk well — and because there aren’t many companies in
the world who can build or refurbish them any more — they aren’t installed. And those that are left tend to get ripped
out of old buildings and replaced. But Sheffield kept theirs: and they also have some more
standard lifts just in case. Now, I can’t stay in this lift as it goes
over the top. Thank you Chris — I’d unbalance the whole thing and I’d risk
it getting shut down and the fire brigade coming in and turfing me out. But what I can
do is leave this little GoPro camera in to show you what it’s like to go over the top.
So: I’ll see you in a couple of minutes. Here we go. See you in a minute! I’m looking forward to seeing the footage
from this. [Translating these subtitles? Add your name here!]

100 Comments

  • SupremeDalek73

    July 31, 2019

    1:14 "see you in a minute" 1:36 Waves at camera

    Reply
  • homerfj1100

    August 2, 2019

    There were a few of these at Newcastle University in 1974 to 1978. They frightened me.

    Reply
  • david russell

    August 2, 2019

    Hell of a way to die

    Reply
  • snowfort77

    August 3, 2019

    Does Marissa know about this?

    Reply
  • James Harrison

    August 4, 2019

    Love these things, had them in the Abrams Complex in Frankfurt Germany, back in the 80-90’s when I worked on base. It is now part of the University-of Frankfurt. Rode them all the time on the mail runs, the post office was in the basement, and had to pick up the mail bags. At some point there was an accident and someone got killed on it, yet as a 20 something year old it was a cool ride Vs walking the stairs.

    Reply
  • FinetalPies

    August 4, 2019

    The Dark Souls of elevators

    Reply
  • smoog

    August 4, 2019

    What happens if you fall halfway out as it's going up? Does it stop automatically or are you decapitated?

    Reply
  • Roedy Green

    August 6, 2019

    An accident waiting to happen. It requires way too much of the passengers.

    Reply
  • LaDeX

    August 6, 2019

    Finnish parliament building has these.

    Reply
  • NewWhirledOrder

    August 7, 2019

    Hurry. Get to the top floor. Make it choppy.

    Reply
  • Tony Baines

    August 8, 2019

    course you can go over the top, its no big deal.

    Reply
  • SideswipeLP

    August 9, 2019

    I travelled(?) in a Paternoster myself and even over the top. There was just a warning written in Germany basically saying you should exit but further travel is not dangerous

    Reply
  • Alphonse Pegna

    August 10, 2019

    "Pater noster, qui es in caelis sanctificetur nomen tuum….." You should say that before entering and leaving this thing, that's why it's called that way.

    Reply
  • Hrusa Art

    August 11, 2019

    I can name at least three different places in Prague that have these, two being publically accessible. Growing up around them, they never struck me as something unusual.

    Reply
  • Petr Šebík

    August 13, 2019

    We have about 50 working paternosters in Czech Republic. Come and see them!:)

    Reply
  • N. N

    August 13, 2019

    It looks incredibly efficient.

    Reply
  • Justin Stojanoski-pearson

    August 14, 2019

    we have one of thoes in the flemmings hotel in frankfurt germany, was a experience but even i was afraid to get in and out of them.

    Reply
  • Jack 1

    August 14, 2019

    1:26 I would definitely take a run at the wall between the muggle floors, might find the secret floor 18¾

    Reply
  • Jolyne's Dad

    August 15, 2019

    The last time I watched a brit avoid going over the top it involved a sarcastic captain, a naïve Leftenant, and Field marshal Haig

    Reply
  • Okay Great!

    August 15, 2019

    Worst idea ever

    Reply
  • Red Bird

    August 15, 2019

    I still have nightmares about the one at leicester polytechnic in 1970's
    I didn't know you could ride over and thought i was going to be crushed in the cogs when i didnt got off in time.

