A team from Ainscough Crane Hire’s Maidstone Depot has helped to carry out vital emergency works on weather damaged CCTV masts at the Roundhill Tunnels in Kent.

The team was contacted by integrated highway engineering provider A-one+ after particularly strong winds had weakened a number of the CCTV masts by the road side, causing the emergency closure of the tunnel.

The high winds also became a key factor as to when the removal and repairs could be carried out.

The masts are 14 metres high and weigh about four tonnes each. Ainscough’s Rene Bleidorn conducted a site visit on the Friday and organised the crane hire, as well as supervising the hire on the day. The team then used an LTM 1055 crane to replace the CCTV masts on the side of the carriageway.

The Roundhill Tunnels are a pair of tunnels in Folkestone, Kent that form part of the A20, which provides a key route for those heading towards Dover. They were built as part of the general works for the Channel Tunnel, and are bored into a chalk hill.

Rani Notarianni, depot manager from Ainscough’s Maidstone depot, said: “This job had to strike the balance between working effectively to a tight deadline and maintaining the high safety standards we ensure are in place on all of our lifts.

“With the road closed in both directions we had to guarantee the lift went ahead without any delays to help with the re-opening of this major part of the motorway network. From first arriving on site late Friday afternoon to the safe removal of the CCTV mast to get the road back up and running within a 24hr period, we achieved everything we set out to do. This is testament to Ainscough’s skilled operators and their dedication to going above and beyond when it is needed the most.”


Ainscough Crane Hire has announced that Janet Entwistle will step down as CEO, after 2 ½ years at the helm.

Janet has strengthened Ainscough’s position as the UK’s leading lifting services business, delivering quality premium services to its customers.

Ainscough has continued to deliver a strong profitable performance in challenging market conditions. Janet has been working with the Board to build longer-term plans for the business to deliver future success and growth.

Janet said, “I have been proud to be CEO of Ainscough Crane Hire and have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the company. I leave behind a great team and a strong business. I wish them and everyone in the business every success in the future. “

The Board thanked Janet for her commitment and will now take forward the plans they have developed for the future.

Although Janet will now step back from the business, she will support the Board over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition.


A member of Ainscough Crane Hire’s Manchester depot’s quick thinking has helped save the life of a co-worker on a job in Crewe.

Ainscough was working for J Murphy & Sons Limited at its project at the Sydney Road Bridge in Crewe. The project, being undertaken by Cheshire East Council, will see the existing single lane railway bridge be replaced by a wider structure to allow two-way traffic.

Ian O’Donnell was working the second of two Ainscough shifts, supporting a colleague that was operating a 1000t crane on the project as cover for Murphy’s drivers. Upon loading the last of the ballast, Ian headed for his lunch and on his way to the site break room he noticed a pair of legs sticking out from nearby bushes.

Upon seeing the man’s workwear, Ian realised that the man was a member of the Murphy team and had temporarily lost consciousness. Thinking quickly, Ian followed the first aid onsite safety instructions that he had been taught. Ian cleared the man’s airways and also alerted first aiders and an ambulance. Ian stayed with the man until the ambulance arrived, took guidance from paramedics by telephone and acted accordingly.

Thanks to Ian’s quick thinking the man, a site supervisor, soon regained consciousness and was taken away by an ambulance for further observation.

Ian commented: “As soon as I saw that the gentleman was in a bad way my training from the army kicked in – I was a Lance Corporal in the Prince of Wales’ second battalion. I left the army over seventeen years ago but the training doesn’t leave you, and that combined with the onsite health and training protocols we have at Ainscough meant I was able to think quickly and do the right thing.

“I’m really happy that he’s ok and I hope we meet again on another project soon.”

Dave Baxter, Technical Contracts Manager, Ainscough Crane Hire said: “I would like to congratulate Ian on his exemplary conduct. It is no exaggeration to say the speed with which he acted helped save this man’s life. On each site which we work on we collaborate with our project partners to ensure every member of the team is fully briefed and know’s what to do in situations such as this. Ian is a credit to himself and Ainscough Crane Hire and we’re very proud to have him on the team.”