The Bodmin and Wenford Railway is gearing up for its most historic event ever – the arrival of the Tornado steam locomotive this summer.

Tornado is the first and only steam train to be built in Britain this century and is constantly making headlines news – from appearing in Top Gear, with Jeremy Clarkson, to being the star of the BBC 2 documentary Absolutely Chuffed.

   But plans for its first Cornwall visit looked like being put on hold when questions were raised as to whether the train would be able to fit around the tight bend on the track.

And that’s where Phoenix came in. Cornwall Development Manager Darren Harvey, who is based at the company’s Bodmin branch, takes up the story: “There’s a very high curvature on the track and because of the size of Tornado there was some doubt as whether it would be able to navigate this.”

Darren met the team from the railway and was confident that he could help. Together with Technical Director Rob Judge, he gave on-site training with a Total Station and GPS unit and then hired out the relevant equipment so organisers could survey the track.

“And the good news was that the survey confirmed the train would be able to fit around the corner so it’s literally full steam ahead.”

Graeme Bunker, Operations Director at the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust added: “Crossing the Tamar is the last piece in the jigsaw for Tornado and its adventures on the national network. We’re delighted to be coming to the heritage line at Bodmin, where we can show off our wonderful engine to the West Country public.”

If you’d like more more information on Total Station Hire, contact Rob Judge Phoenix Hire Survey & Safety Technical Director on 01454 312560 or, email:


Brandon Tool Hire goes for gold in Cornwall

Brandon Hire is committed to building long-term relationships with its customers – so much so that it was the headline sponsor at the recent Cormac Gold Awards.

Group Sales Director Angus Barraclough said Cormac is an important customer and that having the chance to get involved in the event was a great way for Brandon Hire to develop its partnership further.

“The awards are a major milestone as they recognise staff for their hard work and commitment. For us was it was perfect platform to raise our profile and show that as a business we believe in giving something back.”

Cormac, which is wholly owned by Cornwall Council, also trades in the open marketplace to generate revenue for the council. It has three approved tool suppliers but thanks to Brandon Hire’s branch staff and their ‘can do’ attitude, the company has secured a large share of this business.

Brandon Tool Hire supporting Cormac in Cornwall


Once again Brandon Hire was one of the main attractions at a construction health & safety event, organised by Southern Construction Framework.

More than 80 delegates attended, all keen to find out about more the health & safety risks they face and how having the right equipment can make a difference.

Although there have been major improvements within the industry, latest statistics from the HSE still make depressing reading – approximately 13,000 deaths from work-related diseases and 142 deaths as a result of accidents at work.

Technical Manager Dave Arscott said: “As a company we have a responsibility to do what we can to get the safety message out there and events like this are a great way to do just that.”



Rubi Slim System Tile Cutter added to Brandon Tool Hire’s fleet


Brandon Hire continues to be at the forefront of new developments, helping customers take advantage of the latest products on the market.

As a result the Rubi Slim System tile cutter has been added to the company’s hire fleet. This is a manual cutter that’s specially designed for large format porcelain tiles up to 3m by 1.2m.

Commercial Manager Nigel Strickland said: “We were recently approached by one of the world’s largest tile manufactures to be their preferred hire partner to supply their customers, which is great news.

“These cutters have been developed due to the growing popularity of large tiles, which are being used increasingly on commercial buildings, hotels and refurbishment works.”



GPS is now part of everyday life. It’s great for helping you get to an interview on time, finding a hotel you’re staying at, making sure you don’t get lost when you’re hiking and hooking up with a friend at a crowded event.

But despite all this, it’s pretty new in the world of archaeology. So much so that Matt Ingram, who is part of the Phoenix Technical Sales Support Team is providing advice and guidance to 26 archaeologists who have uncovered the largest Roman mosaic floor found in Leicester in the past 30 years.

The excavations in the city centre, being carried out by the University of Leicester, offer a unique insight into everyday life more than 1,500 years ago.Topcon Hiper hire from Phoenix Survey

“We have a long-standing relationship with the university, which is how we got involved with this exciting project,” said Matt. “Traditionally the university has worked with paper and pencil when it came to recording artefacts found on sites but this is a pretty difficult and time- consuming job.

“The quality of the records is down to how well someone can draw and document the area, often with very inaccurate details and trying to use a 100-metre tape on a very windy day when it’s pouring with rain can cause havoc.”

