Wednesday 24 June 2015

Dodging the Column - how the company saw it!

Going through the park
Dodging the Column  - recently I have taken to showing at talks on Greenwich industry the 1950s British Transport film - 'Dodging the Column'.  This shows equipment from the Charlton based manufacturer, Harveys, being taken to Scotland.  The article below comes from Harvey's house magazine (December 1951) and shows their view of things -

If you haven't seen 'Dodging the Column' - it is on Youtube.  One of the earliest shots shows a chap climbing the bus stop in Woolwich Road, outside the prefabs which predated Phipps House - and he has a hammer in his hand, clearly with intent.....  It sort of goes on from there - you'll enjoy it. 

AT 8 am. on Sunday morning the 28th October, 1951 there emerged from the Heavy Construction Department the biggest distillation column yet.

Round the Marble arch

This column, which was manufactured for the ·Forth Chemicals, Ltd., measured 130 ft. 6 in. in length and had an inside diameter of 8 ft. It  weighed 40 tons. No light job this to convey to Grangemouth on the shores of the Firth of Forth, Scotland. Transport was in the capable hands of E. W. Rudd, Heavy Haulage Service, Special Traffic (Pickford) Division, British Road Services, who have now acquired a bit of experience in handling Harvey's " tall orders."

Traction was provided by two 45-ton 100 h.p. Scammell tractors and the column was carried 0n two trailers approximately 60 ft. apa-t.

Great credit is due to the two drivers, Bert Burns and George Bird, who completed the 417 mile journey two days ahead of schedule. Only one snag was encountered: at. Eamont Bridge, Penrith, where the end of the column became wedged on the road at a dip. After some time it was hoisted clear.


Police protection
'Rarin' to go' - the column still in the factory

Holding up the traffic

Hyde Park Corner
Worm's eye view

1 comment:

Lurcio said...

Similar sized units were being produced and transported from Harveys through to the mid sixties. They were brought up Charlton Church Lane, Hornfair Road past the Lido and left up and over Shooters Hill.

This probably coincided with the opening of the Dartford Tunnel, if that was big enough to take it, or they may have been Bullet style gas holders that were replacing gasometers in the 60's and going down to Kent or Sussex, Eastbourne having a good number.

It excited Friday evening in Charlton a bit, Pickfords lorries and swarms of police on "Noddie Bikes" along with a Tizer from The Fox's Offy-didn't get much better than that.