Issue No 42                                An Occasional Newsletter from JPM Parry & Associates Ltd (JPA),                             July 2005
                           Parry People Movers Ltd (PPM), Pre Metro Operations Ltd (PMO) & Holdfast Carpet Track Ltd (HCT)

  1,500 classrooms and over 100 teacher training facilities use Parry tiles from small local businesses

  Mkwalawanjobvu Primary School, Ntchisi District (Photo courtesy of DfID)

NEWS HAS BEEN RELEASED from the                        metal sheets which are imported into the        Three consignments of production equipment
education office at DfID Malawi describing             country, noisy in rain and uncomfortable to     were despatched to Malawi in 2003-4 and a
the amazing progress being achieved                    work under in hot weather. The programme        further order of £78,900 was placed in May
constructing classrooms for the Malawi                 managers decided to introduce local             this year.
Ministry of Education. These are now being             manufacture of the alternative micro
completed at a rate of 30 per week.                    concrete roofing developed by Parry             How Parry roofing benefits 100,000
Established building methods had been                  Associates in the 1980s and already in use in   Malawians – and could reach over 100
based on the use of corrugated                         several other African countries.                million people worldwide, page 3.

                                 YOUR                     RURAL LIGHT RAIL FOR                                                  .
                               STARTER                    WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY                              Also In This Issue..
                              (HOME) FOR                  Joint project with PPM announced
                                                        THE WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY and PPM
                                                        are similar organisations: their plans for
                                                        the future of transport are ground-
                                                        breaking and highly desirable, but
                                                        neither has the luxury of large amounts
                                                        of money immediately available.
                                                        The two have therefore come together to        •   Hundreds experience PPM at open
                                                        develop Community Light Rail for future            days, p5
                                                        public services on the WR.                     •   Build IT International shows new
                                                        Full story and syndicate details, page 4           approach for NGOs, p6
                                                                                                       •   Lords blast railways’ ‘regulatory
                                                                                                           constipation’, p6
                                                                                                       •   Church construction in northern
                                                                                                           Ghana, p7
  The prototype HIGH AND DRY building skeleton.
                                                                                                       •   Lighting up the night with solar
     Floors, supports and roof allow walls to be                                                           power, p8
      finished with materials available to hand.
  Total material cost for 18m2 of living space: £500
                                                                                                       •   Network Rail tackles Stourbridge
                                                                                                           ‘Catch-22’, p5
           See also Technical News, page 8
                                                                       Page 1
Comment                                         trained to pull ploughs. Just as rain drops
                                                converge into rivers, lots of little cheques will
                                                                                                    virtue marches with the vice of pride and the
                                                                                                    borderline is easily crossed. Functionaries

SMALL IS BIG                                    generate really useful untied funding, even if
                                                donkey-training is hardly an example of the
                                                                                                    have to do their jobs and contractors seek
                                                                                                    their livelihoods but the agencies expect the
By John Parry                                   liberating technology envisioned by Fritz           world to conform selflessly to their purpose.
                                                Schumacher. But intermediate technology as          They work ‘not for profit’ and distance
Dr E F SCHUMACHER’S                             an approach is actually a really big idea, one      themselves from collaboration with business-
revolutionary book SMALL IS                     which is at present changing the lives of           based providers. But the task now is to
BEAUTIFUL: Economics as if                      100,000 adults and children in Malawi, for          channel the tsunami appeal funds into action,
People Mattered explained                       example (see front page story): more                not the discussion of action. And first we
the concept of Intermediate Technology to a     livelihoods and better schools through IT           must somehow escape from the aid industry’s
worldwide audience. That was in 1973. Since methods of building. Repeat this story a                familiar stereotypes of grinding poverty
then, while the three word prefix has become thousand times – which we think easily                 reaching out begging hands. This is not the
a ubiquitous cliché, the expression             possible – and a hundred thousand becomes           relationship on which to base the
‘intermediate technology’ has had a more        a hundred million beneficiaries. Small is Big.      reconstruction of communities of working
modest profile. However, the idea that          If ever there were a circumstance where             people struck by sudden catastrophe.
relatively simple and reliable technology -     words are no substitute for action, it is the       The tsunami event struck rich and poor alike.
specifically designed for use in less developed aftermath of the December 2004 tsunami.             Survivors, including western holidaymakers
and less resourced environments - could be a Full marks for the immediate, short term               and local residents, behaved like good
better generator of jobs, incomes, products     response by the international agencies.             neighbours. Speedily implemented acts of
and self-reliance than spin-offs from the rich  Tents, blankets, bottled water, body bags were      reconstruction resulted from person-to-person
world’s high-tech industry has been very        on site in a matter of hours. Fewer marks           help: businessman to local school, guests to
successful. Parry Associates have never tired however for what is being achieved in                 hotel and restaurant owners, etc. Many small
of the Schumacher ‘brand’. Intermediate         reconstruction. Why all the delay? Because          acts: big results and much satisfaction on
technology is a concept still with a million    rebuilding towns and villages is difficult. With    both sides.
miles yet to run.                               one or two exceptions, the majority of the staff    It is with these thoughts in mind that a new
The Parry Associates motto ‘Actions speak       of international charities and official aid         humanitarian group is taking shape (see story
louder…’ is a reflection of Schumacher’s        organisations have little experience either of      on page 6) which sees business differently
concern that in the overseas development        manufacturing or construction. Faced with           from the ‘rat run’ image portrayed by the
field it is too often words that pay! A recent  demolished buildings, altered geography,            voluntary sector. The new organisation will
study by the charity Action Aid found that      fragmented communities and thousands of             work with business providers as important
some 40% of the international community’s       local government officials missing or dead,         sources of the skills needed for self-sustaining
$50bn overseas aid budget is spent on           they are stumped. But for the press it is local     productive activity. And there should be
consultants! (How much did it cost to do the administrators who take the blame:                     benefits at both ends, as UK companies’ staff
research to find this out?)                     bureaucrats insisting on planning procedures,       involved in projects return with richer
Charitable fund raising is an art in itself,    customs officers wanting import duties paid,        knowledge of their partners’ needs and
sometimes only loosely connected with the       and private contractors raising their prices in     capabilities – and of themselves.
final charitable objective. At the moment, £25 response to the demand.                              This is the spirit of co-operation of which
cheques are being sought (not by us!) to        It is hard to criticise the humanitarian            Schumacher wrote. So don’t put intermediate
provide soft harnesses for donkeys being        enthusiasm of the giant aid agencies, but           technology on the shelf. Build IT.

