In Scotland, for example, Fraserburgh-based David Smith Contractors played a vital role in helping to save the historic Abergeldie Castle.
Set alongside the River Dee, the 16th-century tower house teetered on the brink of collapse when unprecedented heavy rainfall caused the river to burst its banks, sweeping away around 20 metres of the banking and leaving the building in a precarious position.
In the face of the storms, the 76-year-old Baron of Abergeldie, John Gordon, and his wife had to flee their castle and seek refuge with neighbours until the castle could be secured to prevent it from toppling into the raging river. This castle is located at Crathie, just a stone’s throw away from the Queen’s Balmoral Estate.
David Smith Contractors got to work with a Doosan DX300SLR-5 excavator, supplied by Balgownie Ltd, based in Inverurie. Various teams worked tirelessly through the night for five days to build up the banks by the castle using tonnes of rocks to effectively prop the castle up and prevent further erosion of the banks. The long-reach capability was pivotal in shoring up the banks of the river and saving the castle, allowing repair work to begin.
The DX300SLR-5 was deployed to place hundreds of tonnes of stone along the river bank adjacent to the castle to reclaim the river bank. The placing of the stone was then followed by large rock armour which should go some way to securing the future of this historic building. The castle is now no longer deemed at risk.
With a large enough working platform in front of the building, underpinning works are to be carried out to further strengthen the foundations.
Managing director David Smith says: “We were pleased to be of help in the works to save Abergeldie Castle. As soon as it was delivered by Balgownie, the new Doosan machine was off to site to work on the river bank next to the castle. Long-reach excavators like the Doosan DX300SLR-5 model are a speciality of ours and are popular in Scotland.”