Selwood bridges the gap to provide plant hire solutions at world-famous site

Selwood’s plant hire specialists provided bespoke solutions for a leading civil engineering company working on the renovation of a Grade-1 listed hotel in a world-famous location.

JG Francis was contracted by the Avon Gorge hotel in Clifton, Bristol, to carry out refurbishment works as part of a major facelift of the venue. The hotel is located in a busy area of the city and boasts views of one of the world’s greatest bridges, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which was designed by renowned engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

The history of the bridge dates back to the industrial revolution when Brunel was declared the winner of a design competition and appointed as project engineer – his first major commission. When Brunel died in 1859, the bridge was still not completed and the Institution of Civil Engineers decided completion of the bridge would be a fitting memorial to Brunel. The bridge spans 214 metres between its two 26-metre high towers and stands 76 metres above the high-water mark. Modern computer analysis has revealed that when designing the joints between the 4,200 links that make up the bridge’s chain, Brunel had made an almost perfect calculation of the minimal weight needed to maintain maximum strength – a real triumph of engineering.

The application at the hotel had its own challenges, mainly due to the contractors having to work in a small area in close proximity to members of the public. After discussions with the client, a one-tonne Thwaites dumper and a three-tonne Yanmar excavator were selected as the best kit for the job and subsequently supplied to JG Francis.

Daniel Tripp, plant hire specialist at Selwood’s Bristol branch in Burcott Road, said: “We were pleased to be able to provide a solution for JG Francis that made their work easier and ultimately saved time and money.

“Our brand-new kit came with the technical support and spares guarantee that Selwood is renowned for. This was a new client for Selwood with its own similar pedigree for innovation, health and safety within the construction industry, so we were delighted to be working with them.

“The application’s famous location, with a marvel of engineering within a stone’s throw, was certainly a talking point and we were proud to be part of this job.

“The feedback from the client was that the kit and service were first class, so we were very pleased.”

Selwood’s teams have an unrivalled depth of technical expertise and are proud to deliver exceptional customer service for all plant hire solutions. For more information about the equipment and services Selwood offers visit

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