Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,535 pages of information and 233,960 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

1902 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Visits to Works

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.
1902. Visits to Works.

Note: This is a sub-section of 1902 Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Visits to Works (Excursions) in the Newcastle and Sunderland area

Tramway Power House

Manors Power Station

The Power Station for the system is located almost in the centre of the area to be supplied, and consists of large steel-framed buildings, with brick walls. A connection from the railway runs in at a high level over a timber and steel elevated road, and the coal discharges direct from the hopper railway wagons into the bunkers above the boilers, from which it is fed by automatic weighing machines into automatic stokers. For steam-raising purposes there are eight Lancashire boilers, each 30 feet long by 8 feet 6 inches diameter, steam pressure 160 lbs., with economiser and natural draught, the chimney being of brick 177 feet high. The ashes are discharged by gravity into barrows or trucks beneath the boiler-house.

In the engine-house there are three marine-type engines, fitted with Corliss valves, two of 1,000 H.P. each, built by Messrs. Victor Coates and Co., of Belfast, and one of 2,000 H.P. built by the Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Co. The engines are provided with surface condensers and Edwards air-pumps. Three dynamos, built by the British Westinghouse Co., are coupled direct to the three engines, and supply current at 500 volts through a large switchboard to the traction mains. There is a complete system of oil-lubricating pipes with supply tanks in the roof, and three "Cruse" steam superheaters have been fixed. A 50-ton 3-motor electrical crane runs the whole length of the engine-house. A battery of boosters will shortly be installed. In addition, current is supplied from the same switchboard by separate feeders for the arc lighting of the town.

The arrangement of surface condensers is dealt with in a Paper by the consulting engineer, Mr. Charles Hopkinson (page 437). The circulating water is pumped from 90 feet below the level of the engines, two large 24-inch mains running down to a pumping station alongside the Quay wall.

There are at present 16 1/2 miles of double track in use, and about 165 cars of various types, bogie and 4-wheeled, for which there is one car-shed in the centre of the town, another at the extreme north end at Gosforth, and the third is at the east end at Byker. The latter forms also a machine shop for repairs and building of cars. The general manager is Mr. A. E. Le Rossignol.

W. G. Armstrong and Co

Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth and Co
(See pages 586 and 587.)

The engine works were started in 1847 for the purpose of exploiting Lord Armstrong's inventions for hydraulic machinery. The first gun (a 3-pounder) was manufactured in July 1855, and is still shown to visitors to Elswick. The Elswick Ordnance Co. was formed in 1859. In 1882 Mr. Mitchell's shipyard at Walker joined the Elswick Works, and in 1883 the Elswick Shipyard was established. In 1882 the private firm came to an end, and a company was started in the name of Sir W. G. Armstrong, Mitchell and Co. This title was altered in 1897, in consequence of the amalgamation with the Openshaw Works of Sir Joseph Whitworth and Co.

The Steel Works were opened in 1883. This department was started with the idea of supplying gun steel to the Ordnance Works, but of late years large quantities of outside orders have been undertaken. In 1885 a branch was started entirely for Italian orders at Pozzuoli, on the Bay of Naples.

A few figures will give an idea of the growth of these enormous works. In 1847 the pioneers of Elswick bought a piece of ground of 5 1/2 acres. The company now possesses 230 acres. The first Elswick pay-sheet amounted to £9 17s 10d for a fortnight. A recent pay-sheet shows nearly £40,000 paid in a single week to the workmen, who number about 28,000. The consumption of coal in a year is about 200,000 tons, with 36,000 tons of coke.

Steel Works. - At the east end of the Elswick Works are the steel works, the entrance to which is in Water Street. These works extend over a length of 1,100 feet, and cover an area of about 50,000 square yards. The melting plant comprises eight furnaces, which are capable of turning out weekly upwards of 1,200 tons of steel, and ingots can be cast up to a weight of 80 tons. The forging plant is worked hydraulically, and can turn out 120 tons of forgings per week. There are four large forging presses and several smaller ones. The largest of the presses exerts a pressure of 5,000 tons.

In the Foundry, steel castings for gun and carriage work, marine and electrical general machinery and anchors are manufactured, and the largest stem and stern posts and rudder frames can be dealt with. The weekly output of castings amounts to about 60 tons. The pressure required by the forging plant is supplied by five pairs of Collies pumping engines, each indicating 1,000 H.P.

Propeller shafting has been forged under the forging presses in lengths of 80 feet, which shafting has afterwards been trepanned from end to end. There is an extensive plant of heavy machinery for dealing with the forgings and castings. The department employs about 2,000 hands.

The shops in the ordnance department will be taken in the following order:—

No. 18 Shop.—Finishing and finished guns, 12 inches calibre and less. Shields in various stages of manufacture, and the process of winding wire in the construction of guns.

No. 29 Shop.-General gun carriage and electric shop. The 9.2-inch garrison mountings will be especially noticeable.

No. 33 Shop.—Slides for 12-inch mountings.

No. 39 Shop.—Electric shop, Elswick pattern dynamos and engines. These two shops were built on the site of the old shop, which was destroyed by fire in June, 1899.

No. 11 Shop.—Machine shop for guns, turning, boring, and rifling machines.

The following shops in the engine works are then visited: Brass rolling mills, north erecting shop, south erecting shop, and bridge yard.

[See images for plan of Works and key]

Ordnance Department.—No. 16 and 17 Shops. — Machinery for the manufacture of gun carriages of all descriptions.

No. 6 Shop. — Machinery for the manufacture of all the larger sizes of guns. The double-headed lathe on the right as the shop is entered is long enough to allow two 9 .2-inch guns to be turned simultaneously.

No. 7 Shop. — Erecting shop for 12-inch mountings for H.M. ships of the "Duncan" class. These mountings are intended to carry a pair of 12-inch 50-ton guns, which throw a shot of 850 lbs. weight with a velocity of 2,481 feet per second, and are the most powerful type of gun at present being supplied to the British Navy. The guns are placed in cradles, which move upon pivoted slides. These slides are provided with the necessary gear for working the guns and for absorbing the energy of the recoil. The recoiling energy of the gun is about 500 foot-tons. The mountings and all the gear for working them are carried in an armoured turret made to revolve upon live rollers by a powerful hydraulic turning engine. The total revolving weight is about 400 tons, and the speed of revolution anything from a maximum of one revolution per minute down to a dead creep.

The service of the ammunition is very rapid. It is brought up through a central trunk to the lower storey of the turntable, called the working chamber, by means of suitable cages. From these cages it is transferred to the loading cages, which transport it to the rear of the guns immediately the guns are in a position to receive it. It is then rammed home by a chain rammer. Each gun is trained and elevated by a single lever capable of performing either operation at will, or both simultaneously. The whole of the machinery, both in the turret and in the shell room, is worked by hydraulic power supplied at a pressure of 1,000 lbs. per square inch by a steam pumping-engine of about 370 H.P. A speed of two rounds per minute per gun has been obtained from one of these turrets.

Shops Nos. 6 and 7 were rebuilt after the fire in June 1899.

Shipyard. - Shops for performing all machining operations necessary for the building of ships will be seen here. The following will be seen in this department:-

On the Berths. - Keel of third-class cruiser of about 4,000 tons displacement. Cable repairing steamer nearly ready to be launched. The next berth is being prepared for the construction of a third-class cruiser of 3,000 tons displacement. Also a first-class battleship of about 12,000 tons displacement. The next berth is in course of preparation for the construction of a first-class armoured cruiser of nearly 11,000 tons displacement. Further on, occupying single berths, are two vessels, which are called coal haulabouts, building for H.M. coaling service, and both almost ready for launching.

Alongside the shipyard, in the water, is H.M. first-class cruiser "Lancaster," of nearly 10,000 tons displacement. A large steel screw tank-steamer, capable of carrying about 7,000 tons of liquid fuel, is almost complete and on the point of sailing.

Consett Iron Co

Consett Iron Co

Collieries. - The Consett Iron Co. at the present time owns eleven collieries, extending over an area of 13,000 acres, and producing annually about one and a half million tons of coal.

The number of coke ovens owned is about 1,050, and the annual production of coke therefrom about 600,000 tons. A larger portion of this is consumed at the company's blast-furnaces, and the remainder is disposed of for use in the furnaces, &c., of Cumberland, Cleveland, and foreign pig-iron producing centres.

Blast Furnaces. - These, seven in number, are each 55 feet high, and 9 feet diameter of hearth; height to top of boshes, 20 feet; diameter of bosh, 20 feet; diameter of throat, 14 feet 6 inches; and bell with 10 feet 6 inches opening. There are seven tuyeres to each furnace. All the furnaces are fed with material by means of bell and hopper, with standard beam and hydraulic brake. The ore and other material for the furnaces is brought in on a high-level approach, considerably above the tops of the furnaces, in bottom door trucks, and from these is tipped into depots from which the charging barrows are filled.

All the furnaces are served with three Cowper stoves each, varying from 65 to 90 feet in height, and from 21 to 24 feet in diameter. The pressure of blast now maintained is 5 lbs. per square inch, and its temperature on entering the furnace is about 1,200° F. At the present time six furnaces are in blast, the seventh one is being relined. All the six furnaces are making Bessemer pig from imported Spanish and other ores, and produce on an average 750 tons per furnace per week. The limestone used comes from the company's own quarries at Stanhope in the Wear Valley.

The blowing engines are of two kinds, the beam and the vertical tandem type.

There are six beam engines, two being obsolete which are shortly to be removed. The remaining four of this class have steam cylinders 4 feet 2 inches diameter, blowing cylinders 8 feet 4 inches diameter, and 9 feet stroke, designed for a blast pressure of 5 lbs. per square inch, and were made by the Lilleshall Iron Co. The two vertical tandem engines have steam cylinders 4 feet 2 inches diameter, blowing cylinders 8 feet 4 inches diameter, and 5 feet stroke, designed for a working pressure of 10 lbs., and in case of emergency will work to 15 lbs. per square inch. They are fitted with the Wheelock steam valve-gear and Adamson's expansion governor. These engines were built and recently erected by Messrs. D. Adamson and Co., of Dukinfield, near Manchester.

The steam required for driving the blast engines, &C., is raised by nineteen double egg-ended boilers, each consisting of two lengths 35 feet long by 4 feet 6 inches diameter, and twelve double tubular boilers, each 31 feet 4 inches long, six of which are 7 feet diameter, and the remainder 7 feet 6 inches diameter. At the present time three blocks of two boilers are being erected, each of the Babcock and Wilcox water-tube type, capable of working to a pressure of 160 lbs. per square inch. The waste gases from stoves and boilers pass through a large underground flue to a fire-brick chimney, 250 feet high and 16 feet 6 inches diameter inside at the top. The slag from the furnaces is removed in side-tipping ladles of 10 tons capacity.

In Nos. 1 and 4 blowing-engine houses are placed engines and brush dymamos, which generate the energy for lighting the works.

The Melting Shops supplying ingots for the manufacture of steel plates see two, designated respectively East and West. In the East Shop is a range of nine Siemens open-hearth furnaces, six of them being of 35 tons capacity, and three of 28 tons. In the West Shop there are eleven similar furnaces, but nine of them are only of 20 tons capacity, one is 28 and one 35 tons. These furnaces are supplied with gas from a range of 33 steam-blown Siemens producers. The two melting shops produce about 4,200 tons of ingots per week.

No. 2 Cogging Mill - A 28-inch Cogging Mill is driven from the No. 2 Plate Mill Engine, through steel bevel gearing, and is reversed by steam clutch. The mill consists of one stand each of pinions and rolls fitted with the usual live roller frames, screwing and edging gear. The cutting is done by a steam-hammer placed at right angles to the mill and served by a steam jib-crane. This mill is capable of dealing with about 1,650 tons of ingots per week.

No. 1 Plate Mill. - This has one stand of pinions, one stand of roughing, and one stand of finishing rolls, each 6 feet 3 inches by 25 inches, driven by a high-pressure, direct-acting, non-condensing fly-wheel engine, the fly-wheel weighing 70 tons. A steam lift is provided whereby slabs weighing from 20 to 25 cwts. may be dealt with. The capacity of the mill for production of plates is equal to 400 tons per week.

No. 2 Plate Mill is a clutch reverse mill and contains one stand of pinions, one stand of roughing, and one stand of finishing rolls, each 7 feet by 25 inches. The mill is driven by a high-pressure, direct-acting, non-condensing fly-wheel engine; and the reverse action is obtained by the five-wheel method and clutch motion. All the wheels, shafts, and clutches are made of Siemens steel. Each of the above mills has conveniently placed for its use plate and scrap shearing machines.

There are six Lancashire, two Babcock and Wilcox boilers, and fifteen furnace stack boilers, making a total of twenty-five boilers for these mills. The output of No. 2 mill is about 800 tons of plates per week.

No. 4 Logging Mill is a 45-inch mill, having one stand of pinions and one stand of cogging rolls, driven by a pair of coupled high-pressure, non-condensing, direct-acting engines, geared at 2 1/2 to 1, the wheels, shafts and couplings all being of Siemens mild steel. The mill is provided with live roller gear on each side, and hydraulic edging gear on the delivery side. The top roll is balanced by hydraulic, and screwing is done by steam power. In a line with the mill is placed a large bloom shearing machine, driven by high-pressure reversing engines, and provided with live rollers mounted in falling tables to the receiving and delivery sides of the shear. The ingots are heated in six vertical heating furnaces served by a steam derrick locomotive crane. This plant is capable of cogging 2,600 tons of steel ingots per week.

No. 3 Plate Mill has one stand of pinions, one stand of roughing, one stand of finishing, and one stand of chequering rolls, the roughing and finishing rolls being each 6 feet 3 inches by 25 inches, and the chequering rolls 5 feet 6 inches by 25 inches, and all being driven by a high-pressure, direct-acting, non-condensing fly-wheel engine, geared inversely as 1 1/2 to 1. The mill has a similar steam lift to that in No. 1, and it is also equipped with the necessary plate and scrap cutting shears. It produces about 380 tons of plates per week.

No. 4 Plate Mill. - This is a 28-inch clutch reverse mill, and is also driven by a high-pressure, direct-acting, non-condensing fly-wheel engine, the reverse action being obtained by the five-wheel method and clutch motion, and all gearing and shafts being made of Siemens mild steel. The mill has one stand of pinions, one stand of roughing, and one stand of finishing rolls, these latter being 8 feet by 28 inches. On the delivery side of the mill is provided a traversing steam platform, constructed so as to work the plates to and fro through the rolls, and also to take them bodily from the roughing to the finishing rolls. On the receiving side are also fixed live roller frames. Overhead for roll changing is a 15-ton steam travelling-crane running upon steel-built box girders. Two strong plate shearing machines are provided, each capable of cutting 1 1/2 inch plates. The output of this mill is 1,250 tons of steel plates per week. A battery of fourteen hand-fired Lancashire boilers is installed outside the roof area; and in addition there are in the cogging and plate mills sixteen boilers, making a total of thirty; eight of these latter being vertical, four Lancashire and four Cornish furnace boilers.

Melting Furnaces. - The ingots for the Angle Mills are supplied from the North Melting Shop which adjoins them, and which contains seven Siemens open-hearth furnaces, the charges for which are 28 tons. These furnaces are of similar construction to those in the East and West Shops, but laid out somewhat more conveniently with ample space, and having unusually large and well ventilated valve chamber.

Fifteen blocks of Siemens producers supply the gas for the melting furnaces, and these also are conveniently laid out for dealing with both coal and ashes. The ingot producing capacity of these furnaces is 1,800 tons per week.