                                        ASSOCIATES, AGENTS AND REPRESENTATIVES
BOTSWANA                                                                                                        TANZANIA
Mr Tiedze Bob Chapi                  Mr Solomon Mwangi                    SOUTH AFRICA                          Peter Jones Consultants Ltd
TEC (Pty) Ltd                        Consulting & Advisory Services       Southern Marketing Services           PO Box 476, Njombe, Tanzania
PO Box 20727, Monarch                Director, COMAC Ltd                  28 Crest Road, Croydon, CR2 7JQ, UK
Francistown, Botswana                PO Box 1025-00502                    Tel: +44 20 8651 4212                     Karen, Kenya                         Fax: +44 20 8651 3377                 THAILAND
                                             Geoffrey Wheeler
EASTERN EUROPE                                                            and                                   CVBT
BSTO                                 LIBERIA                              Suite 501 Station Building            Km 147 Thaninogkhai Road, Group 5,
Suite 204                            Mr James Peters                      'Tourist Junction', 160 Pine Street   Ban Thin, Tambon Ban That,
Banderway House                      Petico                               Durban 4001, South Africa             Ampher Phen, Udon Thani 41150
156-162 Kilburn High Road            PO Box 20-5544                       Tel: +27 31 304 1717                  Thailand
London, NW6 4JD, UK                  1000 Monrovia 20, Liberia            Fax: +27 31 304 3016                  Tel: +66 42 248423
Tel: +44 20 7624 0103                Tel: +231 6529501                      
                                     MALAYSIA                             SOUTHERN SUDAN                        UGANDA
GAMBIA                               Mr Tony Barry                        Aniek Tong Atak                       Mr John Magnay
Mr Maurice Phillips                  10 Jalan Beka                        ACBS Ltd                              MAGRIC (U) Ltd
Safari Gardens Hotel                 Bukit Damansara                      20b Ainsworth Way                     Plot 103, Jinja Road
PO Box 4590, Bakau                   50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia         St Johns Wood                         PO Box 3218, Kampala, Uganda
Fajara Via Banjul, Gambia                    London, NW8 0SR, UK                   Tel +256 41232100
Tel: +220 4495 887                                                                   Fax: +256 41244606                        SENEGAL
                                     Fibro-Mac                            SRI LANKA                             ZAMBIA
KENYA                                Domaine Industriel                   Esther David                          Mr David Fisher
Mr N R Evans                         BP 5872                              HDL Development Ltd                   Shadizam Engineering Supplies Ltd
4th Ngong Avenue                     Dakar-Fann, Senegal                  78 Canal Road, Hendala                Postnet 208 Kabulonga
PO Box 45156                         Tel: +221 825 7354                   Wattala, Sri Lanka                    Private Bag E835, Lusaka, Zambia
Nairobi, Kenya                       Fax: +221 824 1394                   Tel: +94 21 222 3877                  Tel: +260 95 749313                         

