Summer Walk Report 14 - Battleship Wharf, North Blyth, 28th August 2012.

Morpeth Camera Club's Summer Walks Programme ended on Tuesday 28th August 2012 with an organised visit to the Port
of Blyth's " Battleship Wharf " at North Blyth. This is the main terminal for the handling of bulk cargo both entering and leaving
the river.
On arrival, Port Director Alan Todd welcomed club members and following a short safety briefing we were issued with high vis tabards and we were off to explore the site. Walking past several warehouses and mounds of aggregates on the quayside,
we were led to the deep water quay which allows larger ships to visit the purpose built materials handling facility.
Docked at the wharf was the bulk carrier "Onego" which had arrived earlier bringing a cargo of grain from Denmark.
This ship was being unloaded via a crane fitted with a grab, that emptied into a hopper, that filled the waiting hgv's.
Alan explained the process of loading and unloading and the strict turnaround times for getting a ship in and out of port.
Access was then allowed onto one of the huge 235 ton Liebherr mobile dock cranes that tower over the site. Climbing up to the drivers cab gave impressive views over the port and brought home the scale of the work involved.
It was here that one realised that only a close up view can convey both the size of the machinery being used and the quantity's
of goods handled.
Separate storage areas of Aluminium Slabs, Coal, Cement, Wood Products and Wind Turbines and the different equipment used
to handle such cargo, allowed us some amazing photo opportunities in this busy working environment.
Further round the site we saw thousands of tons of coal that had arrived by ship the previous evening and this was to be transferred at the adjacent train loading terminal for distribution by rail. As darkness fell, work continued on the floodlit quayside and we returned to the gatehouse to sign out following a very interesting evening.
I would like to thank Alan Todd who made this visit possible and the Port of Blyth staff who welcomed the seventeen club members into their place of work.

Davy Bolam.