Category: Cornwall

Reference Library – Local Blogs – Cornwall

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Mills up to par — Karan – Fiji Times

ALL sugar mills in the country are operating well above expectations, says Sugar Ministry permanent secretary Yogesh Karan.
He said compared with the same period last year, the number of complaints from cane farmers and lorry operators had significantl…

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PICTURES: The construction of Plymouth’s A38 Parkway

I was prompted to revisit Stephen Dodd’s wonderful collection of pictures showing the construction of the Parkway after unearthing a copy of the Plymouth Herald’s A38 Parkway supplement when I was looking for something else the other day, writes Plymouth historian Chris Robinson.

The saga of how the £45m Parkway was planned, and named, before the war, has been referenced on the Herald’s pages on more than one occasion, but what I found fascinating flicking through the supplement this time around were the advertisements backing up the text.

There are the usual quotes from a variety of officials. The Secretary of State for Transport, Nicholas Ridley said: “The opening of this new road marks a significant moment in the history of Plymouth,” and paid tribute to the designers, Devon County Council, Messrs Mott, Hay & Anderson, and the contractors John Mowlem, E Thomas, and Norwest Holst “for a fine piece of road building and for being able to complete the project in good time for this year’s summer holiday traffic”.

The new 9km section of the A38 between Marsh Mills and the Tamar Road bridge opened ahead of schedule (the Forder Valley interchange was seven months ahead, while the carriageways and interchange at Manadon, the only three level junction in the county, were eight months ahead) on April 1, 1985.


READ MORE: Weather warning for rain as heavy showers expected across Devon[1]


“Hopefully this major new route will help to make the movements of city dwellers and our welcome holiday visitors that much easier,” noted the chairman of Devon County Council, Plymouth’s own George Creber.

“Even though it has been funded by the Department of the Environment we feel it is our road also as much of the detailed design was carried out by city officers in the early 1970s when the City Council was agent to the Department of the Environment,” chirped Peter Whitfeld, Plymouth’s then Lord Mayor.

But while a few significant statistics were mentioned in these sound bites it was the attendant advertising that contained the real gems.

‘Over 1 million tonnes of stone, 100,000 tonnes of blacktop, 16 miles of kerbstone and edging and nearly an acre of paving slabs’ were ‘sourced from strategically located quarries’ by ECC Quarries Ltd of Moorcroft, Billacombe.

The road surfacing work was carried out by Associated Asphalt; 4,500 tonnes of reinforcement steel was supplied in 250 lorry loads by Squaregrip (Western) Limited of Lee Mill; some 10,000 lorry loads of concrete were poured into the project, much of it by ARC Concrete of Newton Abbot and RMC (ready Mixed Concrete) of Bodmin.

Super Sleve supplied much of the 13,000 liner metres of French drains and 9,000 metres of carrying drain. South West Mastic Asphalte Co. Ltd. ‘were pleased to have been entrusted with asphalting to the footbridges’.

All in all it was a huge engineering exercise with flyovers, underpasses and road constructed over difficult and, in places, soggy terrain.

AMCO lit the subways, cranes, plant, skips and earth movers were supplied by a variety of contractors including Salcombe Crane Hire, Alan Maunder, Howton Contractors, Wakeham, Walshe, Willets & Hawkins, Norman Cleave, Pannell Plant, Marshman and many others.

Over the following two winters, 1984 and 1985 it was planned to plant 100,000 trees to landscape, disguise and mask the impact of the new route, a new route which, in conjunction with improvements to the A38 massively improved the road route to London.

However even with a fair wind the travel time couldn’t beat the journey time promised in my favourite ad from the supplement: ‘One Hour Heathrow Plymouth 4 flights a day – Monday to Friday from 28 October 1984 … talk to your Travel Agent … or phone (0752) 707023 – BRYMON.’

Ironically now, of course, the road, with a fair wind, now offers the fastest option – door to door.

Although with over 40,000 vehicles a day using the Tamar Bridge alone, you can’t always guarantee a clear run.

The stats are staggering – when the bridge was first opened in 1961 there were around 4,000 vehicles using the bridge each day and when the Parkway was first mooted there were barely 4,000 vehicles a day using the A38 in and out of Plymouth, goodness knows what it will be like in another 30 years, but maybe it won’t be such a worry as most of the vehicles will be driverless, and we can just sit back and relax.