                                                                      Page 2
                            BUILDING IN in other sectors EDUCATION SECTOR
 MICRO CONCRETEincrease by replicationMALAWI’S and other African countries
    Potential for 1000-fold
THE DECISION in May 2005 by the               in October, buildings with metal
Malawi School Building programme to           roofs also ‘heat up like an oven’.
order ten more production plants from         But under micro concrete roofing,
Parry Associates confirms the success of      conditions are much cooler and
the decision to go for local manufacture      the material does not rust.
and to favour lightweight micro concrete      A typical school classroom
material over metal sheeting. The             arranged for modern methods of
description by the Education Office of a      teaching may have four or more
‘quiet roof that lasts’ alludes to the loud   large, rectangular tables, around
noise which previously stopped teachers       each of which sit up to 16 eager-
from teaching during heavy rain and           to-learn children. A block of three
inevitable deterioration due to corrosion     classrooms can provide
of corrugated iron in a damp climate. At      accommodation for nearly 200
                                                                                                    ‘We love our new school!’
the onset of the hottest part of the year     students, sometimes attending in                     Children and staff outside the
                                                     two ‘shifts’.                                 new Mkwalawanjobvu school
                                                     With the education sector alone
                                                     set to improve the teaching               economic and cultural parallels in other
                                                     environment of over 100,000               African countries, such as Mozambique,
                                                     children and adults, discussions          and Tanzania – both with much larger
                                                     are taking place into how to spread       populations than Malawi. This small
                                                     the benefits of the better roofing        southern African country, like the
                                                     into other sectors: health and            Gambia in West Africa, may be pointing
                                                     private housing, for instance. This       the way to introducing roofing material
                                                     in due course could result in half a      manufacture from local resources which
     African children                                million Malawians having better           could expand ten-, 100- and ultimately
   studying hard under                               quality roofs supplied by a new           1000-fold. JPA has always been
     cover of a Parry
         tiled roof                                  ‘potentially lucrative local industry’.   ambitious: 100 million potential
                                                     Parry Associates see close                customers can’t be bad.

