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Newbiggin beach replenishment project
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Tuesday 31st July, 2007

Despite being another warm and sunny day 'Strekker' remains away from the bay due to continued poor sea conditions.

Earlier on today there was some limited work at the boatyard work with excavation for the remaining groyne feature.

The main thrust of activity today was with the arrival of a concrete pump oputside Windsor Terrace and the placing of concrete to the penultimate level two stairs and to the first level three stair pour.

Monday 30th July, 2007

As the month draws to a close we are having fine and sunny weather for a change but the north west wind has lifted the waves meaning that for a second day 'Strekker' remains tied up in Blyth Harbour.

At the old boatyard near to the end shelter site the new groyne features are progressing with five of the six features now in place. The final groyne near to the promenade ramp is awaiting concrete. At the new beach stairs, at the Middle Shelter, shuttering for the penultimate level two steps is now in place and the first of the level three step formwork is being fixed.
As for other works the final observation platform at Bridge Street is now dug out and work on drainage connections is underway.

One final point ot note concerns the work in this area and the workers employed by Carillion who are subcontracted on the works. As I noted earlier the rough sea conditions have stopped the reef works for the time being but big waves dumping their energy on the shore is a draw for the youngsters dodging the waves during the current school holidays. One such youngster was not so lucky today with the combination of waves and underwater currents making his exit to the shore difficult. Thankfully the prompt response of one of the Carillion team in pulling the youngster from the grasps of the sea meant today's report had a happy ending. I hope that such a dangerous occurance will mean that others venturing into the sea will take care and respect the energy of the water.

Tuesday 24th, July, 2007

Turning firstly to the shoreworks and at the beach steps the shuttering is now in place which will be the halfway point for the
installation of the new level 2 stairs.Further along the promenade temporary fencing and marking out denote the position of the final viewing platform butthere apears little construction work here and at the other platforms where work is limited to the stone fill behind the steps on which a new footway will be constructed.

At sea the morning dawned with a group of 'Strekker' workers busywith perhaps repairs or indeed planned maintenance to their small workboat. The calm and sunny conditions being an ideal environment for such work. With leg two placed yesterday the anticipation was that leg three would be placedtoday and indeed it was. However legs four, five and six were placed today bringing this operation to a conclusion. As darkness fell on this calm night the offshore workers looked onto their efforts for today and being pleased with these achievements retired for refreshments on board.

Monday 23rd July, 2007

It was a bright and dry day for Newbiggin by the Sea's inspection by the Northmbria in Bloom Judges today and the village looked marvelous for these important visitors. They were especially interested in the Bay developments and I'm sure that now they are aware of the Newbiggn Bay web page they will keep themselves updated with the progress here.

Firstly work on pouring the fourth portion of the steps was carried out at the middle shelter steps today and the upper sloping blinding concrete was cleaned off.

The last observation platform was marked out today and work was begun in cutting the existing block paved area.
At sea 'Strekker' placed leg number two of the table for 'Couple'. The work appeared to go off well and as darkness falls tonight the remaining legs are alongside 'Strekker' for placing this week. As I finish this report workers are still on the reef doing the final adjustments to the second leg.

Sunday 22nd July, 2007

With no work on the shore today the focus of attention fell to the bay and 'Strekker' who during the early hours of today had been involved in placing coreloc at the south end of the reef. Today 'Ailsa' brought along the first leg of the 'table' which will carry 'Couple'. After a few hours the leg was lifted into place at the south east corner of the table and the sealing grout mixture pumped in by hand. The leg appears to be fully located but this will become clearer when the second and subsequent five legs are installed this week. Tonight as darkness fell 'Ailsa' arrived with a barge full of coreloc with divers deployed, as
the tide is in, for the placing process.

21 july

Saturday 21st July, 2007

‘Strekker’ had worked through the early hours of today placing a few coreloc at the north end shore side of the reef.

A freshening north and north east wind meant that sea conditions got poor leading to a suspension of work at first light. Heavy rain and showers meant that only limited work happened on the shore for the half day Saturday shift. The focus of work was grading off at the south side of the beach stairs ready to receive the ramped concrete. ‘Strekker’ began work again mid afternoon with preparation for the leg extensions of ‘Couple’s platform.

