Sunday, 20 April 2008

Not Much Happening

There were a couple of men down at Rock Walk with surveying gear a week or so back. They were pointing their instruments at the rock face so I suppose they were checking if anything was moving. So far it all looks the same but all the plants and trees are budding now so it should start to look a little greener over the next few months.

If there is anything new to report I will do so as soon as I hear any thing.


Sunday, 6 April 2008

Before and After

Rock Walk January 2008

Rock Walk March 2008

From the Herald Express 12 Dec 2007

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11:00 - 12 December 2007
Torquay's famous Rock Walk has been closed for safety reasons.

Rock Walk, opposite the crumbling seafront and a landmark location for decades, will be shut from today until 'extensive improvement works' are carried out.Torbay Council said that bad weather has made the walk's decay, first revealed in a report earlier this year, worse and the area will be fenced off until the improvements are carried out later next year.As part of the repairs in late January, Torbay Road will be closed between the Pavilion roundabout and Belgrave Road as a large crane is moved in.

It's not yet known how long the main road will be closed.But deputy mayor Kevin Carroll, said speculation that both seafront lanes may be shut for up to six weeks was 'not a possibility'.He said: "I did hear that it was being proposed. We have said that can not happen. One lane perhaps but not two."A preliminary inspection of Rock Walk took place in January followed by a more detailed review in March.The report highlighted issues relating to the stability of some of the larger trees, but after this weekend's bad weather the situation has worsened.Cllr Carroll said: "Following a rapid change in the weather with strong winds and heavy rainfall and no predicted let-up we have had no choice but to close Rock Walk Gardens."

Fences will be put in place from today to prevent access to the public via the seafront road as well as the footpath off Shedden Hill and Warren Road and will remain in place until the necessary improvement works are carried out."We had hoped to keep the gardens open until the improvement works were carried out. Unfortunately this has not been the case and the bad weather has forced us to close the gardens as a precautionary measure."

Rock Walk; Before the assault.

These are just a few photos to show how neglected Rock Walk has become over the years. People are saying the council should have done something years ago and blaming the poor sods that are in charge now. But it needed work doing 30 years ago and this lot have only been in since Last May and are doing some thing.
Only in one spot could you actually see anything other than trees.

If you could have sat on that bench this is all you would have seen.

And Rock Walk from Torr Abbey Sands on a bright summers day.

Day One, Mon 28 Jan 2008

The road has been closed and workmen are preparing the road for the crane, which will arrive this evening.

And the buses are starting on their diversion.

Day Two; Tue 29 Jan 2008

Monday 28 Jan, the crane arrived the evening before and was to start work at 7 am but some equipment hadn't turned up.

Later that day the top of the first tree was removed.

Day Three; Wed 30 Jan 2008

The crane, big isn't it?

The first tree for the chop today.

And here it comes, floating serenely down not knowing it's fate.

Two men with chain saws and a big shredder

take 7 minutes to reduce it to wood chip.

Day Three; part two

The Safety Manager was heard muttering a little prayer.
And here's why.

Day Four; Thur 31 Jan 2008

Wet and very windy, so the crane stands idle
and a couple of workmen do some maintainance on a support vehicle.

Even the post box and the poor, brand new, lonely bus stop feel completely neglected.

Day Five; Fri 01 Feb 2008

A slow start as the weather was bad but some work was done.
The top of an other tree heads for the wood chip machine.

Day Six: Sat 02 Feb 2008

The Crane is still working

but he doesn't seem to be.

And there are all shouting, "Get a move on, the rugby is on the TV at 4."

England lost by the way.

The crowd is begining to drift away.

So up he goes.

Day Six: Part 2

An other branch loses the battle against the chain saw.

Nice and warm in the cab.

Meanwhile the logs mount up.

Torquay's very own Log Mountain.

Day Seven; Sun 03 Feb 2008

35 mph wind and driving rain = no work done today.

Day 08, Mon 4 Feb 2008

Not much work for the last few days by the crane. We have had high winds and lots of rain and it has been too dangerous. So a bit of a progress report.
The trees at the top of the cliff have now gone, the main trunks cut up and lie in several piles a little way down the road and the smaller branches have been shredded and gone, driven away in surprisingly small trucks. The residents of the houses we can now see must have a great view of the Bay and are probably the only people in the country who's property value has gone up this week.
Even though the crane has been under used over the last few days that doesn't mean work has stopped completely. Several of the smaller trees lower down the cliff and the bushes that surrounded them have been cleared away and parts of the walk way have become visible for the first time in many years.
That is a steep cliff and safety lines are in use while clearing the scrub on the lower area of the cliff. Looks like bloody hard work. Not as glamerous as the guy driving the crane or the man up the tree catching the hook but all part of the big picture.

Day 09; Tue 5 Feb 2008

When I went down the crane was being move so it would be in position to attack, sorry deal with the trees in the photo below.
Meanwhile part of the walk way is revealed
and much scrub removed.
The bloke at the bottom is shouting up to his mate,"Next time you buy a house, get one with a smaller garden."

Day 10: Wed 6 Feb 2008

An overall picture of the cliff face. You can see to section that has been cleared and the work still to be done.
The Mayor, Nick Bye, turned up today to have a look round. He's the one with the scarf, must think he is Dr who.
Don't step Back. Either a workman working hard to get the project finished on time or a peeping tom going to extraordinary lengths to get a look in a window.
Same tree a bit later, he was a workman after all.
Going to work, me I catch a bus. I know which method I prefer.

Day 10: Continued.

The extension on the end of the crane has been required due to the height of the cliff and the trees that have been already removed. This extension means that loads of only two tonnes could be moved at one go. However it will be removed soon and loads of 8 tonnes can be moved so bigger sections of the remaining trees will be cut, speeding the work up considerably. I spoke to a site engineer yesterday who said the work was progressing well which means the road at the foot of the cliff should be open sooner rather that later which is good news for us bus drivers and the traders who are effected by this work.

Day 11: Thursday 7 Feb 2008

Me, no, no we don't have to wear hard hats to drive a bus. Not yet anyway. I am having a look round the Rock walk site so I can report on the progress of the work. A site engineer from Devon Tree Services and the council official in overall charge are both confident the work will be completed on time and having had a good look round and seen close up the work that has been done I can see no reason to doubt then. We are at the mercy of the weather so if we have gales for the next 6 weeks don't shout at me or them. Climbing up one of the many paths to the top of the cliff. It's a long way up and I kept stopping to take photos, actually it was to try and start my breathing going again.
He's a man happy in his work. The cutters take it turns and there is a friendly competition going on to see who can cut the most trees down.
All of this walk used to be like the section in the fore ground. No view, overgrown, dark and not nice to walk along. Which was why hardly anyone did. Soon crowds of visitors will be queuing up to stroll round the area.


Notes about the blog. Updated 08 March 2008

Not much is happening at Rock Work now. All the work clearing the trees has been done. A barrier has been erected to prevent rock falls from reaching the road. Now we wait for the geological survey in May to see what can be done to fix the rocks in place.
After that when work starts again later in the year I will post more photos.
Any news items I come across I will post as they appear in the local paper.

Or you can work through the whole blog to find more detail.

If you left click on a photo you get a larger image.

Each day has the label "Day", click on it and you will miss out the other posts.

Articles from the Herald Express are labelled Herald Express.

And so on.

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