Flannery Flood Fighters

Flannery Plant Hire


The last thing any homeowner wants is water around their knees in the front living room. To help prevent that nightmare scenario requires flood defence’s and a team of machines and skilled operators. Darren Scully visited Flannery plant hire on a job in Radcliffe.

There seems to be a trend to give storms names. Normal names, like Deirdre, Jennifer or Ellen. I think the reason for these nice names is not to scare the general population. If I had my way, I would name them differently. I think if you are been warned of an incoming storm then you should give it a name that people will then sit up and take notice. How about storm Taxman or Deathstar, maybe storm Armageddon or even storm Headless Horseman. I think that would grab the attention.  I don’t think the met office will be taking up my idea, so I believe we will have some nice names for the future.

Last February we had a visit from storm Ciara. She rolled in and dropped millions of gallons of water from the sky, along with some very high winds. This of course swelled the rivers, which then burst their banks and caused some massive flooding. Having your property turn into an aquarium tank is not what anyone desires and to prevent it from happening requires the dredging of rivers and the building of flood defences. To see such a job in action and to also see what machines are required, I paid a visit to flood defence scheme in Radcliffe. The main contractor is BAM and they are using Flannery to do all the muck-shifting. It gave me an opportunity to speak with some very skilled operators and to hear how when storm Ciara struck, they worked through the night to save peoples homes. 

What’s involved

Construction is now underway on a £40m flood defence scheme in the Radcliffe and Redvales area of Bury, which was badly hit by flooding in 2015. The scheme, part of the Environment Agency’s £2.6bn investment into flood defences across the country, will be delivered in two parts and has been designed to reduce the risk of flooding to over eight hundred local homes and businesses across Radcliffe and Redvales. When I arrive on site, I am met by Tom Owen, who is an account manager for Flannery Plant Hire. He looks after the North West for this progressive company and his duties include existing client relationships and creating new opportunities. He is kept busy, ensuring that clients have the right machines on site and that any issues they have are dealt with quickly to their satisfaction. On this Job in Radcliffe, he is here to give support to the main contractor, BAM Nuttall. The job involves earthworks, bunds, sheet piling and putting in defences. They are supplying machines from three tonnes up to twenty-five tonnes.

This includes dump trucks, diggers and dozers as well as GPS equipment. In total there is twenty machines on site, but it can change quickly, depending on what is needed. I ask him to expand on what exactly Flannery offer their clients. “First of all, we offer peace of mind. We take care of all their equipment needs. We take care of all the compliance issues; all the operators are trained correctly, and we ensure the equipment is fresh and in top class condition. We can offer machines with operators or without. They can choose which package they require, and we can also offer bespoke deals. We are a business that gives top class customer service and I think that is why we are the best at what we do” said Tom. Flannery have much on the horizon, with projects like HS2 and smart motorway schemes coming up, Tom believes he and his colleagues are going to be very busy. 

“There is works with HS2 currently happening with demolition jobs around London and Birmingham underway. I think the next twelve months will see a big increase in workload. In the central part of HS2 you are going to see a need for at least a thousand machines, so it gives you an idea of the scale of the Job. We will be ready for it.”