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Posted (edited)

Looking again at coasters there are some drawings in Edward Beal's New Developments in Railway Modelling of a 34 inch long 4mm/ft scale steam coaster. Edward Beal died in 1985 (at the age of 95 or 96) so his drawings will still be subject to copyright but I can PM them individually. Beal advised that any model harbour basin- something he was quite keen on including on his layouts and in his plans -  should be at least three feet long to accomodate such a vessel.

 

This ship  would be about 215 ft long but has its engine amidships. That's at the lower end of the length above which shipowners were then, for reasons of trim, balance and weight distributon, advised to go from engines aft to amidships, but not uncommon and the three island arrangement does give it more of a large ship feel. It's a good looking model and Beal apparently built two ships based on these drawings. He did make at least one significant error, the funnel is aft of the engine room skylight (needed to lift machinery in and out of the engine room as much as to provide daylight). This would put the engine forward of the boilers which is clearly wrong. I'm also not sure of the rigging but those are all easily changed and it looks like a useful design.

 

P.D. Hancock also produced a useful set of drawings for a much smaller motor coaster in MRN in April 1950 based on a photo taken in Stirling of the Dutch vessel Delta registered in Delf. The plans look pretty accurate  and do seem based on good observations; the spare propellor stored upright on the quarter deck speals volumes about the sort of shallow places such ships could wander into. The ship, with two holds, was about 125ft long so about 19 inches in 4mm/ft scale. In the accompanying article he says he'd intended it for Craig Harbour (which was going to be about 5ft x 2ft) but never built it after deciding to set the Craig and Mertonford in the Edwardian era. 

Edited by Pacific231G
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S&D's Julia, 105ft oa, and Radstock, 110ft oa., are drawn to 2mm scale in Chris Handley's book.

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For a fairly small coaster what about Robin?

At 142' long it is rather larger than a Puffer but not so big as to be impractical.

Currently moored in the RVD but due to move to Trinity Buoy Wharf.

DSC_0082.JPG.af675b0c7b9db217f50d100da686812f.JPG

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There's also SS Freshspring, currently being restored in Devon.

Length overall 126 ft 6 ins (38.5m)
Length between perpendiculars 120 feet (36.5m)
Beam 24 ft 6ins (7.5m)
Draft 10 ft 9 ins (3.3m) max
Between 0.3” (7.6mm) and 0.26” (6.6mm) thick
289 gross registered tons (293.6 tonnes)

 

ssfreshspring-diagram.gif

freshspring_underway2.jpg

SAM_1535.JPG

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SS Freshspring...built as a water carrier [along with others in the same class]....

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I came across some rather smaller cranes in Poplar Dock a while back - I'll post the photos when I get the chance, but there's one  here   to give you an idea. What I find particularly interesting is that they appear to be mounted on standard gauge track and they look quite top-heavy. I find myself wondering if a clever modeller could bash something similar using the top of a Dapol dockside crane around a motor bogie to create a travelling crane that actually travels. The base of the crane is quite beefy, so you could probably hide or at least distract from the motor.

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Posted (edited)

Some potential ports of call for the above (although slightly biased to earlier, smaller, and sail-powered traffic) in the West Country:

 

'Proper' docks: Teignmouth (tidal)

1230419640_PlanTeignmouthDocks1906.png.3d90a22ac857ca08f09d0ae7812a039e.png

and Exmouth (locked)

339516103_PlanExmouthDock1906.png.870fc9acb4ba06343deece930268d760.png

 

 

Rail-served quay: Topsham

1267383503_PlanTopsham1906.png.a28b0a061c9cbdefca901f62f7c63fa7.png

and Calstock

1246868784_PlanCalstock1906.png.dd71b9adf624357ee92afdfc5f02b328.png

 

 

Rail/river served industries: South Hams Brickworks

567411403_PlanSHamsBrickworks1906.png.e4e9039524cdae51e68d07e71e883aa6.png

and Morwellham Quay (copper mine)

1070317338_PlanMorwellham1906.png.14e16b1aa1267cd5285917f5cf3b9f5e.png

 

 

'Scenic' quays: Kitley

395562011_PlanKitleyQuayRiverYealm1906.png.156ce7c66314c1f54993b4c3ad2b0762.png

 

All are smaller prototypes for the services they offer, and all could take further compression if desired.

