Notts County took delivery of the second pair of specially designed lighting rigs at Meadow Lane on Wednesday...
The delivery now completes an arsenal of new tools that the groundstaff hope will help keep the playing surface in great shape throughout the current season.
Two of the four rigs, which have been built by local university students from recycled materials, including lamps seized by Nottinghamshire Police, were delivered to Meadow Lane back in May.
Now the two larger rigs, which have extending arms and will be used to encourage grass growth in larger areas of the pitch, have arrived to complete an impressive line-up of high tech tools to help keep the pitch in the best possible condition all year round.
Such is the size of the two newest rigs, they had to be moved individually by RH Commercial Vehicles, who organised the transportation from the workshop at Ailsen Ltd, who provided the workspace for the rigs to be constructed.
The help of companies such as RH Commercial Vehicles and Ailsen Ltd has been the basis of this entire project, which has also brought together Nottinghamshire Police, who supplied the lamps which had been seized in cannabis raids, a local golf club who supplied the wheels and of course the students from the Mechanical Engineering Society at Nottingham University, who designed and built the rigs.
Wear on the pitch, particularly in the area in front of the Derek Pavis Stand, has been an on-going issue for Notts and several ideas have been tried in the past to alleviate the problem.
However, the addition of these new lighting rigs, which effectively produce a false sunlight and encourage grass growth, should see a dramatic improvement in the level of remedial work that the groundstaff are able to carry out on the pitch during the forthcoming season.
Stadium Manager Greg Smith was delighted to have the full complement of rigs now on site at Meadow Lane, saying: “We now have four rigs so the project is completed. These two are a lot wider, so we can have these two down the Pavis Stand side and the other two in the goalmouth areas or the shaded area in the Family Stand side.
“Ailsen have been a big help in making them because of the design side and a brilliant partner for the project, they’ve taken a small idea and made it bigger.
“For RH Commercial Vehicles to supply a driver and a lorry has been fantastic for the club as well,” he added. “We contacted them through the rugby club and they’ve been very helpful and for a Nottingham company of their scale to get so involved just shows how the project has evolved.
“Just like the police and the students, who have helped us in maintaining our pitch. It’s been brilliant and we have already used the lights, like in July when we had the wet period, and we can see the benefits of it.
“When we go into September and October we will be using the rigs and hopefully the end results will show in the summer next year when we see how much grass coverage we’ve got on the pitch.”
Nigel Baxter, Managing Director at RH Commercial Vehicles, commented: "We were delighted to be part of this project – a great example of partners working together to the benefit of the wider community in Nottingham, and getting to help improve the grounds of the oldest professional league club in the world – what an honour.
"We are always open to approaches from other schemes that work towards improving services for local groups and initiatives."
The club would like to offer our most sincere thanks to all involved in this project: Tom Gallagher, Max Keizer, Janice Leung, Mark Mennear and Cat Podesta from Nottingham University’s Mechanical Engineering Society, Ailsen Limited, RH Commercial Vehicles and Nottinghamshire Police.