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

  • Astonishing infrastructural deficiency threatens Oban’s business development
    So you’re one of the ‘can’t be done’ brigade – why not, for goodness sake?
  • Astonishing infrastructural deficiency threatens Oban’s business development
    ‘…no new connections have been allowed for years’ – the ‘can’t be done’ school of thought, so easily criticised from the other side of the pond as a British disease, we need this sort of restriction like a hole in the head..
    This is surely a festering scandal, with Campbeltown, Oban and Dunoon contending with varying degrees of geographical disadvantage in the search for healthy local economies.
    It’s a privatised utility, but for all I know it was the same story before privatisation – and do our governments really have no say when this utility is being managed against the public interest?
    Today the energy utilities are reporting huge rises in their profits, so maybe we need a touch of Greek-style re-nationalisation of energy distribution businesses?
  • Astonishing infrastructural deficiency threatens Oban’s business development
    A touch smug, Mr Stanger – there was a hotel on the site before.
    I don’t know whether you live in Oban, but I always wonder at the extraordinary infrastructural deficit in the Oban road network, with just about all traffic between the north and Oban / southern Argyll being funnelled through the ‘bealach’, no sign of a link road around the inland side of the town and the only thing resembling a bypass being the low-speed single track road of extremely limited capacity (and even less passing places) between Connel and Kilmore.
    Add to this the really remarkable lack of proper pavements on some of the busiest streets, and the quite incomprehensible failure to create a link road from the Glenshellach area through the back of Lochavullin to the Albany Street / Shore Street junction, and you’ve got a picture of catastrophic complacency. Or is it smugness?
  • So what has damaged MV Loch Seaforth been up to?
    I was once sitting out on the aft deck of Western Ferries’ ‘Sound of Jura’, returning from Islay on a summer evening, when the boat unexpectedly performed a complete circle – and Arthur Blue emerged from the engine room door, looked around, scratched his head, and disappeared back down the ladder whence he’d come. We soon continued on our way without further incident – these things happen.
  • Communities Secretary on prompt to intervene with revaluation of Castle Toward
    Goodwill? – Dick Walsh?

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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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