Gouging Mill. - The 45-inch cogging mill is driven by a pair of geared high-pressure non-condensing engines, cylinders 45 inches diameter by 5 feet stroke, geared at 2 to 1, fitted with piston-valves and Allan's link motion, and comprises one stand of roll housings, and one stand of pinions, seated upon east-iron bed-plates. The mill, with live roller gear on each side, is designed for dealing with slabs or billets. The capacity of this mill is about 2,500 tons per week.

Angle Mills. - The 32-inch angle mill is driven by a pair of reversing high-pressure non-condensing engines, with cylinders 54 inches diameter by 4 feet 6 inches stroke, coupled direct to the mill by an inside crank-shaft and steel couplings fitted with piston-valves and Allan's link motion. The mill, which is about 125 feet distant from the bloom shear, has one stand of pinions, one stand of roughing, and one stand of finishing rolls, all coupled through steel boxes and spindles. The capacity of this mill is about 2,000 tons per week. The 22-inch angle mill is also driven by a pair of reversing high-pressure non-condensing engines, with cylinders 40 inches diameter by 4 feet stroke, coupled through steel boxes and spindles in the same manner as the 32-inch mill. It comprises one stand of pinions, one stand of roughing, and one stand of finishing rolls, with live roller gear on the receiving and delivery sides, and an inclined shoot on the receiving side only. The live roller gear leads from the mill to the billet shear and steam circular sawing machine, and on a line with these is a relief live roller frame for distributing the rolled bars, as in the 32-inch mill. The capacity of this mill is about 1,600 tons per week.

The 12-inch guide-mill is driven by a high-pressure non-condensing fly-wheel engine, with cylinders 30 inches diameter by 2 feet 6 inches stroke, fitted with piston valve and governor gear, and consists of one stand of pinions, one stand of roughings, one stand of finishing, and two stands of guide rolls, all coupled through steel boxes and spindles. A steam circular sawing machine and billet shear are likewise provided. This is a reheating mill, and two furnaces are conveniently placed, with stack boilers attached. The capacity of this mill is about 350 tons per week.

Overhead Cranes. - The togging mill is served by a 25-ton overhead square shaft steam-crane, and two overhead cranes, each of 15 tons capacity, with boiler attached, traverse the three angle mills and roll turning shop, these being all in one line and under one roof.

Roll Shop. - This is placed at the end of the 32-inch mill, and contains three powerful lathes, each driven by its own engine.

Hydraulic Plant. - Two sets of Worthington high-pressure pumps, one accumulator and tank, with automatic governor gear attached, are provided, working to a pressure of 700 lbs. per square inch.

Boilers. - There is a battery of eighteen Lancashire boilers fired by automatic stoking gear. They are arranged in pairs, and work through nine iron chimneys lined with brick. The mill furnace-boilers are of the vertical type, with one internal flue fitted with cross tubes, and stand upon cast-iron columns. All the boilers are designed to carry 100 lbs. per square inch, and in daily working are pressed to 80 lbs. The steam-pipes from 9 inches diameter upwards are made from Siemens mild wrought steel in lengths up to 16 feet, welded from end to end, with solid flanges contracted and riveted on.

The bar bank is arranged at the south end of the mills. Bar skidding gear is provided, worked from the driving engine through shafting, and the friction cones being set in motion by hydraulic rams. The loading on the bank is done by two 3-ton steam locomotive travelling cranes, having 30 feet jibs.

Various. - In connection with the works are the usual engineering shops, namely, fitting, blacksmith, boilersmith, pattern-maker, joiner, and other shops, where renewals and repairs to machinery and other plant are executed.

The foundry is situated at Crookhall, about one and three-quarter miles from the main works, and has a capacity of 200 tons of castings per week. The plant consists of three cupolas, air furnace, drying stoves, loam mill, and necessary blowing plant, with two 25-ton overhead steam cranes, and one hand-power jib crane. The ingot moulds, and the whole of the castings necessary for mill and general ironwork repairs, are made here. Connected with the place are pattern and blacksmiths' shops, and a brass foundry.

The brick works are south-east of and about half-a-mile from the iron and steel works, and have a capacity of about 120,000 bricks per week. There are ten brick-burning kilns, each equal to 18,000 bricks per charge, fired by the waste heat from four rows of coke ovens immediately adjoining, the waste gases from which are collected in one large flue, and, after passing through the kilns, are conveyed in small flues under the floor of the drying shed. There are also a small mill and press for mixing and making ganister bricks, which are burnt in two suitable hand-fired kilns.

The locomotives and locomotive cranes are for convenience divided into classes, the locomotives into A and B, and the locomotive cranes into D and E, the entire number of both in use being fifty-five. The locomotive repairing shop is situated at Templetown, about a mile from the works, on the main line between the works and the collieries, and is furnished with all necessary tools and appliances.

R. and W. Hawthorn, Leslie and Co

R. and W. Hawthorn, Leslie and Co

This company was formed in 1885, by a combination of the engineering works of Messrs. R. and W. Hawthorn and the shipbuilding and graving dock business of Messrs. Andrew Leslie and Co.

On the death of Mr. R. Hawthorn in 1870, the chief management devolved on Mr. F. C. Marshall, who for some years was on the Council of this Institution. Foreseeing a great future for marine engineering, he took a large site at St. Peter's at the east end of Newcastle, where there was room to build a deep-water quay, and there the marine-engine business has grown to its present size.

The shipyard was commenced by Mr. Leslie in 1853 on a small scale, and by 1870 it occupied a high position, both as regards the number of ships and class of work turned out. Nearly all the vessels of the Russian Volunteer Fleet have been built in this yard, and a total of no less than 380 ships have been launched there. Among these may be mentioned " merchant tramps," oil tank- steamers, vessels for the Australian and Now Zealand chilled meat trade, torpedo-boat destroyers for the British Government, the "Calais-Douvres " — a double-hulled steamer built for the Channel passage—several yachts, Atlantic liners, &c. The yard is thoroughly equipped with the latest appliances, which are driven electrically.

Some large orders have been executed for the repair of ships. In 1871 they lengthened by 50 feet five vessels of the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique. Originally these vessels were 350 feet long, and were fitted with paddle machinery. The latter was removed, the vessels cut in two, lengthened, and a duplicate set of screw machinery installed. The most recent notable steamship to be repaired is the " Denton Grange," 420 feet long by 54 feet beam and about 9,000 tons deadweight, which went ashore at Las Palmas when bound for the Cape with troops. An important feature of the repair is the supporting of the huge mass while the cutting away and re-instating of the double bottom is in progress.

The engineering department of these works was established in 1817 by Robert and William Hawthorn, who themselves worked and were assisted by a few millwrights. Although a great amount of attention was devoted to the construction of large pumping machinery for local collieries and waterworks, they were among the first to build locomotives for our great railway companies. At the present this branch of the business is chiefly occupied with locomotives for Colonial railways, and tank engines for collieries, &c.

In addition they have built a large number of locomotive cranes. As regards the marine-engine branch of the works, the output in 1898 was no less than 76,500 I.H.P. In 1872 they supplied engines of 2,100 H.P. to the Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Co.'s liners "Khiva" and "Kashgar," which at that time was considered very large power. A large amount of work has been done for the British Navy; since 1890 they have completed machinery for no less than 29 of H.M. ships, which includes vessels of every type, from the torpedo-boat destroyer to the first-class battleship; and during the past few years this company has built various kinds of water-tube boilers, more especially those of the Belleville type for the large vessels, and of the Yarrow and Thornycroft for the small vessels. Experiments are being made with a modified boiler of the Thornycroft-Marshall type.

The number of men and boys employed is about 5,000.

Newcastle Electric Lighting Co

Newcastle Electric Lighting Co

The works of this company are situated in Forth Banks and The Close. Operations were commenced and electrical energy supplied in 1889. The station was equipped with three Lancashire boilers and four 75-kilowatt Parsons turbo generators. The present capacity of the works is 3,000 kilowatts, including two 400-kilowatt continuous-current generators.

The Close Works are new and in course of being fitted out. The first installation will consist of two 1,000-kilowatt turbo generators.

A description of the above works is given in a Paper by the Company's Engineer, Mr. W. D. Hunter, at the present Meeting (page 441).

Newcastle Electric Power Supply Co

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Electric Power Supply Co

General Notes. - In June 1899, the Walker and Wallsend Union Gas Co. obtained Parliamentary powers to supply the urban districts of Wallsend and Willington with electric power, and proceeded, in January of the following year, with the erection of a power-station on a site midway between Carville and Walker, close to the riverside branch of the North Eastern Railway, to the designs of Mr. C. H. Merz.

In October 1900, the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Electric Supply Co. purchased the entire plant put down by the Gas Co., with the exception of the cables and sub-station machinery installed for the purpose of supplying the works in the area in which the Gas Co. had obtained Parliamentary powers. The Supply Co. further entered into an agreement with the Gas Co., in which the latter undertook to buy electricity in bulk from the former.

The Supply Co. also obtained powers authorising them to lay high-tension cables from their power-house at Wallsend to various sub-stations in Newcastle. At the same time they decided to change their entire system of supply, which, up to this date, had been by means of single- phase alternating current, generated at Pandon Dene Power Station, at a pressure of 2,000 volts, with house-to-house transformers. The new scheme, for which Mr. C. H. Merz has acted as Consulting Engineer, included the generation of three-phase current at 5,500 volts, having a periodicity of 40 cycles per second, and the transformation of the same to continuous current by means of motor generators in sub-stations designed to have a total capacity of 2,000 kilowatts each.

In the beginning of 1901 the work of changing the lighting network from alternating to direct current was started, the direct current being on the three-wire system (2 x 240 volts). It may be of interest to note that since the Neptune Bank Power-Station started work, motors having an aggregate capacity of over 4,000 H.P. have been connected up. These motors are used in all classes of trades, and vary in size from 1/2 H.P. to 50 H.P. This company's scheme was the first of the large power schemes to be started in this country.

Description of Power Station. - The Power-House was constructed in accordance with the plans of Messrs. Sandeman and Moncrieff, of Newcastle. The boiler-house, which is of corrugated iron, adjoins the engine-room on the south side. Both these buildings were designed so that extensions could be easily effected. The dimensions of each building are 160 feet by 32 feet. On the north east of the power-house lies the cooling pond, where the circulating water is cooled by means of Korting Brothers' spray nozzles, capable of cooling 325,000 lbs. of water per hour. This system of dealing with the circulating water was adopted because of the great cost of pumping sufficient water direct from the river, which is about 60 feet below the level of the power station. The car-sheds over the pond belong to the Tyneside Tramways and Tramroads Co., to whom the Supply Co. will supply current in bulk. On the other side of the power-house is the testing pond, which is capable of absorbing 1,500 kilowatts. The overhead line (low tension three-phase, and direct current) leaves the power-house on this side; it is used for a supply of current to the Neptune Engine Works (Messrs. Wigham Richardson and Co.), and the Walker Shipyard (Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth and Co.).

Boiler-House. - There are four batteries of Babcock and Wilcox boilers installed. The batteries consist of two boilers of about 1,000 H.P. capacity each, and are fitted with superheaters, mechanical stokers, &c. The working pressure is 200 lbs., and the superheat 100° F. to 120° F. Each boiler has a heating surface of 4,020 square feet, and will evaporate 14,000 lbs. of water per hour. An electric locomotive (20 H.P.), is used for conveying coal to the boiler-house from the railway. Amongst the fittings is an apparatus for determining the quality of the flue gases. The ashes are discharged into trucks in the ash tunnel and thence raised by an elevator at the south-east end of the house. A Green's Economiser, with 280 tubes and usual motor driven scraper gear, serves to heat the feed-water before entering the boilers. The steam-pipes are of solid drawn steel tube, one main header of 7 inches diameter supplies the main engines, a separate header being used for the auxiliary engines.

Engines and Generators. - At present there are nine sets varying from 50 to 1,500 kilowatts.

Sets Nos. 1 and 2. - The engines of these sets are of 300 H.P., and are of Messrs. Belliss and Morcom's well-known enclosed-type. They drive two direct-current generators, supplied by the British Thomson-Houston Co. These sets are used for supplying the direct-current network in Walker and Wallsend. The engines are compound two-crank type, and run at 380 revolutions per minute. The generators are compound wound, and provided with equalising switches. Tho armatures are slotted and are drum wound. The magnets are of mild steel.

Set No. 3. - This set is of 50-kilowatt capacity, and generates current at 240 volts for exciting purposes only.

Set No. 4. - This set is used both as a balancer and as a motor generator. The high tension side consists of a synchronous motor which drives two compound wound generators. It was supplied by Messrs. Richardsons, Westgarth and Co. The total capacity of the two direct-current generators is 150 kilowatts.

Set No. 6. - The engine, which is of 1,400 H.P., was built by the Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Co., and is of the marine type, with Corliss valves and Proell governor for normal working at 100 revolutions per minute. When the speed exceeds 115 revolutions per minute, an Aspinall emergency governor comes into play. The cylinders of this engine are 17 1/2 inches, 28 1/2 inches, and 48 inches diameter respectively, stroke 36 inches. The specified variation from normal speed when load is thrown off is 5 per cent., the normal variation was specified not to exceed 2 per cent., and at the official trials the variation in speed was within the limits named. The generator, 750 kilowatts, was built by the General Electric Co. of America, and wound so as to give 2,500 volts (the original working pressure), or 5,500 volts, at a periodicity of 40 cycles per second. The armature is built up of soft grade sheet iron, and is ventilated by means of spaces which allow a free circulation of air in contact with the winding. The form wound armature coils are laid in slots, of which there is one per pole per phase. The pole pieces are built up of high permeability punchings. The field winding consists of copper strips, the magnets being excited at 240 volts. The efficiency is 95 per cent. at full load, and 91.5 per cent. at half load. All the three-phase machines are star wound, with the middle point earthed.

Sets Nos. 7, 8 and 9. - The engines (1,400 H.P. each) were built by Messrs. Wigham-Richardson and Co., and they have four cylinders each of 19 inches, 31 inches, 34 inches, and 34 inches diameter; stroke 36 inches. The four cranks are not set exactly at right angles, the engines being specially balanced on the Yarrow-Schlick-Tweedy system. These engines are furnished with Stumpf's flywheel type governor. The generators coupled to the engines are precisely similar to that driven by Engine No. 6.

Set No. 10. - This set consists of a Parson's turbine, coupled direct to a 1,500-kilowatt generator. The turbine is one of the largest yet manufactured. In it the steam expands uniformly from 200 lbs. to 1 absolute. It is provided with Parson's mechanical governor for normal running, and also with a centrifugal type governor designed to shut off steam when the turbine attains a speed of 20 per cent. greater than its normal rate. The condenser and the air-pump are situated immediately below the turbine. The air-pump is of Messrs. Parson's compound type, and is capable of producing a vacuum of 29 inches. The exhaust pipe is 36 inches diameter, this large size being necessitated by the unusually low pressure of the exhaust steam. The bearings are of white metal, with forced lubrication. During a recent test of this set the amount of steam used per kilowatt-hour was found to be 17.8 lbs., a figure which compares most favourably with engines of the reciprocating type. The generator, unlike all the other high-tension machines in the station, has a revolving armature with fixed fields. The collector rings are insulated from the wooden sleeve which carries them by means of mica.

Switchboards. - The high-tension switchboard was erected by Messrs. Ferranti and Co., of Hollinwood. The main feeder switches have oil breaks, the remainder break in air. The board is furnished with the usual synchronising gear in duplicate, also British Thomson-Houston wattmeters and Ferranti ammeters. Below the high-tension switches are the field switches, provided with carbon breaks, also the hand wheels for regulating the field resistances. A subsidiary switchboard is erected in a building on the north side of the powerhouse. The main high-tension feeders, which are coupled up to this hoard, are furnished with spark gaps, connected across the cores and else to earth; their object is to allow a discharge to take place in the event of the normal voltage being exceeded from any accidental cause.

