Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

1925 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Visits to Works

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Note: This is a sub-section of 1925 Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Visits to Works (Excursions) in the Newcastle-upon-Tyne area

Armstrong College


Armstrong College, although the youngest, is now the largest of the three units which together make up the University of Durham. Known in its earlier days as the Durham College of Science, it was founded in 1871 by the joint efforts of the University of Durham and of local leaders of industry, notably certain members of the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers. It has grown rapidly since that time, and was renamed "Armstrong College" in memory of the late Lord Armstrong. Important recent additions to the buildings are the new Boiler-House and Steam Laboratory, the Students' Union, and the new Library. The degree of B.Sc. (in Engineering) may be taken, either as a Pass or as an Honours degree, in any of the following branches: Mechanical Engineering, Marine Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Naval Architecture, Mining, and Metallurgy.

In the case of students having no previous practical training, a Pass degree involves three years' study; while an Honours degree is given to students who, after passing the examinations leading to a Pass degree, take a further year, in which the greater part of their time is devoted to experimental work on some special branch of their subject. Concessions, of time in residence, and in the nature of their entrance qualifications, are granted, subject to special conditions, to students who have had sufficient works' experience previously to entering.

The present heads of the departments of Engineering, Mining, Naval Architecture, Electrical Engineering, and Metallurgy are:—

Professor Charles J. Hawkes (Eng. Commander R.N., retd.), M.Sc., M.I.Mech.E.; Professor Granville Poole, B.Sc.; Professor J. J. Welch, D.Sc.; Professor W. M. Thornton, O. B.E. , D.Sc., D.Eng.; Dr. J. A. Smythe, D.Sc., Ph.D.

The Laboratories of the College of special interest to Mechanical Engineers are: the Stephenson Laboratory, comprising the sections of Internal-Combustion Engines and Strength of Materials, the Cochrane Hydraulics Laboratory, the Boiler House, and the Steam Laboratory.

The internal-combustion engines installed include a 50-b.h.p. Diesel engine with Heenan and Froude dynamometer; a Dorman car engine, with swinging-field electrical dynamometer by Clarke, Chapman and Co., Ltd., of Gateshead-on-Tyne; a Tangye gas-engine, and a Hornsby-Akroyd oil-engine. Full equipment is provided for comprehensive tests to these engines, including air-measuring apparatus.

In the Strength of Materials Laboratory are a 100-ton single-lever testing-machine and a smaller machine of 5 tons capacity. Both are adapted for tensile, compression, and bending tests, and were made by J. Buckton and Co., Ltd., of Leeds. Machines for Brinell, Izod, and other tests are also provided.

Representative types of hydraulic pumps and turbines are installed in the Cochrane Laboratory, and the water- and power- measuring apparatus is designed to include as large a variety as possible. The equipment here, as in the other laboratories, is intended to make the instruction as fundamental in character as possible. In this laboratory is also a Martin-Avery testing machine of 50 tons capacity, designed expressly for compression tests on columns up to 10 feet in length, and bending tests on specimens up to 4 feet width and of 10 feet span. In the new Boiler House are three Lancashire boilers, with Hamar patent boiler settings, mechanically fired by Proctor stokers; one Babcock and Wilcox boiler with chain-grate stoker; and one marine boiler. The feed-pumps are by Clarke, Chapman and Co., Ltd., of Gateshead-on-Tyne, and there is a water softening plant by Lassen-Hjort.

The largest unit in the Steam Laboratory is the four-cylinder vertical engine of 150 i.h.p. with Froude dynamometer, both designed by Emeritus Professor R. L. Weighton specially for experimental work, and made by various local firms. Removable cylinder liners and pistons permit variation of cylinder diameters; Stephenson's link motion with Meyer expansion valves gives variation in the points of cut-off, while the crank-angles may also be varied.

A recent gift is the Parson's experimental steam-turbine, presented by Sir Charles Parsons, which is a replica of the unit upon which his firm have carried out their experimental work. It consists of a single cylinder with seven stages and one expansion, and alternative rotors permit tests of both radial clearance and end-tightened blading. An interesting part of this unit is the diminutive Heenan and Froude dynamometer. There are also in this laboratory a de Laval turbine and other small units.

It is unfortunate that the visit of the Institution coincides with the re-arrangement of machinery consequent upon the opening of the new sections.

Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth and Co

Elswick Works

The Elswick Works were started in 1847 by a small private Company, under the title W. G. Armstrong and Co., for the purpose of exploiting the inventions of Mr. William George Armstrong (afterwards the first Lord Armstrong) in connexion with hydraulic machinery.

These original Works consisted of three shops on a piece of ground of about 5 ½ acres and employed some 180 men. The present Works of the Company at Elswick, Scotswood, Openshaw, and the Shipyards, occupy more than 300 acres, on which are situated some 200 shops, and employ normally about 23,000 workpeople. During the late War these employment figures were at times more than trebled.

In the history of ordnance it is an interesting fact that the first breech-loading rifled gun (a 3-pounder) was manufactured in 1855 and is still to be seen at Elswick by visitors. This weapon, which gave results far in advance of anything previously attained, attracted widespread attention, and three years later larger guns (18-pounders), complete with carriages, projectiles, and fuzes, were submitted to Government tests, and the Committee's reports being favourable, a fresh Company — The Elswick Ordnance Co. — was formed in 1859 to carry out the armament orders received from the British Government. Mr. Armstrong, who was knighted, presented his gun patents to the nation and gave his services to the War Department at Woolwich Arsenal. Four years later, however, in 1863, Sir W. G. Armstrong returned to Elswick, and the two Companies — " W. G. Armstrong and Co." and the " Elswick Ordnance Co." — were combined under the title of "Sir W. G. Armstrong and Co., Ltd.", the attention of this new Firm being devoted specially to the production of Ordnance, business in which soon assumed world-wide proportions.

The manufacture of guns led in time to interest being taken in warships, and towards the end of the " Sixties," and throughout the "Seventies," numerous gunboats were built according to Elswick design and under Elswick supervision at the shipyard of Mr. Charles Mitchell at Walker. An amalgamation of interests followed in 1882, and a new Company was then formed to combine the Shipyard at Walker with the Elswick Works under the title of "Sir W. G. Armstrong, Mitchell and Co." This last descriptive name persisted until 1897, when the business of Sir Joseph Whitworth and Co., at Openshaw, Manchester, was absorbed, and the Company adopted its present name of "Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth and Co., Limited."

In 1883, a shipyard was established at Elswick under the management of Mr. William White, and from this yard in the course of the following years many famous vessels were launched. Mr. White — afterwards Sir William White — left Elswick in 1885 to become Chief Constructor to the Navy, and his place was taken by Mr. Philip Watts (afterwards Sir Philip), who in 1902 was appointed Chief Constructor to the Navy as Mr. White's successor. Sir Philip Watts was followed as Chief Constructor in 1912 by Sir Eustace d'Eyncourt, who had also held office at Elswick, and the latter occupied this important official position until 1923, when he returned to Elswick as Managing Director of the Shipyard. Thus for a period of thirty-seven years the Elswick yard supplied an unbroken line of Chief Constructors to the Navy — a remarkable record.

To render the early history of the Elswick Works more complete, reference should be made also to Mr. George Rendel, who in 1859 was appointed Chief Manager of the Ordnance Works, and to Captain Andrew Noble, who became Joint Manager with him a year later. The former left Elswick in 1882 to take up a Government post at the Admiralty, and his colleague — afterwards Sir Andrew Noble — became, on the death of Lord Armstrong in 1900, Chairman of the Company, a position he held until his own death in 1915. Shipbuilding was carried on at Elswick until 1918, but some years previous to this it had become essential, owing to the increasing size of ships, to find a yard below the Tyne bridges, and in consequence what is now known as the Armstrong Naval Yard came into being.

The first ship built in this yard was H.M.S. "Malaya," laid down in 1913. Apart from the building of new ships during the late War, the Armstrong-Whitworth Yard achieved some wonderful work in the repairing of damaged vessels.

Amongst the many products which now characterize the Elswick Works may be mentioned Naval and Land Ordnance of all dimensions, anti-aircraft guns, Colt automatic machine guns, artillery dragons (tanks), cartridge cases and fuzes, railway mountings, pneumatic tools and plant for various purposes, pumping engines and machinery, marine and locomotive boilers, water and steam turbines, Pelton wheels, and castings, stampings, forgings, and general engineering work of all kinds.

At the Close Works Foundry, Gateshead, refined pig iron is produced and iron castings of all descriptions.

At the Scotswood Works, close to Elswick, ground was acquired in 1897, and works were established for the manufacture of ammunition. Great additions were made during the War to cope with national demands, and the Works have since been reorganized and adapted for the production of locomotives, marine engines, gas and oil engines, air cylinders, as well as for shell and general engineering. At the Armstrong-Whitworth Shipyards the output includes warships of all classes, submarines, passenger liners, cargo ships, oil tankers, train ferries, ice breakers, floating docks, dock gates, and structural work of vast variety. At the Openshaw Works, Manchester, taken over in 1897, when the business of Sir Joseph Whitworth and Co. was absorbed, are the Steel Works and the Armour Plate plant of the Company, as well as the Machine Tool and other departments. Heavy forgings, cranes, paper-making machinery, pumping plant, electric generators, refrigerating machinery, road making machinery, with foundry work of all kinds, are features of these Works.