Several people were on the reef until teatime and some of the coreloc was removed from the northern end of the reef. ‘Ailsa’ arrived back in the bay as darkness fell tonight but it is not clear what work if any will take place during the night hours.

At 2320 ‘Ailsa’ moved alongside ‘Strekker’ four coreloc units on board and a night of work is about to begin.

crane shotFriday 20th July, 2007

There has been no work on the former boat compound today with the focus of the shore activity at the new beach steps. Here a further section of steps have now been cast at level two at this appears to be about 30% complete.

At sea the wind is freshening from the sea (north easterly) make the sea uncomfortable for 'Strekker' to work. Earlier today the giant crane was lying well inshore from the reef and it appeared to be close enough to the beach to touch. As darkness falls tonight the crane jib is rocking back and forth as the wind continues to freshen. She is lying on the sheltered side of the reef and with no coreloc supplies alongside it looks unlikely anything will happen tonight.

By 2300 hours tonight 'Ailsa' arrived with a small quantity of coreloc on the deck and no barge alongside probably due to the sea conditions. However as the day ends there is no activity in placing the units as the two large vessels roll with the waves in unison.

stepsThursday 19th July, 2007

Work began on installing the timber groyne features in the former boat compound at the south end of the promenade today. The timber structures hope to replicate the old groyne at the lifeboat slipway and use rough timber and metal brackets in the construction. The work on this will be ongoing and some selected rock has been taken to this part of the bay to be incorporated in these external works.

On the new beach steps the concrete ramping areas continue to be formed and another section of steps is being cast. The final form of this structure is not yet clear but to date it has consumed many loads of concrete.

On the observation platforms all work is now complete on the precast step units at both platforms with granualar fill being placed to receive the paving works. In the bay 'Strekker' continues to work on the reef though the main activity has been when the tide has ebbed.

Wednesday 18th July, 2007

Whilst work has been low profile on the new observation platforms it appears today that the efforts have finally paid off and the two levels of precast step units are now all in place. Filling can now get on behind the new step units and move this work to the next phase. At the new beach steps a futher section of level two steps have now been cast and the first concrete pour in this area has had the shutters removed.

In the bay 'Strekker' continues with the coreloc placing with some time on stone profiling on the shore side of the reef most noticeable at the north end. Whilst the operation is repetative and very precise to strictly follow a predetermined laying pattern I think it only appropriate to note the skills of the laying team. We have an expert crane driver who must carefully lift and place the huge pieces of concrete. We also have a number of workers on the deck for placing, guidance, rigging and finally checking the units are correctly placed.

We also have two other workers who can be called the 'Head and Shoulders' people. Only with careful viewing from the shore can these unique workers be observed. They spend a great deal of time in the water assisting in getting the units placed correctly but their name derives from the fact that been constantly in the water you can only ever see their head and shoulders!

Tuesday 17th July, 2007

Fine settled weather and decent tides have certainly helped in the reef work this week with 'Strekker' tonight working in the central area, shoreside, and divers in the water placing the coreloc at the low levels.

Ashore the focus has been on the new beach stairs with the level two back wall shutter well progressed and the shuttering removed from the new steps.

Monday 16th July, 2007

Newbiggin enjoyed fine and dry summer conditions but the remnants of an easterly wind yesterday meant there was some swell in the bay which impacted on progress by 'Strekker'. The mighty crane barge therefore was moved to the lee side of the reef to trim the rock and place coreloc the focus of activity been at the two low waters today.

At the Middle Shelter beach steps the concrete back wall of the level two steps was placed today and further shuttering moved to allow another big concrete pour later this week.

The progress on the observation platforms remains steady with continuing challenges with the level two step units. The cutting of the precast units for the joint tollerance and the ramped ends can only be achieved by a careful and considered approach to the works.

Sunday 15th July, 2007

With no work on the beach today the focus of attantion was on 'Strekker' where calm conditions suited everybody. Even the small workboat running to the beach today managed a transfer without any mishaps!! Anyway 'Strekker' has been active on the landside of the reef shaping / removing stone then to the seaward side to place coreloc - an activity which continues tonight even though it is raining again. This period of lower tides will enable easier access to place material which for the most part be underwater.

Saturday 14th July, 2007.