    Reply
  • A1 guy

    August 15, 2019

    fuk that

    Reply
  • Emily Parish

    August 16, 2019

    We have one of these in my city. One day I decided to give it a try. Oh boy was that a mistake. Turns out that I'm not afraid to hop on but I'm terrified of getting of. I gotta admit that I went over the top because I didn't realize that I missed the last floor. Whoops.

    Reply
  • Mark Wallis

    August 16, 2019

    There was one of these in the place I worked and it scared the crap out of me.

    Reply
  • Good luck everyone

    August 17, 2019

    Did you find floor 7 1/2 that John Malkovich found ?

    Reply
  • 5002strokeforever

    August 18, 2019

    We need a bunch of these in canada to naturally select out the liberal and ndp voters

    Reply
  • Rafael Perzaada

    August 23, 2019

    Why is it dangerous to go to the top??

    Reply
  • Farrsharp

    August 24, 2019

    Basically a certical People Mover

    Reply
  • George Smith

    August 25, 2019

    New Story: 15 year old get 30 days in jail for riding the paternoster underage

    Reply
  • Cryptfire

    August 25, 2019

    They could just put spining blades once you went all the way up, then the chamber will close in and it begins to be on fire. Then a sign that reads.. "we were just kidding about it not being dangerous"

    Reply
  • Rose Harvey

    August 25, 2019

    Always wondered about these lifts, the only one I have seen was in a hospital in the seventies. Looked good but wasn't sure how safe they were.

    Reply
  • MrJonyish

    August 28, 2019

    Welcome to the nope lift

    Reply
  • pmailkeey

    August 28, 2019

    The over the top and under the bottom 'scares' are just that – so no reason not to go OTT or UTB.

    Reply
  • GunzGonda

    August 29, 2019

    There's one at the Kecskemet County Hospital in Hungary.

    Reply
  • Meadi

    August 30, 2019

    I love this channel.

    Reply
  • JV the Tossh

    August 30, 2019

    Been over the top of one of those.

    They're still present all over the place in the Danish parliament building, and I was a student intern there 7 or 8 years ago. They're really quite fun to travel in.

    Reply
  • THE BuskaSkeng

    August 31, 2019

    Remember going that shitting me up when i was in it

    Reply
  • werelemur1138

    September 2, 2019

    It's on my bucket list.

    Reply
  • Elaine Bishop

    September 3, 2019

    there was one in claremont tower at newcastle uni in the esrly 1990s

    Reply
  • mr minecraft

    September 7, 2019

    uhh if BENO can go to the roof then why cant you?

    Reply
  • Sparx632

    September 9, 2019

    Rode this one in Sheffield last year, there wasn’t any warnings about not getting off and I stayed on while it rotated round at the bottom. Maybe they changed the rules, or is it just the top where you have to get off?

    Reply
  • Greg McPherson

    September 14, 2019

    That is awesome

    Reply
  • Bill Seidel

    September 15, 2019

    Omg, I imagine coming home after a rough night at the pub.. 🤪😳😵

    Reply
  • BigEnderTroll Zockt

    September 26, 2019

    I saw one in stuttgart…

    Reply
  • Patricio Andres Muñoz Lopez

    September 26, 2019

    Why you didn't went to the top?? Are you german or something?

    Reply
  • Xander

    September 27, 2019

    I went all the way round at the top but in those days there weren't any lights up there.

    Reply
  • SportsRGreat

    September 27, 2019

    Ride all day.

    Reply
  • Juli Herron

    September 28, 2019

    I rode one in Germany. What an experience! I have not ever forgotten about it. Is there any in the south west states of the USA? 😃🤔

    Reply
  • Antony Stringfellow

    September 29, 2019

    I've been in this…. more than once but couldn't remember where it was. I couldn't even remember the city.
    This was definitely the one though. I remember the place well now.

    Reply
  • MidnightAmratha

    September 29, 2019

    There is actually a fully functional in the danish parliament in christiansborg, still used by the politicians.

    Reply
  • Walter Williams

    September 29, 2019

    Ive been on one that was just a foot platform and a grab rail. Scary but fun.

