A friend of longstanding and retired fellow photographer Colin Bowles needed to vacate his own house so that a group of Keep Fit Ladies could spend the morning in discussion with Jennie his wife, so asked whether he might visit me in my new home. Naturally I was delighted and as I put down the phone and unlocked the front door, I spotted the arrival of a strange wheeled contraption on the opposite pavement surrounded by several Amey workmen. I decided to investigate.
I crossed the road and enquired what this device was, and on learning of its purpose, realised here was a heaven-sent opportunity to photograph these men as they put the machine to work. I asked whether they had any objection to my photographing them at work and they were more than happy, so before they had a chance to start I headed back at a run to grab my camera and get to work. I reckoned Colin would take just over half-an-hour to come from Stopsley, and I was sure he would fully understand my grabbing the bull by the horns and making the most of the chance I was being offered. Fortunately for me, he took longer than that and in fact I lost no more than five minutes of our time together to take the last few shots to complete the story from start to finish, and part of that time Colin was nursing his ankle which had been very painful from the moment he awoke.
I will let the gallery of pictures tell their own story as I watched the old lamp standard have its wiring and fuse system replaced before the contraption was brought to bear to support the stressed concrete pole whilst it was cut through by a Stihl grinder, for that then to be brought safely to the ground where it was further cut into manageable lengths to be carried to their van, and the erection of the new far lighter replacement with its swivel joint and its signage applied. Such opportunities present themselves very infrequently and since I really need paying work, here was the chance to show my mettle and see whether I can win some work on the strength of the quality of the work and the speed with which I can get the gallery up on my blog.
I handed out some of my newly-addressed business cards and learned from one of Amey’s personnel who had been handed my card that the designer or manufacturer of these fittings was based in nearby Kempston, and he, Andy White from Amey, gave me his card and the name of the engineer, Frank Hardy of Hardy Engineering. I look forward to hearing whether anything comes of this chance encounter. I am hoping Colin can visit more often if he can bring me luck like this!