“It’s certainly a question of dealing with jobs according to the weather patterns,” says Contracts Manager Kevin Smith. “The weather is more unpredictable than ever this year and we are getting jobs done as and when we get a few dry days.
“The rain has played havoc with our work patterns but we are meeting the demands of clients by switching between jobs according to the ground conditions.”
Sportsturf projects in the pipeline include constructing a Gaelic football pitch near Wembley stadium for Brent Council, constructing a football pitch at Shenstone, near Birmingham, and a football pitch for a college at West Bromwich.
And at Hadley Wood, Barnet, North London, Speedcut are relevelling a football pitch and installing drainage for the Old Stationers’ Football Club.
In Surrey at Foxhills Resort and Golf Club they have completed more work on bunker remodelling, tee re-levelling and extensive path relocation and resurfacing following several years of drainage on fairways and greens.
In Kent Speedcut constructed new tees, artificial pathways and installed drainage at the historic Chislehurst Golf Club, and nearby at Sundridge Park Golf Club they constructed a new driving range facility, dredged and re-shaped a pond for a new bridge and walkway and relocated and levelled tees.
Colchester United Football Club training ground at Tiptree, Essex, is preparing for the grand opening of five pitches and a new clubhouse. Speedcut built the pitches last year.
Contracts Manager Barry Pace said: “Virtually every project has been weather affected since just before Easter – with either wet conditions slowing progress, or the unusual low ground temperatures affecting growth. It has been a constant battle to juggle deadlines. “But with a little patience, and bravado at times, we have managed to keep everyone happy without making a mess and have tackled the issues head-on.”
OLYMPIC TRAINING PITCHES
With Olympic facilities the focus of national attention, Speedcut has been praised for work last year in constructing five new Greenwich pitches at Kidbrooke Playing Fields – home of Long Lane Junior FC.
Kidbrook was one of the biggest football pitches construction jobs in London, developing a five hectare (12 acre) site.
Long Lane Junior Football Club is the largest junior football club in London and one of the biggest in Britain – and a major base for Olympics football training.
Other football pitch construction in the last 12 months included five at Kings Hill, near West Malling in Kent, eight pitches for Worthing Town FC and four pitches for Brent Council in the shadow of the Wembley National Stadium arch.
SCHOOLS AND RACECOURSES
Some high-profile independent schools had new football and cricket pitches built by Speedcut, including Charterhouse in Surrey and two on the Isle of Man – King William College and Castle Rushden High School.
Speedcut’s Gwazae deep-probe aerator has been in action at racecourses including Royal Windsor, Brighton and Fontwell, while sand-banding and sand-slitting has been carried out on golf courses and football pitches across the country.
“We have had one of our busiest periods on record,” says Speedcut Managing Director Dick Franklin, who founded the business at his Oxfordshire base in 1977.
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