    Reply
  • SCREAMIN' LORD BYRON

    September 29, 2019

    These lifts would have killed so many suspenseful hollywood movie scenes.

    Reply
  • Jonas Toftdal Konarski

    September 29, 2019

    There's one at Folketinget, in Denmark too 🙂

    Reply
  • 0Funker0

    September 30, 2019

    I would be absolutely terrified to go into one of these

    Reply
  • Georg Obergfell

    September 30, 2019

    I went around the bottom of a paternoster lift before and it was just as boring exept that you could see the motor that was powering the lift

    Reply
  • Plumeria

    September 30, 2019

    How on earth is this able to run without killing someone or being sued?

    Reply
  • Big Box

    September 30, 2019

    The University of Essex also has one. Tons of freshers sneak onto it and go over the top or bottom.
    It did break down a while ago and since they need specialists to repair it, it was out of service for about 3 months or something

    Reply
  • Eburnea

    September 30, 2019

    Done staying in while it went from up to down once or twice since the building my mother used to work in had one. But it's wracked now. So sad. But I never did the other way round

    Reply
  • integr8er66

    October 1, 2019

    There is one better lift I have used, it is generally used in grain silos, it's called a belt lift. It is a vertical conveyor belt with small platforms to stand on, and by small I mean 18" wide and 12" deep. Now imagine riding that up 150 ft or so 🙂 they are awsome but unfortunately they won't be around much longer

    Reply
  • Teddy Bass

    October 1, 2019

    That wants shutting down. Some fool is going to injure themselves, and the University will end up with a big law suit

    Reply
  • Disent Design

    October 1, 2019

    this is insane, a good way to deter the drunk though

    Reply
  • Blue eyed Fatboy

    October 1, 2019

    I think it would have been safe for you to go up and around looks like people have already done it

    Reply
  • Kamdeboo

    October 1, 2019

    You had me confused for a moment – Paternostet is a quaint village on the west coast of South Africa.

    Reply
  • J B

    October 1, 2019

    we had one in our company and wondered what happen when it reached the top

    Reply
  • Frank

    October 1, 2019

    Suicide machine

    Reply
  • Kungfu Kangaroo

    October 2, 2019

    This thing appeared in one of my dreams a couple months back ( i somehow remember it) even though i had no idea these elevators existed.

    Reply
  • ZFrog

    October 2, 2019

    You know how many times I rode this all the way around? Unbalance the thing? Pffft

    Reply
  • Gary Morrison

    October 2, 2019

    Yikes! A very quick and efficient means of going up and down … and of getting your limbs sliced off!

    Reply
  • Wise Wolf

    October 2, 2019

    Who ever wrote that graffiti at the top must have gone around so many times

    Reply
  • Jim Vetromila

    October 2, 2019

    A litigation lawyer invented it. 😆😆

    Reply
  • Dom Nic

    October 2, 2019

    Damn, now i really envy you! Always wanted to ride on of these hellpods

    Reply
  • The Comment

    October 2, 2019

    I must put this on my watch later to build in my red-stone house.

    Reply
  • Kelli Halliburton

    October 2, 2019

    D'you suppose that if you had someone of roughly equal weight in the exact opposite car, going round the bottom while you went round the top, then the mechanism wouldn't be subject to stopping or breaking?

    Reply
  • Val Galloway

    October 2, 2019

    The office building where I worked (built in the mid 1960s) had a postal distribution system based on the paternoster principal. When I heard that name I thought it meant it worked if you prayed hard enough! 🙂

    Reply
  • lothean

    October 3, 2019

    That was cool. I wondered how it turned.

