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Team Sprayers celebrate 40 years

Team Sprayers celebrate 40 years: British Sprayer company Team Sprayers are celebrating this year as they reach a milestone anniversary on 15th January – 40 years of manufacturing at their Ely factory in Cambridgeshire.

Team Sprayers was established by Bob Hubbard back in January 1981 after the closure of well-known company Dorman sprayers. A team of staff were recruited from the previous company bringing with them specialist skills and knowledge which were an essential building block for the newly founded company, one member of the original team still works for the business, stores manager Steve Whitehand. Utilising these skills combined with the 40 years’ experience Team has become a respected UK manufacturer supplying the Agricultural and Groundcare industries.

Team Sprayers celebrate 40 years

Team Sprayers celebrate 40 years

Team have a range of 12 different machines in the Groundcare range including, pedestrian, trailed, mounted and de-mountable options. All come with a range of options as standard and can be retro fitted with optional extras such as GPS mapping and boom section & nozzle control.

Team’s best selling Demount Pro Sprayer is popular with golf courses and comes in a range of tank sizes  of 400L, 600L and 800L and with boom options of 6m, 7m, 8m, 10m and 12m manual folding or 6-8m hydraulic folding.

Managing Director Danny Hubbard said: “We have experienced an increase in demand for our sprayers over recent years in both our agricultural and groundcare ranges which has led to investment in the expansion of the factory building, firstly to increase our production facilities and secondly to  alter the flow through the factory to improve efficiencies. Plus we have increased our outside yard space for testing and storage of the larger machines with plans to continue our expansion further over the next few years.

Team Sprayers celebrate 40 years

Team Sprayers celebrate 40 years

As a UK manufacturer with a majority customer base here in the UK, we have always had the ability to react quickly, give realistic lead times and provide an unrivalled back-up service. We have been fortunate to be able to continue production through these difficult times, but as for many businesses 2020 was a challenging year, with the uncertainty of the Brexit trade deal and the effect this could potentially have on our imports and exports and then we were thrown the Covid 19 pandemic!  Going into 2021 and our 40th year, we are hopeful that things will settle down and we are looking forward to a ‘new normal’ whatever that may be. It’s been an incredible 40 years and I look forward to seeing what the business can achieve in the future”.

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Greenkeeper shares 40 years of memories

Greenkeeper shares 40 years of memories: A dedicated greenkeeper thought to be one of the longest serving in the industry is celebrating spending 40 years at the same golf club.

Terry Wharton joined Haydock Park Golf Club in April 1980 as a young man and is now head greenkeeper.

Greenkeeper shares 40 years of memories

Greenkeeper shares 40 years of memories

He said: “The 40 years have gone quickly and I’ve been very fortunate to spend most of my working life in a beautiful landscape, working with good greenkeepers and staff trying to raise the standards and the playability of our course.”

There have been plenty of changes since he first took up his role at the club.

“The early years saw limited machinery on the course, with most surfaces cut with hand machines, except for fairways and rough that were cut with tractor and gang mowers,” he said.

“The top-dressing facility of a self-contained hopper supersedes the tractor, trailer and wheelbarrow that in the early 1980s you’d be lucky to dress greens with 20 tonnes throughout the year, against 120 tonnes delivered in a two-month period in the spring at the present time.”

With the advancements in technology and more televised golf events, Terry has seen many changes during his career.

He said: “The golfers’ desire for better surfaces has seen the staffing levels raised at most clubs compared to the early years, with busy clubs realising the work programme for the day needs to be completed quickly and efficiently before the golfers start their round, with only the basic tasks being completed early afternoon. This point can be shown with our start times in the summer of 1980 – we had an 8am start with a 5pm finish against present start time 6am with a 2pm finish, allowing the greens team to complete most of the course set-up before the course gets busy.”

Terry said his favourite part of the club was its members, remembering one in particular.

He said: “We’ve had some real characters playing the game at Haydock Park, none more so than Jack Padoue, who was one of the ‘old guard’.

“On arrival at the club one Monday dinner, Jack was met with builders in the men’s locker room.

“Jack looked surprised, ‘how dare they work’ on the day he played, and it may affect his preparation on setting up for his four ball. Jack’s four ball was run to military precision and woe betide anyone getting in Jack’s way!

“So the builders were told by Jack what was expected from them – he wanted a ‘quick clean efficient job and by the way turn that radio off, don’t you realise you’re working at a private members’ golf club?’

“The builders came across Jack a few more times before they finished the work and were met with the same abruptness.

“On the builders completing the locker room Jack realised his key wouldn’t open his locker. On further inspection someone had accidentally spilled some super glue into the lock, we wondered who….”

Stephen Nicholson, the club’s business manager, paid tribute to Terry’s loyal service.

He said: “Wow, 40 years – that’s longer than I’ve been on this planet. It’s a feat that’s rarely matched these days, with more and more people opting to move from position to position to progress their careers. Terry’s loyalty has been at the heart of his longevity here.