                                                          NEW CAMEROON BUILDING MATERIALS FIRM
                                                            BASES ITSELF ON PARRY TECHNOLOGIES
                                                                 Managers visit UK for familiarisation and training
                                                         A NEW CUSTOMER arrived on Parry Associates’ doorstep in May 2005
                                                         from Cameroon in West Africa. Cambrick Ltd is made up of people with a
                                                         trading background who see opportunities in their country’s growing
     A school in the Gambia’s North Bank Division        building sector for a provider of high quality building materials. Having
                                                         checked out the Parry Associates website, Mr Eric Tandoh arranged for
SCHOOL ROOF CONSTRUCTION IN                              the manager–designate of the new venture, Doris Ndifongwa, and a
     GAMBIA SPEEDS UP                                    colleague, Felix Tandoh, to
                                                         visit the UK to see the           The directors of Cambrick Ltd (left) being
A NEW £9,800 ORDER for equipment was received                                                shown a new staircase system – under
on 16th June from a Swedish development charity,         products and processes.           development at Cradley Heath – by Festus
Future In Our Hands, which has been constructing         As a result the venture              Vandi, a trainee from Sierra Leone
schools in the Gambia since 1987.                        has set aside about
In 2000, FIOH began to change from corrugated            £7,000 for an initial
metal to micro concrete roofing using Parry              consignment of
machines. Since then over 200 classrooms have            equipment to get the
been built with Super Roman tile roofs. The latest       business started.
consignment will double FIOH’s capacity, thereby
                                                         In the great ‘Poverty
speeding up the pace of construction.
                                                         Debate’, business start-
               No complaints about heat or noise from    ups are not a factor of
                these Gambian schoolchildren in their    any importance to the
                        Parry-tiled classroom            political figures, popular
                                                         celebrities or leaders of
                                                         charities to whom the
                                                         public look for guidance. But this is exactly what is needed: grassroots
                                                         initiatives based on the natural entrepreneurship of people responding to
                                                         the growth of urban settlements. Spontaneous economic activity will
                                                         create the healthy prosperous neighbours that the nations of the world
                                                         hope to see in Africa. Parry Associates believe that everything possible
                                                                 should be done to help such ventures succeed.
                                                      Page 3
             Two transport innovators launch syndicate to build first Community Railcar
A NEW TEAM in innovative transport has                   Reaching westwards to Garsdale, where the           compared to previous PPM developments.
come into being with the formation of a                  WR will eventually connect with the historic        As the illustration below shows, an articulated
partnership between the Wensleydale                      Settle-Carlisle rail line, services must enter      railcar is envisaged with powered bogies at
Railway (WR) and PPM. Following earlier                  the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Here, the        each end. The middle unpowered bogie
contact between the                                                                                                               allows the low floor area to
two organisations (see                                                                                                            extend between the two
Parry News 40),                                                                                                                   sections of the vehicle,
agreement has now                                                                                                                 with step-free access from
been reached to                                                                                                                   platforms and
produce a new kind of                                                                                                             accommodation for
rail vehicle that meets                                                                                                           wheelchairs. Inside the
the WR’s future                                                                                                                   railcar, steps lead up to
requirements. The                                                                                                                 the raised passenger
strategy is also                                                                                                                  areas at the outer ends.
supported by the local                                                                                                            North Yorkshire County
county council and the                                                                                                            Council and the Yorkshire
Yorkshire Dales                                                                                                                   Dales National Park
National Park Authority,                                                                                                          Authority have both
both crucial partners in                                                                                                          expressed interest in
the development.                                                                                                                  transport improvements to
The WR is widely seen                                                                                                             promote economic
as a model for                                                                                                                    development in the local
innovation in transport,                                                                                                          communities, as well as
having reopened 17                                                                                                                encouraging visitors to the
miles of closed railway           Original watercolour by Derek Oldfield NDD of Wensleydale with the                              national park to leave their
in North Yorkshire. It                   line extended through the Yorkshire Dales National Park.                                 cars behind and arrive by
operates passenger                See below right to purchase limited edition prints in aid of the project                        rail.
trains seven days a week
between Leeming Bar and Redmire and is                   environmental impact of the new service is of       Syndicate now open!
aiming both to extend the route and to                   extreme importance in such sensitive                Building on PPM's previous achievements in
improve the frequency of services.                       surroundings.                                       agreeing a performance specification and
PPM’s vision of Community Light Rail -                                                                       making a patent application for the bogie
endorsed by the Strategic Rail Authority's               Clean and quiet in town or country                  concept, the Wensleydale Community Railcar
Community Rail Development Strategy and by Community Light Rail provides the solution.                       Syndicate will contribute to the construction
recent reports from the Transport Select                 New PPM vehicles can operate in exactly the         of the new Community Railcar.
Committee (see page 6) - fit perfectly with the same way as modern trams: running on                         Announced to an enthusiastic response at
full reintroduction of passenger rail transport separate lines where appropriate but                         the annual general meeting of the
east to west across North Yorkshire. The                 transferring on to street tramways in built-up      Wensleydale Railway Association on 11th
                                                         areas. In this way, the centre of Northallerton     June, the syndicate is now being built up.
                                                         and its station can be directly accessible from     Other sources of funding are also being
                                                         the rest of the WR. Just like trams, the            pursued to create a model for affordable,
                                                         Community Railcars will have convenient low-        environmentally-conscious rural transport.
                                                         floor access for ease of boarding from
                                                         pavement level - but this also means that no
                                                         large railway platforms need be built in the
                                                         national park, while simple low-level
                                                         extensions at existing stations will make
                                                         them suitable for both light and heavy rail.
                                                         The one difference compared to modern
    Road transport or walking: currently the only        tramways is that PPM Community Railcars
       ways to get to Northallerton rail station         need no electrification, so there will be no
reopened middle section of the WR's route is unsightly poles and wires, no power supply
suitable for heavy trains and is currently               installation or overhead line maintenance
                                                                                                                  Looking north from Northallerton station
operated by heritage diesel units, but a new costs, and street tramway construction will be
                                                                                                                  with the old link to the Wensleydale line
approach is needed for the future extensions much easier. Yet the unique flywheel energy                             to the left of the operational tracks
at both ends of the line.                                storage concept ensures that efficient, quiet
To the east, the railway needs to serve the              and low-emission operation is still achieved.
significant local town of Northallerton and              The WR has particular requirements that             To receive information about joining the
link up with the main line train services which make a new type of vehicle necessary. One                    Wensleydale Community Railcar Syndicate,
call at the station there. However, the former part of the specification is that the                         or to purchase one of 200 limited edition
rail line into the station has been removed              Community Railcar should have enough seats          prints at £45 each*, contact PPM on
and the route blocked.                                   for a coach-load of visitors, which means a or write to
                                                         significantly larger vehicle is required            Parry People Movers Ltd (Wensleydale
                                                                                                             Community Railcar), Overend Road, Cradley
                                                                                                             Heath, West Midlands, B64 7DD, UK.

                                                                                                             * Includes post & packing within the UK. £30 per
                                                                                                             print goes to Wensleydale Community Railcar fund.

