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 view from Lochinvar: party of the century from the Commonwealth Flotilla
    Thank you for your kind comments about the piece.
    I never know to whom comments refer – so to be clear, in what I said to defend For Argyll’s and my own very real independence of anything and anyone, I had not suggested in any way that Mr Black was a supporter of anything.
    I was – and am – concerned only at his assumption that For Argyll is different from what I know it to be.
  • Managed protest at Pacific Quay shames pro-indy campaign
    For Argyll editorialises as a matter of policy.
    With interactive media today, since any reader is free to comment [unedited] – and many do – a news platform is free to take a position and not contribute to a fraud on the public by pretending that there are two sides of equal weight on a specific issue, where this is not the case.
    Our positional judgments are made on the basis of evidence and not on the basis of preconception or bias.
    The powerful evidence for this is that we publicly supported potential independence for several years from 2007. The reasons why we have come to oppose it today are evidential and arise from serious independent researches of our own. These have shown us that the prospectus on which the country will vote on 18th September is incomplete and knowingly deceptive; that promises made cannot be fulfilled as the prospectus stands – and more are being made on a daily basis now [today's is that if you vote 'Yes', wages will go up]; and that controversial decisions planned to be taken [as on various aspects of taxation] have been suppressed until later for fear of losing votes.
    We have also become increasingly concerned at the degree and speed of implementation of a totalitarian political philosophy; and about the willingness to exert intimidation and deploy patronage to suppress criticism and resistance to this direction of travel. Ironically, this is the modus operandi indy is supposed to free us from.
    All that this indy would do is bring those instruments of manipulation even closer to home – and in the hands of a party of majority government now very experienced and skilled in using them. This is quite a frightening prospect.
    Economically and socially we can see nothing supportable arising from this prospectus or, now, from the party promoting it – so we do not support it.
    Personally, I have voted for the SNP in the past – and joined the party for several years – because it showed signs of an objective attempt actually to govern Scotland.
    I departed when it became progressively clear that principle had been discarded in favour of a obsessive will to gamble that the country will buy a false prospectus if it is bribed enough and emotionally manipulated enough.
    Personally, I prefer to hope that people will scrutinise, learn and think enough – but I do not discount disappointment on that hope.
    The methods used to conduct the campaign are below civility and simply insupportable – the bullying, the unachievable promises, the rank dishonesty, the sleight of hand statements to shore up decomposing positions.
    No one to whom honesty and straightforwardness matter could put their name to taking Scotland into an uncertain independence on the back of this prospectus and this campaign.
    I have learned to disrespect the SNP as a party – never a position I had imagined I would arrive at. Whatever the outcome in September, I will not vote for them again.
  • The view from Lochinvar: party of the century from the Commonwealth Flotilla
    On a point of fact, it is not CalMac but CMAL [Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited - also state owned] which commissioned and owns the two hybrid ferries.
    We wouldn’t have spent the money this way. It had too high a degree of the ‘green vanity project’ about it and there have been a range of unforeseen issues about which little is known but which have cost more money than originally budgeted, over and above the usual overruns.
    But the boats are here, in service, with good manoeuverability.
    CalMac does not – contractually cannot – choose the boats it uses. That does not mean that the company would or would not have preferred anything else in this instance. We have no idea of that position.
    The issue is one of the accountability of government to the public whose taxes pay for the results of decisions which are not always made on the defensible criteria, with informed perspectives and with the overt purpose in mind – on projects with no serious pressure to manage to budget. It’s ‘other people’s money’.
  • The view from Lochinvar: party of the century from the Commonwealth Flotilla
    There was a reason why MV Clyde Clipper and MV Cruiser displayed their seamanship in the very close quarters manoeuvre we reported after Clipper came out of her dock at Greenock.
    Clipper had run out of coffee and was being supplied from Cruiser.
  • The view from Lochinvar: party of the century from the Commonwealth Flotilla
    If I thought that was possible from the prospectus we’re voting on, I’d vote for it.

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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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