 

Couldn't agree more with the general gist of this thread - it would be lovely to see the same accuracy on the water as on the rails :) - and there's been some really interesting information so far. Looking forward to more!

 

Cheers,

 

Schooner

 

 

Edited by Schooner
Images taken from old-maps.co.uk
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I took this photo of Porthmadog's harbour back in slate trading days when I was at the Maritime Museum there last weekend.

Map is dated 1917.

 

Note 'ballast island' (you can walk to it at high tide) which had a house on it, where a family lived and worked the steam crane that had its own little tramway redistributing ballast around the island. Rocks from all over the world are found here.

 

IMG_3379.JPG.2b32c5a7f758694153945f172e25d81f.JPG

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Posted (edited)
On 04/07/2019 at 09:55, HonestTom said:

I came across some rather smaller cranes in Poplar Dock a while back - I'll post the photos when I get the chance, but there's one  here   to give you an idea. What I find particularly interesting is that they appear to be mounted on standard gauge track and they look quite top-heavy. I find myself wondering if a clever modeller could bash something similar using the top of a Dapol dockside crane around a motor bogie to create a travelling crane that actually travels. The base of the crane is quite beefy, so you could probably hide or at least distract from the motor.

Interesting beast Tom

There's another photo in the same entry https://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/04/48/98/4489809_66fad373_original.jpg

that shows the base from the side and specifically the chains clamped onto the  rail to stop it from toppling. Assuming these were used in its normal working it implies that, unlike a typical dockside travelling crane, it would have been driven to its working position alongside a ship and then fixed down with the chains. 

You can see the same thing on this steam crane that worked at Dieppe.

1985673241_76_dieppe_maritime1cropped.jpg.18d1da1927dadb80272c07225cda6b98.jpg

 

It's possible that  these cranes had a secured and an unsecured Poid Maximum (Safe Working Load) but the Poplar crane looks like it would have always needed to be clamped . I assume that on inset track the clamps fitted between the running and the check rail. 

 

Edited by Pacific231G
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3 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

Interesting beast Tom

There's another photo in the same entry https://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/04/48/98/4489809_66fad373_original.jpg

that shows the base from the side and specifically the chains clamped onto the  rail to stop it from toppling. Assuming these were used in its normal working it implies that, unlike a typical dockside travelling crane, it would have been driven to its working position alongside a ship and then fixed down with the chains. 

You can see the same thing on this steam crane that worked at Dieppe.

 

 

It's possible that  these cranes had a secured and an unsecured Poid Maximum (Safe Working Load) but the Poplar carne looks like it would have always needed to be clamped . I assume that on inset track the clamps fitted between the running and the check rail. 

 

The similar S&D cranes on Highbridge Wharf appear to have had no chains, from the photos in The  Maritime Activities of the S&D. Their capacity was generally 30cwt, although a three ton crane was acquired, which required the installation of a third rail at the gauge of 8ft. From the photos I find it hard to identify the narrower gauge of the earlier cranes. Scaling back from the 8ft gauge, they look to be about 4'8 1/2" or standard gauge, but they look wider than the railway tracks running alongside. 

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Posted (edited)
On 04/07/2019 at 20:18, phil_sutters said:

The similar S&D cranes on Highbridge Wharf appear to have had no chains, from the photos in The  Maritime Activities of the S&D. Their capacity was generally 30cwt, although a three ton crane was acquired, which required the installation of a third rail at the gauge of 8ft. From the photos I find it hard to identify the narrower gauge of the earlier cranes. Scaling back from the 8ft gauge, they look to be about 4'8 1/2" or standard gauge, but they look wider than the railway tracks running alongside. 

Hi Phil

I found the same thing with the steam cranes at Dieppe's former ferry port while researching an article about it. They looked to be about S.G. so I assumed they were linked to the other tracks on the quay. They were in fact completely unconnected and the gauge may have been slightly wider. I've found one image of a very similar crane elsewhere in the port where I think I can make out a charge max of 1.5 tonnes so about the same as Highbridge. However I think some of them could handle standard BR containers with a total weight of about 6 tonnes. Before the first RoRo vehicle ferries arrived they also lifted cars on and off the cargo ferries and that must have required a capacity of a couple of tonnes.