                                                                                                               Left: Outline drawing of the
                                                                                                              Wensleydale Community Railcar
                                                                           Page 4
DIRECTORS OF NETWORK RAIL, which             the recent Railways Act 2005, means            good use of rolling stock resources nor
controls the railway system from Thurso      that there is now full backing for the         good environmental practice, but under
to Penzance – with Stourbridge               Stourbridge operation to start up soon.        the railway standards it was impossible
somewhere in between – are understood        Then, finally, the travelling public and the   to test out an alternative on Sunday with
to have intervened personally to speed       authorities will be able to judge PPM          the trains operating for the rest of the
up the process of getting the PPM light      technology on its own merits.                  week. Even though the trial was
railcar up and running at Stourbridge.       Concerns that the railway industry’s           intended to ascertain whether light rail
Recognising the value of PPM’s               processes for accepting rolling stock,         could completely replace the current
developments, both to its own business       which involved around 1,500 separate           trains, it was impossible to do a trial
and the wider transport industry, the        requirements (see Parry News 41), would        without total replacement of the trains!
infrastructure operator has decided that     place an impossible delay had to be            This ‘Catch-22’ situation needed
the operation at Stourbridge should be       lifted – this has now happened. The            powerful intervention to resolve. In the
judged sensibly by the risks it really       problem had arisen precisely because           new spirit of full co-operation, Network
presents. As the branch is operated in       PPM’s products are not main line trains:       Rail have prepared submissions, in
isolation from the rest of the network,      they are light rail vehicles specifically      collaboration with PPM and PMO, for the
there is no need to judge it against the     designed for local operation on separate       two key railway industry Subject
standards for heavy trains.                  lines such as Stourbridge. All the railway     Committees scheduled to meet next on
Network Rail directors have assured          authorities now agree that the 1,400-          28th June and 8th July. This will be the
PPM that they are determined to ‘make it     metre long branch is clearly most              first time that the quest for approval has
happen’. The organisation’s status           suitable for light rail operation. The         the robust backing of the infrastructure
within the rail industry, strengthened by    current heavy trains represent neither         controller. Fingers crossed.

