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Concrete In Australia : December 2013
24 Concrete in Australia Vol 39 No 4 COVER STORY Pash. Reid resigned from PSC, unhappy with the direction of the merged company, and returned to AHR, which was by then the major strand supplier. Bridon had something new for Reid: the Dyform compacted strand. Reid was so successful converting standard designs to Dyform that in one year he sold Bridon’s Dyform capacity from its Doncaster plant. The rising demand for PC strand encouraged Bridon to build a PC strand and wire rope plant in Australia called Blue Strand Industries (BSI), and Reid was appointed sales director. The venture commenced strongly. A memorable project was the design and supply of high strength Dyform crane ropes for the Australian Favco cranes used to build the World Trade Center in New York. Sadly, BSI failed four years later during a severe recession and oversupply when BHP commenced making PC strand. Reid’s pre-stressing days were over. In 1973, Reid visited John Harris in London and asked if there was anything new. Of Reid, Harris recalled: “You must realise that most of the engineering world is very suspicious of anything new – but not our John, who is always curious of and drawn towards anything new.” They discussed reinforced earth (RE, also known as terre armee) developed by Henri Vidal in France, and “startling works” in France, England and elsewhere. Reid went immediately to Paris and convinced a sceptical Henri (“Australie? It’s too far away John.”) that he could start RE in Australia. In March 1974, they began a joint venture, a company called Reinforced Earth. Initially engineers were suspicious about this new idea. As before with CCL, Reid realised he would need a design-supply solution and engaged Geoff Verge and Malcolm Boyd of Brown Verge Harrison & Sutherland as engineering consultants. In 1975, Gutteridge Haskins and Davy took the plunge with the first RE wall in Australia at Smith Street, Parramatta. It was small, only 150m2 but it was the centre of interest for engineers who arrived from all over Australia to prod and poke at this new- fangled idea. The market took off. The rise of RE developed a demand for precast concrete panels. Malcolm Boyd joined Reinforced Earth and they built an in- house team of design and construction engineers to service the rapidly expanding business across Australia, then New Zealand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. RE and similar concrete panels with interesting colours and textures are Silverwater Bridge 1960, stressing the 11/8 inch CCL strands. Honorary membership Honorary membership is defined in the Institute’s constitution as: “Any person admitted as such whom the Council considers has made an outstanding contribution to the development and use of concrete in Australia.” 20-25 - Cover.indd 24 20-25 - Cover.indd 24 25/11/13 2:41 PM 25/11/13 2:41 PM