Supplementing the foregoing brief outline of the activities of this great Firm, it may not be out of place to mention the names of the following subsidiary businesses in which the Elswick Company is interested: the Armstrong Pozzuoli Company (started in 1885, to undertake work in Italy), the Pearson and Knowles group (Coal and Iron), Armstrong Siddeley Motors, Ltd., the Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Co., Ltd., Crompton and Co., Ltd. (electrical engineers), and Charles Walmsley and Co., Ltd. (paper making machinery).

Brigham and Cowan

Brigham and Cowan

This business was established over half a century ago. The Works are situated on the lower reaches of the River Tyne, and are equipped throughout with the most up-to-date electrical and pneumatic plant and machinery for carrying out all classes of ship, engine, and boiler repairs. There are three dry-docks and a river frontage of 1,100 feet.

From 1914 to 1921 this Firm manufactured the "White" system of low-pressure oil-burning installations, and supplied and fitted out about 600 vessels therewith, including the "Aquitania."

The Managing Directors of this Firm were the first to introduce the process of electric arc welding on the North-East Coast, forming the "British Arc Welding Company (N.E. Coast) Ltd.," at South Shields, for its exploitation. Since its introduction in 1911 they have carried out many thousands of extensive repair jobs to ships, engines, and boilers, etc., in which this process has been utilized.

Clarke, Chapman and Co

Clarke, Chapman and Co

This Firm originated in 1864 and since then has so prospered and increased in dimensions that it can now safely be described as one of the most extensive establishments of its kind in this country for the particular classes of work turned out.

The Works, which cover more than 14 acres, adjoin the London and North Eastern Railway at Gateshead. The buildings comprise large iron, steel and brass foundries; separate erecting and testing shops for all descriptions of auxiliary marine machinery, pumps and pumping machinery and electrical machinery; special shops for the manufacture of colliery haulage winding machinery and compressed air machinery; boiler shops for all types of boilers; with forge and smithy and copper-smith shop, mirror and lens departments, electric sub-stations, store-houses, dining-rooms, canteen, offices, etc. All the buildings are spacious and well-lighted, and the large offices fitly illustrate the firm's extensive commercial routine.

The various departments are complete with machinery representative of the latest developments of mechanical engineering science as applied to their respective specialities. The motive power throughout is electrical, as is also the illumination. A more up-to-date equipment for the various processes of manufacture would be difficult to find.

The operations of the firm cover a very comprehensive range, and for many years they have held an acknowledged position as specialists in auxiliary marine machinery, both electrical and steam driven. To their specialities, the manufacture of all types of colliery machinery, including haulage and winding gears, has now been added.

The following short resume illustrates the wide range of items manufactured for marine and other purposes:-

Winches of many designs, driven by hand, steam, electric or electro-hydraulic power, with spur or frictional gearing for passenger or cargo vessels, and for hopper barges; also winches driven by oil motors.

Windlasses for vessels of all sizes, driven by hand, steam, electro-hydraulic or electric power; also combined capstan windlasses.

Deck Cranes to lift up to 10 tons with power actuating lifting, slewing and derricking gear.

Capstan Gears as supplied to torpedo boats, torpedo-boat destroyers, scouts, cruisers and battleships of eleven National navies and all the leading steamship companies.

Warping Capstans of various designs with engines or motors above or below deck, or twin pattern with one engine driving two capstans.

Steering Gears for all classes of vessels, as supplied to the various Governments and mercantile and marine services.

Hoists, steam or electric, for coal, ashes, baggage, ammunition, etc.

Auxiliary Boilers of vertical crosstube, tubulous or multitubular, or horizontal marine types, for all pressures.

Pumps of horizontal or vertical, simple or duplex patterns, electrically-driven three-throw pumps, for all purposes and pressures, including the welI known "Woodeson " patent.

Feed Water Heaters of direct contact or surface patterns.

Condensing Plants and surface condensers.

Electric Generating Plants for continuous current, with single or compound condensing or non-conducting engines.

Search Light Projectors with parabolic mirrors and diverging lenses.

Electric Motors of open, semi-enclosed, or totally enclosed patterns f or all duties.

Seamless Steel Boats, launches and lifeboats for all services, with or without steam or petrol motors.

Boat Davits - The sole rights for the "Crossly " gravity type davit have been acquired, and these can be made in three different types: the single boat type, the nested boat, and the "non-nested" two-boat type. The reports which have been received regarding davits of this type which have already been made and are at work are very encouraging and promise a great future.

Water Tube Boilers ("Woodeson's" Patent) specially designed for all pressures and suitable for high power works, large electrical installations, colliery service and all other general purposes where steam is required.

Pulverized Fuel - Pulverizers for the pulverization of fuel are manufactured from the smallest to the largest sizes, and complete installations have been supplied not only for the firing of boilers under this new process, but also for cement kilns and for steel and iron works. The special type manufactured is of the "Unit" system, and the many repeat orders obtained are sufficient evidence of the efficiency of this type and system.

Colliery Plant, including haulage and winding gears, compressors of all sizes and designs, small portable air-compressors of very light weight, air cooled, specially suitable for underground work in collieries, etc.

It will be seen from the foregoing that the firm has not overlooked the increasing employment of electrical power, and that they accordingly have alternative steam or electric designs to suit all classes of their productions.

Auxiliary machinery of Messrs. Clarke, Chapman and Co.'s make, both for land and marine purposes, is known all over the world, and keen measures are taken by the management to keep the Firm's productions up to the highest possible standard of efficiency and thus to maintain the first-class reputation they deservedly hold.

In normal times about 3,000 hands are employed.

Co-operative Wholesale Society, Dunston Flour Mills

Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS)

These Mills, owned by the Co-operative Wholesale Society, Ltd., whose headquarters are in Manchester, are situated on the banks of the Tyne, immediately west of the coal-shipping staiths of the London and North Eastern Railway Company at Dunston-on-Tyne, and opposite the Elswick Works of Sir Wm. G. Armstrong, Whitworth and Co., Ltd. The whole of the wheat-handling and flour-milling machinery was erected and installed by Messrs. Thos. Robinson and Son, Ltd., Railway Works, Rochdale.

The official opening took place in April 1891, and the Mills, which have worked continuously ever since, have always been maintained in the highest state of efficiency. Work is carried on night and day, and the Mills are capable of turning out weekly 12,000 sacks of flour of 280 lb. each, and about 600 tons of wheat offals. Deep sea steamers up to 7,000 tons can be accommodated alongside the premises to discharge cargoes of grain, as there is a deep-water berth which enables the cargo to be taken direct from the vessels' holds into the Mill, and the discharging is performed by means of two powerful bucket elevators, each of 80 tons per hour capacity, placed upon the wharf by the side of the Mill. The Grain Silos have a holding capacity of about 20,000 tons, the grain being taken into them, as indicated, direct from the vessels lying alongside the Mill premises.

In addition to the ample facilities above mentioned for receiving raw material alongside, there is a private railway siding connected with the railway lines of the London and North Eastern Railway Company, for the despatch of the finished products direct by rail, and there are also complete arrangements for motor transport loading.

Co-operative Wholesale Society, Dunston Soap Works

Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS)

This Factory is situated to the east of the Flour Mills, which it adjoins, on the Durham side of the Tyne, and was opened in February 1909, the amount of land available then being only about an acre, which necessitated building on piles in the river bed. The building is entirely of ferro-concrete, on the "Hennebique" system, and was erected by the Society's Works Department, Mr. L. G. Ekins being the architect. It is an extremely compact factory, and storage accommodation has been arranged for on the roof and in cellars. Latterly, adjoining ground was taken over, and the site now affords ample storage facilities.

Most of the material for the Works is shipped to the Tyne, where it is discharged overside into barges, which can quickly be unloaded at the Works' wharf by means of an electric crane.

Raw materials are melted in the basement into settling tanks, from which they are pumped to the soap-boiling room, which is on the highest floor of the Works. From this point the material descends in course of manufacture until it reaches the loading dock level, from which the dispatch of finished goods is effected, either by rail or motor transport.

Numerous ingenious machines and labour-saving devices are in use, and the various floors are served by two lifts. The evaporators used for the waste soap lyes were installed by Messrs. Fullerton, Hodgart and Barclay, Ltd., of Paisley. All kinds of soaps are made here, including household (tablets and bars), soft soap, dry soap powders, polishing powders, toilet soaps in great variety, and a number of toilet sundries. The factory is capable of turning out 250 tons of soap per week, and employs over 200 workers.

The Society started as soap makers over fifty years ago at Durham, the weekly output then being about 7 tons. In 1895 the Durham works were closed, and soap making was commenced at Irlam, near Manchester, a further works being opened at Silvertown, London, in 1908.

Donkin and Co

Donkin and Co

The history of this Firm goes back to 1840, when Mr. David Donkin commenced business in St. Andrew's Street, Gallowgate, Newcastle. The Firm progressed, and in 1876 Mr. George Donkin, a son of the founder, was joined in partnership by Mr. Bryce Gray Nichol, a well-known engineer on Tyneside, and the Firm became known as Donkin and Nichol. It was at this time they commenced the manufacture of ships' steering gears, gaining diplomas at the Tynemouth Exhibition in 1882, and at the Newcastle Jubilee Exhibition in 1887. Since then the Firm has developed steadily, and to-day is one of the foremost in the country in this class of work.