“Alongside this what I am impressed with the most about Terry is his enthusiasm to continue to learn and develop.

“We’ve sent him down to Oxford to see how a different style of greenkeeping works, we’ve updated our systems so he now has a computer in his office, has access to Word, Excel and email whilst updating everything in the cloud along with an online planner in the form of Turfkeeper that tracks all shifts, financial planning of stock, seed, fertiliser applied etc.

“It’s great that Terry continues to push for more and we look forward to continuing to work together for the next 40 years! You are a credit to the club, your profession and your family. Once this crisis is over we will no doubt have a proper celebration for Terry – in the meantime, thanks again for all that you do and keep up the great work.”

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Charity chipping raises over £40,000

Charity chipping raises over £40,000: The Jensen team at Machinery Imports were delighted to return for the third year to Wiltshire College and University Centre in February, supporting a fundraising activity that has reached over £40,000 since December!

Delivered each year at the Lackham campus, Wiltshire College and Jensen join forces with Dorothy House to chip over 3,500 unwanted Christmas trees collected throughout January from the Wiltshire and Swindon area.

Charity chipping raises over £40,000

Charity chipping raises over £40,000

Dorothy House is a charity which provides end of life care and support for patients with terminal illnesses across Wiltshire and North East Somerset.

In January, their volunteers collected more than 3,500 Christmas trees, delivering trees to the Lackham campus where a Jensen A540 woodchipper, loaned free of charge from local Jensen dealer T H WHITE Groundcare, was on hand to reduce them ready for upcycling.

The session was delivered by Bill Johnston, business manager for Jensen in the UK, partnered by Stuart Fry, area sales manager at T H WHITE Groundcare, who not only managed the chipping of the trees but also demonstrated and taught safe industry practice to students and apprentices on Lackham’s Horticulture and Landcaping courses.

The tracked A540 was the perfect woodchipper for the task, with a hugely powerful feed roller grip, wide infeed hopper and 8-inch chipping capacity – making light work of the bulky trees and reducing them into a fine chip quickly and efficiently at a rate of 18m3/h. The chippings were then loaded onto trailers ready for use on woodland trail paths throughout the campus, making sure they found a second life and avoiding waste.

The A540 Spider is considered by many to be the ‘ultimate tracked woodchipper’. Its independently controlled hydraulic tracks make it agile, compact and manoeuvrable on flat, sloping and awkward terrain, whilst retaining superb stability and exceptional ground clearance.

“Each year we are delighted to return and support this excellent fundraising initiative in partnership with Dorothy House and the team at Lackham” commented Bill.

“Not only do we help transform unwanted trees into something useful, we provide the students with valuable, practical experience in woodchipper use and safety, and help Dorothy House with their campaign which is always hugely successful and of great benefit in our wider community.”

Fran D’Argenio, Marketing Officer at the college, added, “Lackham’s Horticulture and Landscape Gardening apprentices and students benefited hugely from the workshop, chipping some 3,500 Christmas trees. The learners gained real hands-on experience and invaluable industry knowledge, as well as participating in a great effort for charity which raised over £40,000.”

Find out more about the Jensen A540 and the wider range of towed, tracked and PTO woodchippers available from Jensen at www.jensenchippers.co.uk

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£40,000 Mower At Inverness Castle

£40,000 Mower At Inverness Castle: Highland Council is planning to use a £40,000 remote-control lawn mower to target difficult-to-reach steep slopes around Inverness – including at the city’s famous Castle.

While the lush green banks by the castle and the River Ness are regarded as a major tourist attraction, they come with serious grass-cutting problems.

£40,000 Mower At Inverness Castle

The local authority, while aware that keeping these areas well trimmed contributes significantly to the visitor experience, acknowledges that the safe maintenance of the banks has presented significant challenges.

Over the last three summers it had employed a contractor with specialist equipment to safely maintain the steep slopes.

But next week, at the City of Inverness Area Committee, councillors will be asked to consider buying their own machinery and completing the work in-house.

Purchasing the equipment would also allow enhanced maintenance of similar locations throughout the city.

The health and safety concerns associated with cutting the steep banks including the castle and river banks are being drawn to the attention of councillors.

They will be asked to approve the funding from the Common Good Fund for the 2019 season contractor, costing £14,430.

But officers are recommending the direct purchase of their own machinery at a cost of £40,000.

This would include a contribution from the Common Good Fund of £20,000. The remaining capital cost, plus the annual maintenance and operational running costs of the machine, would be met by the service.

In a report before the committee members, amenities manager Debbie Sutton says: “If the option to purchase a remote mower was approved then the added value this could facilitate would be cutting at numerous locations throughout the city including General Booth Road, Suilven Way, Leachkin Road, Scorguie Drive, Overton Avenue and Balnafettack Road.

“In addition to this, numerous other steep bank locations could be identified which have not previously been considered as safe to cut.

“Furthermore, outright ownership of this machinery would give the council greater control over the timing of the operation to ensure that it takes place at the most appropriate time rather than depending on the availability of the contractor.”