The low-tension switchboard, which was erected by Messrs. A. Reyrolle and Co., of Hebburn, is provided with three sets of busbars — one set is in connection with the low-tension network, one set is used for exciting purposes, while the remaining set is used to supply the station lighting and power. In addition to this main board there are two sets of low-tension panels, situated beneath the gallery; these are respectively for the equalising and starting switches, and for the low-tension meters. Behind the board are the lightning arresters in connection with the overhead line.

Sub-stations. - There are at the present time four principal sub-stations in the Newcastle area, in addition to one at Wallsend owned by the Walker and Wallsend Union Gas Co. Besides these, each of the large manufacturers has a sub-station, containing static transformers and high-tension switch-gear.

In the Manors sub-station, which is a typical example of these buildings, there are installed two 500-kilowatt motor generators, one 75-kilowatt induction motor generator used for starting the large synchronous sets, and one 25-kilowatt balancer. The high-tension switchboard is of Messrs. Brown Boveri's standard type, and was supplied by Messrs. Richardsons, Westgarth and Co. The switches, which are situated in the basement of the building, break in oil, and are so arranged that they can be manipulated from above, thus obviating the necessity of having high-tension connections on the gallery. The board is furnished with synchronising lamps and voltmeters connected to transformers in the usual manner. In addition to the voltmeters and ammeters, there is an indicating kilowatt-meter And a direct-reading power-factor indicator, both supplied by the British Thomson-Houston Co. There is also an induction meter for measuring the units supplied to the station. All these instruments are connected to transformers placed in the basement.

The low-tension board is arranged with the positive and negative panels placed on either side of the central neutral panels. On the back of each set of panels three busbars are mounted, any one of which can, by means of the plugs and switches in front of the board, be connected to any feeder or generator. Below the switchboard gallery are the field switches and main generator fuses. The sub-stations are all inter-connected by special cables, so that any portion of the network can be supplied from any sub-station.

The station at Pandon Dene, which, previous to the completion of the transmission line from Wallsend, was used as a generating station, is now being converted into a sub-station with motor generators similar to those in use at Manors.

Newcastle and Gateshead Waterworks

Newcastle and Gateshead Waterworks

The history of Water Works, with their gradual adaptations to the circumstances and requirements of successive generations, may be regarded as a not unfaithful record of the advancing prosperity and civilisation of society. Viewed in this light, it becomes interesting to trace the progress of undertakings of this nature, and to contrast the simple operations which sufficed for the necessities of one age, with the bold and extensive projects demanded by another.

Previous to 1698-9, when the first Act of Parliament was obtained by William Yarnold, an attorney, from New Woodstock, in Oxfordshire, to supply the town with "good, wholesome water," the inhabitants were not altogether destitute of water; for in the historical records of the town mention is made of conduits having from time to time been formed, communicating with the springs ill the neighbourhood, whence the water was brought to the public fountains erected in the streets. The great source, however, of supply for the general domestic purposes of the inhabitants was the River Tyne, from which, of course, it had to be carried, while for drinking water the street fountains or pants were resorted to.

After obtaining his Act of Parliament, Yarnold lost no time in commencing operations near the village of Coxlodge, about 4 miles north of Newcastle, where some time previously a spring of water had been tapped by means of a bore-hole, and which was found to yield about 75,000 gallons every twenty-four hours. After constructing a small reservoir there, and laying down a 4-inch wooden pipe a distance of 5,400 yards to a place called Holmes Close, in Gateshead, he made two reservoirs at this latter place, into which the water was sent by pumps erected at the Coxlodge Springs. From Holmes Close, the water flowed by gravity through a 5-inch elm pipe into Newcastle, where two large leaden cisterns were erected for receiving the water. From these cisterns the water was afterwards distributed by means of pipes along the principal streets. About the year 1730 Yarnold disposed of his entire undertaking to a joint stock company, who acquired the Heworth Mills and Springs at Gateshead, and obtained permission from the Newcastle Corporation to construct a reservoir at the south end of the Town Moor, into which the water from Coxlodge was conveyed.

It continued to supply the town until the year 1797, when the works were purchased from the joint stock company by the proprietors of the Newcastle Fire Office, who continued to supply the town from these works until 1805. In that year they purchased a field near the north end of the Town Moor, and sank a shaft which communicated with the workings of a disused colliery in which a large quantity of water was found.

A windmill was erected, and the water pumped into the reservoir on the moor. This was now the supply to the town, while the Heworth Springs supplied Gateshead. It does not appear that any scarcity of moment was experienced in the supply of water until after the year 1831, when, owing to the unusually mild winter of 1831-2, the hitherto inexhaustible underground reservoir at Coxlodge, and the springs at Heworth, were completely dry. To remedy the deficiency for the future, the company proceeded to sink another shaft near their works at Coxlodge, by which they obtained a considerable quantity of water, though of inferior quality.

In 1832 there appeared the Newcastle Subscription Water Company proposing to take their whole supply from the River Tyne. In Parliament they were strenuously opposed by the old company, but, notwithstanding the strong opposition, the Bill of the new company passed both Houses of Parliament and received the Royal Assent in 1834. The works of the Subscription Company were proceeded with vigorously, and were brought into operation in 1835. They were designed to afford a supply of 400,000 gallons per day, pumped from the River Tyne at Elswick, the daily consumption at that time being about 80,000 gallons. In 1836, after a keen competition, the older company gave way, and the works were sold and transferred to the Subscription Company.

In 1845, a new company, afterwards called the Whittle Dean Water Company, was formed, its object, as stated in the prospectus, being to divert two of the tributary brooks which flowed into Whittle Burn, distant about twelve miles from Newcastle, and to form large impounding reservoirs. The Subscription Company transferred their works by agreement to the new company, and an Act was obtained from which the present company dates its inception. The works undertaken were completed and brought into operation in the latter part of 1848, and consisted of five reservoirs formed in the valley of the Whittle Burn, and having a capacity of 215 million gallons, the drainage area being about 3,600 acres.

The works were found sufficient until the year 1850, when the consumption had increased to 1.5 million gallons per day. The reservoirs could then only hold a supply for about five months, and in consequence of a drought, which commenced in February of this year and lasted till the end of October, the company was obliged before the end of the summer to have recourse to the old works and pump from the Tyne. In 1851 the storage was increased to 830 million gallons by the construction of further reservoirs at Whittle Dean, and water obtained from an additional 1,000 acres. Water was also first taken from the River Pont by agreement.

In 1852 the consumption had increased to 2 million gallons, and in 1853 to 2.5 million gallons per day. In the latter year the supply having failed, recourse had again to be made to the Tyne at Elswick. These works were removed to Newburn in the following year, where water could be obtained above the tidal flow of the river.

In 1854 power was granted the company to take the waters of the River Pont, Small Burn, and Hallington North and East Burns by means of an open course to the Whittle Dean reservoirs. By this time the reservoir storage had been increased from 215 to 530 million gallons and the drainage area from 3,600 to 17,300 acres.

Increased consumption, which had risen to 4.5 million gallons per day in 1862, repeated droughts, and consequent failures of supply, made it necessary for the company to apply to Parliament in 1863 for power to construct East Hallington reservoir to impound the storm water of the Hallington Burns, thereby adding 685 million gallons to the storage. Advantage was taken of this Act to incorporate the company by the name of "The Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company." Prior to this time the whole of the water, including that obtained from the Tyne, had been delivered to the consumers unfiltered, and it was not until 1870 that Parliament imposed upon the company the necessity of filtering all river water.

In 1860, however, the company upon their own initiative began to construct filter beds at Benwell to filter the water pumped from the river, that obtained from their gravitation works at Whittle Dean and Hallington being considered sufficiently pure. These filters were completed in 1863, and continued in use till 1874, when it was found necessary, on account of the increasing flow of the Tyne, to remove the pumping station farther up the river to Wylam, where there could be no possible chance of fouling the water.

The years following the Act of 1863 appear to have been exceedingly dry, the company passing through a succession of droughts, and having repeatedly to resort to the Tyne for water, until, in 1876, an extensive scheme was laid before Parliament, whereby the company was empowered to impound the waters of the Dry Burn and Small Burn by means of two reservoirs — Little Swinburne and Colt Crag reservoirs — and to construct West Hallington reservoir, increasing the storage capacity of the reservoirs from 1,216 million gallons to 3,061 million gallons and the drainage area from 17,300 acres to 22,140 acres.

A clause was inserted in this Act providing for the filtration of all water for domestic use, the company at the same time obtaining permission to lay down separate mains for the supply of river water for trade purposes. The 24-inch main laid in 1848 was used to convey the water from the Great Southern or Trade Reservoir at Whittle Dean — into which it is pumped from the river at Wylam - into the town, where it is distributed to the manufactories on both sides of the river. Filters were also constructed at Throckley, distant 6 miles west of Newcastle, these being added to as occasion required.

The company subsequently obtained Parliamentary power to impound the water of the River Rede at Catcleugh (page 609), and to construct large filter beds at Whittle Dene. The line of 30-inch diameter pipes conveying the Rede water from Catcleugh to an existing aqueduct at Woodford is 26.75 miles in length, and was brought into use in the year 1898. The Catcleugh reservoir is still in course of construction. When completed it will add 2,345 million gallons to the storage capacity, and 10,330 acres to the drainage area of the company, thus making a total of 5,400 million gallons and 32,470 acres respectively. The present daily average consumption is 19 million gallons, and the population supplied is about 512,000.

For the early history of the Water Supply, information has been obtained from the "History of the Water Supply of Newcastle-upon-Tyne," reprinted from the "Newcastle Chronicle" in 1851, and also to a Paper read at the Meeting of the British Association in 1863, by the late Secretary of the Water Company, Mr. D. D. Main.

North Eastern Marine Engineering Co

North Eastern Marine Engineering Co

The Northumberland Engine Works and Forge of this Company are situated on the River Tyne, at Wallsend, midway between Newcastle and Tynemouth, and about three minutes' walk from Point Pleasant Station on the North Eastern Railway Company's riverside line, and fifteen minutes' walk from the same company's Wallsend Station on the Newcastle and Tynemouth main line, and five minutes' walk from the Tyne General Ferry Co.'s Wallsend boat landing.

The Tyne out-rivals most, if not all other rivers, Clyde and Thames included, for from Elswick to the sea the river fairway is a continuous line of shipyards, foundries, and engineering works, which have played important parts in the institution and maintenance of England's maritime ascendancy; and the Works of the North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. may be fittingly instanced as representing an important factor of that operative interest, so far as the manufacture of marine engines and boilers is concerned. The Wallsend Works were built in 1882 to meet the actual and possible requirements of the trade, and they may be considered as one of the most complete and perfect marine-engine and boiler works on Tyneside; the Works afford every advantage and resource necessary for the prosecution of the business of marine engineering. They are also within easy distance of all the principal shipyards and docks on the river.

The main buildings consist of a symmetrically arranged block of substantially built brick buildings, flanked by the company's railway sidings on the east and west, by the River Tyne on the south, and by the North Eastern Railway Co.'s Riverside and Tynemouth main lines on the north. The principal block comprises six lofty bays with the offices and stores in front. The shops are so arranged as to provide for the regular progression of the work from the initial to the finishing stages, thence to its position on board ship, with a minimum of labour and a maximum of expedition; the works include a forge, iron and brass foundries, brass finishers' and coppersmiths' shops, pattern shop, &c., and they are thus in a, position to execute every detail of their manufacture on the spot, without seeking outside assistance.

The whole of the machinery in the works, including some 20 overhead cranes, varying from 10 to 80 tons, as also the 100-ton sheer-legs, and 25-ton jib-crane on the quay, are driven electrically on the continuous-current system at a voltage of 250. There are about 100 motors, ranging from 5 to 50 horse-power each, the total horse-power aggregating about 1,500. The power is taken from the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Electric Public Supply Co., which transmits the current from their Neptune Bank Power Station, Wallsend (about 1.5 miles distant), to the sub-station adjoining the company's Northumberland Forge, where it is converted from 3-phase 6,000 volts to continuous current at 250 volts.

The total area of the company's property, including the foremen's villas and workmen's houses (which belong to the company and were built for the convenience of their workmen), is about 30 acres. Since the formation of the company about 1,500 merchant and war—vessels have been engined in the works. The general entrance is from the north by a wide covered passage overlooked by the timekeeper's office and general store. On the right and left are flights of stairs leading to a gallery or landing giving access to the commercial, estimating, correspondence, and drawing offices, and to the manager's and private offices, and Board Room. The drawing office and fireproof room, in which all drawings are kept, together with the tracing loft and photo rooms above same, are of recent construction.

Proceeding from the offices to the workshops by way of a covered Passage, members enter the large machine and erecting shops, whose lofty bays are 350 feet long, by 60 feet wide, each having a floor space of 21,000 square feet. They are fitted with overhead cranes, travelling the whole length of the shops, driven by 3 and 4 motors, and capable of lifting up to 80 tons. The tools are of the most improved type and of the heaviest description, including milling and band-sawing machines for cutting cold iron and steel, and a wall planing machine capable of planing 25 feet horizontally and 15 feet vertically. The erecting pit or shop is at a lower level, to allow of complete erection of large engines, which engines can be moved bodily to the quay and shipped in one lift. The special railways, from erecting and boiler shops to the quay, are 7-foot gauge, for the conveyance of heavy weights, which, on their way to the quay for shipment, pass over a large weighbridge of 120 tons capacity.

To the west, and corresponding in length with the machine shop, is the iron foundry, with its adjuncts in the way of a commodious brass foundry, brass finishing shop, coppersmiths' shop, and tool fettling shop and tool store. On the east side of the erecting shop is the small machine shop and fitting gallery, also blacksmiths' shop ,containing 19 fires and 2 steam-hammers, and the boiler-making department, in which will be found some exceptionally powerful machinery and hydraulic plant, capable of manipulating steel plates up to two inches thickness. The pattern shop is a detached building to the south of the iron foundry, and is fitted with the latest types of wood-working machinery.

The river frontage to the works is over 700 feet long, and, to enable vessels of the largest tonnage to lie afloat whilst receiving their machinery, the company has built a substantial jetty, the whole length of the frontage, on which quay are a pair of 100-ton electrically driven sheer-legs, and a 25-ton electrically driven jib-crane (the only one of the sort in the United Kingdom) for lifting the machinery in and out of the vessels. The quay is served by lines of rails connected with all the principal shops and sidings, and to the forge, and to both main and riverside lines of the North Eastern Railway; the company run their own locomotives, conveying material, etc., to and from the Works. The output of indicated horse-power of marine-engines during the last few years has been the largest in the United Kingdom of any firm under one management.

The number of lands employed at the Wallsend Works is at present about 1,750, and at the Sunderland Works about 1,200.

The Sunderland Engine Works, which were founded in 1865, occupy an advantageous situation on the eastern side of the South Docks, Sunderland, and cover an area of more than four acres in extent. They consist of a series of commodious buildings, comprising engine shops, boiler works, smiths' forge and iron foundry, besides pattern shops, brass foundry with brass finishing departments, coppersmiths' shops, and all other departments necessary for the turning out of first-class work.