In 1892, on the death of Mr. Bryce Nichol, the title of the Firm was changed to Donkin and Co., and in 1901 a move was made to Walkergate in order to obtain room for still further extensions occasioned by the increasing volume of work. The year 1919 saw the formation of a public Limited Company under the name of Donkin and Co., Ltd.

The Firm's manufactures consist of their well-known steering gears, the "Wilson-Pirrie," horizontal and vertical; and lately, in order to meet the demands of the motor ship, they have allied themselves with Messrs. Laurence, Scott and Co., Ltd., of Norwich, in producing the "Donkin-Scott" electrical steering gear, which is finding much favour among owners. Messrs. Donkin and Co., Ltd., were also the pioneers of the duplex-ram hydraulic telemotor, which has to-day become the accepted design. Their other manufactures consist of watertight doors, ash-hoists, hydraulic brakes, rudder carriers, fairleads, valves, and ship telegraphs.

The Works, which are situated at Walkergate, within eight minutes' train journey from Newcastle, are modern and complete, and comprise pattern shops and stores, brass and iron foundries, brass shop, fitting shop, machine shops, and erecting shop. They are equipped throughout with the most up-to-date plant for turning out work accurately and economically, and have been favoured with contracts for the Admiralty, Crown Agents for the Colonies, and the principal shipbuilders and shipowners at home and abroad.

R. Hood Haggie and Son

R. Hood Haggie and Son

This Firm is one of the oldest-established businesses on Tyneside, and dates back almost 140 years. In the days of the old "wooden walls" the cables then necessary were made of hemp, and were of immense size. Such cables were manufactured in large quantities in the Willington Rope Works. Ropes and cables of Manilla fibre and steel have largely displaced the hempen ropes of olden times, and Willington Works have kept abreast of the times, and are producing cables of high-class quality, steel or fibre, to suit present-day requirements.

The Works cover about 13 acres, and there are three Departments:

(1) Wire Rope Department, where all classes of steel wire ropes are manufactured. Ropes suitable for the mining industry, with its demand for high-class material, ropes for crane and lifting purposes, and all classes of shipping ropes are manufactured daily and in large quantities.

(2) Hemp Rope Department, the products of which are all classes of hempen rope, ranging from small sizes up to the largest cable that can be handled.

(3) Binder (or Harvest) Twine Mills.—Spinning of the special twine necessary for binding the sheaves during the process of cutting by the reaping machines is carried out in these mills.

When fully operating, the firm employs about 1,000 workpeople; for their use there is also provided a suitable Canteen and Recreation Ground.

R. and W. Hawthorn, Leslie and Co

R. and W. Hawthorn, Leslie and Co

The Works of this Company consist of three establishments, viz: (1) St. Peter's Works, Newcastle upon Tyne (Marine Engineering Dept.); (2) Hebburn Shipyard and Dry Dock; and (3) Forth Banks Works, Newcastle upon Tyne (Locomotives and Water-tube Boilers); and when fully occupied the total number of employees is about 10,000.

The Company is one of the oldest in the district, as it had its origin in 1817, when Messrs. R. and W. Hawthorn commenced the manufacture of steam-engines for mill work, etc., at Forth Banks. In 1831 the Company constructed their first locomotive for the Stockton and Darlington Railway. They built the famous "Comet," which ran at the opening of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway in 1835, and since then they have supplied engines to railways in all parts of the world. At an early stage the Marine Engineering Branch was inaugurated, and the manufacture of marine engines, particularly for war vessels, developed so rapidly that in 1870 a separate Works was established at St. Peter's for the construction of marine machinery, which enabled the Company to take its place among the leading marine engineers in the world. In 1885 the present Limited Company was formed by amalgamation with the shipbuilding firm of Messrs. A. Leslie and Co., at Hebburn-on-Tyne

St Peter’s Works - In Marine Engineering Messrs Hawthorn Leslie and Co. hold a foremost place, their Engine Works at St. Peter's being one of the largest of its kind. Since the Firm received its first order from the British Government in 1862 for engines of 150 n.h.p. for the gunboat "Shearwater," it has seldom been without Admiralty work, and has engined war-vessels of every size and type, including the most powerful battle-cruisers for British and Foreign Governments. During the War the Firm's output of this class of machinery at times reached the remarkable total of 1,000 h.p. per day over a long period. The Firm has had extensive experience in every type of propelling machinery f or merchant-vessels, and has kept fully abreast with the latest developments in marine propulsion. Their Works, as well as being laid out for the construction of reciprocating machinery and geared turbines, have recently added a special department for the building of Diesel engines, a set of which was recently tested by the Marine Oil-Engine Trials Committee of this Institution. Present conditions of trade prevent full employment, but the work in hand includes a twin-screw set of quadruple machinery of about 15,000 h.p. for the P. and O. liner now completing at Hebburn; the turbine machinery installation for "H.M.S. Kent" .(one of the new 10,000-ton cruisers building at Chatham Dockyard), also two large sets of double-acting Diesel engines for 10,000-ton oil-tank vessels under construction at Hebburn.

Hebburn Shipyard. - The Company's Hebburn Shipyard is a large up-to-date establishment comprising twelve building berths for vessels up to 700 feet long. The works are equipped with the most modern appliances and facilities for the construction of passenger vessels of all sizes, high-class cargo-vessels, insulated vessels, oil-carrying vessels, shallow-draft steamers, etc., and all classes of warships except armoured cruisers and battleships. The firm has specialized in the design and construction of torpedo-boat destroyers since the inception of this craft, having built no fewer than fifty-six. The Company has just delivered three fine passenger steamers to the British India Steam Navigation Co., Ltd., also a 16,000-ton passenger liner for the London-Bombay Mail Service of the P. and O. Company, a sister ship to which, the T.S.S. " Ranchi," is now completing alongside. Two other vessels have just been handed over, the S.S. " Lindisfarne " and " Newminster," specially designed and built for the Continental trade of the Tyne-Tees Steam Shipping Company. Numerous large and difficult jobs in the way of reconstruction, damage repairs and lengthening have been carried out in the Dry Dock at Hebburn, which is 460 feet long and is well served with modern appliances, including a 21-ton electric travelling crane. The Shipyard has a river frontage of 2,125 feet, employs about 3,500 men, and has a maximum annual output of 100,000 tons. The berths are served by cranes, derricks, hoists and winches, nearly all of the machinery in the Yard being worked electrically. The Yard has recently been re-organized and extended, and the new Woodworking Shop, the new Tower Crane at Fitting-out Berth and the new Frame Bending and Plate Furnaces are worth attention. The Joiners' Shop is 270 feet long by 77 feet wide, three stories high, with a water tower for the sprinkler fire apparatus. The ground floor is fitted as a sawmill, and the two upper floors are equipped with the most modern appliances for turning out joiner and cabinet work. A furniture store 134 feet by 70 feet immediately adjoins the top story. The building is heated and ventilated upon the " Plenum " system, and efficient dust-removing plant is installed. The Tower Crane recently erected at the fitting-out quay has a working radius of 162 feet and can handle loads up to 13 ½ tons at a height of 150 feet above quay level. The two double-ended frame-bending furnaces are capable of taking bars up to 70 feet long, and the new plate-heating furnace can deal with plates up to 26 feet by 8 feet.

Forth Banks Works. - The Locomotive Works of the Company at Forth Banks, Newcastle, are near to the Central Station. They are noteworthy because of the large variety of locomotives which they turn out for railways in all parts of the world, including mainline passenger and goods engines, industrial locomotives, and a special combined locomotive crane. Fireless locomotives for use in dangerous areas are also manufactured, and a large number of internal-combustion locomotives were supplied to the British Government for use in the War Area. Development work in connexion with internal-combustion locomotive and electric locomotives is being actively pursued. At the present time, amongst other orders, thirteen locomotives for the London and North Eastern Railway are being constructed. Water-tube boilers are also manufactured in this department on a large scale.

J. H. Holmes and Co

J. H. Holmes and Co

The Works of Messrs. J. H. Holmes and Co. were started in 1883, and the Firm may therefore justly claim to be one of the earliest electrical engineering businesses in the country.

The original Works were of very modest dimensions, consisting of only one shop, but it was not long before more space was needed, and in 1887 a move was made to new buildings, which have been continually added to from time to time, so that to-day the Factory covers a considerable area and employs in normal times upwards of 500 hands.

The products of the Works include motors and dynamos for all purposes, built for alternating and direct current circuits; transformers of all types and for all purposes; switchgear for high and low tension, alternating and direct current; switchboards and starters; searchlight projectors to Suez Canal and Government requirements; and accessories such as shunt regulators, resistances, and ships' fittings. The Firm has specialized for many years in apparatus suitable for colliery conditions, and their knowledge and experience of adapting electric drives for printing machines is exceptional.

The Works themselves can roughly be divided into three sections: the Old Works, the New Works, and the Erecting Departments for larger machines. In the Old Works the ground floor is devoted to the machine shop; the first floor to electrical fitting, and the making of commutators and switchboards; and the second floor to the manufacture of switchgear and of automatic controllers for newspaper printing presses and paper calenders.