But now thanks to the Topcon Hiper SR Advanced GPS system the archaeologists on site can record data to less than a couple of centimetres. The University is also using GPS to measure around any artefacts, which gives them an accurate, digital record. They don’t have to worry about paper records being lost or damaged and the findings can be shared instantaneously with various departments.

And when the mosaic was discovered, Matt took the technology up a gear and introduced laser scanning which meant they could gather far more detail that they ever could with GPS – almost 24 million individual measurements recorded in less than four minutes.

“By using the laser scanner in this way, the mosaic can be moved to a museum and assembled just the way it was found on site – truly preserving it for future generations.”

Matt can be contacted on 07841 738002



UK’s builders getting a great start with Brandon Hire


Thousands of builders across the country are getting their day off to a great start with a Brandon Hire Breakfast.

Launched two years ago, the breakfast mornings have become a big success, giving customers the chance to catch up with fellow tradesmen as well as find out more about the latest kit on the market.

The programme runs from June right through until October. For more information go to

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Brandon Hire continues to expand with its latest branch opening in Telford


Brandon Hire continues to expand into new areas, with its latest branch opening in Telford.This follows close on the heels of Leatherhead, York, Bradford, High Wycombe and Newquayhigh wycombe 2

Managing Director Tim Smith said: “Opening a new branch is obviously a major business investment so we have taken our time to identify the right location and we’re delighted with how things have gone. Each branch has been able to establish itself quickly, which is great news, and confirmation that we’ve chosen the right towns to move into.”

The opening of Newquay gives Brandon Hire even more reach in Cornwall, while York and Bradford means the company now has seven branches in Yorkshire.

“It’s an exciting time for us. There’s no doubt that our approach during the difficult economy climate to stay focused on what we’re good at and keep control of our costs has paid off and now we’re in a strong position to grow and develop.”


Brandon Hire helping to ensure the UK’s house builders don’t bite the dust


Brandon Hire is working in partnership with Redrow – one of the UK’s leading residential property developers – to help raise awareness of health issues within the house building industry.

A key element of the campaign has been pro-active workshops across the county, which have been run by National Technical Manager Dave Arscott. The sessions, attended by Redrow staff and sub-contractors, have focused on the dangers of working with dust and hand arm vibration. To support the workshops, Brandon Hire produced a range of leaflets, which covered the key health issues and highlighted the steps people can take to minimise the risks.

“Our reputation for giving health & safety advice has grown over the years – so much so that we are now viewed as experts in this area,” said Dave. “It was real compliment to be asked by Redrow to support their campaign and it’s another sign that the UK construction industry looks to us for guidance.”redrow homes 4

Redrow homes 1Airborne dusts can present significant respiratory risks on construction sites. They are responsible for a large number of the non-asbestos lung diseases that develop, including cancer, silicosis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). Every year in Great Britain over 500 construction workers1 are believed to die from lung cancer
caused by silica dust alone. Many construction jobs can create large amounts of dust including sweeping, grit blasting, soft-strip demolition and the hand-sanding of plaster joints. However, the most common involve the use of power tools such as cut-off saws, grinders, breakers and sanders. These can create very high dust levels, especially if the work is indoors or in an enclosed or poorly-ventilated area.
Dust, respiratory risks and ill-health in general are priority areas for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in its dealings with the industry. They also fit into the government’s wider industrial strategy for the sector, Construction 20252.

BRANDON HIRE deliver for the NHS BT


NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has awarded Brandon Hire a key contract to supply heating and cooling equipment.

The new agreement means that Brandon Hire’s national branch network will have a critical role to play in getting the kit delivered to collection centres across England to ensure that temperatures are controlled in the various environments, which include everything from sports centres to village halls.

Brandon Hire’s focus on equipment innovation and a commitment to meeting critical delivery and collection schedules were a key part of the company’s winning bid.

Commercial Manager Nigel Strickland said: “There are minimum and maximum temperature requirements, which is where we come in. Our equipment will help to keep the donation centres at the right temperature and  make blood donors feel more comfortable when they’re giving blood – no-one wants to be too cold or too hot.”

As well as heating and cooling equipment, Brandon Hire will be supplying the latest in battery powered LED lighting technologyBluemax Combined that deliver huge savings in running costs when compared to traditional halogen lights.

There are 24 fixed blood donation centres across England and 88 mobile blood collection teams running about 23,000 blood collection sessions a year in communities across England and North Wales. Each year donors give around two million donations of blood.