Reid Lifting supports war memorial effort
A chance meeting and a generous loan offer from lifting and lowering specialists Reid Lifting helped stone carver Carrie Horwood create a stunning new war memorial which remembers the fallen from two villages in the Forest of Dean, near to Reid’s headquarters in Chepstow, UK.
A Reid Porta-Gantry 5000 helped lift and secure a giant piece of sandstone at Horwood’s Cat’s Eye Carving studio in Lydney, while she carved both sides with representations of two real soldiers from Mitcheldean and Abenhall, as well as names and dedications to the fallen.
At nearly 3m high and weighing almost 4t, the stone memorial was too big to stand upright inside the studio, but too heavy to be propped outside without being secured. Nick Battersby, the founder of Reid Lifting, happened to be visiting one day when Horwood was drawing out her design and when he heard her concerns about how she would lift the stone once it arrived, he suggested that Reid Lifting could help.
In response, Reid loaned Horwood a Porta Gantry 5000kg Extra Tall model with wind-up jack legs. This not only lifted the stone upright off the lorry but also held it safely in place during the many months it took to complete the carving. Lightweight and portable, it took two people less than half an hour to assemble the gantry and secure the stone using a 5t block and tackle kept under tension.
Because the Porta Gantry is on castors, the Reid team was able to move it halfway through the project when the World War 1 side was complete and reverse the stone so that the World War 2 side could be carved as well.
Carrie Horwood is hugely grateful for the support, “I was struggling for ideas on how to secure the stone for the carving and had even contacted the local regiment of the Royal Engineers to see if they could help, but without any success. I am so grateful to Reid Lifting for coming to my rescue. Nick Battersby put me in contact with sales engineer Alek Cooper and he was fantastic throughout – even sourcing a different size gantry for me when the quarry supplied a heavier weight of stone to what we had expected.”
The finished memorial is being installed in Cross Gardens in Mitcheldean, adjacent to the village’s parish church.