In the New Works the ground floor is equipped with punching and notching machines for the process of armature, pole piece, stator, and rotor core making and building, and on this floor also is a sheet-metal department in which large use is made of electric arc and spot welding and oxy-acetylene welding. On the first floor are situated the winding department and the stowing and impregnating shops; and on the second floor, which incidentally is nearly on the same level as the ground floor of the Old Works and is connected thereto by a covered way, are the armature coil-winding department, the assembly shop for small motors and dynamos, and the test department for these machines. A portion of this floor is also devoted to the painting and packing of smaller machines so that the progress of the parts through the departments is effected with the least possible handling. Above this floor is a store containing all the varied sizes of copper wire and strip, covered and bare, that are necessary for the rapid production of all types of machines.

The third section of the Works - the Erecting Department - consists of a large shop with two tiers of galleries in which the larger machines are assembled, erected and tested, while one of the galleries is devoted to the tool room and the production of small parts on capstan lathes.

Besides these three main sections there is also a well-equipped foundry and pattern shop, with all instrument shop and other subsidiary departments, which together complete a largely self-contained factory dealing with a very wide range of products.

L N E R, Electric Car Sheds


London and North Eastern Railway

The London and North Eastern Railway Company's Electric Car Sheds are situated at South Gosforth, about 21 miles from the Central Station, Newcastle upon Tyne, and were designed to replace those at Walker Gate which were destroyed by fire in 1918.

The Running Shed and Repair Shops are in the one building, which comprises, in addition, offices, stores, and messroom.

The Standing Shed is 720 feet long by 190 feet wide, in three bays. This shed contains ten tracks with pits, and each track can accommodate two six-coach trains. Hot and cold water, together with vacuum cleaning pipes, are fitted to a number of the roads.

The Repair Shop is 425 feet by 60 feet 9 inches, and contains two tracks with pits, the whole being spanned by a 30-ton overhead electric travelling-crane. In addition, there is an Armature Repair Shop, a Sub-station, and a Boiler House.

Land has been reserved to enable the present running shed accommodation of 120 cars to be increased to 240 cars.

Adjoining the car sheds, to the north, is the London and North Eastern Railway Garden Village Estate, which has been established for the Company's employees.

Mercantile Dry Dock, Jarrow

Mercantile Dry Dock Co

These Works were commenced in 1887, and comprise three large modern private dry-docks, together with the necessary workshops, which are fully equipped with the latest tools and appliances for carrying out all classes of ship, engine, and boiler repairs, and have electrical power throughout. They possess their own private mooring buoys and repairing quays over 1,200 feet long, so that vessels can lie alongside for repairs which do not necessitate dry-docking.

There is complete tool equipment throughout, operated by compressed air and electricity, and there are also installations for carrying out electric and oxy-acetylene cutting and welding, with suitable cranes arranged for heavy lifts.

Special facilities are provided for steaming-out oil vessels, and a feature of the works is their private oil bunkering pipe-line, connected to the depots of Shell-Mex, Ltd., and the British Petroleum Company, Ltd., which are situated immediately adjacent to the dry-docks. This arrangement enables oil-vessels, whilst under repair, to have their oil fuel pumped back into the tanks for storage if necessary, or, if they are requiring oil bunkering, to take in their supplies whilst still in dock. This feature secures a valuable saving of both time and transporting expenses to the owners of the vessels.

The Works are adjacent to the special oil jetty at Jarrow Quay Corner, and are very conveniently situated for all the loading and discharging berths.

Carville Power Station, Newcastle

Carville Power Station

The Carville power station of the Newcastle upon Tyne Electric Supply Company, Ltd., started work on 1st July 1904, the capacity then being 11,000 kw. Since then it has been repeatedly extended, and it has now a capacity of 101,800 kw. It is divided into " A " and " B " stations, in the first of which are installed three 6,600 kw. Westinghouse turbo-alternators, and three 5,000 kw. and two 6,000 kw. Parsons turbo-alternators. In the " B " station there are five 11,000 kw. Parsons turbo-alternators.

At the time it was first built Carville was distinctly novel, from the fact that each main generator, with its auxiliary plant, formed a group running almost as an independent station. In addition, large steam-turbines and water-tube boilers, of what were then the most up-to-date type, were employed, and an independent switch-control house was also a feature.

The Independent Unit System - This complete unit system has been carried out through all the Carville extensions up to the present time; that is, each generating set has its own condenser, exciter, and set of boilers and pumps, while on the electrical side there is also a complete set of independent 6,000/440 volt transformers, connected through a switch direct to the alternator terminals, and a low-tension distribution board controlling the alternator ventilating-fan motor, the exhaust-valve motor, the air-pump motor, the oil-pump motor, and the circulating pump motor, this last being situated in a pump-house which is built on the river side. From each low-tension distribution board there are two circuits supplying a switchboard in the boiler-house, which in turn controls circuits supplying the economizer scraper motors, the stoker motors, the induced-draught fans, and the ash exhauster. These distribution boards are arranged in pairs with inter-connecting leads in such a way that if one machine is not running, its auxiliaries may be driven from one of the others. Each pair of generating sets has a common boiler-house, coal bunker, chimney, and railway sidings; and, indeed, it may be said that the only things common to the whole station are the main bus-bars, which are in duplicate, the circulating water system, which is also in duplicate, and the railway sidings.

Switch-Gear. - The main panels in Carville " B " switch-house are of Reyrolle's latest " M " type ironclad pattern. In this design the conductors are so arranged that it is impossible to see or obtain access to live apparatus, and in its general robustness the switch-gear is eminently suitable for dealing with the large quantity of power which must be handled in modern stations. The original switchboard in the Carville " A " station is equipped with apparatus manufactured by The British Thomson-Houston Company, Ltd., and is of open-type moulded concrete design.

Boiler Plant. - The steam-raising plant in the " A " station consists of ten Babcock and Wilcox cross-type marine water-tube boilers, each with an evaporative capacity of 28,000 lb. per hour, and sixteen Stirling four-drum boilers, each with an evaporative capacity of 33,000 lb. In the " B " station the steam-raising plant consists of twelve Babcock and Wilcox cross-type marine water-tube boilers, each with an evaporative capacity of 50,000 lb. per hour. The boiler pressure in the " A " station is 200 lb., and in the " B " station 275 lb., an interesting example of the way in which these pressures are being forced up. In the " B " station the steam temperature is 700° F.

Redheugh Gas Works, Newcastle


The Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead Gas Company has in operation four gas-manufacturing stations, the largest of which is the Redheugh Gas Works at Gateshead, occupying a triangular site of about 26 acres, on the south bank of the River Tyne. The Works are equally convenient for access by water or by rail, as there is a river frontage on the north and west sides, whilst the south-east side adjoins the Tanfield branch of the London and North Eastern Railway. The Works are laid out with excellent internal facilities for dealing with rail traffic, as there are approximately 5 miles of sidings.

Gas was first made at Redheugh in 1876, and some of the original plant is still in use, although, with increasing demand, the whole of the Works has been, of course, enlarged and modernized from time to time.

The Carbonizing Plant comprises four retort-houses containing 88 modern regenerator horizontal settings embracing 809 retorts, which, if placed end to end, would stretch for just under 4 miles. They are capable of producing nearly 12 million cubic feet of coal-gas per twenty-four hours, and are equipped with modern stoking machinery, coal and coke handling plant, coke screens, and storage hoppers. In addition, there are four carburetted water-gas plants, with a total capacity of over 5 million cubic feet per twenty-four hours.

The Coal-Gas Installation is divided into four sections, each retort-house having its own exhausting machinery, condensers, scrubbers, washers, purifiers and meters.

The Water-Gas Plant has its own set of purifiers and relief holder, but all sections can be interchanged. The gas from the various sections is thoroughly mixed by passing through mechanical brush scrubbers for naphthalene extraction before entering the storage holders, of which there are five (two of the spiral type), with a total capacity of nearly 10 million cubic feet. One of the smaller two-lift column-guided holders is now being replaced by a four-lift spiral- guided holder, which will add another million cubic feet to the storage capacity. The coal carbonized per annum at these Works, amounting to almost 200,000 tons, is conveyed in trucks to the retort-houses over nearly 1 mile of viaduct, being stored in bunkers along both sides of the retort-houses at the stage-floor level. From this level it falls by gravity on to the crushers, and is then elevated by means of bucket elevators on to either belt or push-plate conveyors to be thus borne to the hoppers which feed the stoking machines.

There is for sale annually, for domestic and other purposes, nearly 100,000 tons of coke. This is discharged from the retorts by rams on to drag-bar conveyors, whence it is carried by inclined drag-bar conveyors and discharged over screens into the storage hoppers, which are of steel (brick-lined) or ferro-concrete. In No. 1 Retort House a telpher plant is used instead of the drag-bar conveyor.

Nearly all the machinery is electrically driven, and the power is generated by gas-engine driven sets, the voltage being 220 d.c. An alternative supply is also obtained from the Newcastle Electric Supply Company, the 440 volts a.c. being converted, by means of a motor generator, to 220 volts d.c.

