Standing over 30m high, the two iconic climbing poles in the middle of the forestry section of the Royal Welsh Showground, are hard to miss.
Being one of the most popular contests at the Royal Welsh show, the pole-climbers demonstrate nerves of steel along with an amazing amount of strength and agility to compete against each other, and the clock, to see how quickly they can reach the top.
However, it is important for the safety of the climbers and integrity of the competitions for the poles to be kept in tip-top condition and changed when necessary. The current poles have been in-situ since 2009 and in the next few days, we will be replacing them in time for this year’s show, a logistical task which requires plenty of preparation and hard work!
Two huge Douglas Fir trees from a Natural Resources Wales managed forest near Pantperthog, Machynlleth, have already been felled with the support of Tillhill Forestry. However, getting them to the showground required an operation planned with military precision.
The journey from Pantperthog to the Royal Welsh Show forestry section is a huge logistical challenge involving help and support from Natural Resources Wales, Dyfed Powys Police and the Highways Agency. Starting early yesterday morning, Sunday 25 June, the new poles were loaded onto an articulated, rear-steer lorry and driven the 90 plus miles from the forest to Llanelwedd by Kieron M Owen Transport Ltd, along with a full abnormal-load police entourage.
Now at the showground, the poles are all ready for the next part of the challenge where they will be hoisted into position with an enormous crane from Davies Crane Hire and buried 5m into the ground with the help of J A Morgan Groundworks, before being finally secured into place with a series of tension wires. A huge feat of engineering!
“For many, the sight of the climbing poles is synonymous with the Royal Welsh Show” says new Honorary Assistant Director for Forestry, Iwan Lloyd-Williams “The crowds always flock to watch the climbers in actions throughout the week and we are always thrilled with the calibre of contestants competing in our competitions.
“It is vital that we ensure the best possible conditions for our competitors and have pulled out all the stops to make sure the poles get replaced ready for another exciting four-days of events at this year’s show.
“We would like to extend our thanks to all the other organisations and contractors who have helped to make this possible.”
For more information about The Royal Welsh Show visit: www.rwas.co.uk