      Glowing response from passengers in favour of Community Light Rail
                                                                                            TRAMWAY TRACK INNOVATION:
                                                                                                SUPPORT AT LAST
THE OPPORTUNITY to experience PPM            Passengers' opinions were
technology for free was offered in April     overwhelmingly favourable. The
and May when public open days were           trackwork on the Chasewater Railway -
held at the Chasewater Railway. The          which is engineered for low speed
first, on 2nd April, promoted reopening      steam trains - can result in a bumpy ride
the nearby Brownhills to Walsall rail link   for the four-wheel PPM 50, but
(see Parry News 41): special                 feedback showed that people fully
headboards showing these destinations        understood the potential for Community
were fitted to the PPM 50 light railcar.     Light Rail to offer modern, comfortable,       JPA leads consortium to loosen cost
The success of this event, when nearly       quiet transport in both rural and urban
                                                                                             stranglehold on new construction
300 passenger journeys were made,            environments.
                                                                                           THE CIVIL ENGINEER of Croydon Tramtrack
                                                                    'An excellent idea'    has criticised over-engineering on UK
                                                                                           tramways, compared with overseas practice.
                                                                    Passenger              JPA is only too aware of the fact that savings
                                                                    comments praised       in vehicles count for little if the tracks on
                                                                    the quiet operation,   which they run are built uneconomically.
                                                                    accessibility and      Therefore, JPA, HoldFast Level Crossings, the
                                                                    environmental          WTB Group, Baggeridge Brick, Glendenning
                                                                    performance of         Plastics, Heath Lambert and Mostyn Estates
                                                                    PPM technology.        have submitted a proposal for a 12-month
                                                                    'Excellent idea' was   project under the Department of Trade &
                                                                                           Industry's Collaborative R&D scheme.
                                                                    a typical response
                                                                                           Outcomes include modular products, results
                                                                    to the concept of      from full-scale trials and conclusions on
                                                                    running local          legal, planning and cost advantages.
                       Passengers wait to ride the PPM shuttle at   railways such as
                             Brownhills West on 2nd April                                  An approach has also come from a Europe-
prompted Dr Paul                                                  the Brownhills line in   wide scheme led by Transport for London.
Salveson, General Manager of the                                  this way.                Phil Hewitt, Head of London Trams, has
                                             The railcar's level access from station       written that ‘at the UK Tram Steering Group
Association of Community Rail                                                              on 20th May (attended by the Department for
                                             platforms enabled prams, pushchairs,
Partnerships, to suggest an operation                                                      Transport) it was agreed that London Trams
                                             bicycles, wheelchairs and even dogs to
as part of Community Rail Day on 14th                                                      would, on behalf of the UK tramway industry,
                                             be carried easily and comfortably
May. PPM rose to the challenge and an                                                      submit proposals for further design,
                                             between Brownhills West, Lakeside Halt
even bigger open day - previewed in the                                                    development and site testing of the modular
                                             and Chasewater Heaths. Its large              trackform to the EU for development
local and railway press - was held with
                                             windows and light, airy interior were         funding’. This follows previous interest from
over 500 journeys made. Such was the
                                             much appreciated by people riding             London Trams (see Parry News 38).
interest in both events that visitors        through the attractive country park on        Once the concept of modular tramway
travelled from across the country to ride two sunny spring days.
                                                                                           infrastructure has been proved, it will be
on the 50-passenger railcar.                                                               commercialised by HCT.
                                                               Page 5
          UK parliament hears powerful criticism of failure to implement Stourbridge trial operation
RECENT MONTHS have seen repeated                years the company remained in                    response to the Queen’s Speech, peers
reference to the barriers to innovation         negotiations to allow it to run its              of different political persuasions, Lords
found in the British transport industry.        vehicle ... We can say definitively that an      Snape and Bradshaw, both picked up
Criticism of past performance has come          answer should have been given years              the theme of how valuable innovation
in the form of a number of reports from         ago. Delays like this are not only               has been prevented from proving itself in
the House of Commons Select                     frustrating, but they put at risk the            practice.
Committee on Transport, as well as in           commercial partnerships set up to                Describing the benefits of the
speeches in both chambers of the                support such innovation’.                        Community Light Rail approach, Lord
Palace of Westminster.                                                                                          Snape emphasised that ‘if
Back in January, Ross                                                                                           community railways are to
Cranston - then Labour                           Down with constipation!                                        be segregated from the
Member of Parliament for                                                                                        main network and their
Dudley North - praised the                                                                                      lower speeds and perhaps
achievements and potential of                                                                                   lighter rolling stock are to
the PPM concept in the                                                                                          be complemented by, we
Commons debate on                                                                                               hope, less demanding
Community Railways: ‘The                                                                                        regulatory standards, we
forms of light rail carriages                                                                                   need to look at new kinds
that have been developed                                                                                        of vehicles for our railway
have great advantages. They                                                                                     industry’ and cited PPM.
cause less pollution, use less                                                                                  However, he then criticised
energy and have high-                                                                                           the fact that the
performance acceleration and                                                                                    Stourbridge project -
braking systems. They do not have to be         Shortly before, the Transport Committee          intended to demonstrate the usefulness
segregated from the surrounding                 had produced another report on Rural             of the concept - had not commenced
environment with, for example, fencing          Railways. Included in the                        twelve years since the first approach was
and are less costly to run’.                    recommendations was this statement:              made from Centro to JPA.
                                                ‘Some innovative thinking about the
‘Innovative thinking urgently needed’           rolling stock market is urgently needed.         'A train’s weight of paper'
In March, representatives from JPA and          In the longer term the Department for            Lord Bradshaw, transport spokesman for
HCT gave evidence to the cross party            Transport must start planning for new            the Liberal Democrat party, was even
Transport Committee (see Parry News             trains for community railways, possibly          more critical. Referring to the length of
41). The resulting report, Integrated           building on light rail technology’ - a clear     time elapsed since the Stourbridge
Transport: the Future of Light Rail and         call for concepts like Community Light           project was first proposed as ‘a
Modern Trams in the United Kingdom,             Rail, championed by PPM, to be rolled            monument to the regulatory constipation
summarised the lengthy process to               out in order to provide high quality             we have in this country’, he went on to
operate a trial PPM service at                  transport in rural areas.                        suggest (not unreasonably) that ‘the
Stourbridge succinctly: ‘Although the           The most recent references to PPM's              amount of paper that has been
vehicle had been passed as safe by the          developments were heard in the House             generated weighs more than the train
Railway Inspectorate in 2002, after four        of Lords on 24th May. In a debate in             itself - it is as bad as that’.

Build IT International: concerns over effectiveness of existing approaches stimulates a new initiative for
                   making UK industrial competences available to developing countries

