Behind the scenes of one of our most unusual projects

In March, we were delighted to be asked by North East Lincolnshire Council to take on a local community project; a dual-purpose artistic installation and a receptacle for plastic to be recycled.

Over 450 hours’ worth of design, fabrication, and manufacture went into the fish-shaped recycling bin, which was installed on Cleethorpes’ Central Promenade in front of the lifeboat station on Monday 12th October; to encourage residents and tourists alike to keep our beach clean, preventing plastic from entering our waterways and the ocean.

Measuring in at 4m long, 1.2m wide, and 1.7m tall, ‘Hammy the Haddock’ weighs 300kg and is constructed from Marine Grade 316 Stainless Steel, ensuring its resistance to the elements.

Because of the nature of the task, the design process was carried out in a totally different manner to how we would normally approach a job – beginning with our contracts engineer, Darren Jaines, hand-sketched some concepts of how we could build the framework of the fish.  These drawings were then used to create a scale model to ensure we had the right shape to do the image of the renowned Grimsby Haddock proud.

The majority of the fabrication and manufacture of the fish was carried out by one of our skilled tradesmen Logan Marklew, with aid from one of our budding apprentices, Ryan Meggit.

The pair scaled the concept model up and began by laser cutting oval-shaped supports attached to a formed pipe that ran through the centre of the fish. Once the supports were tied together with a round bar, the central formed pipe which created its shape was then cut away to create a hollow fish as the body had its own strength.

After the framing was complete, Logan and Ryan added the scales to the body, formed from the round bar. The head section was a tricky piece as it is the opening for the plastic waste, yet still needs to give the structure its character - we think the end result is a triumph.

The fins were laser cut and the eyes were machined and added, and once we were happy with the fish’s overall height and position, we designed, laser-cut, and fabricated its mounting frame.

Finally, we hand polished the fish to create a smooth finish on the Marine Grade 316 Stainless Steel, to give it the ‘wow factor’!

On 14th October we installed the final piece on Cleethorpes promenade, near the RNLI station and NELC unveiled its new name, Hammy the Haddock. Hammy was the winning suggestion in the ‘Name That Fish’ competition from Lilly-Mae Halligan who named the fish in memory of her uncle Bernard ‘Buster’ Hammond, who was head of beach safety in Cleethorpes and sadly passed away in January of this year.

We are proud to have been involved in the creation of this new feature on Cleethorpes Promenade, and we hope it encourages proper plastic recycling and sustainable living in the local area.

Cll Callum Procter, portfolio holder for Tourism, Heritage and Culture at North East Lincolnshire Council stated:

“I’d like to thank all the project sponsors and supporters, especially Blackrow Engineering for all the hard work that’s gone into designing and making it.”