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Arrival of an excavator

Brief encounter with a lasting outcome

A brief encounter between two narrow boat owners travelling on the River Thames six years ago led to a generous contribution to the Cotswold Canals.

The brief encounter centred on one boat owner being in need of assistance and that need being willingly met by a helpful boater.
That caring and considerate action led to an extended benefit to the restoration of the Cotswold Canals.

  • The ‘boater in need’ was Robin Powell, a director of The Molson Group Ltd. from Bristol
  • The ‘helpful boater’s identity is unknown. However, the boat displayed a green & white Cotswold Canals Trust window sticker

The helping hand given to Robin Powell that day on the River Thames led him to contact CCT Head Office with the offer of a useful tool to assist with the restoration. The Molson Group Ltd. is one of the largest suppliers of South Korean and Japanese built excavators in Europe.
The company source a wide range of equipment for the construction industry.

In July 2011 Molson Group Ltd. delivered a Kubota U17 -3a mini-digger to the CCT’s Western Depot.
This was to be a loan agreement with Molson retaining ownership and CCT providing insurance cover.

Two other conditions were specified…

  1. The machine would be made accessible to the Molson Sales Team to demonstrate the excavator’s flexibility & durability to prospective purchasers
  2. Molson Group would thereafter renew the agreement, and the machine, every two years

December delivery

The latest demonstration of that generous agreement occurred on Thursday 7th December when a new Japanese built Kobelco – SK17 SR was delivered to site at Bowbridge.
Harry Edwards (pictured above) enthused over the capabilities of the Kobelco. “It is an amazingly capable small and neat machine which is a pleasure to use. ‘Small & neat’ means we can tow it with our van fleet, but it ‘punches’ well above its 1.7 tonnes weight’ when it digs the dirt!

“Once off the trailer we can push the tracks out to make it stable & safe to use — pretty nifty! When we take the bucket off a range of hydraulic attachments enables us to drive in piles, break concrete, or cut back vegetation. This is a vital & versatile asset to restoration progress.”

CCT Chair Jim White pictured below with Rick Grove of Molson Group, Sales Dept. commented, “We are so grateful to The Molson Group. Their machines have been an immense help to our teams of volunteers. They meet the challenges of canal restoration so well.
The work sites are often narrow and difficult to access. These machines, in the hands of trained operators, are a massive benefit to the restoration programme”

Western Division Manager Reg Gregory explains further, “The people who use these machines comment on how intuitive and responsive they are to operate. Our people receive training from qualified members of the Waterways Recovery Group. This new one has been set to work at once, and will be kept very busy”

Ricky Grove concludes by explaining how much he enjoys his role in the sales of used excavators for The Molson Group Ltd. “I enjoy getting out and about to the various sites and customers. We recently sold one of yours to a customer close to here in Bisley. Molson also supply Smiths – Gloucester who have carried out work for the canal restoration.” 

Find out more

Click here, or on the icon below, to find out more about The Molson Group Ltd.