RECENT HEADLINES indicate that the                                                                          There will soon be a way, however,
normal goodwill of journalists to the                                                                       to channel some of the goodwill
efforts of Britain’s overseas aid                                                                           into programmes supportive and
industry is being replaced by some                                                                          executed by the most capable of
scepticism.                                                                                                 people who know how to get things
‘Tsunami Victims still wait for Aid to
                                                                                                            A group of British and Irish firms in
                                                                                                            the construction and building
‘What has happened to the £1.75bn                                                                           materials industry have agreed to
pledged in charity aid?’ asked the                                                                          join forces to create a special
Daily Telegraph on 20th May 2005.                                                                           purpose organisation called Build
On 4th June the same newspaper                                                                              IT International Ltd. The firms will
reported the results of a YouGov poll                                                                       allocate a proportion of their
indicating that 83% of British people                                                                       executive time and some funding
think ‘Africa aid is wasted’.                                                                               in order to enhance the
Two days before the Evening Standard            ‘Consultants pocket $20bn of Global Aid’ -       construction element of humanitarian and
included a hard hitting article by Will Self,   equivalent to 40% of the total.                  development programmes overseas. These
‘Why I won’t be squandering any more money      This sudden swing from unrealistic               will include the rebuilding of some coastal
on Africa’.                                     acceptance to destructive scepticism will not    towns and villages which were severely
The Observer newspaper meantime carried         help the cause of relieving African poverty or   damaged by the December 2004
the story in its 29th May 2005 edition that     rebuilding in Sri Lanka’s coastal villages.      tsunami.                                Page 6
    Major charities unprepared to support concept for constructive
          disposal of tsunami rubble along Asian coastlines                              DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC of CONGO
                                                                                         The Fondation Hanns Seidel has ordered a
IT SEEMED SO OBVIOUS at the time of        ‘nappers’ are common and productivity is      further vibrating table and associated
John Parry's January visit to the tsunami- low - a classic case for devising an          moulds and equipment. The previous
struck areas around the Indian Ocean       intermediate technology tool.                 shipment of Parry products is busy
(see Parry News 41).                       Specification: make the job quicker, safer    producing roof tiles.
                                           and more congenial without involving the      LIBERIA
                                                                                         Our agents Petico report an order on the
                                           use of fossil fuel or investment which can
                                                                                         way for building materials plants. This
                                           never be paid back by the workers
                                                                                         coincides with enquiries from a German
                                           themselves.                                   missionary organisation.
                                           A modest contribution by a charitable         SRI LANKA
                                           organisation to develop a new technology      JPA's Sri Lankan agents HDL have been
                                           will result in safer working conditions,      busy with potential projects for Parry
                                           higher income for workers and better          technology to help in the reconstruction
                                           supply of raw materials for local             after the tsunami and for general
                                           construction. The benefits will be felt far   development.
Tens of thousands of tons of rubble from beyond the tsunami-affected zones, as
                                                                                         Four Parry production plants have now
demolished buildings spread along a        similar activity is undertaken throughout     been shipped to Thailand and are starting
thousand miles of coast, combined with     the less-developed world.                     to help rebuild the south of the country
the prospect of severe shortages of gravel In March 2005, Parry Associates               after the Boxing Day tsunami.
and building sand for the reconstruction determined that a simple, safe rock and         VANUATU
work. Why not break down the rubble -      rubble crusher could be designed. It          A micro concrete tile production plant and
comprising burnt bricks, cement mortar     would follow the principle of the             extra moulds have been ordered by Habitat
and concrete blocks - into sand and        successful pendulum clay crusher,             For Humanity for a project in the Pacific
gravel suitable for use in the rebuilding  developed and patented by the company         island state.
work?                                      in the early 1980s, which processes
                                                                                         A new export agency, the Zacrafa
The problem that stood in the way was      materials which are more friable than         Consultancy, has been set up by Mr
that — although it is very common to see stone.                                          Nu'man Wahid to establish a market
low income people squatting by the road Yet despite explaining the case for              presence for JPA in the Yemen.
side, crude hammers in hand, ‘napping’     developing the rubble crusher and
riverstone (or burnt bricks in Bangladesh) offering free licences for local
to produce building aggregate — this is    manufacture, none of the major                ZIMBABWE TRAGEDY POINTS
not a process that the humanitarian        development charities which were                 TO LAND TENURE ISSUE
charities see any reason to upgrade.       approached were interested in supporting JPA HAS RECENTLY received an approach
Meanwhile, injuries to fingers and eyes of the development of this machine.            from a commercial company in Harare
                                                                                    regarding the situation following the forced
                                                                                    demolition of thousands of shanty town
       CHURCH REBUILDING IN NORTHERN GHANA                                          houses in the capital and elsewhere.
                                                                                    The firm reports that where homes once
       Technical support from Gambia grows inter-faith goodwill                     stood there are now just tons of rubble.
                                                                                    along with other employers it is considering
BACK IN JULY 2004 an order was          gift to the people of Kaleo.                construction of ‘humanitarian housing’,
received from a church fellowship in    Despite a lot of paperwork being            schools and medical centres for staff.
Leeds for tile making machinery for a   generated, in order to avoid further delays Parry Associates have not engaged in
church in Ghana which had been          it was decided it was best to pay the duty business in Zimbabwe in recent years due
destroyed in a wind storm and needed to and get the crates transported up to        to the political situation, but is responding
be rebuilt.                             Kaleo, where an experienced Parry-          to this request, which includes the disposal
                                        trained technician, Abou Manneh, would of hazardous asbestos amongst the debris.
                                        be on hand to commission the plant. A       The need to address land tenure will also
                                        Sunday school has now been built under be emphasised, including the possible use
                                        supervision from Abou and work has          of two-storey construction (see page 8) to
                                        started on the main church.                 maximise living space on smaller plots.
                                              Commendable aspects of the Kaleo
                                              project include the goodwill of the
                                              folk in faraway Leeds to help their
                                              Ghanaian neighbours, and the
                                              keenness of a young Muslim
                     Box of Parry equipment   technician to ensure that ‘if the
                      is unloaded in Kaleo    church was for God it must be well
The project had                               designed and constructed’.
been initiated by a young VSO volunteer,      Even staff at Cradley Heath with no
Andy Empson, who was from Leeds and           religious inclinations admit to being
was working in Kaleo. Ghana customs           quite inspired by this story.
insisted that import duty was due,                                                                  The production equipment is
                                                                                                  blessed before use for the Kaleo
despitethe machinery being a charitable                           Page 7                             Sunday school and church
   TWO STOREY ‘TSUNAMI’ HOUSE CORE TRIAL                                                          TECHNICAL NEWS
   High levels of finish and structural integrity achieved with under
                        £500 spent on materials

