Broad Raine weir hydro project

cross-sectional diagram of a typical Archiedean screw

Work re-started in April this year, but it was held up for several weeks because of high water in the river. The screw arrived her on 19th September on a tractor and it negotiated the lane without damage either to the screw or to the hedges or the walls along the lane. It was lifted in by a crane that was perhaps 60 foot high and dropped safely into the trough that had ben prepared for it. No-one seemed to be quite sure about the date when the screw would arrive but towards the middle of September there was a rumour that it was imminent. Then a date was announced. It would becoming up from Lancaster via the motorway and would be in a yard at Four Lane Ends at the junction of the A683 with B6256 at 10.30am on 19th September ready to be transferred onto a tractor. At Broad Raine by nearly mid-day there was no sign any activity and then a huge vehicle arrived, negotiating with some difficulty the bends from the lane into the drive, but it was not the screw. It was the most gigantic crane. It took an hour or two to position and secure it, by which time the noise of a tractor announced the arrival of the screw which was parked up at the north end of the site. Work for the day ceased and next morning the screw was lifted off the tractor and parked alongside the little hut awaiting the removal of overhanging trees. This was done by an intrepid local man who was hauled up by the crane from which dangled a small basket. Armed with a chain saw he leaned over the edge of the basket and cut away at the small branches that topped the trees overlooking the site. Then in the afternoon came the crucial manoevre. Chains were attached to the screw and it was winched up to be exactly at the same angle as the slope of the trough. Two or three men held onto ropes that allowed them to swing the screw round as needed. It was lifted slowly, so slowly over the roof of the little hut and then across to its trough, with the men tugging on their ropes to keep it properly aligned. Then even more slowly it was lowered into the trough so that the top end was lined up with the round hole in the concrete forming the side of the turbine house ready to be pushed into the hole. Then the Forman shouted, “We have got the measurements wrong!” He was only joking. The metal tube at the top end of the screw fitted perfectly into the hole in the concrete on the side of the building. The men did not even stop for tea, much less champagne, but worked to continue the installation bringing into the building the turbine that would be attached to the screw. It was quite late when the crane finally left and was on its way back to its home in Birmingham.