After Friday's rain today was a warm and sunny day but a fresh / strong southerly then south westerly wind meant that all operations by 'Strekker' came to a halt for most of the daylight hours. Tonight 'Strekker' has moved to the land side of the reef and is profiling the rock at the north end ready to place coreloc. Ashore operations for today's half day of work were confined to some shuttering at the new beach steps as well as some work on the new observation platforms. Again the fresh to strong wind made work at these loactions uncomfortable.

concrete pouringFriday 13th July, 2007

Work has come to a halt tonight with a fresh southerly wind making the sea choppy and conditions made worse by driving rain - well it is Friday the 13th after all.up to this point 'Strekker' had spent the day on the seaward side of the reef placing coreloc with some rock also placed mainly in the central area.

At the new beach steps the first big level two pour was made today with a large concrete pump positioned adjacent the end of Windsor Terrace. A pipeline feeding the concrete to the job snaked its way down the new steps and onto the beach with the concrete going in a shutter to form the new set of steps.

Along the promenade the second level of the observation areas is being carefully installed with a number of construction challenges being faced in this work.

On the beach an excavator and dumper spent some time clearing away beach debris and seaweed down from Fairwinds and this has been stockpiled at the north end of the bay.

step mouldsArmourstone removal at the north end of the bay appears complete with a line of selected stones for incorporation in the various promenade environmental works paint dotted for this later works.

Thursday 12th July, 2007

Tonight as I write this report ‘Strekker’s floodlights are illuminating the bay and coreloc is being placed in the southern third of the reef with persons in the water helping with the finite location of the units.

Onshore again work to clear the north end of the bay continues with the sand excavator sifter actively trying to clear away all rock pieces from within the existing sand. On the observation platforms the work to install the second level of steps continues and a high quality of finish is being achieved. The new beach steps at the Middle Shelter are also growing by the day. The steps on plan are in a concentric circle pattern and the bottom steps are now in. The next step up involves the casting of a radius retaining step that is formed by a system of shuttering. Many cubic metres of concrete will go in this new structure and like an iceberg, with the current sand levels, only the top sections will be visible at the end of the day.

Wednesday 11th July, 2007

The work’s operations at Newbiggin Bay enjoyed further pleasant conditions to make good progress. In the bay ‘Strekker’ continues with the coreloc jigsaw with some pieces placed within minutes but sometimes the placing appears more laboured. Coreloc has been temporarily placed on the top of the reef along its length with a focus of work in the centre.

Onshore work continues with the beach clearing as well as the viewing platforms and the new beach steps.

beachTuesday 10th July, 2007

The works were blessed with another day of fine settled weather today and once again the sea conditions were calm allowing the reef to move forward. 'Strekker' continues to place the coreloc with persons deployed in the water to the guide the mighty concrete pieces into place. Their positioning is determined from a predesigned jigsaw map and this must not be ignored or the system and its long term stability will be compromised.

There is also some time being spent on placing rock for the core and the profiling of the same. As I write tonight the giant lights on the front of the barge are shining onto the shore and lighting up the seafront properties. This is allowing residents to switch off their own light and be illuminated from the sea for reading a book at bedtime.

Onshore work progresses on the clean up at the north end of the bay with the debris being filtered out of the existing sand. The viewing platforms are also moving on with the level two steps being placed.

Monday 9th June, 2007

'Strekker' has continued for much of the day placing coreloc to the northern third of the new reef. Tonight operations have shifted to the south end of the reef where rock is once again being placed.

Ashore the day began with rock being moved from the north end of the bay for road transport to Blyth Harbour. On the new beach stairs work continues in the construction work.

Tonight one of te local fishing fleet took adavantage of the new reef when choppy conditions ashore would have meant some problems with recovery. The new reef afforded a safe recovery area and the process went off without a hitch.

8th JulySunday 8th July, 2007

All eyes turned to ‘Strekker’ today and this was the only unit working in the bay. It was a very warm and sunny day today and the new beach was well populated by spectators of the mighty crane at work. Coreloc has again been placed underwater, with divers guiding in the massive pieces of concrete, as well as above the water.

Operations halted late afternoon today and ‘Ailsa; took away a part loaded barge back to Blyth returning early evening. The barge had both rock and coreloc on board and ‘Strekker’s first operation tonight was to place stone. However as darkness falls even though the unit is fully lit up no work is progressing. The floodlights are providing an amenity however to the twenty or so fishermen hoping to catch a fish from the new beach. Rock placing got underway at 2300 hours at the south end of the new reef.