About 2,000 tons of neutral sulphate of ammonia are manufactured on these Works each year. After being ejected from the saturator, the salt is partially dried and neutralized in a centrifugal drier, and then passed into a mechanically-driven steam-heated drier, which discharges on to a bucket elevator, from which the salt is taken by means of a belt-conveyor to the store. Sulphur is recovered from the waste gases by means of a Claus kiln.

Of motor spirit about 270,000 gallons are recovered annually from the coal gas, and there is a depot adjoining the Works from which it is supplied in bulk to users in the district.

With respect to the tar produced here, about 2 million gallons per annum is collected in underground wells, and is despatched by barge to the Company's by-product Works at St. Anthony's, where it is distilled and the valuable products recovered.

The gas passes from the holders through a large Governor House, in which the pressure on the various distributing mains (on the south side of the Tyne) is regulated. A large proportion of the gas made here is pumped by means of pressure-raising machinery through a 30-inch main over Redheugh Bridge to a similar governor house, or distributing station, near the Company's Elswick Gasworks, supplying the area on the north side of the river, and to the St. Anthony's storage station at a distance of over 4 miles.

Nearly all repairs and renewals are executed by the Company's own workmen, the Works being well equipped for this class of work in the matter of shops, which comprise Fitting, Smiths', Plumbers', Joiners', and Electricians' Shops.

Newcastle and Gateshead Water Co


Newcastle and Gateshead Water Co

Mechanical Filters. - The installation of new Mechanical Filters at the Whittle Dene Works of the Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company consists of forty-nine "Bell Bros." pressure filters, collectively capable of filtering 7 million gallons of water per twenty-four hours.

The new buildings comprise a large filter-house, alumina tank-house, engine-room, laboratory, and battery room. The water supply to and from the filters is given by means of a 33-inch diameter cast-iron main. Whittle Dene is situated about 12 miles west of Newcastle.

Pumping Plant. - The new electrically-driven Pumping-Plant at the Benwell Works of the Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company consists of four pumping units each capable of pumping 3 million gallons of water per twenty-four hours against a manometric head of 210 feet, and three pumping units each capable of pumping 600,000 gallons of water per twenty-four hours against a manometric head of 265 feet. The large capacity units comprise two-stage centrifugal pumps and motors of 200 h.p., and the smaller units consist of four-stage "Mackley" centrifugal pumps and motors of 50 h.p. Each pump is driven at a speed of 1,200 r.p.m. by means of a flexible coupling. Benwell is situated on the western environs of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Noble and Lund


Noble and Lund

This business was established in 1886 by Mr. Harry Noble and Mr. Pearson Lund under the style of Noble and Lund, and in 1899 was incorporated as a private Limited Company.

The Works cover an area of about 10 acres, and employ in normal times about 300 men.

The buildings include a foundry 350 feet long by 50 feet wide, fitted with powerful electric overhead cranes; a pattern shop alongside; machine shops and erecting shops, etc.

Heavy and medium-size machine-tools are amongst the special products of these Works.

North Eastern Marine Engineering Co


North Eastern Marine Engineering Co

The Works of this Company are situated on the River Tyne, at Wallsend., midway between Newcastle and the mouth of the river, and about three minutes' walk from Point Pleasant Station on the London and 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.

From the industrial point of view the Tyne outrivals most, if not all, other rivers - Clyde and Thames included - for from Elswick eastward 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 ascendency; and the Works of the North Eastern Marine Engineering Company may be fittingly instanced as representing an important factor of that industrial activity, so far as the manufacture of marine engines and boilers is concerned.

The North Eastern Marine Engineering Company, Ltd., is one of the many establishments which owe their origin to the use of iron and steel in shipbuilding. It was founded in 1865 at South Dock, Sunderland. It commenced on the manufacture of the then high-pressure engine, working at about 60 lb. per square inch. This type gave way to the compound, which in turn fell before the triple- expansion engine, which now works at pressures between 180 to 200 lb. per square inch. More recently have come the quadruple expansion, the turbine, and the internal-combustion engine, all of which are manufactured by the Company.

Looking ahead, the Firm decided to lay down shops at Wallsend, and in 1882, these works were complete, but it was not until 1885 that real production began, since which date they have never been idle. They may be considered as one of the most complete marine-engine and boiler works on Tyneside, as they afford every advantage and resource necessary for the prosecution of the business of marine engineering, and are also within easy distance of the principal shipyards and docks on the river.

The main buildings consist of a symmetrically arranged block of substantial 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 Company'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, etc., and they are thus in a position to execute every detail of manufacture on the spot, without seeking outside assistance.

The river frontage to the Works extends for over 1,000 feet, and to enable vessels of the largest tonnage to lie afloat whilst receiving their machinery, the Company has built a substantial jetty along the whole length of the frontage, upon which is installed a 150-ton electrically-driven hammer-head crane, and two 25-ton electrically-driven jib-cranes, 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; whilst to both main and riverside lines of the London and North Eastern Railway the Company run their own locomotives, conveying material, etc., to and from the Works.

The original shops at Wallsend have been greatly extended and improved, and are now the headquarters of the Company.

In the year 1907 the Firm held the record for the United Kingdom, with an output of 126,630 i.h.p., and for five years in succession it had the largest average output of any firm in the world, amounting to 109,973 i.h.p.

A record in respect to which the Company is rightly proud was the fitting out of the S.S. " War Citadel." This vessel was launched on a Monday afternoon in November 1918, with some auxiliary machinery already fitted on board. The same evening she was brought alongside the Company's fitting-out quay for her propelling machinery and shafting. Steam was raised on Wednesday, and the vessel sailed at 10 a.m. Thursday, the work being completed in sixty-four hours.

Visitors to the Works will be able to see in course of construction in the shops six-cylinder Diesel engines of the double-acting, direct-acting four-stroke type, some of which, with their power developed on a single shaft, are the largest in the country. They will also have the opportunity of inspecting the 1,000 h.p. experimental single-cylinder double-acting direct-acting engine. On this engine various types of fuel-oil are tried, and different types of valve-gear are compared, before incorporating the designs in any new work.

Another branch of the Firm's activities will be seen in the superheater department, where superheaters for both marine boilers and locomotive boilers are made.

Those interested in the scientific control of iron and brass foundries will find in the Works Laboratory a department well to the fore in this direction. The manufacture of all " North Eastern special " cast-iron is controlled here, thus ensuring that the quality of the castings is always up to standard. This special grade is used for cylinder liners, Diesel cylinders, piston-rings, and various other lines of special work.

This Company is the first British licensee to make " Perlit " iron on the " Lang " process.

Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Co


Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Co

These Works are situated on the south bank of the River Tyne, about seven miles from Newcastle. Founded in 1851 by the late Sir Charles Mark Palmer, Bart., the Jarrow Works grew rapidly into an establishment embracing Shipyard, Engine Works, Blast Furnaces, and Iron Rolling Mills, and was formed into a limited liability company under its present designation in the year 1865.

With a view to still further extending its operations in shipbuilding and ship-repairing, and to obtain further outlets for their productions, the Company, in 1911, took over the Hebburn Works of Messrs. Robert Stephenson and Co., Ltd.

The Works at Jarrow and Hebburn cover an area of about 150 acres, with a river frontage of nearly a mile, and they consist of two large Ship-building Yards' capable of laying down simultaneously twelve vessels up to 700 feet in length; two Graving Docks; large Engine and Boiler Works; extensive Steel Works; several Blast-Furnaces; a number of Iron and Brass Foundries; also Forge and Galvanizing Works; and they include within themselves the entire range of operations, from the smelting of the ore to the equipment of the vessel.

The Jarrow Shipyard can lay down vessels up to 700 feet long, a special feature in it being the electrically-driven installation of overhead lifting and transporting trolleyways over the building berths for the rapid handling of the material required for building the ships, the system covering every part of the structure of the vessels in course of construction.

The Hebburn Shipyard, which is similarly well equipped, covers about 40 acres, and can deal with vessels of the largest size. The building berths, which are of concrete, are specially arranged for the rapid handling of material, having concrete paths between each slip, overhead cranes, revolving steel derricks, steel stage uprights, and electric winches, all of the latest types.

At Hebburn also the Company has large boiler shops, together with a large and up-to-date foundry, which supply respectively large numbers of boilers and castings to outside firms.

The Engine Works, which are situated at Jarrow, comprise large boiler shops with electric travelling cranes up to 100 tons capacity, and fitted with machinery of the most modern description for dealing with boilers of all classes; with extensive iron and brass foundries capable of turning out castings suitable for the largest type of modern machinery.

The whole of the machinery in the Engine Works, as well as the Shipyard, is electrically driven, supplied with current from the Company's own power-houses.

The Company's yards have built some very fine ships for eminent shipowning firms, including passenger and cargo steamers, ranging up to 12,000 tons deadweight; refrigerated meat steamers; and oil-tank steamers, which they have built in large numbers, both at Jarrow and Hebburn, for many years with great success. During recent years the Company has built oil-tankers ranging up to 18,000 tons deadweight for the best-known firms. The motor oil-tank, vessel "British Aviator," which was built at the Jarrow Shipyard, and fitted with the "Palmer" Oil Engine (built under the Camellaird-Fullagar and Palmer patents), was one of the latest oil tankers constructed by the Company.