All these shops are fitted up with powerful machinery of the most modern adaptation to its various purposes, and capable not only of producing marine engines, up to the largest size, but of doing so with the utmost possible despatch. In addition to their general business, the firm are also well known as being the sole manufacturers of several specialities, of which they are also the inventors and patentees, amongst which may be particularly mentioned their feed-heater and cleaner, an evaporator, a duplex donkey-pump, and stern tube arrangements for propeller shafts, all of which have been proved by actual service to be of immense practical use for their purposes; the annual output of these specialities shows a steady increase since their respective production.

Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Co

Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Co

These works are situated on the south bank of the River Tyne at Jarrow, about seven miles from Newcastle, and were founded in 1851 by Sir Charles Mark Palmer, Bart., M.P., and his brother George Palmer. The firm was converted into a company in 1865, Sir Charles being its chairman until his retirement in 1893. The works cover an area of about 100 acres, and have a river frontage of nearly three-quarters of a mile. They consist of a shipbuilding yard, graving dock and slipway, engine and boiler works, steel works and blast-furnaces, and include within themselves the entire range of operations from the smelting of the ore to the complete equipment of the vessel. There are about 8 miles of railway within the works, which are connected by private lines with the North Eastern Railway.

The shipbuilding yard was established on the site of an old yard where wooden frigates had, early in the century, been built for the British Government. The first iron vessel that was built here was the "Northumberland," a paddle tug. The competition of the Midland coal fields in 1851 began to affect the sale of north country coal, which had been hitherto conveyed to London in small collier brigs; it therefore became necessary for the colliery owners to devise some means of conveying their produce to the Metropolis in an expeditious, regular, and economical manner. Sir Charles Palmer accordingly designed the iron screw-steamer, "John Bowes," of 650 tons capacity, and capable of steaming 9 miles per hour. This vessel proved a success, and was the fore-runner of a long list of screw colliers.

On the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854, the firm received an order for an armour-plated vessel. This ship, the "Terror," was built, armour-plated, and launched in about three months. This result was largely due to Sir Charles Palmer, who conceived the idea of rolling instead of forging the armour plates. In 1866 the Indian troopship "Jumna," the largest vessel hitherto built at this yard, was launched.

In the "sixties," the company commenced building Atlantic liners, among them being the "Montana" and "Dakota," for the old Guion Line. They also commenced the construction of three large vessels of special type for carrying petroleum in bulk.

In 1876 the British Government gave them an order for a series of flat-bottomed gunboats for river service. Various other orders followed for warships. In 1893 they made a new departure by accepting a contract from the Admiralty for three torpedo-boat destroyers of 27 knots speed; and a further order for six other vessels of 30 knots speed followed later, the results being equally satisfactory.

One of the most recent battleships constructed here is H.M.S. "Russell," and several steamers of over 10,000 tons deadweight for the Atlantic cattle trade have recently been delivered.

In addition to numerous electrically-driven modern machines and tools, hydraulic presses, pneumatic riveters and caulkers, electric drills, &c., the shipyard possesses its own forge and also rivet works capable of supplying the shipyard and boiler shops. There are also large fitters', plumbers', joiners' and cabinet-makers' shops, where the internal fittings required in ship construction, including steering gears, &c., are manufactured. The graving dock is 440 feet long by 70 feet wide, and some notable repairs to vessels have been executed in it.

The productive capacity of the engine works can be gauged by the fact that 34 sets of engines and boilers have been turned out in one year. The department is self-contained, having its own forge and also foundries for the production of iron, brass, and steel castings. Among the various machines in these shops are a plate edge-planing machine, capable of taking a plate 35 feet long by 12 feet wide and planing two edges simultaneously; a set of vertical rolls, capable of bending cold a shell-plate 12 feet wide and 1 5/8 inches thick; a 200-ton hydraulic flanger; a hydraulic riveting machine with 12 feet gap, and capable of exerting a pressure of 150 tons. The shops are also equipped for dealing with the "Express" type of water-tube boiler, and more recently a plant for the manufacture of Belleville boilers has been added.

A speciality is the manufacture of the "Reed" water-tube boiler, the invention of Mr. J. W. Reed, manager of the engine works department, which has been adopted in the high-speed Jarrow boats and in vessels constructed for the Admiralty on the Clyde. Nearly 25 miles of tubes are used in the manufacture of the boilers and machinery of each 30-knot destroyer.

A feature in the iron foundry is the manufacture of ingot moulds and slag tubs, thousands of tons being turned out during the year. In the machine and erecting shops the tools are of the most modern type. In the lower erecting shops, engines of various sizes for single and twin-screw merchant vessels are built, while in the upper shop torpedo-destroyer engines to run about 400 revolutions per minute are erected side by side with engines of 18,000 horse-power. For lifting machinery and boilers on board, a new set of sheerlegs to lift 120 tons has recently been erected.

In the pig-iron making department there are five blast-furnaces with the usual equipment of hot-blast stoves. One of these furnaces is set apart for the manufacture of Cleveland iron, principally for foundry purposes, and produces about 630 tons per week. In the other furnaces high-class hematite pig is produced for the manufacture of the mild steel now so largely used for shipbuilding, and about 1,000 tons per week are produced per furnace. The furnaces are about 80 feet high, 21 feet diameter at the boshes, and 11 feet in the hearth. The bulk of the hematite produced is transferred to the company's own steel works, where it is converted into Siemens-Martin mild steel by the acid process, the surplus iron being sold to neighbouring steel makers.

In the steel works there are eight melting furnaces, each of 40 tons capacity per charge. The various mills — togging, sectional, plate, and sheet mills — are fully equipped with the usual guillotine shears, hot and cold saws, and contrivances for saving heat and labour. There is a complete installation of electric power for driving all the outlying machinery, and also an extensive plant for electro-galvanizing.

The total number of vessels completed at these works since their establishment in 1852 is 771, and the tonnage has risen from 920 in 1852 to 61,016 in 1901.

The number of men and boys employed is about 10,000.

Smiths Dock Co

Smiths Dock Co

This company was formed in 1899 to consolidate the businesses of Smith's Dock Co., H. S. Edwards and Sons, and Edwards Brothers, and owns large shipbuilding and repairing works on both banks of the River Tyne.

Commencing at South Shields are the High Docks, three in number, the largest of which is 430 feet in length. This yard is fitted up very completely with large plate-bending rolls, punching and shearing machines, joggling machine, steam travelling-cranes, and all the appliances usually met with in a modern repairing yard; there are also, adjoining the yard, fitters' and blacksmiths' shops, boiler shop, and a large brass foundry, which, in addition to the repairing work, does a large and increasing outside trade in bronze tuyeres, bosh plates, and other requirements for blast-furnaces.

Crossing over to North Shields, the two Bull Ring Docks are seen; both are large docks of modern construction, which are employed principally in the docking and repairing of oil-tank steamers, and which are therefore specially fitted up for that purpose. Adjoining these docks is the Shipbuilding Yard, which is devoted exclusively to the construction of steam fishing-vessels, shallow-draught steamers for coasting and river work, and similar special work. Of particular interest are the steam herring-drifters, to which the company have been devoting a large amount of attention recently, and of which they have constructed no less than forty since the beginning of last year. These vessels are built of steel and fitted with engines of large power, and are specially fitted up for the herring fishing; those which are now at work have proved extremely satisfactory in every way, and it is fully expected that in a few years' time this class of vessel will entirely supersede the old-fashioned sailing vessels in this particular trade, in the same way that the steam trawlers drove the sailing trawlers out of existence some years ago.

It will be noticed that this yard is now being re-arranged and re-organized on the most modern lines; and when these improvements are completed, it is anticipated that the works will be in a position to deal with a very much larger output than was formerly possible. The whole of the yard above the building slips is being levelled and completely covered in with a glass roof; this will enable work to be carried on independently of the weather, which, especially in winter time, used to cause such frequent stoppages. New plant and machinery is also being laid down, all of which will be driven by electric motors, the power being obtained from the Corporation mains; the whole of the yard is thoroughly lighted by arc lamps.

Passing through the Shipyard, the Pontoon Docks are reached, which occupy the site of the old shipbuilding yard of Messrs. T. and W. Smith, the predecessors of the original Smith's Dock Co. This yard is now devoted entirely to ship-repairing in all its branches, and has been entirely re-organized during the last few years, with the object of bringing it up to date and enabling repairs of every description to be undertaken.

Starting at the east end is the old graving dock, which at the time of its opening was looked on as one of the finest and largest on the North-East Coast, although it has long since retired from that position. Next to this is the first pontoon dock, which was built by the company about thirteen years ago, to the designs of Messrs. Clark and Standfield, of London. This pontoon was the first of its kind to be successfully used in Great Britain, and its success was so great that a few years later it was decided to build another of similar design, but of much greater capacity. This latter pontoon is situated at the west end of the yard; it is capable of taking on vessels up to 450 feet in length by 56 feet beam, and weighing 6,400 tons.

The pumps for emptying the pontoon are eight in number, each driven by a 60-horse-power electric motor. With this large pumping power it is possible to lift a vessel clear of the water in twenty minutes, and it has frequently happened that one vessel has been floated, a second one taken on and lifted for examination, re-floated, and a third one taken on and lifted, during one high water. This enables a vessel which merely requires the bottom sighted, to proceed straight on to her loading dock, should nothing be found wrong with her, a point which shipowners have not been slow in taking advantage of. The power necessary for driving the pump motors, as well as the numerous other motors about the place, is generated in a building situated about the centre of the yard, from which point the current is carried through armoured cables as required.

At the back of the pontoon docks are situated the various shops, fitted up with every requisite for carrying out repairs to vessels' hulls, engines and boilers, whilst between the pontoons and at each end of them, are deep-water quays, alongside which vessels undergoing internal repairs are laid.

The number of men employed varies from 2,000 up to 4,000, and the number of vessels docked last year in the eight docks of the company amounted to 652, whilst the number of vessels under repair, in and out of dock, was 958.

John Spencer and Sons

John Spencer and Sons

This firm was founded by Mr. John Spencer in 1810 for the manufacture of files. Newburn, with the water-power afforded by the Burn, which at that time was a good stream, attracted him as a favourable place to establish a works. The Newborn Steel Works were therefore built in 1822, comprising converting furnaces, crucible melting furnaces using coke, rolling mills and tilt hammers, driven by water-power, and file manufacturing shops.

[See plan of works on image]

George Stephenson was born near to Newburn, and for some years lived within the present bounds of the works. The Hawthorns also belonged to Walbottle, which is close to Newborn. Hedley lived at Newburn, and his locomotive passed on its journey from Wylam to Lemington on the line of rails which now runs through the works. It will be understood that it was upon this line of railway that it was first demonstrated that the adhesion of a wheel on a plane surface was sufficient for traction. The original patterns for cast-iron rail with rack teeth and pinion are still in Messrs. Spencer's possession. The whole of the raw material then used was imported from Sweden. On the introduction of the locomotive, some of the materials for its construction were obtained regularly from Newborn by Stephenson and by the Hawthorne.

The development of Newburn Steel Works followed the introduction of the railway system, the manufacture of forgings, springs, castings, etc., being extended, while the spring trade especially formed a large and busy department of the works, particularly on the adoption of Baillie's volute spring in place of laminated springs by many engineers, of which volutes Messrs. Spencer were the solo licencees. The early railways in all parts of the world were supplied with more or less of their requirements. The introduction of the steamship and its development again led to a considerable expansion of the Newborn Works, and the forges were shifted and enlarged to meet the modern demand for largo crank and other shafting, goon work, etc., and were provided with large hammers and furnaces, also with a hydraulic forging press.

The machine shop is also new and quite up to date, containing powerful tools for machining marine, locomotive, and other heavy forgings and castings.

Although steel castings in simple form had been made at Newborn many years previously, it was not until 1860 that it was taken up as a specific business and developed for all purposes, the material being comparatively hard. After considerable success with mild steel castings, Lloyds and the Board of Trade, in 1879, were induced to accept the material for crank-webs, crankshafts, anchors, and later, after an exhaustive series of experiments, for engine and shipbuilding work generally. The general adoption of stern-frames, rudder-frames, stems, also both solid and built crank-shafts, testifies to the successful use of mild steel for castings of this description.

For several years previous to 1889 material had been supplied from Nowburn for rolling into mild steel plates, but it was only at the beginning of that year that the erection of the present rolling mills was begun. These mills were opened in 1891 for the manufacture of the largest boiler and ship plates. Plates are now made of any thickness up to 6 inches, and to a maximum width of 12 feet, to meet the requirements of the several Registers and Corporations. Eight 30-ton open-hearth melting furnaces supply the requisite steel for the requirements of the mill, the output of which amounts to 1,000 tons of finished plates per week, besides bars, blooms, and billets.

The togging and plate mills are driven by reversing engines supplied by the Bowling Iron Co. The plate mills consist of one 30-inch and one 42-inch mill, whilst there are also 10-inch, 14-inch and 18-inch bar mills driven by separate engines. Two powerful plate shears, capable of cutting plates up to 14 inches and 11 inches respectively, are employed, the former made by Messrs. Buckton and Co., and the latter by Messrs. Crow Harvey and Co.

The number of men employed is 1,500.

Tyne North Pier

Tyne North Pier

The Tyne Piers were commenced no less than forty-seven years ago with the dual object of shielding the entrance to the Tyne from the rough sea, and of scouring away the bar. They were constructed from designs originally prepared by Messrs. Walker, Burges and Cooper.

With regard to the North Pier, the straight portion, that is the shoreward half, was constructed under a contract, the contractor being Mr. Benjamin Lawton. The outer half was carried out by the Tyne Commission's own staff, under the late Mr. P. J. Messent, who had acted as Resident Engineer in connection with the first contract. The general design of the structure comprehends a mound of rubble stone carrying a superstructure of masonry. The latter consists of two longitudinal walls, connected at frequent intervals by cross walls, the cavities or "pockets" thus formed being filled near the shoreward end with quarry debris, and further seaward with mass concrete.

[See plans of works in attached image]

The depth of the foundations of the superstructure varies from low-water level at the shoreward end to 27 feet lower at the pierhead. This depth of foundations at the pierhead is much greater than was originally contemplated, it having been discovered, while the work was in progress, that wave action took place at much greater depths than had previously been supposed. The depth of the foundations would probably have been carried still lower had it not been that the rubble mound had been deposited very much in advance of the work, in order to insure its being sufficiently consolidated before being built upon. The whole work seems to have stood well until the winter 1893-4, after which it was found that some of the foreshore blocks had been moved and the foundations of a short length of pier exposed.

In spite of every effort being made to effect repairs, in the year 1897 a breach was formed completely through the pier. This has extended until it is now 100 yards in width.

Sir John Wolfe Barry, K.C.B., and Messrs. Goode, Son and Matthews were called in to advise the Tyne Improvement Commission as to the wisest course to adopt, and after careful deliberation they decided that the remedy was to construct a length of new work under the protection of the breached structure. The new work is to be 1,500 feet in length, and is to join the outer end of the straight portion of the old work, forming with it a breakwater, straight from end to end, and of a length of over half a mile, Fig. 1 (page 622).

In the new work the rubble mound is being dispensed with, and the foundations are being taken down to a hard shale, the depth averaging about 20 feet more than that of the original structure. Above the lower-water level the section of the new work is identical with that of the old, Fig. 2.

The new length of pier is being made of Portland cement concrete blocks bonded from side to side of the pier, no mass work being used except above high-water level. The heaviest blocks weigh (in air) from 30 to 40 tons, and those exposed to the sea are faced with Aberdeen granite. The blocks below low water are built without mortar joints, but they are interlocked by round joggles and other means to such an extent as to render relative movement among them impossible. Above low water the blocks are built with mortar beds, the joints being also grouted up. The material overlying the new foundations is excavated by means of grabs, and as soon as the grab has worked down to the shale a diving bell is used to level the beds for the blocks.