    Reply
  • James Isaac

    October 3, 2019

    I'd rather Take the stairs than get in this crazy contraption

    Reply
  • Nabre Labre

    October 3, 2019

    If an escalator and an elevator had a baby

    Reply
  • Miky Kanazawa

    October 3, 2019

    Ive seen one in real life in Hamburg Germany

    Reply
  • Obelisk

    October 3, 2019

    I say "Paternoster" and"dangerous" and immediately though 'Osterhagen key' which threw me for a second

    Reply
  • Turbo Pokey

    October 3, 2019

    Must. Go. Faster…

    Reply
  • corey Babcock

    October 4, 2019

    I don't understand how staying in it as it goes over would cause damage

    Reply
  • Scientific Humanist

    October 4, 2019

    There was a pater noster in Prague, back in the 60’s. When I was a kid, my father and I DID go over the top, being very naughty. The cab does stay upright as it transits to the neighbouring shaft. I remember seeing some big mechanical wheels at the top. But that one was only 4-5 floors, as I recall. It’s hard to believe that more people don’t get killed or injured by that thing. Probably no longer exists. 😬🤷‍♂️

    Reply
  • skven

    October 4, 2019

    And that it's my fobia, and open elevator. I Will have a panic attack on one of those

    Reply
  • David Benner

    October 4, 2019

    We had one in our headquarters building in West Germany. It has been turned over to be used as a university. You could go round and round all day and night if you wanted.

    Reply
  • fleurtje fleur

    October 4, 2019

    I hate elevators… These ones seem a lot more comfortable tho. I'd ride this one

    Reply
  • Chris Vaz

    October 4, 2019

    We used to have one at Northwick Park Hospital in London which had 2 advantages

    1 – a staff only lift that saved waiting to deal with the inefficient normal lift system

    2 – one of the consultants used to put a medical student in each cubicle and ask them a question as they came round. Only allowed off if they answered enough correctly.

    Reply
  • Domihork

    October 4, 2019

    There's one in Prague and I've always been scared to go over the top because somebody told me that the cabin folds itself… Because I am reasonable person I don't believe that.. and that's also why I'm so scared of it 😂

    Reply
  • 302hobronco

    October 4, 2019

    There is an old multi level parking garage in my town. It was a complete full service valet parking complex. You pull in, a valet takes your car, washes it and tops off the fuel tank than parks it. There was an elevator just liked this but it was small and only provided a platform for a single foot than a handle halfway between the platforms to hold onto with your hand. It traveled up four stories than down four stores. Very sketchy looking. It was not in service do to it being too much of a liability. But back in the day it was a functioning device used alot. Very interesting.

    Reply
  • Franklyn Polster

    October 5, 2019

    Never seen one of these before. Wow

    Reply
  • Q

    October 5, 2019

    Remember one of these in Metropolis

    Reply
  • Jack Sainthill

    October 5, 2019

    That clip was over the top.

    Reply
  • edmund blackadder coc

    October 5, 2019

    Been on that a few times, tough to navigate when had a few though.

    Reply
  • General-Gaming Doe9de

    October 5, 2019

    What if you miss time your exit or trip and fall SMUSH dead

    Reply
  • IIIRotor

    October 5, 2019

    Warning labels are the only raw material required for the manufacturing processes of this device…

    Reply
  • A Twinspark

    October 5, 2019

    Essex university library had one which I tried long time ago, I think you can only use them with students as when you get older your co-ordination might not be 100% every time – and it needs to be with these things.

    Reply
  • hamaad hussain

    October 5, 2019

    It's the arts tower in Sheffield and I've gone through the roof part more times than I can count

    Reply
  • Andy Reid

    October 7, 2019

    I rode in one of these when I was a guest at the Prague Technical University in the summer of 1995.

    That was the only time I've seen one.

    Reply
  • david baker

    October 8, 2019

    Used to have one at Aston university Birmingham, don’t know if it’s still there

    Reply
  • LucasLucas Lucas

    October 8, 2019

    There's one of those in Bern in a commercial building in the old city.

    Reply
  • Wulframm Rolf

    October 9, 2019

    There are so many design ideas that would make this so much safer. Whoever designed this was lazy. You can't go over the top? Pfft.

    Reply

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