1350545424_Dieppe_gareMmeChargeautoapresliberation.jpg.8c810e2b2c58866fbe8ff9278572b0e4.jpg

This would explain the crane track; it basically ran the whole length of the quay  but had one set of points and a short spur about half way along it. That would have allowed the cranes to be re-ordered which might well have been necessary if they had different capacities.

 

There was a similar situation to Highbridge at Marans in Charente-Maritime, the first town of any importance north of La Rochelle, which was connected to the sea by a 5km ship canal able to take vessels of about 1500 tons.

The port (now more or less a marina) had a couple of steam cranes running on about a hundred track of about standard gauge - possibly a tad wider- but a new larger and fairly typical dockside crane  required a rather wider track so it looks like they laid a third and posibly a fourth rail.

1476247268_portmarans.jpg.194d2ae4c8da6b0654119d6a4fb7f95c.jpg

This particular port also had both standard and metre gauge tracks as it was served by a short SG branch off the main line and by the local metre gauge railways of Charente- Inférieure* 

352603284_portmaransCPA.jpg.0347acd9d55517eb412be18d58f4d716.jpg

 

What's also interesting here as elsewhere is that most of the quayside tracks at many smaller ports seem not to have been inset with check rails, except where that was really needed, For most of the quayside area the ground was either made up to just a little below railhead height or the track was conventional. This was obviously cheaper to build and could also save quite a lot of work on inset track for anyone modelling a port. I now wonder whether the predominance of inset track that we usually associate with quaysides really came quiter late to accomodate the increasing importance of lorries over railway wagons.

 

*the name of the departément changed to Charente-Maritime when French departments decided they didn't like being called inferior though in this context it just meant lower.

 

Edited by Pacific231G
further information
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Here's a pic of a dockside crane that might be of interest. I took the photo this morning from Portchester Castle looking across to Portsmouth. It looks to be a big one and would make an impressive model:

 

DSCN1040.JPG.f6a8f72542ddfff89345c51e63ee98a4.JPG

 

G

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Here's another large dockside crane that I recently photographed (just a few weeks ago). It's the yellow Titan crane at Nantes erected in 1955 as part of the former shipbuilding industry of the Ile de Nantes. It's close to the giant walking mechanical elephant and other mechanical animals.

 

DSCN0963.JPG.e27b716b5058e165cf1cfb8b7a4741da.JPG

 

G

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Posted (edited)

Hello fellow craniacs, I have been going through information salvaged from the old Bristol Industrial Museum, and found the section on the steam crane, pasting it here. The cutaway drawing showing the foundation 'peg' is especially interesting as I had no idea it was so deep!

 

Fairbairn Steam Crane 1876

 

In 1850, Sir William Fairbairn (1789-1874), a famous Victorian machine-tool engineer working in Manchester, patented a design for a crane which could lift heavy loads from the deep holds of ships much better than the cranes then in use. The jib of a Fairbairn-type crane was made of wrought-iron plates riveted together to form an immensely strong tubular­ section girder. This curved to reach from the quayside, clear of the side of the ship and right over the hold.

184_8457.JPG.ca0215390d8b735d51eeec713487d377.JPG

 

The problem with a simple dockside crane was that the jib fouled the side of the ship and loads could not be lifted from the centre and far side of the hold.

763667968_Drg1.JPG.8aee073c7b5f40747355dc7ae49ead2a.JPG

 

The Fairbairn crane could reach well over the centre of the hold and lift very heavy loads.

1091834943_Drg2.JPG.3214a8bc75c47d5bdde7d8fc94b126e5.JPG

 

In the 1870s, a number of improvements were made to the City Docks in Bristol to help them to compete with Cardiff, Newport and the other Bristol Channel ports. In particular, the railway link with Temple Meads station, which ran under Redcliffe Hill to Bathurst Basin, was extended along Prince's and Wapping Wharfs to what is now the site of the Maritime Heritage Centre. As part of this development, a heavy-lift crane was considered necessary; at the time, there were only 17 cranes throughout the City Docks, none of which could lift more than 3 tons (3.048 tonnes).

 

A Fairbairn-type steam crane capable of lifting 35 tons (35.56 tonnes) (about the weight of one of the Museum's railway engines), was ordered from Stothert & Pitt of Bath in 1875. Work began in 1876 and the crane was completed and tested in August 1878. It cost £3,600, excluding the foundation work.

