Poly Advisory were due to start work at the White Oak Leisure Centre in Swanley to refurbish three flumes and a number of associated areas
Five days before the commencement date we were informed that the 'el nino' effect or it may have been the infamous White Oak Willy Wind was responsible for depositing pieces of the Whale Whirler ride canopy all over the town of Swanley.
If you remember the same howler was also responsible for reducing Sevenoaks to Oneoak a few years earlier and embarrassed a certain well-known weatherman.
Our first reaction on receiving this information; 'Oh there is a God after all', because we were due to carry out minor repairs to the said canopies and if we had commenced operations one week earlier I can imagine the glee of some grinning insurance underwriter stating, 'Yes; but Poly Advisory have probably loosened the bolts securing the canopies, and should surely be responsible for a percentage of the blame.'
Before the storm Poly Advisory already considered the operations to be quite extensive, especially because of the aggressive time scale in which the refurbishment had to be completed by.
The storm damage dramatically increased the repair operations on the Whale Whirler tyre ride. from the original minor repairs that were required.
It became necessary to erect a portable workshop on site, patterns were taken and moulds constructed to allow the 130 metres of glassfibre reinforced plastic laminated canopies to be manufactured.
The profile of the original canopy was redesigned to allow extra headroom for the riders and the new sections were produced in translucent amber pigmented GRP.
The Exterior surfaces of all three GRP flumes were recoated, together with the structural steel supports.
The interior ride surfaces of all three flumes were coated with our unique PASLAM lining system.
New speed controls and lighting strobes have been fitted in the flumes along with traffic lights and monitoring cameras.
The exit and entrance areas to all rides have been themed with artwork depicting Whales, Sharks and Dolphins, designs that will definitely excite the bathers.
New filters and pumps have been installed in a redesigned self-draining plantroom floor.
They say it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good.
I hope that the Sevenoaks District Council agree, now that the refurbishment has been successfully completed and has been operational for a number of months.
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