Saturday 7th July, 2007

On a fine and sunny morning Saturday is only a part day for the shorework whilst the work by ‘Strekker’ continues at all hours. Firstly ashore work continued on cleaning sand at the north end of the bay but there still remains quite a task to fully clear this former stone stockpile area of its sharp stony remnants. Along at the Middle Shelter shutters are being installed for the next concreting operation and excavation on the beach was carried out to the south of the steps – purpose for this yet unknown.

In the bay ‘Strekker’ has been fitted with a potable high output lighting tower to assist with the night time operation of the placement of coreloc. This process was carried out all day and night which is slow and deliberate with times when previously placed units are having to be removed and replaced correctly.

6th julyFriday 6th July, 2007

Yet another day of mixed weather but that did not seem to deter the progress on the works. On the beach the clearance of stone at the north end of the bay continues and a machine fitted with a sand sieve is being deployed to clear debris buried in the sand here. Further along, work progresses on the new viewing platforms with the lower kerbs almost complete. At the new beach steps at the Middle Shelter the base slab is now in place and the water pumping arrangements have now been removed.

In the bay 'Strekker' continues to place coreloc with underwater support to assist in its placement. About 10% of the top area is now in with placing going on through the night. The coreloc takes more time to place than the quarried stone and if not correctly placed impacts upon units adjacent to it. Tonight this problem manifested itself when a number of placed units had to be lifted out of the sea and back onto the barge to be corerctly placed again later.

Thursday 5th July, 2007

'Strekker' has been pushing on today with the placing of the coreloc and as I write this tonight operations are continuing in the dark, wind and rain.

Elsewhere more rock has been brought to the souith end of the bay for a new revetment and concrete work to the foundations of the new beach stairway at the Middle Shelter appears now to be completed.

As for sand migration the new sand has made an appearance down from Vernon Place.

rainbowWednesday 4th July, 2007

It was a mainly fine day here today but heavy showers arrived tonight with thunder and some lightening, the positive side being a beautiful rainbow over the bay at the end of it all. Throughout tonight's downpour 'Strekker' pushed on with the reef work again profiling the reef and even taking some stones out tonight.

As for the shoreworks, further stone was brought along the beach and stored down from the end shelter for the unprotected bank works later on. Along on the observation platforms about 60% of the precast steps are now in place over the two platforms.

Tuesday 3rd July, 2007

When will the rain stop is the question on many people's lips - but the work here goes on. There has been some progress on the reef with the coreloc, and tonight 'Strekker' is using the 'bang the top of the stone with the grab' technique to level the top of the reef ready for coreloc.

Ashore the observation platform near to Bertorellis is well advanced on the lower step units whilst more concrete has gone into the new beach steps at the Middle Shelter.

Finally a stockpile of armourstone has been brought to the south end of the promenade for remedials to the deteriorating embankment which is currently unprotected from the ravages of the sea.

stormMonday 2nd July, 2007

It was a sometimes wet and humid day in the village today and with settled sea conditions 'Strekker' continued in the profiling work on the upper areas of the reef ready for coreloc operations to begin Tuesday. Tonight 'Ailsa' pushed the crane barge to the centre of the reef then brought in a part load of stone to be placed.

Along the shoreworks good progress continues to be made with further concreting operations today and perhaps some work in the old boatyard.

As an aside I note that nature has begun to move the new sand now with the south end spilling along the shore edge of the Spittal Carrs whilst the new sand has moved along to an area adjacent Covent Garden. The profile at the south end of the bay has taken on a steeply sloping grade into the sea.

Sunday 1st July, 2007

The giant grab on 'Strekker' remained still today as did 'Ailsa' both vessels enjoying some early sunshine followed by an afternoon of heavy showers. A barge stacked with rock arrived at 1445 hours today but this was subsequently moored up and the towing vessel returned to Blyth. As darkness falls the generator engine on 'Strekker' has been started.

At 2100 tonight 'Ailsa' moved 'Strekker' to the centre of the reef then the grab began moving stone around as part of a profiling exercise. This activity was continuing along the lee side of the reef as we approach midnight.

See archived updates for: August 2007 | July 2007 | June 2007 | May 2007 | Current Update


Updates provided by Richard Martin RNLI

Further information about the project is available from the official web site at

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