It may be of interest to note that the first iron steamer built by Palmers at Jarrow is still running, though seventy-three years have gone by since she was put into the water. We refer to the historic screw collier "John Bowes."

Altogether the Company has built nearly a thousand vessels of all classes, including 104 warships of various types, amongst them being the large battle-cruiser "Queen Mary," twenty-four battleships and cruisers, and forty-eight torpedo-boat destroyers.

The Company owns two graving docks on the Tyne, one at Hebburn and the other at Jarrow. The Hebburn Dock is the largest on the North-East Coast. It is made of concrete, is 700 feet long, with 90 feet width of entrance, and the depth on sill admits of ships drawing 29 feet of water at ordinary spring tides. The Jarrow Graving Dock is 440 feet long and 70 feet wide. The plant and facilities in the repairing department are extensive, and fully equal to dealing with the great amount of such work undertaken by the Company, many notable repair jobs having been carried out.

The Iron and Steel Works of the Company at Jarrow are extensive, and during the past few years a great deal of reconstruction and modernization has been carried out in connexion with them.

In the Pig Iron Department there are five blast-furnaces of modern design, with the usual equipment of hot-blast stoves. The waste gases from these furnaces are cleaned by the " Halberg Beth " dry process, and are afterwards utilized in operating gas-driven blowing-engines, of which there are four, and eight gas-driven alternators, which generate all the electric power and lighting required by the whole of the Jarrow Works. This Gas-Engine Station is probably the best example of its kind in the country.

In the Steel Works there are two 170-ton Talbot furnaces and a 270-ton mixer making open-hearth basic steel, and there are three 60-ton modern fixed furnaces, mechanically charged, also making similar grade.

The above particulars will give some idea as to the extent of the Palmer Company's Works and operations on the Tyne, where it has for long occupied a great position, and in normal times gives employment to some 10,000 people.

It may be added that the Company also owns a shipyard at Amble and a large dry dock and repairing establishment at Swansea, besides owning the South Pelaw Colliery, Co. Durham, and having large interests in other industrial concerns.

C A Parsons and Co


C. A. Parsons and Co

In 1889 the present Heaton Works, situated at the east end of Newcastle upon Tyne, were founded for the purpose of developing, for Land use, the turbine and all classes of machinery which can be adapted to that mode of drive. Although the first Marine Turbines (which were built in 1894 for the now famous S.Y. "Turbinia") were designed and constructed at Heaton Works, an additional site was chosen in 1898 at Wallsend-on-Tyne, and a Company, called "The Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Company, Limited," was formed, which took over all the Marine work.

In the year 1889 the Heaton Works occupied an area of 2 acres, and the original shop was only 170 feet long by 50 feet wide. On the site were also the necessary offices, pattern shop, blacksmiths' shop, testing room, etc., all adjoining the main building, but the entire staff numbered only forty-eight all told. From this small beginning the present Works, covering over 18 acres, have grown up during the past thirty-four years, and now employ more than 1,200 men.

The standard manufactures at these Works at the present time include the following:-

(1) Steam-turbines of all sizes up to 70,000 h.p. (2) High-speed alternating current dynamos (or " alternators ") for direct coupling to these turbines. (3) Air-coolers for the ventilation of these alternators. (4) Slow-speed alternators for any prime mover. (5) Direct-current generators. (6) Electrical transformers. (7) Mechanical speed-reducing gears to enable high-speed steam-turbines to be utilized for driving slow-speed alternators or dynamos, also slow-speed mill shafts, either with or without ropes. (8) High-speed centrifugal fans, compressors, blowers, exhausters, etc., suitable for direct-coupling to steam-turbines. (9) Surface condensing plant for steam-turbine installations. (10) Searchlight reflectors.

Of these products, apart from the Turbines themselves, by far the most important is the alternating current dynamo, or " alternator." The " Turbo " alternator was originated by Sir Charles Parsons at Heaton Works in 1889. In that year units of only 100 e.h.p. were being built, but in 1913 an alternator of 33,000 e.h.p. was constructed. In present-day practice the power output at a given speed has been increased to more than five times what it was in 1913. In that year an output of 4,000 e.h.p. was considered very large for a speed of 3,000 r.p.m.; at the present time plants of over 28,000 e.h.p. at the same speed are under construction.

The growth, of the Heaton Works, since the foundation in 1889, large as it is, does not give an adequate idea, however, of the stupendous development of the steam-turbine as applied to Land installa tions alone—excluding Marine development altogether. Very early in the development at Heaton it was decided to grant licences to manufacture to other Companies wishing to take up the construction of steam-turbine high-speed machinery connected with them. By the year 1895 the total output from all sources had reached nearly 90,000 h.p., whilst by 1909 there were over 3,000,000 h.p. in use. Before 1914 the output had been further increased by an additional 7,460,000 h.p. - all for Land purposes alone.

Since the Great War it has been impossible to maintain accurate records of the total output of Turbines manufactured for all purposes, but at a conservative estimate the figure for Land purposes alone, representing the total output since the commencement, from all Companies throughout the world, cannot be less than 50,000,000 h.p. The record of the Heaton Works is, indeed, one of continuous pioneering work in the field of mechanical and electrical engineering. The " Turbo " Generators at the Carville Power Station are the Heaton Works' own products, the new extension containing five plants each of 13,500 h.p. Other noteworthy sets amongst recent output are those of 20,000 h.p. for Treforest, 55,000 h.p. for Barking, and of 70,000 h.p. for Chicago.

In the Works, the Original Shop, which has been extended twice, and now has a length of 350 feet, is devoted to small machine work, the construction of valve and governing gear for the Turbines, and to the erection of small turbo-generating plants.

The principal shops devoted to heavy machine work and general fitting and erection of the complete plants consist of four bays, three of which are 385 feet long, and the fourth, a more recent structure, built in 1919, runs to 416 feet in length, and is now the principal Erecting and Armature-Winding Shop. A test-house and boiler plant were installed in the Works in the earliest days, but in 1899, these being found quite inadequate, a new house was built on a much larger scale, subsequent extensions being added in 1905.

In 1924 a special annexe to the main building was built and equipped for testing new designs, and for general experimental work. This shop is complete with its own condensing plant and switching arrangements for testing plants up to 1,000 kw.

The insulation materials, which form so vital a part of electrical machinery, are prepared from the raw material entirely in the Works, in a department specially ventilated and free from dust. The stranded conductors for the alternator " stators " are built up to any desired cross section, and encased in insulating troughs by special machines evolved in the Heaton Works.

Two New Shops have recently been built (1924) which are 222 feet long, one of which is devoted to the erection of electrical transformers (a product which the Company has re-commenced to manufacture) and part of the other to the preparation of soft-iron core-plates for use in building up alternator armatures or " stators " and transformers. The other part of this shop is made into a dust- proof compartment, in which the winding of the transformer coils is carried out.

Situated close to the Armature-Winding Shop is a Balancing House, with specially thick concrete walls, in whirls the alternator “rotors” of the smaller sizes are run up and tested at 33 per cent above normal running speed, and also accurately balanced, before being despatched.

A more extensive balancing house has recently been built (1924), in which even the largest alternator " rotors " can be run up to 33 per cent over speed and balanced. Provision is also made here for running up the largest turbine shafts and disks to a speed of 50 per cent above the normal running speed.

Searchlight Reflectors have been one of the Company's standard products since the foundation of the Works in 1889, and there are special bays devoted to their manufacture, the roofs being of the weaving-shed type, with a good north light. In order to meet demands during the Great War by the Admiralty, War Office, and Allied Governments, the shops were enlarged to three times their previous capacity and the output increased ten-fold - up to 100 mirrors per week, ranging in size from 10 inches up to 5 feet in diameter.

Other important departments of the Works include a large tool room, several experimental shops, electrical and metallurgical laboratories, materials testing room, and stores. There is also a Welfare Department, an Ambulance Room, Canteen, and Works' School for apprentices. The last-named was commenced in 1919 as a natural development of the Works' apprentice scheme, which had been in operation for many years. Practical and theoretical instruction is given, and the custom of the Welfare Department is to put every " Trade " apprentice through the school course, and to encourage further study at evening classes and at college by suitable financial aid.

The ground floor of the main Office Building is devoted to the administrative and general offices, whilst on the floors above room is found for the Turbine and Electrical Design Departments, the General Drawing Office staff, the Print and Tracing Department, and other subsidiary services.

Nearly all the various shops are inter-connected by full gauge railways, electrified by the overhead wire direct-current trolley system, the power being now mainly supplied from the Carville station of the Newcastle upon Tyne Electric Supply Company, Ltd., by means of two sub-stations at Heaton Works. No. 1 substation transforms the 5,750 volt supply down to the 440 volt a.c. service used in the shops. Direct current is also available for driving many of the motors, and for part of the Works lighting, from a motor generator set on the ground floor of the same sub-station.

No. 2 sub-station has recently been added (1924) comprising an additional transformer house and motor generator house.

A reserve supply of direct current is also available from three turbo generators in the Test House with a total output of 400 kw. The turbines are of the condensing type, but can also be run as back-pressure machines to supply exhaust steam to the Works for heating purposes. Automatic telephones are in use throughout the Works.