Over the last three years, a contractor has been engaged to cut the north side of the castle banks and the banks of the River Ness two or three times per summer using a remote-controlled mower.

Ms Sutton continued: “Whilst this has resulted in a high standard of maintenance of these areas, better value for money for the council could be achieved through the outright purchase of this type of machine.”

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Ian Darler Hits 40 Years

Ian Darler Hits 40 Years: From eating a Sunday roast with Barry Fry in the centre-circle at London Road, to sing-along fishing trips with John Beck and rubbing shoulders with Herve Renard, it would be difficult to find anyone that has experienced the highs and lows of Cambridge United more than Ian Darler.

Having arrived at the Abbey as a fresh-faced 19-year-old in 1979, Darler is now celebrating his 40th anniversary with the club, which has coincided with the release of his book: Life’s A Pitch.

Ian Darler Hits 40 Years

After admitted scepticism – it took a while for him to be convinced that the book deal wasn’t a wind-up – the long-serving stadium manager and head groundsman talked to CambridgeshireLive about his memories, good and bad, of his time at the Abbey Stadium and why he decided now was the right time to put it all down on paper.

While he said the book has made him feel proud of what he’s achieved, and unearth old memories, it has been important for him in another way, as it has helped to heal the physical and psychological scars which plagued him after a serious accident at work in 2013. He has come out the other side now, but the accident left him needing seven surgeries, and started a battle with depression and PTSD which lasted for several years.

“Being able to focus on something totally fresh and go back over your history brought some good times back for me and it was almost like the final part of the therapy,” he said.

“It gave me the opportunity to reflect on what I had been as a youngster, what I had achieved from being an apprentice groundsman and the trials and tribulations of a groundsman.

“Within the book, it’s given me the opportunity to go through the whole aspect of it again, even to the point of being able to tell some of the things that have gone on here, the good times and the bad times, it’s been refreshing.”

The Abbey is, of course, on the same site as it was back in 1979, but Darler said the current pitch is a world away from the one he inherited, which he likened to an “African safari”, with dust patches and divots littering it.

In 2019 you’re more likely to see Christmas trees and hearts cut into it, depending on the time of the year, examples of Darler’s ingenuity which makes him so popular with the fans and managers alike.

Yet despite earning national headlines for his on-field creations, he credited the volunteers and local businesses who provide help for his successes.

“We’ve had three people who have had coronaries in this ground, and all three are alive today,” he added.

“It’s not a fluke, it’s dedication. But it’s not the dedication from me, it’s the dedication of the staff, the stewards and the volunteers.

“I know this year there’s been comments about the stadium being old and untidy, but I think over the last 18 months we’ve raised the Titanic because the whole place has had a refurb and it’s through the volunteers, and all the companies that have chipped in.

“One of the reasons I didn’t go to Coventry when I had the offer in the 80s was because I would have missed the begging, stealing and borrowing. I love blagging.”

Former U’s manager Roy McFarland wrote the forward to the book, with Darler adding he was among the “highest calibre” of manager he has worked with, also believing that, despite criticism towards the end, John Beck was “ahead of the game”. Yet of the 28 managers and head coaches he worked alongside, it was his first, John Docherty, that he remembers most fondly for taking him under his wing when he was the youngest head groundsman in the Football League, creating a pitch for players that would go on to become club legends.

“I’ve described it in the book, but Roy was the best pedigree of manager you could work with in terms of every aspect of the job,” he said.

“Equally, Joe [Dunne] was like that with me, he just didn’t get the break on the park. Colin, in modern day managers, is identical to Roy.

“He has spoken to every single person, whether it be the cleaner, the groundsman, whoever, and made them feel part of the team. That is a unique person, and that’s how Roy was.”

Darler is set to retire in five years time, but admits that it would be hard to give up the job and has every intention of staying on in a part-time capacity and hit the 50-year mark in a job he called his “boyhood dream”.

“I’m already starting to feel disappointed [at the thought of retiring] because that patch of grass out there has been my baby for 40 years,” he added.

“I’ve spent more time with that than my family.

“The whole place has been a lifetime, but it’s the characters as well. It’s just been amazing.”

Life’s A Pitch – published by G2 Entertainment – is out now.

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Greenkeeper Celebrates 40 Years

Greenkeeper Celebrates 40 Years: A special staff function took place at the Berry Bowling Club on Sunday, to celebrate Rodney (Rod) Armstrong’s 40 years of continuous employment as a greenkeeper at Bomaderry Bowling Club and in more recent years also covering Berry.

Rod started his apprenticeship at Bomaderry in 1978 under the highly respected greenkeeper Ron Sharpe who served the club from 1966 until he retired in 1989. During Rod’s 40 years he has seen and been involved in many changes implemented at Bomaderry. Changes of particular note include the construction of the elevated green which now carries Ron Sharpe’s name, the moving of the green on the Cambewarra Road side of the club to the northern side and more recently the maintenance of the Berry greens and liaison with Nowra Golf Club.

Greenkeeper Celebrates 40 Years