OLD DEVONPORT . UK
www.olddevonport.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: March 19, 2018
Webpage updated: March 19, 2018

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ROYAL DOCKYARD  |  NORTH YARD EXTENSION

FIRST 75-TON CRANE

The first crane capable of lifting 75 tons of ordnance or other materials was installed on the western side of the Prince of Wales Basin (Basin Number 5) in North Yard Extension during May 1908.

Manufactured and installed by Messrs Sheldon and Company - actually Messrs Cowans, Sheldon and Company Limited, of Carlisle, Lancashire - it was of the tubular jib type and was considerably over 100 feet in height over the water level.  The base alone weighed 21 tons and was rested on a bed of concrete over 30 feet below the surface of the quay.  'Near the latter is the training rack and live roller ring, which ensures the easy working of the structure, while free access to the crane pit is obtained by a ladder way', reported the Western Morning News on May 25th 1908, continuing:  'The end section is fitted for the reception of the massive blocks carrying the wire purchases which lead from thence over large rollers bolted to the upper side and down to the barrels of the winches mounted near the base'.

It must have served its purpose because Crane Number 2 was soon installed on Number 8 Wharf, near the Coaling Ground.