The original story by the Plymouth Herald can be found here[2][3].

References

  1. ^ Weather warning for rain as heavy showers expected across Devon (www.devonlive.com)
  2. ^ Plymouth Herald (www.devonlive.com)
  3. ^ here (backbench.localworld.co.uk)
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Incredible photos show the construction of Plymouth’s A38 Parkway

I was prompted to revisit Stephen Dodd’s wonderful collection of pictures showing the construction of the Parkway after unearthing a copy of the Herald’s A38 Parkway supplement when I was looking for something else the other day, writes Chris Robinson.

The story of how the £45m Parkway was planned – and named – before the war, has been referenced on these pages on more than one occasion, but what I found fascinating flicking through the supplement this time around were the advertisements backing up the text.

There the usual quotes from a variety of officials. The Secretary of State for Transport, Nicholas Ridley said: “The opening of this new road marks a significant moment in the history of Plymouth,” and paid tribute to the designers, Devon County Council, Messrs Mott, Hay & Anderson, and the contractors John Mowlem, E Thomas, and Norwest Holst “for a fine piece of road building and for being able to complete the project in good time for this year’s summer holiday traffic”.

The new 9km section of the A38 between Marsh Mills and the Tamar Road bridge was opened ahead of schedule (the Forder Valley interchange was seven months ahead, while the carriageways and interchange at Manadon, the only three level junction in the county, were eight months ahead) on April 1, 1985.

“Hopefully this major new route will help to make the movements of city dwellers and our welcome holiday visitors that much easier,” noted the chairman of Devon County Council, Plymouth’s own George Creber.

“Even though it has been funded by the Department of the Environment we feel it is our road also as much of the detailed design was carried out by city officers in the early 1970s when the City Council was agent to the Department of the Environment,” chirped Peter Whitfeld, Plymouth’s then Lord Mayor.

But while a few significant statistics were mentioned in these sound bites it was the attendant advertising that contained the real gems.

‘Over 1 million tonnes of stone, 100,000 tonnes of blacktop, 16 miles of kerbstone and edging and nearly an acre of paving slabs’ were ‘sourced from strategically located quarries’ by ECC Quarries Ltd of Moorcroft, Billacombe.

All the road surfacing work was carried out by Associated Asphalt; 4,500 tonnes of reinforcement steel was supplied in 250 lorry loads by Squaregrip (Western) Limited of Lee Mill; some 10,000 lorry loads of concrete were poured into the project, much of it by ARC Concrete of Newton Abbot and RMC (ready Mixed Concrete) of Bodmin.

More: Inside the top secret Cattedown Bone Caves[1]

Super Sleve supplied much of the 13,000 liner metres of French drains and 9,000 metres of carrying drain. South West Mastic Asphalte Co. Ltd. ‘were pleased to have been entrusted with asphalting to the footbridges’.

All in all it was a huge engineering exercise with flyovers, underpasses and road constructed over difficult and, in places, soggy terrain.

AMCO lit the subways, cranes, plant, skips and earth movers were supplied by a variety of contractors including Salcombe Crane Hire, Alan Maunder, Howton Contractors, Wakeham, Walshe, Willets & Hawkins, Norman Cleave, Pannell Plant, Marshman and many others.

Over the following two winters, 1984 and 1985 it was planned to plant 100,000 trees to landscape, disguise and mask the impact of the new route, a new route which, in conjunction with improvements to the A38 massively improved the road route to London.

However even with a fair wind the travel time couldn’t beat the journey time promised in my favourite ad from the supplement: ‘One Hour Heathrow Plymouth 4 flights a day – Monday to Friday from 28 October 1984 … talk to your Travel Agent … or phone (0752) 707023 – BRYMON.’

Ironically now, of course, the road, with a fair wind, now offers the fastest option – door to door.

Although with over 40,000 vehicles a day using the Tamar Bridge alone, you can’t always guarantee a clear run.

The stats are staggering – when the bridge was first opened in 1961 there were around 4,000 vehicles using the bridge each day and when the Parkway was first mooted there were barely 4,000 vehicles a day using the A38 in and out of Plymouth, goodness knows what it will be like in another 30 years, but maybe it won’t be such a worry as most of the vehicles will be driverless, and we can just sit back and relax.

References

  1. ^ More: Inside the top secret Cattedown Bone Caves (www.plymouthherald.co.uk)