The diving bell now in use is 12 feet long by 9 feet wide by feet high, and four men work in it at a time. The pressure, which of course varies with the depth of water, is about 20 lbs. on the square inch above that of the atmosphere, and up to now there has been no case of sickness due to working under air-pressure. When the bed is prepared the blocks are set by helmet divers, and great care is taken to get them level and true, as if they formed part of an architectural structure above water. The reason for commencing the work at some distance seaward of the junction was to admit of work being carried on at two faces and thus extending seaward and shoreward simultaneously.

As regards temporary plant — the property of the contractors — attention might be drawn to the staging, the large "Goliath" cranes, the air-compressors for the diving-bells and to the plant designed for driving the staging piles. This piling plant stands on the staging trestles last driven when driving those next in advance, the "leaders" and ram or hammer being at the end of a cantilever. In the work-yard, the method of concrete mixing and of conveying the concrete when mixed to the block moulds is also worthy of notice.

The works are being carried out by the Tyne Commissioners; the Engineers are Sir J. Wolfe Barry, K.C.B., and Messrs. Coode Son and Matthews, the Resident Engineer, the author of this brief description, being Mr. Ivan C. Bailing. The contractors are Messrs. Sir John Jackson. It is expected that the works will be completed about three years hence.

Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Co

Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Co

These works were started in 1871 as a ship-repairing establishment, and in 1874 the operations were extended to the building of marine engines and boilers. The works proper cover an area of 25 acres, and the company has an equal area available for extensions.

The Repairing Department comprises graving dock 540 feet long, one of the largest and best equipped in the country, two slipways each 1,000 feet long, and the usual shipyard sheds and machinery which is driven electrically.

The Engineering Department is provided with a very large erecting shop and machine shops with electric and steam overhead-cranes, pattern shop, boiler shop, foundries, etc., 80-ton sheerlegs, electric power and lighting, steam, hydraulic and compressed-air appliances, and other modern contrivances for economical manufacturing. In recent years many important installations of machinery have been turned out at this establishment for the mercantile marine, besides exceptional contracts such as the machinery and boilers for the Russian icebreaker "Ermack," and the Cunard Liner "Ivernia." The company has also important contracts in hand for the British Admiralty, namely machinery for H.M.S. "Odin," building at Sheerness. The machinery for H.M.S. "Challenger," a cruiser recently floated at Chatham, and the pumping installation for the Bermuda Pontoon recently built by Messrs. C. S. Swan and Hunter.

Besides other work there is at present in course of erection in the shops the engines and boilers for the twin screw Cunard Liner "Carpathia," which is building on the stocks at Messrs. C. S. Swan and Hunter's.

Within recent years the company has built several large engines of the marine type for generating electricity, and two examples of their work can be seen in this district, namely, at the Manors Station power-house of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Tramways, and the Neptune Bank Power-Station at Wallsend; and the company is at present finishing two sets of large power for the Shoreditch Vestry, London.

Members visiting The Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Company's Works would see in an advanced stage of construction two sets of triple-expansion engines of the largest size for the Manchester Corporation Stuart Street Electric Power-House, which engines are to indicate 6,500 H.P. each; and the results obtained from the other sets which have already been finished have been of such remarkable economy as to encourage the belief that the performance at Manchester will prove to be a very marked advance on the latest American practice for similar work.

Point Pleasant Station on the Riverside Line is in close proximity to the works, and the North Eastern Railway lines are extended to every department. The company employs about 2,400 workmen.

Wigham Richardson

Wigham Richardson

The "Neptune" Shipbuilding Yard, Engine and Boiler Works of Messrs. Wigham-Richardson and Co., are situated about four miles to the east of Newcastle-on-Tyne, on the River Tyne, in the township of Walker. They are less than two minutes' walk from the Low Walker Boat Landing, and seven minutes' walk from the Walker Station on the Riverside Branch on the North Eastern Railway Co.'s line connecting Newcastle and Tynemouth. The works cover an area of about 27 acres; they command a river frontage of about one-third of a mile, and are immediately connected by sidings with the Riverside Branch of the North Eastern Railway Co.

Shipbuilding Yard. — This was originally started in 1842 by Messrs. Coutts, and the first iron vessel, the "Prince Albert," built in the River Tyne, was launched from the yard on the 23rd September 1842. Afterwards the Works passed into the hands of Messrs. Miller, Ravenhill & Co., and finally, in the year 1860, Mr. J. Wigham-Richardson acquired the premises. In 1862 Mr. Charles J. D. Christie joined Mr. Richardson in partnership, in 1879 Mr. John Tweedy, and in 1890 Mr. Philip W. Richardson and Mr. J. Denham Christie. In 1899 the business was converted into a limited company.

The Shipbuilding premises are divided into two parts. The South Yard, which is the oldest, contains five berths, machine sheds for the same, smith and angle and beam shops, a large timber storage pond, the general offices and stores, and a building containing a joiners' shop, pattern-making shop, moulding loft, mast-makers' shop, &c., all of which are fitted with the most modern and improved machinery. In this yard, ships up to 450 feet in length have been built for many important British and Foreign Steamship Companies. Adjoining this yard, to the north of it, is another yard, arranged for three berths, in which ships of the largest size can be built. This Yard contains, like the South Yards, spacious sheds of the newest machinery in the way of punching and shearing machines, rolls, planers, scarfers, counter-sinkers, and all the varied equipment of a thoroughly up-to-date shipbuilding works. The works are capable of turning out over 50,000 tons gross of high-class steamers per annum.

Engine and Boiler Works. — Adjoining the shipyards are the engine and boiler works, the engine works being situated between the North and South Yards, while the boiler yard is at the north end of the North Yard. This, the most modern of the three departments, consists of a large main building and supplementary buildings for machinery, and is not in any way behind the others in the completeness with which it is supplied with all the most modern and improved appliances for rapidly producing the largest and most powerful boilers, completely and perfectly finished in every respect. Amongst the appliances may be noticed three powerful overhead travelling-cranes of the latest design, numerous swing hydraulic cranes, hydraulic flanging machines, and Tweedy's boiler shell-drilling machine, by which the holes of all boiler shells are drilled in place. There is also a complete plant for milling the edges of irregular plates, so that the caulking-line shall be truly distanced from the holes.

The works, being fitted out with all the latest improvements in machinery necessary for rapidly turning out high-class work, are in a position to produce from 28,000 to 30,000 I.H.P. per annum. The number of engines built up to date is close on 400. This firm was among the very first to bring forward the triple-expansion engine, and for a number of years past they have been building four-crank quadruple-expansion engines for working at high boiler pressures, to a special design of their own. As in the shipyards, so in these works the plant is being constantly increased by the addition of the most modern labour-saving machinery, nor is any effort spared to render the establishment fully up-to-date. Recently, both in the Shipyard as well as in the Engine and Boiler Works, electric power has been used for driving a large portion of the plant, and the installation is being continued, so that before long there will be little or no steam-power in the Works. Electricity is also used for lighting purposes throughout works and offices. The current is obtained from the neighbouring Neptune Bank Power Station of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Electric Supply Co. at Wallsend.

Sunderland Electricity Works


There are two stations, the older being situated at Dunning Street, which turns out of High Street West, close to the Central Railway Station; the new station is in Farringdon Row, turning out of Hylton Road by the new Tramway Depot.

Dunning Street Station comprises an engine-room 132 feet in length by 34 feet 6 inches in width, a boiler-house 77 feet 6 inches in width, and the same length as the engine room. There are also a battery room, repair shops, test room, and superintendent's offices. In the engine-room are two Willans-Holmes steam dynamos, each 26 kilowatts output at 110-160 volts for balancing and charging battery, five 125-kilowatt, and two 215-kilowatt steam sets for lighting, and four 275-kilowatt compound-wound dynamos, coupled to Belliss engines for traction purposes. The tramway sets are surface-condensing, with a Wheeler-Barnard cooling tower; the remainder of the plant is non-condensing. There are two distinct switchboards for lighting and tramways respectively. A battery of 260 E.P.S. cells is also installed. In the boiler-house are five Hawksley Wild, Lancashire, four Galloway and two Babcock and Wilcox boilers, 130 lbs. pressure, three sets of Green's economisers; and Worthington and Weir feed pumps. A duplicate set of induced draught fans by the Buffalo Forge Co., with auxiliary chimney, is also running the day load very successfully. Coal-handling plant, by the Conveyor and Elevator Co., of Accrington, delivers the coal into a bunker, and from thence distributes it to the boilers. A water-softening plant on the Archbutt-Deeley process is also in operation.

The Hylton Road Station represents the first instalment of a 20,000-H.P. station, there being three acres of available ground. In the engine-room, 164 feet long by 45 feet wide, are now installed three 300-kilowatt triple-expansion Belliss-Silvertown direct-current sets, and two 125-kilowatt steam dynamos. The surface condensers were supplied by the Mirrlees-Watson and Yaryan Co., with a Klein cooling tower. The switchboard is very simple, and at the back in an annexe to the main building is the battery room. In this there are 130 cells; and the battery has a storage capacity of 500 kilowatt-hours. The charging and discharging is effected by a reversible booster. Above are the fitting and joiners' shops, fitted throughout with electrically driven tools, and engineers' mess room.

In the boiler-house, 164 feet long by 63 feet 6 inches wide, are five Lancashire boilers with Deighton's corrugated flues and with "Triumph" stokers, a Green's economiser of 360 tubes, two Hall's feed pumps, and a Harris-Anderson oil precipitator for the hot-well water. There is a deep well pump designed to lift 5,000 gallons of water per hour, with a 11.5 inch bore-hole through the magnesian limestone into the Permian sands beneath. Coal is conveyed by a viaduct direct from the colliery, and tipped into overhead bunkers, the wagons being shunted by an electrical locomotive. The water-softener was made by Messrs. Mather and Platt. Room has been left hereafter for the addition of superheaters, and it is proposed to add two induced-draught fans at the root of the chimney. Outside the building is the mains department's store, with smithy and tool store. It is proposed later to build the superintending engineer's house, adjoining the north gable of the engine-room.

The mains are india-rubber, bitumen insulated, drawn into stoneware casings, or cast-iron pipes; Callender's solid bitumen system is adopted in the residential district. The system is partly a 3-wire, 110-volt, but mainly a 2-wire 220-volt distribution. Arrangements are now being made for the adoption of 3-phase 5,000-volt generators and sub-stations, for the supply of shipyards, &c., and these sub-stations will also feed into the 2-wire network. The number of 8 c.p. lamps connected is 71,620, and electricity is already extensively used in the different engine shops and yards. Supply is also given to 64 tramcars, making the equivalent of 8 c.p. lamps connected over 143,000.

The car-sheds are situated, one at the north side at the Wheat Sheaf, at the north end of North Bridge Street, where there is accommodation for 60 cars, with offices and stores; and one under construction on the south side, adjoining the Hylton Road Electricity Station, where there will be provision for 60 cars, and a complete equipment of repairing shops, joiners' shops, and painting; sheds. The tramways comprise 18 miles of single track completed, and 8 miles yet to construct. The gauge is 4 feet 8.5 inches, 96-1b. girder rails laid on 6-inch concrete. The system is from overhead at 500 volts.

Mr. John F. C. Snell, M.I.Mech.E., is the Chief Electrical and Tramways Engineer.

River Wear Commissioners

River Wear Commission

The River Wear Commissioners, who were first appointed in the year 1717, were empowered to undertake the control of the Harbour of Sunderland, and subsequently, in the year 1859, the Sunderland South Docks were transferred to them. Their jurisdiction extends from Souter Point on the north to Ryhope Dene on the south, over the tidal portion of the River Wear, and over a dock estate of about 250 acres. They have power to levy dues on shipping and merchandise for the carrying out of works necessary for the maintenance and improvement of the port and docks and the facilities for trade therein. In pursuance of their powers they are at present constructing two breakwaters to protect the harbour entrance, deepening and enlarging the entrances to the docks, enlarging the area of the docks, and deepening the river by dredging.

Roker Pier Works. - Roker Pier, which is situated on the north side of the Wear, is completed, with the exception of the superstructure of the roundhead and lighthouse, which are now being built. The total length of this pier is 2,800 feet. For 2,340 feet the width at the top is 35 feet, and for the remaining distance 41 feet. The width at the bottom varies with the depth — in 40 feet of water it is 120 feet wide. The top of the pier is 10 feet above high water. A subway 6.25 feet high by 4 feet wide runs the entire length of the pier, and will afford access to the lighthouse in stormy weather.

The shore portion of this pier, for a length of 385 feet, was constructed of concrete en masse, faced with granite blocks; for the remaining distance the superstructure is formed of granite-faced concrete blocks, varying in weight from 43 to 56 tons, set in lengths of 42 feet 7 inches each by a radial hydraulic block-setting crane, which can set a 60-ton block 60 feet in advance of its leading wheel.

The interior of each length is filled with concrete blocks and concrete en masse. The concrete of which the pier is mainly composed is mixed by three improved Messent one-cube-yard mixers, each capable of turning out twenty mixings of concrete per hour. The concrete is conveyed to the pier end in 20-ton boxes specially designed, so that the act of replacing them on their carriage closes the doors at the bottom of them. A 20-inch gauge railway runs from the mixers to the gearings in the blockyard, from which the concrete is tipped direct into the block moulds below. This was the first blockyard constructed with a high level gearing to avoid waste of labour, and the system has since been adopted at the construction works of the National Harbours of Peterhead and Dover. The blockyard is of sufficient capacity to make blocks for 170 lineal feet of pier.

The superstructure is set on a foundation, levelled 2.5 feet above low water, which is formed of 56- and 116-ton bags of concrete deposited in the plastic state on the rock, from boxes slung in the wells of a "Wake" steam-barge and suspended from hydraulic cylinders. The bags are filled at a concrete-mixing house on the river, the barge is then moored over the site where the bag is required, the box and bag are lowered as near to the bottom as possible, and the bag deposited by the opening of the doors in the bottom of the box.

For some distance shoreward of the outer end of the pier the rock was covered with sand up to a thickness of 17 feet, and this was removed by a sand-pump suction-dredger previous to the bagwork being deposited. This dredger is not only used for cleaning the sand from the pier foundations, but is also employed on the general dredging work of the Port. It was built by Messrs. J. en K. Split, Kinderdyk, Holland, and is 160 feet by 30 feet by 11 feet 6 inches, the suction-pipe being 21.5 inches diameter and the engines 300 I.H.P. It has a carrying capacity of 600 tons, which can be loaded into its own hopper in twenty-five minutes.

The lower part of the roundhead of the pier is formed of an iron caisson, 100.5 feet long by 69 feet wide by 29.5 feet deep, divided into fifteen compartments by bulkheads, and set on the prepared foundation of concrete bags levelled up to 23 feet below low water. This caisson was floated out with a draught of 22 feet containing 3,500 tons of concrete, and was sunk on its site by filling it with water. A sufficient weight of concrete blocks was placed in it, after which it was pumped out compartment by compartment and filled in with concrete en masse and grouted rubble. The total weight of this caisson when filled is 10,000 tons. On the top of this the upper part of the roundhead will be constructed of granite-faced blocks surmounted by a lighthouse containing a third order dioptric light, having a focal plane of 83.5 feet above high water, which will be visible 16 miles. The total weight of the roundhead when completed will be 23,000 tens.