A. Reyrolle and Co


A. Reyrolle and Co

Although the name of "Reyrolle" dates back to 1886, when the late Mr. Alphonse Reyrolle established a small workshop in London under the title of A. Reyrolle and Co., it was not until the year 1901 that the first Works were built on the present site at Hebburn-on-Tyne.

Commencing with two or three single-storied buildings, with only a few square feet of floor space, the Hebburn Works have grown apace, and in 1922 occupied 150,000 square feet of floor space on a site of 51 acres, which was nearing its economic limit. At this date it was decided to equip a fresh site and to take the opportunity thus afforded of thoroughly modernizing the factory on the original site.

Accordingly a site of 41 acres, already acquired by a far-seeing management, and up to then devoted to the recreation of the workpeople and staff, was laid out to accommodate all the machine-tool operations, except the minor services incidental to the assembly of the apparatus. At the same time a new recreation ground was laid out for the workpeople to replace the site appropriated.

The new buildings are of the most modern type, with light airy bays, and every provision for the safety and welfare of the workmen, as well as for economical production on mass and precision lines.

This new factory comprises nine bays, each 200-250 feet long and 30-40 feet wide, the total area being 72,000 square feet, with ample space available for extension to 200,000 square feet when required.

The machine tools installed are of the most modern type, and the arrangement of bays and equipment is designed to reduce handling to a minimum.

Ample provision in the way of cranes is provided for the transport of material and finished parts, and a battery locomotive with a haulage capacity of 75 tons deals with inter-works traffic on the sidings provided, both the old and the new Works being alongside the North Eastern Railway.

The output of the old Works had reached 140,000 kw. per annum in 1922, and the combined factory is now capable of a considerably larger output. The improved machining and handling facilities are having their effect upon cost of production.

Messrs. Reyrolle have long been noted for their grasp of the problems of Electric Power Supply, and for their success in anticipating safety regulations. At present the Works provide employment for no less than 2,000 workpeople, and a large quantity of metal (steel, cast-iron, copper, brass, etc.) is every week wrought into metal-clad switch-gear for pressures ranging up to 110,000 volts and breaking capacities up to 2,000,000 kva.

Shields Engineering and Dry Dock Co


Shields Engineering and Dry Dock Co

North Shields is now one of the principal fishing ports on the East Coast, and that it has been a fishing centre from early times is indicated by the name itself, for "shields " is an old name for "fishermen's huts." As steam gradually displaced sail from fishing craft the port kept up with the times by building a very considerable fleet of steam-propelled vessels, and the Shields Engineering and Dry Dock Company, Ltd., was the outcome of the necessity for having up-to-date works to carry out repairs in connexion with this fleet. The Company was formed in 1899, and from small beginnings has gradually developed, until it now ranks as one of the leading firms engaged in building engines up to 1,000 i.h.p., and repairing fishing and coasting vessels. The Works are situated near the Fish Quay, at the mouth of the Tyne.

The Engine Works are replete with modern machinery. The Dry Dock, which has been modernized, is 180 feet long, and is emptied by two electrically-driven centrifugal pumps. A compressed air plant serves the dock and the deep-water jetty which runs the whole length of the works. All the electrical machinery is driven by current supplied by the municipality.

The Firm has built machinery for fishing vessels owned in nearly every country from which sea fishing is carried on, but its activities have not been confined to equipment for that particular type of craft. Engines for passenger and river steamers, yachts, tugs, cargo-vessels, etc., have also been built by the Firm, and during the War machinery to full Admiralty specification was constructed for mine-sweepers and mooring-vessels. During the present depression the Firm has been fortunate in securing the contract for the machinery for six steam-hopper barges for the Tyne Improvement Commission, and for a large ferry which is being built on the Canadian Lakes.

In the Repairing Department all classes of work for the smaller types of vessels are undertaken. Extensive damages are continually being repaired, and the conversion of vessels into tugs, salvage steam, whaling vessels, and oil carriers is a class of work which has repeatedly been very successfully carried out. The War taxed the capacity of this department to its limits, as every class of work for the Mine-Sweeping and Patrol Fleets had to be undertaken.

The Company has had considerable experience in repairing wooden steam and sailing ships, and it still does most of the repairs of this description required on the Tyne. As this is quickly becoming a lost art in the North, it is, perhaps, a point of interest to which attention may be directed.

Shields Ice and Cold Storage Co


Shields Ice and Cold Storage Co

The Works of this Company are situated at the Low Lights, North Shields, to which place there are half-hourly services by electric trains from Newcastle. Enormous quantities of ice for the important steam fishing industry of the Port are produced annually by the Company at these Works; millions of tins of canned herrings, and great quantities of meat and fish paste in glass, for distribution to all parts of the world are prepared, under the widely known "Tyne Brand" label.

The ice is produced on the ammonia compression system, the compressors being by Messrs. Pontifex and Sterne. The power is supplied by a compound vertical steam-engine and by several electric motors. Silicate of cotton is used generally for the insulation work, but in an additional Ice Store, recently erected, cork slabs and special facing plaster are employed.

The Canning Works are well up-to-date, the equipment comprising die-stamping presses by various makers, machines for lining tin covers with rubber compound, double-seaming machines for "curling" on the covers of the tins to the bodies, and other ingenious machinery for special purposes. Many thousands of boxes of tinplate are annually received from South Wales and converted here into containers of various suitable kinds.

The methods of making, filling, and sealing the tins, and of carrying out the sterilizing and cooking operations in large steam retorts, will no doubt prove of interest to visitors. Valves for controlling the steam pressures, and automatically operated apparatus for recording the duration, temperature, pressure, etc., of the cooking operation, are attached to the retorts. The Works are capable of handling huge quantities of fish, and in one day can deal with over half-a-million herrings.

The Fishing Industry. - North Shields is the scene of a thriving industry concerned in the catching, smoking, salting, and canning of fish. The Port possesses a large and well-equipped fleet of steam trawlers, which voyage to all parts of the North Sea in quest of fish, and bring to port immense quantities. There is also a large fleet of steam-drifters engaged exclusively in the pursuit of the herring, which fish "shoal" off the coast in the summer months, and are caught in vast quantities during the season.

At one time the fishing was carried out almost entirely without the aid of machinery, but at the present day nearly every vessel is propelled by either steam or oil engines, and contains also a good deal of subsidiary mechanism. The Shields Engineering and Dry Dock Company, Ltd., is an extensive establishment for building and repairing marine engines, docking of vessels, etc., and is kept busily employed by the needs of the fishing fleet. Another branch of the Fishing Industry is concerned with the utilization of fish offal, and in this direction, too, the needs of the industry are well served by the North Shields Fish, Oil and Guano Co Ltd.

Smith’s Dock Co

Smiths Dock Co

This Company was formed in 1899 by the amalgamation of the businesses of Smith's Dock Company, Ltd., H. S. Edwards and Sons, and Edwards Brothers, at that time carrying on both shipbuilding and ship-repairing operations on the River Tyne.

The businesses, which had been developed by the Smith family and the Edwards family, have been in continuous existence for over 150 years; that of the Smith family having been founded at St. Peter's, Newcastle upon Tyne, in 1756, and that of the Edwards family, at High Docks, South Shields, in 1768. The Company can claim, therefore, to represent the oldest existing shipbuilding and repairing business on the Tyne. Both families are represented on the present Board of Directors by their fourth and fifth generations in the same business.

The River Tees Dockyard. - In 1907 the Company bought a large site on the Tees, about 2 miles lower down the river than Middlesbrough, and upon it was established the first dockyard on that river, which was opened in February 1909.

This establishment has a river frontage of 1/3 mile, and covers an area of 33 acres. It has a shipyard capable of turning out from fifty to sixty vessels per annum of the special type for which the Company has long been famous, such as steam trawlers and drifters, coasting steamers, tugs, steam-pilot vessels, light-draught passenger and cargo vessels; steam hoppers and dredgers; yachts, colliers, and grain carriers; as well as whalers and floating whale-oil factories. There are also engineering shops and four dry docks, the dimensions of the latter being 575, 552, 452, and 400 feet long respectively.

The Company also owns on the Tees a river site of 82 acres, at Lackenby, nearer the Tees mouth; and on the Tyne, 63 acres at Jarrow Slake, for further developments.

North Shields Dockyard. - On the Tyne the Company has two establishments: High Docks, South Shields, and the North Shields Dockyard. The latter is situated at the west end of North Shields, and its western boundary is close to the Albert Edward Dock (opened in 1884). At the time of the amalgamation in 1899, already referred to, a shipyard was part of the constitution of this establishment, but on the opening of the River Tees Dockyard the shipbuilding business was transferred to South Bank.

The North Shields Dockyard is now devoted entirely to ship-repairing. During the years of depression following the conclusion of the War, the whole establishment has been extended and reorganized so as to bring this Dockyard up to the highest possible degree of efficiency.

There are four large dry docks and two floating pontoons. Their dimensions are as follows: 484 feet, 368 feet, 554 feet, and 298 feet in length respectively. One pontoon is 335 feet long, with a lifting capacity of 3,200 tons, and the other is 430 feet long, with a lifting capacity of 6,400 tons. Both pontoons are of the off-shore type, and were the first to be introduced into this country. They are situated at the western end of the Dockyard, the dry docks forming the eastern end.