932825094_Drg3.JPG.c3bb0ba5144acd64cdc6863844d59eb4.JPG

 

The curved jib of the crane has a radius of 35 feet (10.67 metres), a height of 40 feet (12.2 metres) and extends 15 feet (4.58 metres) below ground level in a metal well. At the base of the well is a plain pintle bearing, and at ground level is a ring of roller bearings, which between them take the 120 tons (122 tonnes) weight of the crane. All machinery is carried on a massive frame riveted to the jib. A vertical cross-tube boiler supplies steam at 100 p.s.i. (7 bar) to a twin-cylinder slewing (or turning) engine, and to a larger twin-cylinder winding engine, which drives two chain drums mounted on the back of the jib. The drums can be driven through gearing at four speeds. A small donkey pump feeds the boiler with water (originally straight from the dock) and also drains the well. The cab of the crane is a simple riveted box which has remained almost unchanged since it was built: an extension was built onto the roof to cover the boiler and winding drums at some time around the turn of the century. The only decoration on the crane appears on the window frames: these have a small rose cast into the interstices.

1146998266_Drg4.JPG.ca5e8bc192e0e665232934611465a623.JPG

 

Although it had been erected to give Bristol City Docks an advantage over their competitors, the crane proved to be an investment of dubious value. In 1891, the docks engineer reported that it had been used on only 16 days in 1890, producing a profit of just

11s. 6d. (57.5p). The size of ships had increased so that the jib could not reach over a vessel sufficiently far to remove engines or boilers for repair. He suggested that the crane should be jacked up in one piece and a tower erected beneath it to increase the crane's height, but this work was never done.

The arrival of powerful hydraulic cranes in 1892 and speedy electric cranes (similar to those outside the Industrial Museum) from 1906, together with ships equipped with their own steam cargo derricks, meant that the Fairbairn crane had less and less work to do. Between 1903 and 1909 it operated for 177 hours and carried out 143 lifts, an average of 0.7 lifts per hour; between April 1905 and April 1906 it didn't work at all! Throughout the rest of its life it was used only rarely, when there was a special heavy lift, such as the installation of engine bedplates in new ships built by Charles Hill & Sons Ltd. During the Second World War the crane ran every day for two months in 1944, lifting damaged landing craft onto the quayside for repair. Ironically, although it was the oldest crane in the Docks by the 1950s, it was also the only crane capable of lifting containers when they first appeared at this time.

In 1973, when the City Docks were gradually being closed to commercial traffic, responsibility for the crane was passed from the Port of Bristol Authority to the City Museum and Art Gallery. In 1976, the Department of the Environment made the crane a Scheduled Ancient Monument, because it was the only survivor of its type in Britain. At the same time, some vandal- and weather-proofing work was carried out, with grant aid from the Science Museum. In 1988, a team of volunteers working from the Industrial Museum began work to restore the crane to full working order, with the generous support of Stothert & Pitt and English Heritage.

 

721005103_Drg5.JPG.d2733475609336d006d43f077f9727a8.JPG

 

The crane lifting a heavy pump casing onto a ship in September 1955.

 

____________________________________________________________________________________

 

In 2005 the crane showed its strength by lifting a working Sherman tank onto a goods train.

 

217965_69dbc074.jpg

© Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.

Edited by Corbs
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More steam crane antics from today as it picked up the LCVP

LCVP_steam_crane_1.jpg.9374ccd8faf0f2862e98e5e2ddf05aa2.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Video of same, some more info:
After the rest of Princes Wharf was destroyed by bombing, a Landing Craft Flotilla Unit was established there in 1943, with workshops in the vicinity of what’s now the Art Warehouse and an old RN destroyer, HMS Vansittart, moored as a depot ship. Brand new landing craft were delivered by road from all over southern England and lifted off their transport by the crane – with the larger craft like LCMs, this sometimes needed the lorry tyres to be deflated to obtain enough clearance! After welding, woodwork and engine tuning and tropicalizing, the finished craft were lifted into the water, rafted together and driven as rafts down the Avon to join landing ships off Portishead. Between 1943 and 1946, the crane lifted over 1000 small landing craft, harbour vessels and similar, each one at least twice – a phenomenal amount of work compared with its much more leisurely existence in peace time.
 