New South Pier. - The New South Pier, which is situated on the south side of the harbour entrance, is being constructed in a similar manner to the Roker Pier, but varies somewhat in detail. The length of the pier will be 2,814 feet, of which 2,163 feet is now completed; the width of this portion at the top is 35 feet, and that of the remainder will be 41 feet. The top of the pier is 9 feet above high water, and there is a parapet wall, 9 feet high by 9 feet wide, running along the entire length of the sea side of the pier so far as it is constructed. The width of the parapet wall for the remaining part of the pier will be increased to 14 feet. The weight of the blocks used on this pier is 15 tons; they are set on a bagwork foundation by a 20-ton block-setting crane worked by gas-engines. The crane revolves completely, and can set 20-ton blocks 64 feet in advance of its leading wheel. The foundation is constructed in the same manner as at Roker pier. The whole of the harbour works are being carried out by the Commissioner's workmen, under the direction of Mr. Henry H. Wake, M.I.Mech.E., the Commissioner's Engineer, and the engineering staff.

Nos. 1 and 2 Graving Dock Pumping-Stations. - The pumping plant at the No. 1 Graving Dock consists of two 83-brake horse-power (working), 98-brake horse-power (maximum) Tangye's gas-engines, coupled directly to two Tangye centrifugal pumps with suction 21 inches in diameter, and a 15-brake horse-power Tangye gas-engine, which drives a centrifugal pump, with 8 inches suction for pumping the dock leakage. The large pump discs are 5.5 feet in diameter. In place of foot-valves these pumps have flap-valves on the delivery side of the pump. They are primed by an air-pump driven by the small engine. The large engines are started by exploding a mixture of compressed gas and air, supplied from a receiver which is charged by means of a compressor, connected when required to the small gas-engine by a clutch. At a trial made in 1895 the two large pumps discharged 10,238 tons of water in 1 hour 58 minutes, the consumption of gas by the engines being 6,695 cubic feet, the average number of revolutions of the engines per minute being 125. Two men and a leading band attend to this pumping plant and the pumping plant at the No. 2 Graving Dock, which consists of three 120-brake horsepower Crossley gas-engines, coupled to three Gwynne centrifugal pumps, 22 inches in diameter.

Centrifugal pumps direct driven by means of gas-engines were first designed for and adopted at these docks, and the system has been generally extended to other graving docks, as it has proved an economic success.

The cost of gas (at the price of 1s. 6d. per thousand cubic feet) used in pumping out No. 1 Dock varies from 6s. to 9s. according to the state of the tide and the size of the vessel occupying the dock; this practically also refers to No. 2 Dock.

No. 21 Coal Staith. - The Commissioners have recently constructed a new coal shipping berth with a high-level shipping staith worked by gravity. This staith can load 1,000 tons per hour. There are four spouts, each of which is capable of being radiated 10 feet in either direction, and coal can be delivered into vessels 36 feet above the water level. The berth is suitable for vessels up to 600 feet in length, and has a depth of 30 feet at H.W.O.S.T.

No. 3 Gateway Hydraulic Installation. - This installation comprises hydraulic machinery for working the gates and the swing bridge over No. 3 entrance to the Hudson Dock North. The pumps which force water into the accumulator, loaded for a pressure of 700 lbs. per square inch, are worked by gas-engines. This makes the cost of working extremely low, the cost of gas for a tide's work being only 5.5d. This machinery will also supply pressure for working the gates at the new No. 1 Entrance.

New Dredgers. — For the purpose of increasing the depth of the River, the Commissioners have recently had built in Holland by Messrs. A. F. Smolders two stationary bucket-dredgers, each 129 feet 9 inches long by 24 feet 9 inches by 10 feet, and capable of lifting 600 tons per hour. The bucket train consists of 42 buckets, each of a capacity of 17.75 cubic feet, and the speed of the buckets is seventeen per minute.

No. 1 Gateway. — This entrance, which formerly was 45 feet in width with 20 feet of water over the sill, has now been reconstructed as an entrance of 70 feet with a depth of 30 feet over the sill. The gates are constructed of Jarrah wood, and are opened and closed by hydraulic machinery. Under the apron is a subway for the conveyance of hydraulic pipes, gas and water mains, this system having been adopted in all entrances reconstructed at this port during the past twenty-five years. The reconstruction of No. 1 Gateway completes the reconstruction of all the entrances to the Docks which were in existence in 1850 to 1856.

Hudson Dock North Enlargement. — For the purpose of providing better accommodation for the class of large vessels which now frequent and are being built at this port, the work of enlarging the Hudson Dock North by removing 8.5 acres on the east side of the dock and the construction of a new quay wall is in progress. The depth of water over the new area will be 30 feet at H.W.O.S.T.

The original depth in the Hudson Docks was 24 feet, and a large proportion of it has now been deepened to from 28 to 30 feet; the bottom being magnesian limestone rock, or marl, renders it a slow and difficult process. The construction of the new No. 1 Gateway and the Dock enlargement, which are the only dock or harbour works the Commissioners have placed in the hands of contractors during the past thirty-five years, are being carried out by Messrs. Sir John Jackson.

George Clark

George Clark

Those works, belonging to Messrs. George Clark, are situated at Southwick, about one mile west of Sunderland Bridge. The business was commenced in 1840 at Monkwearmouth, the chief work being the manufacture of pumping and winding engines for collieries and ironworks and marine engines. The business increased so considerably that larger works became necessary, and in 1872, Southwick Engine Works were erected solely for the purposes of marine engine and boiler building. The firm have turned out engines for several of the principal shipping companies, and the works are well equipped to turn out the largest class of work.

John Dickinson and Sons

John Dickinson and Sons

These works were founded in 1852 by the chairman of the present company. The site, which comprises about 4.5 acres, is of peculiar formation, having been in former days an old ballast hill, upon the side of which the present works are erected in terraces. The different flats are excavated from the side of the hill, and secured by means of heavy concrete retaining walls.

The principal manufacture is that of marine-engines and boilers, and extensive repairing work in connection with this industry is also carried out. The boiler shop has lately been extended, and fitted with the latest type of machinery, for dealing with boilers up to 80 tons weight. The engine works are also fitted with machinery of modern type, and no expense has been spared to make the whole factory complete and fully equipped for dealing expeditiously and efficiently with the company's manufactures. There is a river frontage of about 630 feet, and machinery is shipped from the quay on board the steamers by means of a large 80-ton crane.

The output for the last five years was as follows:-

  • 1897. 11 sets of Engines, representing 20,760 I.H.P.
  • 1898. 22 sets of Engines, representing 38,634 I.H.P.
  • 1899. 16 sets of Engines, representing 29,004 I.H.P.
  • 1900. 21 sets of Engines, representing 41,622 I.H.P.
  • 1901. 16 sets of Engines, representing 31,044 I.H.P.

The number of men employed is about 1,000.

Sir James Laing and Sons

Sir James Laing and Sons

This well-known Shipbuilding Yard, which has been in existence since 1793, and is therefore one of the oldest in the country, lies on the south side of the River Wear, where the stream takes a bend in a horse-shoe shape, and the works themselves lie on the inside of the bend of the river. On entering the shipbuilding premises through the main entrance, near the offices, the road leads direct to the electrical power-house, which contains three 150-H.P. dynamos, two of which are driven by high-speed engines, and one by a compound marine-type engine. From this station the motors of the Middle and New Yards machinery, as well as the electric light installation, are driven.

Passing the boiler-house, where there are two large marine-typo boilers supplying steam to the electrical power-house and the joiner shop, the East Yard is reached, where there are two berths capable of taking ships up to 500 feet long. The inner berth of the two has at present a large twin-screw steamer No. 600 s.s., 510 feet long by 59 feet beam.

At the bow of this ship lies the new machinery shed, a structure in two bays 250 feet long by 120 feet wide, and containing various punching and shearing machines, bending rolls, joggling, scarphing, and planing machines, &c., all driven by electric motors, and with serviceable hydraulic cranes for handling large plates.

At the river end of this machine-shed lies the fitting-out quay, at which vessels, after being launched, are laid for completion, and a large travelling-crane enables material to be put on board with the greatest possible despatch.

Proceeding from the quay past the bow of 600 s.s. (which vessel will be the largest ship ever built on this river), the boat-builders' shop is passed and the east end of the joiners' shop is entered. This shop is replete with the most modern machinery, driven by a compound steam-engine with shafting underground. At the lower end of this building there is a saw mill, as well as a carpenters' shop, for the conversion of the timber required for shipwright purposes.

On leaving the main entrance of the joiners' shop the road is again crossed, and the blacksmiths' shop is entered, where there are some forty fires and steam-hammers up to 15 cwts. capacity for the prompt making of various smith-work. On leaving the north end of the blacksmiths' shop, the accumulators and hydraulic pumps are seen for supplying the hydraulic cranes, riveting plant, &c., in the Upper and Middle Yards. On the right are frame-turning blocks and furnaces, and in the machine shop adjoining are various punching and planing machines, &c.

Immediately in front of the turning blocks lies Deptford Graving Dock, about 320 feet long, where repairs to vessels can be promptly carried out; crossing the public road which lies at the head of the Dock, the High Yard near the store house is entered, and on proceeding to the right are two shipbuilding berths, on one of which at present is building a twin-screw steamer about 445 feet long.

On the left-hand side is a large shed containing frame-turning blocks, furnaces, plate rolls, punching, shearing, scarphing and flanging machines, and other ordinary shipbuilders' plant; on passing round the machine shed and leaving the yard by the main road, the brass foundry department is reached, which comprises brass foundry, brass finishing shop, fitting and pattern shop, plumbers' shop and coppersmiths' shop, where various work in connection with the outfit of vessels built in the yards is completed.

In addition to this work the foundry turns out a large amount of Admiralty work, and has facilities for casting bronze propellers up to 10 tons in weight. The firm has also Cornhill Dry Dock, situated on the north side of the river; its length on bottom is 400 feet, breadth at entrance 44 feet, and depth on sill at high-water spring tides is 17 feet.

Joseph L. Thompson and Sons

Joseph L. Thompson and Sons

The North Sands Shipbuilding Yard is situated near the mouth of the River Wear, the Manor Quay Works being about a quarter of a mile higher up. The works have the reputation of being among the best kept and most up-to-date of their description on the North-East Coast. The largest amount of tonnage launched in one year has been 40,815 Board of Trade gross tons, in the year 1898, but the firm estimate the annual output of the shipyard to be 45,000 tons. They have had the honour of heading the output of tonnage on the Wear for fifteen out of the last seventeen years, and were for three years in succession fourth in the world's annual output of tonnage.

There are five shipbuilding berths, each supplied with powerful overhead hydraulic jib-cranes for hoisting plates, &c. These cranes, of which there are twelve, have a lifting capacity of 35 cwt. with a radius of action of 28 feet and a lift of 52 feet. These and the five hydraulic tower stacking cranes form quite a prominent feature in the shipyard; the latter are used for stacking plates on their edges in circular fashion round the cranes, and have a radius of action up to 34 feet and a lifting capacity up to 5 tons. Practically the whole of the hauling and lifting of material in the yard is done by mechanical power, and only steel-wire ropes are in use, the firm being one of the first on the North-East Coast to adopt hydraulic power. All the frame and beam hoisting, &c., in connection with the framing stage of a ship is either done by hydraulic or electric winches.

Mr. Phorson's hydraulic launching trigger has been used in connection with the launches since the year 1892, this being the first application of the device, which is now used in several of the leading British and Foreign shipbuilding yards.

The North-East Shed is used entirely for machinery in connection with the shell plating department. The four punching machines are placed in close proximity to the planing, scarphing, and countersinking machines, the large rolls and Doxford joggling machine. All machines, where necessary, throughout the works, are fitted with hydraulic cranes, so that plates can be passed from one machine to another with a minimum amount of labour. The rolls just referred to are exceptionally large and of an unusual type, being so constructed that the smaller roll is on top, thus permitting of a smaller radius for bilge and other plates. Opposite these rolls is a hydraulic keel-plate bender and flanging machine, and alongside of it is another scarphing machine. The countersinking machines are of an improved pattern, capable of countersinking plates up to 30 feet long without the plates being moved, the machine itself travelling over the plate.

The North-West Machine Shed is principally used for the preparation of inside plating work, and in this shed there is a spacious floor arranged for the laying-off of bulkheads and other work from plans. The anglesmiths' fires are in the West Shed, and closely adjacent to these the whole of the beam-making work is completed, there being two combined beam benders and punches, and bulb and channel section cutting machines. A hydraulic crane is used for stacking beam bulbs and angles, which it also lifts from the stacking place on to the machines. Alongside this is a latticed girder bridge for carrying the hydraulic riveting machines used for beam making.

The Machine Shed running along the head of the shipbuilding berths is used principally for punching, countersinking, planing and drilling light work. In this shed is a saw capable of cutting through cold iron 10 inches thick at the rate of 5 feet per hour. The machinery in this shed is driven by overhead shafting, the power being supplied by three 40-H.P. motors.

The engine-house, containing gas-engines, air-compressors, hydraulic pumps, &c., is in the centre of the yard. In the East Shed is a large punching machine capable of punching the widest and heaviest plates required. The blacksmiths' shop is a continuation of this shed; the hammers were originally driven by steam, but are now worked by compressed air. The only steam boiler in these works is placed here, the steam from which is used for the gas-heating furnaces and the ballast pump; the latter is used for filling and testing the ship's ballast tanks, etc. With this exception, steam is entirely dispensed with throughout the works, the power used being hydraulic, electric, or compressed air, the motive force being obtained from numerous gas-engines. At the head of this shed is a laying-off floor for light work. Further down, on the east side of the yard, the plate-furnaces and bending blocks are placed. The furnaces are heated by regenerative gas, made on the premises by special plant, and the angle furnaces in the East Yard are also heated by gas.

The East Yard is almost entirely taken up with a fine range of sheds for the frame-turning, frame-making, and floor-making departments, the whole of this work being entirely completed, including the hydraulic riveting, under the cover of these corrugated galvanized iron sheds. At the furnace mouths are placed large bevelling machines, electrically driven, the machines being capable of bevelling either acute or obtuse angles.

At the entrance of the East Yard is a powerful manhole-punch and joggling machine, and beside it is a hydraulic water-course punch, and a set of straightening rolls; the manhole-punch is also used for pressing short bars which require to be set to an obtuse angle, and it is an effective plate juggler. Hydraulic cranes lift the frames which require to be riveted on to gantries, and these cranes are also used for stacking angles. There is an artesian well, which supplies the whole of the water used throughout the establishment, the well being 177 feet deep with a 6-inch bore.

The Manor Quay Works are very spacious and are used for finishing ships after they are launched, also for the extensive ship-repairing business. The joiners' shop is in these works and is supplied with all the latest wood-working machinery, all the machines being driven by electric motors. The quay frontage is 690 feet. A steam crane traverses its full length, and there is a stationary masting crane, having a lift of 66 feet in height and 15 tons in weight. The whole of the electric plant supplied to these works, including the separate lighting plant, has been supplied by the Sunderland Forge and Engineering Co., of which firm Messrs. Thompson are the principals, Mr. James Marr being managing director of both firms.

Wearmouth Coal Co

Wearmouth Coal Co

The sinking of this colliery was commenced in August 1897, on the site of the abandoned Wear Steel Works, on the north bank of the River Wear, about two miles above Sunderland. Part of the power plant of the Steel Works was used in the construction of the colliery, and to a certain extent is still in temporary use. Sinking operations were carried through without interruption and without encountering any serious difficulty, the Maudlin seam being passed through at a depth of 1,440 feet in December 1898, and the Hutton seam proved in the early months of the following year at 1,580 feet below the surface. The sinking was throughout practically dry, the volume of water to he dealt with never exceeding 70 gallons per minute. In the Spring of 1900 the shafts, which are three in number, were completed so far as was necessary for the winning and working of the "Maudlin" and "Hutton" seams. Two of the shafts, each 20 feet in diameter, are for coal-drawing, and the third, which is 15 feet in diameter, is intended eventually to be the fan shaft. All three are lined throughout with brick walling.

