Am I glad you were there, Murdoch – …

Comment posted Quarrying at Glensanda: aggregating aggregates by newsroom.

Am I glad you were there, Murdoch – apart from the pleasure of actually meeting.

Recent comments by newsroom

  • The Carmichael lie: another grubby pot condemns the leaking kettle
    We have no idea.Has the MSP given the year of his graduation? If so,the Glasgow University records for that year would put this matter to bed.
    If people have been unable to establish whether Mr MacKenzie graduated from Glasgow University, we are sure that he would respond to any direct questions on the matter.
    For us, life’s too short. There have always been inadequates and crooks who, for whatever reason, claim qualifications they haven’t got.
    We take people as we find them, on evidence of performance and capability, regardless of qualification or rank.
    However, this doesn’t really work when it comes to surgeons. Or does it?
    Does anyone remember the story – accurate – of a milkman from Leeds who spent his spare time reading about anatomy and general surgery in the local library, applied for job as a surgeon, got it, carried out operations with no apparent bad outcomes – memory says one was the a finger amputation and one an appendectomy – and got caught out not through any surgical error but some paperwork glitch a keen eyed administrator eventually noticed.
  • SNP shuts down local branch Twitter proving witch hunt against Carmichael
    A witch hunt is described as an investigation carried out ostensibly to uncover subversive activities but actually used to harass and undermine those with differing views.
    If you look at what is being planned by these mob-handed tweeters, they are wholly focused on hounding a man out of everything he can be hounded out of – and this is bringing the merciless harrying of the man’s family – who have done nothing.
    Alex Salmond’s lies were of far greater substance, far more dishonest, far more profoundly serious and would have been far more expensive for Scotland long into the future if over 55% of the voters in September 2014 had not recognised the dodgy indy prospectus for what it unquestionably was. You would probably have called it ‘mince’ – if it had been a pro-union document.
    The vindictiveness with which Carmichael is being harried has got nothing to to with any care for the truth. From comments here, is it clear that Mr Salmond’s direct lies can actually be believed to be fictions concocted by pro-unionists – even though he uttered the biggest of them to Andrew Neil on national television? You Tube carries a much visited permanent record of that event.
    The vindictiveness against Carmichael in today’s one party Scotland is driven by a genuinely worrying form of sectarian ethnic cleansing.
    He is the last Liberal Democrat in Scotland. That is not permissable. We must have none.
    David Mundell is the last Conservative in Scotland. We must have none of those either. And Il Magnifico himself has already set off in panting pursuit of Mundell, blunt instrument in hand.
    Something will be concocted to ramp up a mob against Ian Murray in Edinburgh South.
    These last remnants of pluralism standing against what is ever more noisily the jackboot tramp of the SNP brigades, are an endangered species.
    And if normal human beings buy into this culture, we will every one of us reap the whirlwind the SNP is sowing.
  • Supposing CalMac lost the Clyde and Hebridean ferries contract…
    Argyll Ferries is a subsidiary company of Caledonian Macbrayne Ltd, whose parent company is David MacBrayne Limited.
    The brand name’Caledonian MacBrayne’ is owned by CMAL. Apologies for using the shortened version.
    However, we will find out if CalMac is also a registered brand owned by CMAL and will add the answer to that when we get it.
    UPDATED 29 May: Caledonian MacBrayne and CalMac are trading names of CalMac Ferries Ltd (CFL). Caledonian MacBrayne , CalMac and the lion rampant device are registered trademarks of Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL)and are used under licence by CalMac Ferries Ltd.
  • The Carmichael lie: another grubby pot condemns the leaking kettle
    Good question.
    The issue at the time was addressing what one could call a persistent local persecution of some ferrymen – and the council’s failure to offer robust protection to their employees.
    The conduct of the abusers was such as to fall clearly within the council’s own criterion of vexatious complainant. They had a written protocol for dealing with such complainants yet had never employed it in relation to these behaviours designed to harrass and damage their employees. On some occasions these behaviours were very much in the extreme, like pack animals ganging up on an individual.
    Several Easdale ferrymen treated in this way developed stress symptoms and had periods where they were unable to work.
    We were anxious to keep readers’ attention focused on what was an issue of serious importance.
    We felt that were we to identify this particular participant, whose behaviours were worryingly threatening, that could have become the main issue; and the less high profile issues of the undefended ferrymen could have got buried.
    The harrassment and abuse that went on, delivered by a specific group – much of which we published – was utterly unprincipled and calculated to be as personally damaging as possible. That was the heart of the matter and that was what we wanted to keep in focus.
    That was the judgment behind the anonymity used at that time.
    That need no longer exists; and the deliberate predation of Carmichael is unpleasant, self-serving and hypocritical.
  • Is David MacBrayne’s Solent enterprise the signal for the end of Calmac?
    Agreed on all points.

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8 Responses to Am I glad you were there, Murdoch – …

  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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