BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘machinery’

#365daysofbiking The boys with the black stuff

September 13th – A day working from home, and I didn’t get out until late, so I went to investigate the road resurfacing taking place overnight between Ogley Road and Anchor Bridge on the High Street.

These operations always make for great night photos and I find the combination of lights, busy, coordinated people, noise and huge machinery being carefully marshalled captivating.

I wasn’t disappointed. The elegance of that curve of road plantings into the tipper truck is superb, too. Felt sorry for those living nearby with the noise, though – especially the elderly folk in Knaves Court. But still, has to be done.

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#365daysofbiking The golden hour

August 2nd – This week has been all about seasonal markers, and this evening as I left Shenstone for Stonnall and home, the harvest was well underway.

The fashion for huge, cylindrical baling seems to have ceased and we seem to be back to the more space efficient (and stable!) rectangular ones.

As ever, the machinery, synchronicity between drivers and sheer power of the operation is breathtakingly impressive, and a reminder that the countryside is still a huge, open air factory floor dedicated to our sustenance.

Always impressive to watch.

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#365daysofbiking So glad I made it

July 21st – it really wasn’t my weekend and I was called out to a work emergency in the early hours. I had hoped to get to Barton Gate Steam Rally near Burton, but with a 3pm work finish it looked unlikely.

Due to a lift from my partner and some very sharp thinking on her part, I was deposited bike and all in Kings Bromley and managed to catch the atmosphere for the last hour, which was wonderful. I then enjoyed a lovely summer evening ride.

The help of others is so wonderful and I’m very grateful. I was tired, but needed some headspace and the joy of daft machinery.

I have no idea why the machine on the trailer with crawler tracks is, but I want one.

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#365daysofbiking Surface tension

February 20th – As I headed home to Brownhills on the canal, my attention was snagged by the noise from the Lindon Road, and then I remembered that it was being resurfaced overnight.

With my love of machinery, I couldn’t resist taking a look.

The dust, noise and spectacle were fascinating, and I love how the road surface is recycled into new tarmac.

The operation is a well-practiced, highly co-ordinated ballet of trucks, machines and people each with their own task.

A captivating sight.

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#365daysofbiking The Crane life:

September 12th: My first trip to Telford in several weeks and the new station footbridge is making steady progress. The ring road is now closed under the bridge, and. a large crane is being assembled, presumably to lift the massive main deck into place from it’s construction point on an adjacent verge.

A queue of HGVs and machines lines up down the empty roadway. People discuss, Marshall and prepare. This is clearly to be one heck of an operation.

The rest of the project progresses: Brickwork is going up, lift machinery is taking form in the assembled bridge piers and lots of ancillary pathways and steelwork are moving into place or emerging.

This is going to be one to watch.

July 3rd – I had stuff to do in Telford mid-morning, and was eager to see how the footbridge project was progressing. I wasn’t disappointed.

On site, the assembled over-railway portion of the deck had been lifted into place as I suspected onto the lattice piers – which despite my scepticism last week appear to have been positioned without breaking any glass at all. Remarkable.

The crane used to lift the 96 tonne structure into place was being dismantled on site – by another crane. It was terribly meta. 

It was heaven for a machine geek like me, I was transfixed for some time.

It’s nice to see the new footbridge taking shape at last.

March 8th – At Telford, the piling for the footbridge project near the station is progressing apace, and the machinery in use is fascinating. 

Holes are being bored, reinforcing assemblies being placed within and concrete pumped in. The depth of the bores is extraordinary, and an army of workers in orange wait for their moment to undertake their assigned tasks.

This is a hugely complex project which has surprised me – I can now see why it’s costing so much.

August 7th – On the way home and travelling through Stonnall after a tiring day of firefights and frustration, I stopped on Cartersfield Lane to watch as drifting smoke obscured the distant pumping station. My astonishment was short lived though when I got nearer and realised it was the same wheat-dust from the same machine working in a different field to the evening before.

Combine harvesters really are the most fascinating machines. 

Harvest must be like the ultimate triumph of the year for an arable farmer, and the hard work and long hours are clear. I bet the dust isn’t much fun in that thing either.

Good to see the harvest home.

September 30th – Right now, Birmingham is doing what it does best – changing. I was in Birmingham for a sunny, pleasant afternoon that felt like the last of summer, and I continued my fascination with the demolition of the library, 103 Colmore Row and the Birmingham Conservatoire. The Adrian Boult Hall is now gone, the library down to it’s last scraps, and 103 Colmore Row is forlorn and truncated, much like the memory of the architect who designed all of them, the great John Madin.

There’s no time for sentiment, because Brum so doesn’t do that; the engineers are driving forward the change in their machines, cutting, smashing and pulverising the modernism to dust. And it’s fascinating, from the jurassic appearance of a resting concrete cutter to the antics of a pair of experts in a cradle slung above the devastation like some hi-visibility acetylene and helmet circus act.

It’s stunning, shocking and wonderful to watch. But I’m glad Madin himself didn’t live to see the crushing of his big civil dream.

September 2nd – Pleased to see the vegetation has been cut back, restoring the fascinating view of Cloud Quarry from the Cloud Trail, near Worthingdon on the Leicestershire/Derbyshire border.

It seems like a well run quarry, mining limestone for a variety of industry. Everywhere you look machines are busy moving, breaking or grading stone, and some of the driving on the shelves and roads is very impressive.

I could watch this for hours.