The winding engines at the east and west pits are in every way similar; the cylinders are 34 inches in diameter with a 6-foot stroke, and are fitted with Cornish or double-beat valves, the "cut-off" gear being actuated by a governor of the pendulum type driven by bevel gearing from the crank-shaft. The working steam-pressure is 120 lbs. to the square inch. The winding drums are 20 feet in diameter on the wood cleading, which is 7 inches thick fixed on steel lagging plates. The crank-shafts are hollow, of forged steel, 23 feet long and 17 inches in diameter. The drums are provided with strap brakes worked by foot levers, as well as powerful steam brakes. The winding ropes are of mild steel 5.25 inches in circumference, and are counterbalanced by endless ropes hung from the cages, the double at the bottom running loose in a groove 3 inches wide and 22 feet deep.

The pulley frames are built of steel lattice work, and are erected on solid brickwork pillars built up to the level of the heapstead floor. The winding pulleys are 20 feet diameter on the trod, the rim being built in segments and connected to the solid boss by flat tapered steel spokes. There are at present small temporary cages in use, but it is intended to replace these shortly by double-decked cages to carry four tubs on each deck. The tubs have a capacity of 10.5 cwts. of coal. There will be two levels for both loading the cages at the bottom and landing at bank, so that the two decks may be dealt with simultaneously and thus avoid "decking." The floor of the heapstead is so arranged that the tubs on leaving the cage gravitate to the tipplers, and after being emptied run to creepers at the back of the shafts, which raise them again to a level from which they can serve automatically back to the banksmen at the pit's mouth.

The heapstead is supported entirely on brickwork, the main floor being of steel girders and cement concrete, and the jigging screens and picking belts are carried by steel girders on cast-iron columns. Up to the present the output of the colliery has been entirely disposed of as unscreened gas coal, so that the sizing apparatus is not as yet required, but the coal is all passed over the belts, and any dirt in it is all picked out by hand. Both the seams now being worked provide the highest class of gas coal, practical gas tests giving an average sperm value of 631 lbs. per ton.

The main haulage underground will be on the endless rope system, the engines being on the surface and the ropes carried down the pit through collarings built into the shaft walling. Owing to serious difficulties having been met with, in the shape of large faults in the seams, the haulage is at present all done by auxiliary engines situated in the workings and driven by air at a pressure of 75 lbs. to the square inch. Ventilation will be produced by a quick running, Waddle fan, 25 feet in diameter to the blade tips, and driven by a tandem compound engine having cylinders 18 and 30 inches in diameter respectively, with a 24-inch stroke. This fan and engine, now in course of erection, would probably not be running at the time of the visit of the Members. In the meantime an ample current of air is being obtained by means of a small furnace in one of the 20-foot pits, at a depth of 940 feet from the surface, which has the effect of raising the temperature of the air in the shaft to a mean of only 66° F. in winter, and producing a volume of 80,000 cubic feet of air per minute passing through the workings. There are to be two separate batteries of Lancashire boilers, 8.5 feet in diameter and 30 feet long. That at the West Pit is already in use, working at a pressure of 120 lbs. per square inch. The second battery will be put down shortly to replace the boilers of the old Steel Works.

Central Marine Engine Works

Central Marine Engine Works and William Gray and Co

These widely-known engine works, belonging to Messrs. Wm. Gray and Co., are laid out on an extensive scale, covering, as they do, an area of about ten acres, and being capable of producing engines and boilers ranging in power from 500 I.H.P. to 5,000 I.H.P. They are easy of access by road, rail, and water; they have as quay frontage of 830 feet, and new vessels from any of the local shipbuilding yards can reach this quay without having to go out of the dock system into the open sea.

The works consist of six principal departments, namely, the engine shops proper, boiler shops, pattern shop, foundry, forge, and sheer-legs department. In addition to these these are the usual auxiliary departments, such as copper shop, brass foundry, joiners' shop, painters and tool fettlers' shops, &c., so that the proprietors are able to produce every detail required in connection with the manufacture of marine engines and boilers, as well as the heavy forgings and castings of steamers.

All these departments, both large and small, are laid out so as to facilitate, as far as possible, the transit of the material through the works, the machines, &c., being placed in accordance with the same idea. As a further indication of the size of these works, it may be stated that the number of men employed is about 2,200, and there is a capacity for a yearly output of from 45 to 50 sets of engines, representing about 100,000 I.H.P.

The main shops are 300 feet in length, and consist of seven spans, varying in width from 40 to 60 feet. The engine shops cover a floor area of 62,000 square feet, and the ground floor is entirely paved with wooden blocks. An ample supply of light is provided by means of wide skylights running the whole length of the building. The several bays are only divided from each other by rows of huge cast-iron columns, so that the whole department is easily overlooked by those in charge.

The outside bays are galleried from end to end, and the inside bays fitted with four powerful overhead travelling cranes, driven by square shafting. Each row of columns supports a line of main shafting, and each line is driven direct by a pair of compound engines fixed snugly on the columns, thus dispensing with the intervention of a belt. Many advantages arise from this system of separate driving in departments, and still greater from the plan of direct main driving. The plant embraces machine tools of the heaviest class known, and of the most modern design.

The iron foundry consists of a commodious loam foundry, with a 63 feet span, fitted with a powerful overhead travelling crane capable of lifting 40 tons, and a centre-pillar hydraulic crane to lift 5 tons, and made to turn in a complete circle. This section is amply provided with large casting pits, a range of commodious drying stoves, covered loam stores, &c. At right angles to this is a capacious sand foundry, 320 feet long, comprising two spans of 53 feet and 26 feet respectively, the larger span traversed by an overhead travelling-crane similar to that in the loam foundry, but of lighter make.

There are also four hydraulic cranes of very handy construction. Provision is made for the foundry blacksmiths, for the cleaning of castings under cover, and for the storage of patterns. The large foundry cupolas — of which there are three - are situated in the angle between the loam and sand foundries, and are thus readily accessible from both departments. The proprietors have recently added to their iron foundry facilities by the purchase of the Cliff House foundry from the late Mr. John Muir.

Adjoining the engine shop, on the opposite side to the foundry, is the boiler making department. This comprises two main bays the same length as the engine shop, of 58 feet and 53 feet span respectively, both being traversed by powerful overhead travelling cranes. These cranes are fitted with engines and boilers, so as to be capable of independent driving. The main line of shafting in this department is driven in precisely the same manner as that in the engine department.

In these shops are some powerful machine tools, a very large hydraulic riveting machine, a powerful flanging machine, and a plate-bending machine capable of bending to a circle plates 12 feet in width and up to as much as 2 inches in thickness. There is a circular annealing furnace, capable of accommodating the whole shell of a boiler after the work of welding and flanging has been completed. A speciality in the manufacture of the boilers is noticeable in the welding and flanging of the cylindrical shell plates, and fitting thereto flat end-plates, which are also welded at the corners of their seams. This method entirely obviates the joggling of one plate over another, besides having other advantages. The circumferential part of the shell consists of only two plates, and for boilers up to 13 feet diameter the end plates are in one plate only, the whole shell being thus completed by four plates. The two longitudinal scams of the shell are so placed that there are no seams or rivets under the bottom of the boiler, and, owing to the shell plates being flanged to receive flat end plates, there are no rivet heads protruding from the bottom at either of the ends. Pneumatic caulking is adopted throughout in the boiler work. In connection with these shops there is another bay, about 150 feet long by 75 feet wide, for the accommodation of the lighter work, and yet another range comprising tool store, bar-iron store, tube store, &c.

The forge and blacksmiths' department, as well as the pattern shop, are in the rear of the main buildings, the former being allocated to that position with a view to avoid, as far as possible, the ill effects of vibration in the main shops, and the latter to minimise the risk of fire. The forge includes in its equipment two 15-ton steam hammers, each provided with four 15-ton jib cranes. The waste gases from the forge furnaces are utilized for heating the water by which the boilers are fed.

The forge department is specially equipped and self-contained, having all the machine tools necessary for finishing shafting and other forgings ready for their being fitted in place in the ship. As an indication of the increased requirements of the firm in this department, it may be stated that they have found it necessary to extend their plant, and they consequently, some three years ago, took over the business of the Milton Forge and Engineering Co., which has enabled them largely to increase their output of stern and rudder frames and engine forgings. Within the last few years a drop-hammer forging plant has also been added, capable of dealing with forgings of from 1 lb. to 1 cwt., thus effecting a considerable reduction in hand-labour. In connection with this plant, liquid fuel furnaces have been adopted for heating the material.

On the quay, which is conveniently situated in front of the works, is a set of 80-ton sheer-legs, and a smaller hydraulic jib crane for the lighter weights. The North Eastern Railway Co.'s public dry dock, 600 feet in length, is within a couple of hundred yards of the sheer-legs. A powerful set of hydraulic pumping engines are daily at work on an accumulator, working at 1,000 lbs. pressure per square inch. Hydraulic power is carried into each of the departments, and is utilized not only in cranes and tools, but in lifts to the galleries and in hoisting up and down the great doors at the inlet and outlet ends of the shops. The steam generating plant is situated in close proximity to the main shops, and consists of three Galloway type boilers, adapted to work at a pressure of 205 lbs. per square inch, and fitted with Proctor's mechanical stoker and Green's economiser. These boilers are supplemented by two double-ended marine type of boilers. It is contemplated in the near future to make considerable extensions, including an electric power station. The whole of the works are lighted by electricity, but there is also a service of gas to fall back upon in case of breakdown.

The offices are large and commodious, the present drawing-office, which was re-constructed some five or six years ago, being 70 feet long by 40 feet wide, and thoroughly replete in all its details. It is ventilated by means of two Blackman fans, heated by radiators on Ashwell and Nesbitt's system, and is lighted by electric arc lamps having inverted reflectors, which give a suitably diffused light. An ample photographic studio and record office is attached, easily accessible, and practically under the eye of the head of the department.

The first set of engines built at these works was on the triple expansion principle, and was completed in 1885. Since then business has steadily increased, the output for last year being 29 sets, aggregating 47,700 I.H.P. Some large cargo steamers have been engined at these works, including the "Rangatira," "Tekoa, "Maori," "Aotea," and "Kumara," all fitted out for the frozen meat trade, and the two latter being vessels of 12,205 and 13,165 tons displacement respectively, and each capable of accommodating about 100,000 sheep carcases; the "Cambrian," "Chicago," and "Mount Royal," vessels of 12,369 tons, 13,455 tons, and 15,800 tons displacement respectively; and the twin-screw steamer "Toronto," of 13,273 tons displacement, and having engines aggregating 5,300 I.H.P.

The engines and boilers manufactured at these works have established a record for high economy of fuel, more particularly those fitted to the "Inchmona," "Inchkeith," "Inchdune," "Inchmarlo," and "Nassovia," which are fitted with Mudd's, five-crank, quadruple-expansion engines, boilers working under Ellis and Eaves' system of induced draught at 267 lbs. per square inch, and the "Central" patent superheater. It is now some five years since the first vessel was fitted with this combination of specialities, and it has in the meantime been conclusively proved that a marked saving in coal consumption is effected, the average quantity of coal used per indicated horse-power per hour (as admitted by the owners of the vessels) being not more than 1 lb.

This works out to 15.5 tons per day for a ship carrying 6,170 tons at 9.5 knots; or to 13.25 tons at 9 knots. In other words, 1 ton is carried 1 nautical mile on an expenditure of about one-third of an ounce of coal. Taking coal at 15s. a ton, 1 ton of cargo is carried over 550 miles for an expenditure of ld. for fuel. Contrasted with the average performance of an ordinary set of triple machinery, this gives a saving of one-third in the coal bill.

Amongst the orders in hand are two large sets of machinery (2,500 I.H.P. each) for two oil-carrying steamers, which are being built at the Shipbuilding Department of the firm, for Messrs. M. Samuel and Co., London. The boilers of these vessels are being adapted for the burning of either coal or oil fuel.

Furness, Withy and Co

Furness, Withy and Co

This shipyard has three berths, each capable of taking a steamer up to 500 feet in length, and a graving dock 380 feet long. Next to the graving dock is the fitting and engine repairing shop, containing lathes, planing machines, drills, &c., of the most modern type, including some excellent turret, brass finishing and bar lathes. At the north end of the fitting shop is the power-house, containing engines and dynamos generating 600 horse-power for driving the whole of the machinery in the fitting shop, machine sheds, joiners' shop, saw mills, blacksmiths' shop, and a number of electric winches in various parts of the yard. At the entrance of the graving dock stands a huge crane capable of lifting 80 tons with an outreach of 40 feet.

The machine sheds cover a complete equipment of shipbuilding machinery, including a number of 1.5 inch punching and shearing machines and a 27-foot set of plate rolls. In this shed shell-plates up to 64 feet in length have been manipulated. There are in the shipyard about 3 miles of railways, which, with the large number of travelling cranes and hydraulic cranes, reduces manual labour to a minimum. The frame-turning plant and drafting boards are large enough to deal with a vessel of the size of the s.s. "Campania." The smiths' shop contains about thirty fires, two steam-hammers and one pneumatic-hammer, and has a railway through the centre which is easily controlled either by a steam travelling-crane or by the hydraulic cranes fixed in various parts of the shop.

In the South Yard a new beam shed, 200 feet by 60 feet, has just been erected, containing the most modern punching and shearing machines, beam benders, hydraulic cranes, &c. The joiners' shop is replete with circular saws, band saws, planing machines, dimension saws, &c., everything possible having been done to dispense with hand-labour.

The number of men employed is about 1,000.

Among the numerous vessels built by this firm are the following:— s.s. "Manitou" (ex-"Victoria"), 475 feet long by 52 feet 3 inches, carrying 8,100 tons and steaming about 15 knots loaded. This vessel is fitted up for 120 first-class passengers, and carries 650 head of cattle, and was built to the order of the Wilsons and Furness-Leyland Line; s.s. "Chicago," of similar dimensions and speed to the above, and built for Messrs. T. Wilson, Sons and Co.; s.s. "Rapidan," 475 feet by 56 feet, carrying 11,000 tons and steaming about 11 knots loaded. This vessel carries about 840 head of cattle, and was built for the Chesapeake and Ohio S.S. Co. Two steamers, 430 feet by 48 feet, carrying about 7,700 tons and steaming 11 knots loaded, for the Manchester Liners; s.s. "Pretorian," 436 feet by 53 feet, carrying 8,400 tons and steaming about 13 knots loaded, for the Allan Line; ten steamers, 400 feet by 52 feet, carrying 8,150 tons and steaming 11 knots, for various owners. A large boat for carrying petroleum in bulk is at present on the stocks; also a steamer to carry 9,000 tons for the Hamburg-America Line.

William Gray and Co

William Gray and Co
(See Proceedings 1893, Plate 58.)

In the shipyards are eleven berths, the smallest of which is capable of building vessels of 3,500 tons dead weight, and the larger ones can accommodate vessels up to 500 feet long and beam in proportion. Two vessels now building are 490 feet by 55 feet beam; this beam is the limit on account of the dock exits not permitting vessels of larger beam to pass out to the sea.

The yards are fully equipped with the latest up-to-date appliances, and comprise, in addition to the ordinary punching and shearing machines, bending rolls to take plates of 30 feet in length, plate-edge planing machines taking in the same length of plates, scarphing machines, countersinking machines, multiple rolls, iron saws. In addition to these the yards are equipped with hydraulic plant, comprising cold bending machines capable of bending steel plates, cold, 20 feet in length and 0.75 inch thick, for manhole punching, handhole punching, angle-iron joggling, riveting, and a large number of hydraulic cranes.

