Sunday, 25 December 2011

Happy Christmas

As the hydro continues spinning through the Christmas holidays we would like to wish a happy Christmas to everyone from Archie and the Directors of Torrs Hydro.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Christmas tree anyone ?

With Archie spinning like a good 'un and Christmas fast approaching Torrs Hydro has worked with local artist Amanda Whewell and New Mills School Y7 group to add to the display of Christmas Trees in St George's Church.

Official opening of the fantastic display is tonight (8 December) with further details here

The Torrs Hydro tree is a collaborative project which has been designed and created by pupils and staff from New Mills School working with local artist Amanda Whewell and using recycled materials including wood and washers collected from the Torrs Hydro site. Hidden within the tree are messages, thoughts, secrets and prayers. Our tree reminds us of the rich textile heritage of the area and looks forward to a sustainable future.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

In search of fish...

If any proof was needed of the amount of fish in the water around the Hydro our little friend here captured on film by David King is seen fishing regularly at the bottom of the weir.

Big thanks to all those who have sent in ideas on how to spend £500 - we will keep 'the lines open' for another week before putting it to the vote.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Unwrapping the railings, Archie playing catchup and we need some ideas !

Well the recent rains now means that Archie is producing in excess of 50kWh - regular clearances of the intake are required as this time of year leaves and general river debris gradually block the intake (if anyone would like a collection of traffic cones please shout?!) 
So if you see some of our volunteers (always in pairs for safety reasons) donning waders and pulling rubbish out of the river do come and say hello.

The time has come for the railings to be unwrapped!

'Hello, I'm Still Here' was a temporary installation as part of the New Mills Festival Woolly Wander which is now over, for this year at least.

Over the next few days Amanda will be unwrapping the railings. Each piece of fabric will be kept and used to create another piece of work. 

The intention is to create a ball of yarn from the fabric, this will involve plaiting, braiding, stitching and knotting. The messages that are hidden within the railings will become hidden within the ball of yarn. 
Everything will be kept together and and become the next phase of  'Hello, I'm Still Here'.
...and finally Esther (those old enough will get it...) some more good news, Torrs Hydro have £500 that we would like ideas on how to spend - it has to be something local but other than that anything will be considered so get your thinking caps on and drop an email to - we will pull together the ideas and have a vote

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Thank you !

Thank you to everyone who came along on Saturday for the Hydro Open day and added to the Railing Wrap - its great seeing so many people in the Torrs.

The central woven panel of the railing wrap is now complete but there is still space amongst the knotting and wrapping for more messages and memories to be added.

If you would like to add to it you can take along your own piece of fabric or look out for the bags of bits that will be left out at various times over the next few days..

Archie is just waiting for some more rain, but with a mini 'New Mills' heatwave for the next few days I think it will be October before he is spinning again !

Friday, 23 September 2011

'Railing wrap' and Torrs Hydro open day - Saturday 24 September

Join artist New Mills artist Amanda Whewell on Saturday 24 September (12 till 3pm) in the Torrs riverside park to be part of this unique textile installation at the same time the Hydro will be having an open day so plenty to see and do for everyone - who knows the sun may even shine.

‘Railing wrap’ has caught the imagination of hundreds of people who have joined in to weave, knot and wrap recycled textiles onto the railings in the riverside park – at the same time posting their own private messages on the materials.

This is part of the New Mills festival which culminates with a lantern procession the same evening when the whole town turns out to parade through the Torrs to the sound of pagan drum beats before congregating for a firework display and live music.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Railing wrap and next open day

The railing wrap continues to grow - fortunately the weather has been kind - we have even had some tourists from China who have joined in creating the installation as well as the excellent work being done by New Mills Schools art department.

Don't forget anyone can come and join in today and tomorrow (Wednesday and Thursday) and we are hoping Amanda will also be in the Torrs for our next Hydro open day on the 24 September !

Monday, 12 September 2011

New Mills School

It's fantastic seeing so many children working on the railings at the Hydro - this will continue all week with nearly 100 students working on wrapping the railings, why not pop down to see how things are changing !

Saturday, 10 September 2011

New Mills Festival

As part of this years New Mills Festival 'Archie' is having his railings wrapped, knotted and woven using recycled textiles. Art students from New Mills School Business and Enterprise College are working with local artist Amanda Whewell to 'wrap the railings' down at Torrs Hydro and over the next week the site will gradually be transformed.

Anyone can join in creating this installation by visiting the Hydro at the following times where Amanda will be on site iwth everything you need to join in, all you need is to bring yourself !  :

  • Wednesday 14 September 2pm - 6pm
  • Thursday 15 September 10am - 12pm

The 'railing wrap' forms part of the 'Woolly Wander' trail where artists, local community groups, individual knitters and crafting communities everywhere have collaboratively created the ‘Woolly Wander’: a knitted trail on the streets of New Mills. The whole town is dressed with woollies... look out for the main installation, the car cosy !!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Archie is a 'Sustainability' winner

With summer looking like it is about to disappear we are now able to properly test the fixes to 'Archie' that have taken place since the storm damage earlier in the year - fingers crossed that everything continues to go well.

