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Hodsock Priory Selects Cellar Lift

Hodsock Priory Selects Cellar Lift

Hodsock Priory Selects Cellar Lift

When historic Hodsock Priory in Nottinghamshire extended its wedding reception facilities during 2007 it selected a Cellar Lift from Penny Hydraulics for handling drinks and related items between the delivery area and a much older cellar beneath the new building. The Cellar Lift has enabled Hodsock Priory to simplify its cellar operations and eliminated the need for busy staff to handle items manually.

“The Cellar Lift allows us to comply with manual handling regulations,” says George Buchanan, owner of Hodsock Priory. “Penny Hydraulics is a very slick company who provided exactly what we needed and most crucially slotted into a tight timeframe which suited our requirements.”

Located near Worksop, Hodsock Priory ( has been the home of the same family since 1765. Current occupants George and Katharine Buchanan are the ninth generation of the family to care for the property which is famous for its annual display of snowdrops ( each spring. Recently the Buchanans decided that the buildings were no longer practical as their permanent residence but had excellent potential as a venue for weddings, conferences and other events that would generate income throughout the year.

Work on the extension to the existing buildings started early in 2007. Bar operations are crucial to any successful wedding day and one of the primary concerns during the design stage was to ensure that staff would be able to handle drink items safely and easily between the delivery area and an older cellar below which dates back to the 16th century. A mechanical cellar lift had been on the brief from the start and at the suggestion of architect Philip Siddall of Guy Taylor Associates, the Buchanans approached Penny Hydraulics for a solution.

After assessing the requirement Penny Hydraulics recommended one of its vertical Cellar Lifts and provided details to the principal contractor of the services required to complete the installation. Working to the overall brief the company installed the equipment and completed the work on schedule. The gardens reopened on the first of February for the world renowned snowdrop display.

“Penny Hydraulics slotted in with the day we wanted the work doing and installed the equipment in a single morning,” says George Buchanan. “A lot of the other contractors we used have turned up and asked us to do more work before they could do theirs. But with Penny Hydraulics this was not the case.”

The cellar stores all drinks including champagne, wine and beer required for wedding receptions and other events. When a beer barrel is delivered it is simply rolled onto the Cellar Lift’s integral cradle where it is supported safely and securely while the lift is moving. A tray is mounted on the cradle so that packs and cases of drinks and related items can be handled more conveniently whenever required. In addition to handling deliveries the Cellar Lift can be used to lift items from the cellar up to ground floor level during an event to eliminate the need for staff to carry items up the steps.

Penny Hydraulics provided a complete installation and commissioning service that included training three members of the Hodsock Priory staff on how to use the Cellar Lift and carry out routine inspection and maintenance tasks. The company offers comprehensive service packages with all its equipment.

“They offered good training to three people, including me, who can now train our other members of staff,” says George Buchanan. “They also made us aware of daily and routine inspection and maintenance tasks to make sure we stay within the regulations.”

The Penny Hydraulics Cellar Lift is designed for safe and reliable handling of beer barrels, kegs, crates, bins and groceries between the cellar, delivery and serving area in bars, pubs and restaurants. The range includes vertical, sloping and compact models with lifting capacity up to 300kg, equivalent to a full 54 gallon barrel. It is manufactured in the UK to the precise requirements of the specific location and customer.

The rapid lifting and lowering speed of 0.75m/s means that an average 2.5 metre drop is covered in just five seconds to help minimise delivery cycle times. A hold-to-run system cuts power and stops the lift whenever the user releases the control lever for optimum safety. Components are fully galvanised for durability in the most arduous conditions, including damp cellars and exposed exterior locations. The Cellar Lift can be installed in almost any location. There is no need to excavate a lift pit at the base and the unique hydraulic mechanism means the Cellar Lift is quiet, simple and reliable. It runs off a standard 20 amp, 240 volt supply which means that it can be installed in most locations with little or no additional electrical work.

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