THE HIGH AND DRY exercise started out
with the challenging objective of creating                  Lightweight tiling being
                                                           installed over upper floor
two storeys of dwelling space robust
enough to withstand an earthquake, a
cyclone or a tidal wave but with a materials
                                                                                                         Individual roof tiles wired securely
                                                                                                            in place on light framework

                                                                                              fixing points to stay in place during winds
                                                                                              which would rip off metal sheets. At 8mm
                                                                                              thick, this tiling provides a material-saving
                                                                                              cladding weighing only 24kg/m².
                                                                                              Since the preliminary announcement of the
                                                                                              HIGH AND DRY method of frame
                                                                                              construction, responses indicate that the
                                                                                              need to conserve land is as important as
      Quarry tiled ground floor with                                                          providing a robust structure with high level
   reinforced ground beam and columns                                                         floor areas.
                                                                                              In post-tsunami Sri Lanka, there are official
budget of less than £500 (see Parry News                                                      concerns over rebuilding too close to the
41). JPA’s building materials technologists                                                   shoreline, but the Army Engineers have
needed to draw on 30 years of                                                                 said that they are keen to install a
international experience, including that of                                                   prototype HIGH AND DRY building on the
associates and collaborators from                                                             basis that ‘seeing is believing’.
Thailand, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Malawi, Sierra                                                    In every case the concept of reducing the
Leone, the Gambia and the Sudan, to                                                           quantities of materials used by introducing
devise the best specification to combine                                                      coffered lightweight floors, hollow columns
economy with performance.                                                                     and roof cover based on micro concrete
                                                                                              tiles is proving to be of great interest.

                                                 corners of each column. These are hollow
                                                 and continue though the intermediate floor
                                                 level slab. The ground floor surface has
                                                 ‘flexible paving’ with 25mm thick ‘quarry’
                                                 tiles laid on a compacted clay and sand
                                                 base. The material-saving coffering of the
                                                 150mm thick upper floor is achieved with
           Coffered underside of upper floor     reusable shuttering of square plastic
             showing finish after painting       moulds mounted on a steel framework.
                                                 This is made to vibrate using portable DC
The foundations comprise pads to spread          electric Multivibe units. For maximum                       Fabian and Esther David visit
the load at the base of the columns and          economy in building the roof, Roman II                      from Sri Lanka to appraise the
                                                                                                           system for tsunami reconstruction
anchor the reinforcement running up the          micro concrete tiles are used with double

JPA HAS APPLIED for a patent covering the    THE AURA MOONLIGHT solar-powered street
use of flywheel-powered bogies on rail
                                             light (see Parry News 41) has reached the
vehicles. The key innovation is the ability to
                                             stage of complete assembly and service
fit an entire driveline into the bogie itself.
Conventionally, traction equipment on        testing, and a provisional specification has
trains and trams is split between the bogie
and either the underframe or the roof.       been issued. The unit comprises twin
Bogie-fitted PPM vehicles will not require   clusters, each with 28 light-emitting diodes.
any passenger space to be sacrificed to      The solar panel features thin-film amorphous
house powertrain equipment: a virtue of the  silicon plate with a rated power output of
compactness brought about by the use of
energy storage. This further design          10W. The battery is of a maintenance-free,
advance is being licensed to PPM for use in  spill-proof gas recombination type with safety
larger railcar and tramcar designs, such as  valve and has a design life of five years.     with accessible air switch for manual on/off
the Wensleydale Community Railcar (see
page 4).                                     The design assumes a management system control .
                                                                                             Prices of units in quantities of one, ten and
                                                                                             20 are available, as is the cost of the Parry
            Parry News compiled by Derek Oldfield, Caspar Lucas, Somia Shafait
   JPM Parry & Associates Ltd, Overend Road, Cradley Heath, West Midlands, B64 7DD, UK       kit for production of lamp post elements for
                   Tel +44 (0) 1384 569 171 Fax +44 (0) 1384 637 753                         at-site construction, including special
                  Email:                          scaffolding. A full manual will be supplied.

                                                                                  Page 8

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