Some good news : Torrs Hydro has also won the monthly Capgemini Sustainability award given to any employee who is actively involved in a suitable project/scheme - one of our Directors (Sean Whewell who works as a Smart Energy consultant for Capgemini) nominated Torrs Hydro and as a result we have been awarded with a cheque for £500 and entered into the annual award for £1000

Capgemini’s Sustainability programme focuses on reducing the impact on the environment, contributing to the communities where we work and live and engaging effectively with our people.  The principles of sustainability and corporate responsibility are deeply rooted in our core values and influence not just what we do internally but also the way we do business with our clients. This approach helps achieve better results, continue to attract the best people and win new business. In 2011 Capgemini has been awarded Platinum status in Business in the Community’s (BITC) Corporate Responsibility Index (CRI), received three Big Ticks, of which two were Highly Commended, in BITC’s Awards for Excellence for sustainability initiatives and have been listed in The Sunday Times Best Green Companies for the third year running.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Co-operatives fortnight

Torrs Hydro New Mills is a member of Co-operatives UK.

Co-operatives Fortnight is the annual campaign from the UK co-operative sector. It aims to raise awareness of how co-operatives offer a way of doing business in which everyday employees, customers and residents have an equal say in decisions and share the profits. This year, the theme ‘Yours To Share’ represents the shared ownership and the share in profits that makes co-operatives different.

Sponsored by key businesses in the co-operative sector and co-ordinated by Co-operatives UK, the national trade association for co-operatives, Co-operatives Fortnight ran for the first time in 2010. In its first year, over 160 events were held, 70,000 people got involved online, 2.3 million people were engaged overall and 43 million people heard about it from the media.

Co-operatives across the UK are gearing up for the second Co-operatives Fortnight, from June 25 to 9 July 2011, which aims to show how co-operative help to build a better world by giving everyone a share of the profits and an equal say.

At the centre of this is a petition calling for government action to narrow the gap between rich and poor in the UK.

Friday, 24 June 2011

New Mills One World Festiival - Saturday 2 July

Building Bridges...
...Making Waves

Come and have a fantastic day out at the One World Festival in High Lea Park with some great music and an amazing variety of things to see, do, eat drink and listen to.

Torrs Hydro will be there to tell you the latest about the Hydro and for those that fancy a trip down to see 'Archie' we will be having an open day and tours of the Hydro site as well

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Archie - update

Work started last week to remove the debris that has been sat in front of the Hydro intake for the past few weeks as well as remove debris from below the weir - this has been deposited further down the river and the work has been undertaken by the Environment Agency to ensure it was completed correctly.

Next steps are to get a clean bill of health for the weir and to start recommissioning Archie.

Watch this space for further updates.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Weir inspection

Following the storm in February there has been lots of activity in and around Archie - the latest being a weir inspection - next week sees the start of the 'shoal' removal from the intake so lots of diggers and engineers in the river

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Archie soon to be spinning again...

As many of you have notices (and commented) Archie has been idle for the past few weeks because of the damage caused by the winter storm in February.

To bring you up to date – much work has been happening in the background :

·         Insurance claim to cover the cost of repairs and lost revenue
·         Working closely with the Environment Agency to determine how best to move the river debris
·         Repairs to the sluice gate that controls the water flow through Archie
·         Installation of a fish counter to show how successful the fish pass has been
·         A spring clean of the Engine House ready for our open days

As you can see from the pictures below the sluice gate has now been repaired by LSP of New Mills – a difficult job under difficult conditions so big thanks to Paul and LSP !

Over the next few of weeks the ‘shoal’ of river debris that was dumped at Archie’s intake will be removed and Archie will be up and running again – further info on exact dates will be posted on here - I want to see the diggers in the river as well !

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

United Utilities - report

A short summary from the United Itilities drought report for 2010

Last year the North-West experienced the driest start to the year on record. As a consequence reservoir levels in the North West declined rapidly between April and June leading to UU to implement a hosepipe ban on 9 July 2010 and to apply for drought permits at four sites (Ennerdale, Windermere, Rivington and Longdendale) to prevent stocks depleting further.  Following this in July the North West received 190% of the long term average rainfall (1961-90) and in August we also received 89% of the long term average rainfall.  This heavy rainfall led to the recovery of the Cumbrian reservoirs. 

The hosepipe ban was therefore removed on 19 August and the drought permit applications for Ennerdale Water, Lake Windermere and Rivington were also withdrawn.  Reservoir volumes in the South of the region remained below average and the drought permit for Longdendale was granted by the EA.  This however was not used due to further recovery in reservoir volumes.  

Overall 2010 was the 3rd driest year in our records.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

AGM - 3

Fortunately for our shareholders the weather was so much better than 7 days previous when Torrs Hydro was all but washed away in the horrendous storms that have left the Hydro and site looking decidedly worse for wear.

As well as the formalities expected in any AGM - finances, operational reports, voting etc - there was some lively debate prompted by our shareholders and also an excellent talk from Matthew Rhodes of Encraft

The AGM was followed by tours of the site given by the Directors..

Photographs by Steve Essex

Friday, 11 February 2011

The rains came down...

Last weekend saw the heaviest rains in New Mills for over two years and with the rains came flash floods down at the Hydro - as you can see from the pictures what is normally our 'intake is completely blocked and will need excavating, there is also damage to the sluice gate which would stop normal Operations also.

The Directors are working with our insurers to bring about a swift resolution to the situation, but any river works will have to wait until 15 March due to the fish breeding season.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

In the beginning there was a generator....

An unusual picture taken whist Archie was being built - the size of gearbox and generator meant the Engine House had to be built afterwards.