CURRENTLY MARKING 70 YEARS IN BUSINESS, EDINBURGH-BASED BERNARD HUNTER LTD PROVIDES CRANE HIRE AND HEAVY TRANSPORT SERVICES ACROSS THE CENTRAL LOWLANDS OF SCOTLAND. JOHN HENDERSON VISITS THE COMPANY TO DISCOVER HOW IT MAKES THE GRADE IN A WORK ARENA DOMINATED BY MULTI NATIONALS.
PHOTOGRAPHY: CRAIG PUSEY
Sitting on a volcanic plug, Edinburgh Castle has dominated the vistas of Scotland’s capital for well over 1,000 years. Alternatively known as the Athens of the North, Edinburgh is also built on seven hills just like its Greek counterpart. The yellow booms and jibs of Bernard Hunter’s mobile cranes have also become a regular feature of the city’s picturesque skyline for the past 70 years. The company’s Liebherr lifters are regular visitors to Edinburgh Castle and its esplanade, as the firm construct and dismantle the large public grandstands for its world famous Military Tattoo every summer. Just a few months later, the city’s Christmas tree is always hoisted into place by a Bernard Hunter crane, a donation to the city which has been in place for over 40 years.
Back at the castle, if Historic & Environment Scotland wish to move ‘Mons Meg,’ a medieval cannon weighing around seven tonnes, it calls on the firm’s cranes to carefully negotiate their way through the narrow cobbled roads of Edinburgh’s ancient stronghold.
These high profile jobs, along with a host of other less visible industrial works, has seen Bernard Hunter grow organically and in time diversify at a carefully measured pace since 1946. A commitment to continual investment in its equipment, people and premises, has resulted in a business that thinks and acts like a blue chip multi-national, but still manages to offer a personal service to its customers without several cumbersome layers of management. Mobile cranes, heavy transport and metal recycling are all part of Bernard Hunter’s current service portfolio, these being complemented by machinery movements, secure storage and a department for the storage and transportation of large glazing panels.