All the machines are electrically driven, the firm generating 850 horse-power, having 12 dynamos on their own premises; this is distributed to the various machines, the total number of motors in operation being 104. This power is also used for driving the various appliances in the smiths' shops, saw mills, portable saws, portable pumps, portable fans, for the use of the men whilst working in hot confined spaces. The whole of the winches, numbering 30, for hoisting material on to the ships are also driven by electric power. The power is also used for working a number of portable drilling machines. Electric lights are also fitted throughout the yards, and in many of the shops. Portable cables and lights are also used inside the vessels.

The firm have also recently fitted up a pneumatic plant for riveting, drilling, and countersinking. Railway lines are laid down alongside all the berths. For the purpose of transporting material in the yards, four locomotives are employed, and twelve steam-cranes. All joiners' work, upholstery work, masts, spars, and sail-making by machinery, also model making, are carried out on the premises.

There are also two graving docks, having railways alongside, electrically lighted, and with portable electric lights for use in and under the vessels whilst undergoing repairs. After the vessels are launched they are taken alongside the quays, where sheer-legs and cranes are fitted for completing the vessels.

When in full work about 6,000 men are employed, and the wages paid in 1901 were £495,000.

Irvine's Shipbuilding and Dry Docks Co

Irvine's Shipbuilding and Dry Docks Co

The Shipbuilding Yard and Graving Dock are situated at the entrance to the West Hartlepool Harbour, and were purchased from the founders, Messrs. R. Irvine and Co., by Sir Christopher Furness, M.P., in 1897, and turned into a company, when the shipyard and graving dock were considerably enlarged. There are three large building berths, each sufficiently large to allow vessels being built up to 10,000 tons. The tonnage output last year was 28,202 Board of Trade tons, and, with erections included, 31,731 tons.

The Graving Dock is situated in the Shipyard on the east side of the building berths, and is 380 feet long and 52 feet wide at the bottom. Railways are laid along one side of the dry dock, and a large steam-crane plies thereon, capable of lifting 15 tons at a radius of 35 feet.

On entering the Shipyard through the main gateway, a turn is taken to the left, passing the general offices and stores, which brings one to the frame-turning and beam sheds, angle smiths' shop, &c., with draughting loft over frame-turning shed. Returning, and passing the main gateway, the machine shed is entered, over which are the paint and polishing shops and rigging loft; then comes the boiler and engine-house with plumbers' and coppersmiths' shop overhead, fitting shop with joiners' shop overhead, and on the left is the graving-dock pump-house, also dynamo house, and at the end of this building is the blacksmiths' shop.

The machinery is to a large extent electrically driven, and the works are lighted by electricity; hydraulic power is used for the plate-bending machine, manhole punch, and riveting machine.

Richardsons, Westgarth and Co

Richardsons, Westgarth and Co
(See Proceedings 1893, Plate 58.)

During the last half-century, this great marine engineering establishment has been intimately associated with the progress of steam propulsion. The business was founded more than sixty years ago, at Castle Eden, by the father of the late Thomas Richardson, M.P., and in 1847 was transferred to Hartlepool, the title of the firm being T. Richardson and Sons. In 1894 the business was formed into a private company, and in 1900 an amalgamation was arranged between Sir C. Furness, Westgarth and Co., of Middlesbrough, and William Allan and Sons, of Sunderland, the new company being styled Richardsons, Westgarth and Co.

In the earlier days of the Hartlepool Works, the firm built a number of locomotive and stationary engines, but since 1854 their principal business has been the manufacture of marine engines and boilers, of which upwards of 1,100 sets have been constructed. The works, which are situated on the west side of the harbour, have been practically rebuilt within the past fifteen years, and comprise all the various departments necessary for dealing with the heaviest class of marine machinery.

The Pattern Shop is a lofty, well-lighted building, 120 feet long by 60 feet wide, and has recently been thoroughly equipped with the most modern wood-working machinery.

The Iron Foundry has a total length of 350 feet and is divided into three bays having spans of 53 feet, 43 feet, and 33 feet, respectively. Two 40-ton and one 30-ton three-phase electrical travelling cranes are provided for the heavy lifting, whilst fourteen hydraulic jib cranes are attached to the various columns for dealing with the smaller weights; these latter being served by a separate complete system of hydraulic pumps and accumulators. There are four cupolas supplied with air blast by Roots blowers. The Brass Foundry, which is situated in close proximity to the Iron Foundry, is a building 70 feet long by 50 feet wide, fitted with the usual appliances, including a 3-ton furnace.

The Forge has been entirely rebuilt recently, and consists of three spans of 70 feet, 67 feet, and 67 feet, with a combined length of 310 feet. It contains 5, 4, 3, and 2-ton steam-hammers, served by four new steam cranes of 20, 15, 10, and 5 tons capacity respectively, together with the necessary furnaces, scrap cutters, and other forge machinery. Six new boilers have been erected over the furnaces to utilise the heat contained in the waste gases from the latter. The Smiths' Shop contains 24 fires, a number of furnaces, and four steam-hammers. It is provided with a liberal supply of hydraulic jib-cranes, and is fitted with the usual machine tools and appliances required in this department.

Near the Forge is a building set apart for the erection of |Morison's high-speed stamp batteries, which are manufactured by the company under an arrangement with the High-Speed Stamp Co. A 1600-lb. five-head battery may be seen at work. The crushing capacity of this mill is 100 per cent. greater than the average mill on the Rand.

The Boiler Machine Shop has a total length of 270 feet, and is divided into two spans of 55 feet and 43 feet, the floor being served by two 35-ton travelling cranes, and four smaller overhead cranes. The hydraulic plant comprises one 140-ton Twaddle riveter, one 60-ton riveter, one 20-ton riveter, and a hydraulic flanging press by Tweddle. There is a very complete outfit of drilling, planing, and milling machinery, plate rolls and a circular and elliptical hole-cutting machine.

The Boiler Finishing Shop is a lofty self-contained building in two spans, each of 45 feet, the length being 142 feet. One bay is served by an 80-ton steam travelling crane by Messrs. Joseph Booth, of Rodley, and it is here that the boilers, after being tubed and stayed, are tested by hydraulic pressure before leaving the works. The other bay is set apart for funnels and casings, and is served by a 15-ton travelling crane. This shop contains an annealing furnace, and is provided with all the modern machine tools necessary for the expeditious and satisfactory performance of this class of work. Both Boiler Shops are equipped with complete plant for pneumatic chipping and caulking.

The Machine Shops are divided into five bays, designated, A, B, C, D, and E.

"A" bay is 120 feet long by 50 feet wide, and is utilised by the millwrights, painters, and beltmen, and contains the plumbers' and gas-fitters' shops.

"B" bay is 360 feet long by 35 feet wide, and contains medium-sized lathes, drills, planing, and slotting machines, together with a cold band-saw for iron and steel by Messrs. Noble and Lund, a vertical milling machine by Messrs. Smith, Beacock and Tannett, and a 50-ton Buckton testing-machine.

"C" bay is 360 feet long by 45 feet wide, and is occupied by the heavier class of tools, which include a quadruple geared lathe by Messrs. Shanks, of Johnstone, 35 feet between centres and capable of turning 12 feet diameter; two 30-foot centre lathes by Messrs. Hulse and Co, of Manchester, so arranged that they are capable of taking in 60 feet between centres; three horizontal and vertical planing machines, two by Messrs. Smith, Beacock and Tannett, and one by Messrs. Shanks, the latter planing surfaces 19 feet vertical by 20 feet horizontal; vertical boring machine for cylinders of large diameter; heavy slotting machine by Messrs. Buckton, of Leeds, specially designed for crank webs; slotting machine by Messrs. Shanks, of Johnstone; large band-saw by Messrs. Noble and Lund; vertical lathe for cylinder covers, etc., by Messrs. George Richards, of Manchester; horizontal duplex boring machines by Messrs. Noble and Lund; propeller boring mill, and a large number of heavy shafting and face lathes.

"D" bay is 280 feet long by 30 feet wide, and contains Harvey drilling, tapping, and stud-inserting machines. Pipe-facing machine by Messrs. George Richards, with numerous lathes, milling machines, drills, and planers. In this bay is situated the store and tool room, which is provided with Sellars' Universal and Twist Drill Grinders, Bradley hammer, also lathes, milling machine, band-saw sharpening machines, and every appliance for dealing with tools for the various departments of the works.

"E" bay is 125 feet long by 45 feet wide, and contains lathes, etc., of medium size, turret lathes and milling machines.

The Brass Finishing Shop is 100 feet long by 50 feet wide, and has recently been entirely equipped with new machinery. The machines include a large number of capstan lathes, milling machines, turret boring mill, emery machines of various descriptions, and the usual hand-rest and drilling machines.

The Erecting Shop has a length of 175 feet and a breadth of 60 feet, the height from the floor to the crane rail being 50 feet. This department is served by two 50-ton self-contained travelling cranes by Messrs. Booth, of Rodley, and two 5-ton hydraulic jib cranes by Messrs. Hugh Smith, of Glasgow. The machines include a very large double column drilling, tapping, and stud-inserting machine by Messrs. G. and A. Harvey, of Glasgow. The Fitting Shop, which adjoins the erecting shop, has a length of 160 feet with a width of 30 feet. This department is provided with a 5-ton overhead power travelling-crane, and 3-ton jib cranes on columns, together with an ample supply of all those tools and appliances requisite for the rapid and economical execution of work of this class.

The Evaporator and Finishing Shop is 160 feet long by 40 feet wide. The tools include horizontal drilling, tapping, and stud- inserting machines by Messrs. G. and A. Harvey; key-seating machine by Messrs. G. Richards; vertical drills and emery wheels for various purposes; hydraulic jib cranes of the all-round type by Messrs. Henry Berry, of Leeds.

The Copper Shop is 90 feet in lengths by 60 feet wide, and is fitted with pipe-bending machines by the Leeds Engineering and Hydraulic Co., pneumatic hammer by Messrs. Piercy, of Birmingham, and the usual appliances.

The fire-extinguishing plant consists of a fixed fire-engine with pumps of the Greenwich type, and a quick steaming boiler, by Messrs. Merryweather and Sons, of London, the pumps being capable of discharging 32,000 gallons per hour. The fire-engine house is close to the dock, from which water is pumped, a complete system of 6-inch pipes being laid all round and through the works. The fire-brigade house is situated on the Middleton side of the works, and is fitted up with all the necessary appliances for sudden emergency. Telephonic communication is arranged between the various gatehouses and the firemen's dwellings.

Sheer Legs and Outside Department.— The ships to be engined are berthed at the Central Dock, where a set of 120-ton sheer legs are situated. The dock is in close proximity to the works, and a loop line from the North Eastern Railway system leads directly into the erecting shop. The workshops at the dock consist of a building 110 feet by 45 feet divided into the usual departments, the machines consisting of drills, punching and shearing machine, power hammer, angle-iron cutting machine, etc. There are also Plumbers' Shop, Smithy, and a Joiners' Shop. The machines are electrically driven from the main generating station, and electric power is also used on the ships for portable drilling machines, etc.

Electric Motive Power.— The power required for driving the different shops is generated in a central power station, and distributed by means of electrical machinery to the different points where it is required. The central power-house consists of a brick building 110 feet by 47 feet, divided into four parts, of which (1) contains two marine-type three-furnace boilers each 15 feet by 10 feet; (2) contains two cross-compound Corliss steam-engines, each indicating 500 I.H.P. at a speed of 125 revolutions per minute, and each direct coupled to a three-phase electric generator, capable of absorbing the full output of the engine and working at a tension of 200 volts; (3) contains a single-cylinder engine, indicating 250 I.H.P., driving a 120-H.P. three-phase generator and a 150-H.P. continuous-current generator through shafting. In this part is also fixed a small motor generator of about 70 B.H.P., enabling continuous current to be generated direct from the large three-phase generators, in case the small engine is not running.

An annex recently built contains the hydraulic pumps and air-compressing plant. There is also under test in this department for Messrs. Selby-Bigge and Co., of Newcastle, a 100-kilowatt generator coupled direct to a Weighton-Morison high-speed engine, manufactured by Messrs. Caldwell and Co., of Glasgow.

The number of men employed is about 2,000. The firm has also works at Middlesbrough and Sunderland.

South Durham Steel and Iron Co

West Hartlepool Steel and Iron Co, South Durham Steel and Iron Co

These Works, covering an area of 12 acres at the south end of the town, were laid out about thirty years ago for the manufacture of iron rails. In 1881 they were purchased by Sir. Matthew Gray, who remodelled them for the manufacture of iron plates; and in 1888 the manufacture of steel plates was added.

The plant consists of seven large Siemens steel furnaces, with a casting-pit in front of them, served by three 10-ton locomotive cranes, which deliver the ingots direct to four soaking pits. These are arranged in a line with the cogging mill, and ingots weighing 5 tons are withdrawn from them by a 6-ton travelling crane, and delivered by it to the live rollers of the 36-inch cogging mill; this latter is fitted with tilting gear and all modern improvements. After being rolled in this mill down to the required size, the ingots are passed on by the live rollers to a powerful set of bloom-shears which cuts them into slabs of suitable sizes. The slabs are then lifted by a 4-ton locomotive crane, and transferred to bogies, which convey them to the plate mills. Of these there are three, having a combined capacity of 2,000 tons of finished plates per week. No. 1 mill is a 26-inch pull-over mill, driven by a 36-inch horizontal engine. Here the thinner plates and chequer plates are rolled. No. 2 mill is a 28-inch mill, driven by a 42-inch horizontal engine and reversed by gearing. No. 3 mill is a 30-inch mill, driven by a Ramsbottom reversing engine, having two 42-inch cylinders with 60-inch stroke, and a similar engine drives the cogging mill.

There are also twenty-four puddling furnaces, with two 4-ton shingling hammers and a 22-inch forge train, to provide puddled bars for the manufacture of iron plates, which are rolled in the same mills as the steel plates. No. 3 mill and the cogging mill are in one line at right angles to the Siemens furnaces, and above them all runs a 25-ton travelling crane for changing rolls or gearing, or lifting heavy ingots. This crane also passes over part of the casting pit, which is thus available for making large steel castings when required; but at present the only steel castings made here are steel rolls, &c., for use in the works. Steam is raised by twenty-six vertical boilers, and four large 500-H.P. Babcock and Wilcox boilers, and several Lancashire and donkey boilers.

The works are also fully equipped with fitting shops, test houses, laboratory, and hydraulic machinery for the economical and rapid handling of material, and are equal in every respect to any modern works.

Bamburgh Castle


The village of Bamburgh lies on the sea-coast, fourteen miles north of Alnwick. Its ancient castle stands close to the sea on an almost perpendicular rock of black basalt, 150 feet in height, and is accessible only on the south-east side. The first erection is ascribed by the Saxon chronicles to King Ida of Northumberland, who is said to have named it Bebbanburh after his Queen Bebbe, in 547 A.D. The principal events in its early history are the siege by Penda in 642, the ravages of the Danes in 993, and numerous sieges during the Wars of the Roses. In the reign of Henry VII it fell into decay. In the eighteenth century it became the property of Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham, who in 1720 vested the castle and manor in trustees for charitable purposes. The rash and foolish Jacobite, General Forster, and his brave sister Dorothy, are also connected with its history. Grace Darling lies buried in the churchyard of the village.

See Also


Sources of Information