Would make a good set for the next …

Comment posted Quarrying at Glensanda: aggregating aggregates by Robert Wakeham.

Would make a good set for the next James Bond movie, but ideally the baddies would disappear into the mincing machine and that would be best achieved as the ship is unloaded and the cargo sinks into the hoppers at the base of the hold.

Robert Wakeham also commented

  • Surely the difference with the wind industry is that it’s creeping over the surface of the country – and the surrounding seas – like some contagion that risks getting out of control, whereas Glensanda is an admittedly very large scale operation but in a carefully chosen area of a landscape big enough to contain it. Yes, it can be surprisingly visible – for example from the road through Glen Nant, 20 miles away – but it’s surely not the ‘total destruction of a huge swathe of countryside’, and it does have a certain grandeur in its sheer scale.

Recent comments by Robert Wakeham

  • MV Loch Seaforth for Stornoway-Ullapool: a tale of public sector ‘management’
    There could be an unfortunate parallel between the Holyrood transport bods and those in Westminster, where the DfT’s people have been ‘directing’ the programme for, and specification of, new passenger trains for long enough now to establish beyond much doubt that they don’t have the expertise and experience to avoid causing real damage to the provision of a fit-for-purpose integrated transport system.
    This is in contrast to the rail freight industry, where provision of equipment is entirely controlled by the operating companies – and it shows, it’s like the difference between Calmac/CMAL and Western Ferries.
  • MV Loch Seaforth for Stornoway-Ullapool: a tale of public sector ‘management’
    Arthur, if a two-ship operation could be run with boats slightly smaller than the Loch Seaforth and thus compatible with other ferry ports then that would surely be a huge advantage – as well as providing greater ‘insurance’ against a breakdown leading to major disruption of the service. And with the best will in the world, however clever the degree of redundancy apparently engineered into the Loch Seaforth’s propulsion system, it’s surely going to occasionally get hiccups.
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    JPJ2 (I always thought that was a brand of jet fuel, but then maybe you too are dangerous when you leak, and risk incinerating everything)
    To get to the point, there’s nothing wrong with your defending the SNP – but I really do wonder if perhaps you’re taking criticism on the nose, on the ‘We can do no wrong because We’re the SNP’ principle.
    I wish I could sympathise with you, but a couple of weeks ago I was cold called, but not by the usual bloody spiv flogging ‘green’ insulation / windows / heating.
    This time it was an SNP pollster, looking to tick lots of boxes which seemed to assume that I was either with them, or – by definition – the enemy.
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    If not, it’s time for our MSPs to wake up and take action.

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8 Responses to Would make a good set for the next …

  1. My understanding is that the ship’s conveyor boom is only used when discharging. At that time, the cargo is dropped through the hopper doors in the bottom of the holds, onto longitudinal conveyors which take the cargo to the foot of the vertical conveyor (in the un-lovely tower attached to the front of the superstructure). The vertical conveyor then dumps the cargo onto the start of the ship’s discharge conveyor belt, carried in the boom which is swung from the ship above the quay at Amsterdam, or Hamburg, or wherever.

    My understanding is that, when loading, the quarry’s own conveyer boom carries the stone chips right above the top of the hold, so that gravity does all of the rest (until the destination port), and the ship’s conveyor boom is simply swung out of the way.

    If the ship’s conveyor belt carried the new cargo on-board, you would then need some horizontal conveyors at deck level to get the cargo from the inboard end of that conveyor to the tops of the holds. That would seem to be a bigger change than has been implemented in this rebuild.

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  2. The ship loader is actually on the jetty. It is a very interesting piece of equipment, more elaborate than I had imagined. From what I could see and from what I gleaned from the quarry staff I will try and explain how it works, but I did not get to see how the conveyor collects the stone or how the belt deals with it’s outward travel.

    If you look at the two pictures in this article you will see that it’s base is a massive bridge structure that sits on a turntable/pivot at one end and travels in an arc on rails set into the jetty at the outer end, where you can see a driver’s cab is attached. The conveyor to the ship is set in a boom that travels outwards on top of this bridge. It looks like the back end is held down by rollers that will be below the bridge. The boom conveyor can reach the furthest away corner of any of the ships holds.

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  3. Would make a good set for the next James Bond movie, but ideally the baddies would disappear into the mincing machine and that would be best achieved as the ship is unloaded and the cargo sinks into the hoppers at the base of the hold.

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  4. I have no objection to the Glensanda operation whatsoever but . . .

    let no one tell you that heavy industry does not do cute

    compellingly beautiful symmetrical heap of silver crushed stone

    the very specific beauty that is part of industry

    Am I the only one who finds this eulogy to the industrialisation and total destruction of a huge swathe of countryside a bit odd after the vitriol recently poured on the wind industry?
    .

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    • Surely the difference with the wind industry is that it’s creeping over the surface of the country – and the surrounding seas – like some contagion that risks getting out of control, whereas Glensanda is an admittedly very large scale operation but in a carefully chosen area of a landscape big enough to contain it. Yes, it can be surprisingly visible – for example from the road through Glen Nant, 20 miles away – but it’s surely not the ‘total destruction of a huge swathe of countryside’, and it does have a certain grandeur in its sheer scale.

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      • Digging a mountain away in an operation like that is pretty close to total destruction, is it not?

        It may be necessary, it may be in the most appropriate place and it may be very clever technically, but Glensanda is not ‘beautiful’ by any stretch of the imagination.

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        • I suppose it depends on the imagination being stretched. Some only see natural beauty while others see beauty in man’s industrial efforts to improve his lifestyle.

          To live the lives we desire we sometimes need to move mountains, cut down trees and extract energy. It’s what we do to make good the impact and generate re-growth that is important.

          The owners and the staff at Glensanda seem to consider the environmental impact of their every action and look to have it in mind at every stage. Vegetation is evident on the “benches” left from the earlier works.

          Fifty years ago when there was a lot of road building, there were small quarries dotted along the roadsides. Today most of these are hardly noticable due to government spending on tidying up schemes, modern machinery and the healing efforts of Mother Nature.

          We can look at the ground around Glensanda and see evidence of the toil of the people who lived there before the Clearances. In the future other generations will see evidence of the toil of today’s people.

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