BIG FREEZE: Village near coast shows true grit after donation of gritter

Coun Graham Fisher (second right) is presented with the new gritter by (from left) Mark Kay. Murphy project director, Scott Marsden, Murphy project manager and Martin Knagg, Triton Knoll package manager. ANL-190117-154231001
Coun Graham Fisher (second right) is presented with the new gritter by (from left) Mark Kay. Murphy project director, Scott Marsden, Murphy project manager and Martin Knagg, Triton Knoll package manager. ANL-190117-154231001

An onshore cable contractor for the Triton Knoll Wind Farm is helping Anderby Creek prepare for any return of the Beast from the East - by donating a road gritter.

For the past two years, 61-year-old Coun Graham Fisher of Anderby Parish Council has spent hours shovelling grit by hand along a stretch of road in the village.

Having the new gritter allows us to keep more of our roads safe and that means a lot to us

Coun Graham Fisher - vice-chairman of Anderby Parish Council

However, now the job will be quicker and safer because Murphy and Sons Ltd - who are installing the 57km of underground cable that will link the wind farm with the Bicker Fen substation - have presented Coun Fisher with a new gritter that he can tow with his car.

“Roads are only gritted by Lincolnshire County Council along the A52,” said Coun Fisher, who is vice-chairman of Anderby Parish Council.

“I’ve been doing it to make sure the road is safe for residents when it freezes, and 
because the school bus uses it.

“But it can take up to two hours, and can be quite dangerous in the dark because cars travel quite fast along that stretch of road.

“I usually wear a hi-vis jacket and a headlight, but it hasn’t been ideal.”

Because the new gritter can be towed, AVERT - Anderby Volunteer Emergency Response Team - of which Coun Fisher is a member, plan to extend the route to six miles up to the North Sea Observatory at Chapel St Leonards.

And to help him, Coun Fisher has acquired an assistant, 20-year-old Brendon Hoyle. “We really feel ready for the Beast from the East now,” said Coun Fisher. “It’s not easy for us. We have the smallest parish in the county in terms of people - just 78 residents.

“This gives us a precept of £5,000 a year to run two villages and with the grass cutting costing £2,000, that doesn’t leave us with a lot for everything else.

“Having the new gritter allows us to keep more of our roads safe and that means a lot to us.”

Murphy’s got involved when Coun Fisher, the council liaison officer with the Triton Knoll project, offered to grit a stretch of road for the contractor’s vehicles.

Scott Marsden, Murphy Project Manager for the Triton Knoll wind farm, which is expected to generate enough power for the domestic needs of 800,000 domestic UK homes, said: “ While our specialist construction team are working hard to address significant engineering challenges to deliver this nationally significant project, we are mindful of the impact our work has on the community and would like to give something back where we can.

“As contractors that travel Lincolnshire’s roads, road safety is also important to us, and it is a pleasure to be able to support the council and positively contribute to something we both share a passion for.”

Triton Knoll package manager Martin Knagg said: “We are delighted with the important gesture that our contractor Murphy has taken to support the local community.

“It’s very timely as the weather looks to become significantly colder in coming days and weeks.”