The company continued to grow and expand the business activities, we changed the fuel hungry Maggies for a fleet of MAN and Foden 32 tonne, 8 wheel tippers, we standardised on Caterpillar equipment, developing a recognised competence and being well established fields of Site Clearance, Demolition, Excavation, Land Reclamation, Waste Recovery and Disposal, now Mobile Crushing.
Also about this time we secured the very difficult and challenging contract to remove the complete roof assembly, over the stage at Birmingham Hippodrome, to eve level, including the high level beam that spanned the stage at eve’s level. The ridge was some sixty foot above the eve level, which in turn was approximately eighty five foot above stage level; the double stage, which had been removed, was forty foot above basement level. All was going well; the roof coverings were removed, the purlins removed, steel trusses all dismantled and craned off, the gable wall apex to eave was safely reduced, all arisings had been carefully lowered and taken off site, all as per programme. When we set about main the beam, we assumed it would be of steel construction, as was the roof support structure, we anticipated cleaning off to expose the steel beam then releasing both ends to crane off, Job done. We were in for a nasty surprise when we discovered that the beam was in fact heavily reinforced mass concrete. There were no Mini Breakers at that time; it was a jack hammer job, 24 hours a day, after a week little impression had been made. We decided to use a minimal amount of explosives, placed into strategically placed pilot drill holes, to assist with the breaking and weakening of the beam. Once again our plan worked, the beam had been successfully popped and weakened, the breaking and removal took another two weeks, still finishing a week early, even making a “few bob” in the deal, happy days.
Swindon Iron works was soon to be cleared and the site reclaimed for housing, we put innovative proposals forward that won us the Contract completed under the watchful eye of Johnson Poole and Bloomer, Consultant Engineers. Similarly, we did likewise at the Chance Brothers Glass Works in Oldbury; this site was controlled by Davis Langdon and Everest. Once the demolition had been completed, we removed the over site slabs to expose substantial foundations, all of which were to be removed on a re measure basis. In doing so we came across large underground brick and concrete ducts full of molten glass that had solidified, some were at depths of upto 8 metres. As at the Swindon Steel Works, where we had come across a similar duct problem, but there it was for ventilation and extraction purposes.
As before, we would secure the area, with full cab protection fitted to the machines that were to be employed on breaking out the unusual and irregular obstructions, always allowing plenty of working space. All the materials recovered, processed, crushed then placed back into the voids, compacted and tested, back to finished levels. The volumes of materials excavated were far more than previously envisaged, the deeper we got, financially the better it became. The works were so successful, our transparency in costing extras led to our being awarded further phases of the development by responsible negotiation.
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