Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: April 17, 2018
Webpage updated: April 17, 2021

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It seems this postcard was issued to celebrate the successful 240-ton lift.

The first crane capable of lifting 160-tons of ordnance or other materials was installed on the eastern side of the Prince of Wales Basin (Basin Number 5) in North Yard Extension during 1908.

The 160-ton crane in position before being surrounded by Dockyard buildings.
From a postcard.

Constructed by Messrs Cowans, Sheldon and Company Limited, of Carlisle, Cumberland, the crane was designed to lift a maximum of 100 tons at a maximum radius of 95 feet, or a light load of 30 tons at a radius of 128 feet.  Its height, from the quay to the the top of the girders, was just over 143 feet.  The overall length of the revolving girders, which were 28-feet deep, was 220 feet.  The tower on which the crane rested was 110 feet high and 46 feet square.  The operating machinery was housed under cover at the top and rear of the girders.  The crane was to be tested lifting a load of 240 tons.

Unfortunately, during the test the supporting pin of one of the sheerlegs broke and collapsed, taking with it the boiler, winch and a portion of a platform, and causing the pillar nearest the wall of the basin to be thrown out of centre.  The Western Morning News reported on Thursday April 9th 1908 that the rebuilding of the wooden lattice work pillars and the platform holding the boiler and winch for raising the 160-ton crane up to its position, was almost finished.