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October 4th 2013

K e e p i n g o u r s t a ff i n f o r m e d


Issue 40

Happy Dashain Everyone When you hire ex Gurkha Officers to provide security solutions for a number of Rail Construction sites you get a lot more than just a quality service.

Precision measuring bolts in action

Forth Road Bridge Cable Band Replacement In March 2012, an inspection revealed damage to cable band bolt assemblies on the Forth Road Bridge, including two cable bands with more than one compromised bolt assembly. Emergency repairs were scheduled for the replacement of all the cable band bolts and nuts. Owing to the safety critical nature of the task a contract was awarded to us to replace all 944 bolt assemblies as a matter of urgency, to reinstate the structural integrity of the hanger system and minimise the risks to traffic. Our engineering team pulled out all the stops to respond in as short a timeframe as possible, with our cable crawlers being lifted into place on August 12th 2012. The job was scheduled to run until the end of 2013, but thanks to the commitment and dedication of the team the final works were recently completed, the cable crawlers removed and the job handed back to Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) over 3 months ahead of schedule. The results have delighted the FETA management team, with Forth Road Bridge Master, Barry Colford, commenting to the team “Thanks for © Spencer Engineering Group Ltd. 1989-2013 – All Rights Reserved

allll your efforts a al y eff fforts ff ts iin n making maki king sure ree the tth he project a success. I am p rojectt was w m really real allyy pleased efforts p leased att th the he eff fforts that went in from m everyone to enable us to complete by the end of summer this year. Given we met for the first time in March last year to start the project, it really is a great achievement." Above is a photograph of the bolts that were replaced. These are used to secure 192 “cable bands” to the bridge’s main cables – metal castings over which the steel rope hangers holding up the roadway are looped. Each cable band is held in place by a number of 35 mm diameter high tensile steel bolts, pre-tensioned to a load of around 80 tonnes

Training Management The Training department are introducing ‘Training Management Plan’s’ for all live projects. The idea is to ensure we are meeting the training requirements of our live projects in a speedy but controlled manner, they also allow delivery teams more time to focus on more project specific areas. These plans will be for the whole duration of a project and will incorporate costs, locations and dates for both initial and recertification training. We’ll also look at desirable training and development streams which may further improve competence, knowledge and experience of project delivery teams.

Fiona Binks, Becky Pursey, Mike Colyer, Simon Hulatt, Steve Gunnell, Terry Donnovan and Sean Daughton were amongst the lucky team members who were graciously invited to a Nepalese Festival Party hosted by FSI; the Security Group hired to protect a number of Rail South sites. As they celebrated the Hindu festival of Dashain it was a great opportunity for Spencer employees to experience a taste of it and widen their cultural gaze. Fiona said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the evening! They had prepared food and entertainment for us all and went out of their way to make the evening a great success - we would like to thank them for their hospitality” ---Not to be outdone! the Hull based Waterside Park team are also planing a cultural trip; this time to SHEQ member; Iain Kirk’s native home in ‘Doncaster’. As you can imagine, those invited are both nervous and excited at the prospect of experiencing diversity literally only a few miles down the road.

Night out in Sunny Donny anyone?


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Sophie’s choice words As part of our regular updates on our apprenticeship scheme, Sophie Burgess reports on her own experiences: “I have been part of the scheme for 4 months now and overall it has been a very positive experience for me. So far, I have had the pleasure to be part of the Reception, SHEQ, Training and Procurement teams, all of which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Reception was the first stop on my two year journey and, being nervous about starting work and with reservations about speaking on the telephone, I could never have felt more welcomed than by Helen

Lazenby. She was a fantastic mentor and now I love answering the telephone (which is a big turn-around for me!) I then had the pleasure of working with the fabulous guys in the SHEQ team and the Training department, based at the Hessle office. Again, I felt very welcomed by not just these teams but everyone at the intimate Hessle office. During my time I was mentored in some way or another by Iain Kirk, Lee Carmody, Lee Daniels, Paul Kellett, Kim Chambers, Aaron McIver, Gosia Golata and Anne Marshall. All of them have taught me a skill or have given me an experience that I will be able to use again. Of particular note

Paul boasts a very impressive CV, having worked in senior management and delivery roles on multi-billion pound projects, including the £990m Central Line re-electrification, the £500m Northern Line power upgrade and the Jubilee Line extension.

Other notable projects include the PPP Contract for a major network-wide power upgrade, the multi-discipline refurbishment of 22 central London stations and the £2b Victoria Transport Interchange. Paul also has extensive oversees experience, having been involved in huge rail investment programmes on Australia and Malaysia. To read more about Paul’s experiences and this new appointment be sure to check out the new upcoming Rail South Newsletter.

Super-sized ‘monster’ files and SOS The SOS team is getting quite a lot of requests for assistance to upload documents larger than 50Mb. Very large documents are more expensive to store and move around but the biggest problem is the person experience at the other end. Larger files are stored on our own servers which can mean that mail recipients with slower internet speeds can sometimes experience painfully long download times to the point that they give up and your © Spencer Engineering Group Ltd. 1989-2013 – All Rights Reserved

was Kim, who was fantastic and taught me to make list, lots and lots of lists… They really are useful! I’m currently working in Procurement under the mentor-ship of Keri Lusby and Heath Williamson. I am dealing with the sub-contracts which, at first, seemed very daunting and a bit scary but now, with the handy aide of Keri’s post-it notes: ‘Paginate, Copy, Scan, Upload, Tracker, Post’, - I am well on my way! Overall, my experience within the company has been very positive and I love how everyone is friendly and willing to help even if you feel you’re asking a silly question. I’m looking forward to the rest of my time with The Spencer Group and the departments I am still yet to experience.”

Spencer supports ‘The Crane Gang’

New Operations Director joins the Rail team Paul Richie has joined Spencer Rail as Operations Director. He has more than 25 years’ experience on the railways in both electrical and mechanical engineering roles.


document never gets to its intended reader. It is quite possible that the large size is because the best techniques have not been used when compiling the document and SOS would like to offer assistance to anyone who thinks they may be on the point of creating 'a monster'. Give SOS support a call before you start especially if the document is heavy on photographs or a very large PDF etc and we'll do our best to help.

See one of our projects on the telly! A documentary following one of our supplier partners, Ainscough Crane Hire Ltd. The BBC show sees them in action lifting the penthouse structure onto our Hull Biomass Project.

You can Watch "The Crane Gang" on BBC 2 Sunday Oct 6th at 8pm or Tues Oct 8th at 11:20pm See for details.

Welcome new starters A big welcome to our latest full time team members: Joe DiMauro - Engineer (Graduate) - Rail South Ian Wilburn - Design Manager - Design David Cockle - Engineering Manager – Rail South Catherine Weymes - Payroll Supervisor - Group


Spencer in touch issue 40  

In this issue the Gurkhas in Ipswich lay on a spread, Sophie updates us on the apprenticeship programme and the BBC cover an impressive cran...

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