 

Edited by Corbs
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There's a curved Fairburn crane at Wellington dock, Dover, Kent. It's a hand cranked version. 

 

G

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Thanks for the video and all the other stuff about the Fairburn crane Corbs. Fascinating stuff and though I've seen that crane many times, I've never seen it working. 

It's interesting that the Fairburn crane in Bristol was installed for specific heavyish lifts rather than for general cargo handling. Though cargo handling cranes have been around on quayside since the twelfth century (in places like Utrecht and the thirteenth in Britain), I find myself wondering when the change from cargo being predominately handled by the ship's own equipment (quite a lot still is of course) to mostly being unloaded and loaded by shoreside equipment. A  fixed crane obviously requires the ship to be moved into the right spot. Though warping a ship along a quay is entirely possible (if there's room) that's a bit more involved than shoving a railway wagon into the right position alongside a goods yard crane (one or two porters with a crowbar or the station horse could manage that)    In both cases though the crane was presumably only used for specific loads too heavy to be manhandled in crates and barrels.

Rail mounted steam cranes would have appeared once the principles of using railways were well established- even if the quayside wasn't actually rail connected. I'm fairly certain for example that steam cranes running on their own track along the edge of the quay were used at Dieppe's "Steamer Station" in the nineteenth century for some years before the railway itself was extended from the  town station in 1874. Their track appears close to standard gauge track but it was never connected to the rest of the ferry port's railways. They also had  a long life and it wasn't unitl the 1950s that they were gradualy displaced by moderrn electric "horsehead" cranes running on their own far wider separated rails.  Though there clearly were some far larger rail mounted portal cranes powered by steam, these seem to have mostly been used with bulk cargos such as coal and timber. it was the arrival of electric power, especially when combined with Toplis' patent and other level luffing systems that made such cranes really practicable for general cargo handling.  My own observations were that In larger ports they mostly replaced the use of ships' own derricks and winches for working cargo to and from a quay  though continued to be used for working with lighters and barges and in the many smaller ports frequented by coasters.  

I experienced this in the late 1960s while working in the engine room of a cargo ship. We unloaded a hold in Rotterdam and, unusually while in port, I had to stand an overnight watch because  we had two diesel generator sets running- in port we normally only needed one. While this incrediibly efficient port's dockside cranes worked one side of the ship, its own derricks  were unloading into barges on the other side and the winches needed the addiitonal power. We were in Rotterdam for less than twelve hours compared with up to a week or more in most British ports and several days even in Hamburg.    

 

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Thanks David, I have added some more info to the above clip about the steam crane's use in WW2.

 

As I understand it, the practice of using lighters alongside the ship for dual loading/unloading used to be the norm in Britain, seems it fell out of favour from the 1960s.

This is a rather good film about the port of Hull in 1963, free to watch on the BFI website.

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-the-port-of-hull-1963-online

 

Hull featured grain suction unloading, from both shore and mounted on barges, Bristol had the same I believe.

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30 minutes ago, Corbs said:

Thanks David, I have added some more info to the above clip about the steam crane's use in WW2.

 

As I understand it, the practice of using lighters alongside the ship for dual loading/unloading used to be the norm in Britain, seems it fell out of favour from the 1960s.

This is a rather good film about the port of Hull in 1963, free to watch on the BFI website.

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-the-port-of-hull-1963-online

 

Hull featured grain suction unloading, from both shore and mounted on barges, Bristol had the same I believe.

 

London too made plenty of use of lighters to unload ships and transport loads upstream to Brentford. Still some of this traffic in the 1960s when I was at school there. When the wind was in the right direction, one could hear the lighters' steam whistles/horns.

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The main part of the crane is not in the shot but it is an example of what was at one time an important sector of trade in the London docks.

I have seen various questions on the forum about securing loads but never anything quite like this.

It would certainly be a talking point on an exhibition layout.

Bernard

history-elephant.jpg.e06436ca0e861ff887e55a95ff442cb6.jpg

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The Ashley Book of Knots includes instructions on how to sling an elephant

 

Just in case anyone wanted to model such a thing...

 

Richard

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One of the videos of Bristol Docks I've seen had giraffes arriving for the zoo, but they were slightly more enclosed!

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I don't think those are in the Ashley Book of Knots

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