The two dry docks at the eastern end of the yard are known throughout the shipping world as the Bull Ring docks, made famous for two reasons: one being that near or upon the site was situated the Bull Ring, where bull-baiting was practised in former times; the other being on account of the reputation these docks have acquired for their unrivalled expertness and efficiency in oil-tanker repairs, a reputation enjoyed from the first inception of oil-carrying vessels, and fully maintained up to the present time.

On the site occupied by these two docks there was a graving dock as early as 1752, established by a member of the Collingwood family.

The recent alterations and extensions in this Dockyard are of an interesting character. Dock No. 4, which is 484 feet long, is specially noteworthy on account of its recent extension and for its patent flap gate. The original Smith's Dock (now known as No. 7), built in 1852, has also been extended and improved, and has had a new flap gate fitted.

To make room for new shops, the high ground on the north side of the Bull Ring docks was excavated, 30,000 tons of material being removed to the sea. A retaining wall was built, probably the highest retaining wall in reinforced concrete in the country, the height of which varies from 18 to 50 feet. The length of steel reinforcement used in the first section of the wall was approximately 40 miles, weighing 100 tons.

War Output. - In the Company's ship-repairing departments, during the period of the war, 244 warships and 1,700 merchant vessels were docked and repaired; and, in addition, 98 warships and 1,979 merchant vessels were repaired afloat, making a total of 342 warships and 3,679 merchant vessels dealt with. The total tonnage docked and repaired afloat amounted to 12 million gross tom of shipping.

During the same period the Company's shipyard at South Bank turned out 163 vessels of a special type, most of which were engined at the Company's engineering works at that place.

The Company has established one of the most comprehensive Welfare Schemes in the Kingdom, with a large Institute at North Shields and at South Bank for the young people employed by the Company, each consisting of a large and fully equipped gymnasium, large hall for dances, lectures, etc., rooms for billiards, museum, library and reading room, committee rooms, baths, etc. At each establishment there is also a large and fully equipped Recreation Park. The North Shields Park covers 24 acres, that at South Bank slightly more. These Institutes and Parks are well worthy of a visit.

The Company also issues a magazine known as "Smith's Dock Monthly," which stands high in public favour, and has a wide-spread circulation in shipping circles.

Sowerby’s Ellison Glass Works

Sowerby's Ellison Glass Works

The manufacture of domestic table glassware is an old-time industry on Tyneside, and the above-mentioned Firm, which has been established over 150 years, is one of the oldest businesses in the trade.

The Works are situated in East Street, Gateshead, within five minutes' walk of the Gateshead end of the High Level Bridge, and during the past few years have been practically reconstructed and equipped with the most modern plant. They cover a large area, and the employees number normally about 350. The Firm's productions, which consist of pressed, moulded, cut and engraved glassware, in all colours, and in great variety of designs, have a worldwide reputation. An interesting feature of the Works is the Mould Room department, in which the moulds used are made in the Company's Iron Foundry to suit the designs of the various articles which have to be produced in glass. The production of these iron moulds requires good workmanship, and some excellent examples of this can be shown to visitors.

Another interesting feature is a twelve-pot furnace, recently completed, on the recuperative principle, producer-gas fired, the design and erection of which were by Messrs. Stein and Atkinson, Limited, of London. This type of glass-melting furnace has the reputation of being in the front rank of efficiency for the special purpose in view.

John Spencer and Sons

John Spencer and Sons

This Firm was founded in 1810 by Mr. John Spencer, who served his time as an apprentice in Sheffield, and who in that year commenced business for himself in Newcastle upon Tyne as a File Manufacturer, with his works in the Fighting Cocks Yard, Bigg Market, and his warehouse in the White Horse Yard, Groat Market. Twelve years later, in 1822, he removed to Newburn, where he acquired a water-driven corn-mill from the Duke of Northumberland, and converted it to the purposes of his file-making business.

Gradual progress was made with this "New Sheffield," as it was locally called; additional land was secured, further waterpower utilized, converting furnaces, and later on a crucible plant, were introduced, and in 1845, when further power was required, a horizontal steam engine, supplied by Messrs. R. and W. Hawthorn, was installed, the Newburn Works having become by this time very widely known as a file-making and steel centre.

The advent of the Railway system constituted an important factor in the development of the Newburn Works. George Stephenson, the pioneer of English railways, was born near Newburn, and for some time lived within the bounds of the Works now referred to. The Hawthorns belonged to Walbottle, which is close by. Medley lived at Newborn, and his locomotive, the " Puffing Billy," on its journey from Wylam to Lemington, along the Wylam Wagon Way, traversed the area subsequently occupied by the works of "John Spencer and Sons, Limited." Upon this line was first denionstrated the fact that the adhesion of a wheel on a plane surface was sufficient for traction. It will thus be realized that Newburn and its vicinity have an enduring interest in connexion with early railway matters.

The new railways in all parts were supplied with more or less of their requirements in forgings, springs, and castings from the Newburn Works, the spring and buffer trade receiving special attention, particularly in the matter of Baillie's volute spring, of which Messrs. Spencer were the sole licensees.

The introduction of the steamship, and its development, gave additional impetus to the Newburn Works, and led to increased equipment to meet the demand for large shafting and other requirements. In 1888 the Firm was formed into a limited company, and great extension followed, including complete rolling-mill plant, with the necessary furnace equipment, for the manufacture of ship and boiler plates of the largest sizes, a hydraulic press for the production of heavy forgings, a new steel foundry to deal with the heaviest castings, and an entirely new machine shop.

The history of the Firm covers the long period from 1810 to the present day - about 110 years - and the work of three generations of the Spencer family is represented in its growth, amongst the last of the name concerned in the management being Mr. John Watson Spencer, a grandson of the original founder (and a Member of Council of this Institution), who died in 1908, and Mr. Ralph Spencer, also a grandson of the founder, who was elected Chairman of the Directorate on the death of the preceding.

Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson


Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson

Size and Equipment of Shipyards. - The above-mentioned three yards contain twenty-six building berths, of which the largest are capable of taking vessels approximately 1,000 feet in length; and they are amongst the best equipped shipyards in the world.

The Works at Wallsend and Walker, on the Tyne, occupy 78 acres of land with a river frontage of 4,000 feet. They include the shipyards and engine works of Messrs. Wigham Richardson and Co., founded in 1861, and the shipyards of Messrs. C. S. Swan and Hunter, dating from 1872.

Over all the large building berths there are electric cranes travelling on overhead gantries. Four of the largest berths are covered in with glass-roofed sheds, and having electric illumination, work in them can go on night or day and in any state of the weather.

In one of these berths the 26-knot Express Royal Mail Steamship "Mauretania" was built for the Cunard Steamship Company. One of the four huge battle-cruisers of about 48,000 tons displacement, and with turbine engines to develop 160,000 h.p., which was provisionally ordered from the firm by the British Admiralty, but cancelled owing to the Washington Conference, would have been built on one of these covered-in berths at Wallsend.

Output of Tonnage. - The capacity of these Tyne and Wear Works is 150,000 gross register tons a year, and in engines and boilers 60,000 i.h.p. of reciprocating engines, or an equivalent output of turbine shaft horse-power.

The Firm's yards on the Tyne held the world's record for output in 1906 and 1912, the gross tonnage in them being respectively 126,921 and 126,152 for those two years.

Taking the annual lists of shipbuilders' tonnage launched in all countries during the ten years ended 1913, the output of Messrs. Swan, Hunter, and Wigham Richardson, Limited, has ranked first four times, second five times, and third on the remaining occasion. In 1920, in 1921, and again in 1924, the tonnage launched from their own and associated shipyards was greater than that of any other British shipyard or combination.

Floating Docks. - No firm of floating-dock constructors has done as much as Messrs. Swan, Hunter, and Wigham Richardson, Limited, to meet the ever-increasing need of dry-docking accommodation for harbours in all parts of the world, where docks of the excavated type are impracticable owing to excessive cost or other reasons.

At Wallsend, docks from 400 tons lifting power to 33,000 tons have been constructed. The Firm's shipyard at Southwick on the River Wear was originally laid out in order to relieve the pressure of work on the Tyne yards so far as floating dock construction was concerned.

Types of Ships and Docks Built. - In these Works have been built almost every kind of ship, propelled either by steam-engines or oil-engines, besides many floating docks of various types, dock gates and caissons, and for clients in every quarter of the world. The ships include large Atlantic liners, passenger and first-class cargo ships for the East Indies, China, Australia and New Zealand, refrigerator ships for carrying meat or fruit, emigrant ships, train ferries, ice-breakers, cable-laying vessels, hydrographic survey vessels, sailing ships, floating hospitals, oil tankships, high-speed channel and coasting mail steamships, private yachts, steamships and motor ships for the Great Lakes of North America, plain cargo boats, self-trimming colliers and ore-carriers, floating workshops, cruisers and torpedo-boat destroyers, submarines, an armoured monitor, sloops, and barges.

River Wear Yards. - At Southwick-on-Wear the Company's shipyard has four building berths of lengths up to 450 feet, specially adapted for the construction of floating docks, as well as ships.

Neptune Engine Works, Walker, Newcastle-on-Tyne. - These Works and Boiler Shops have during the last few years been entirely re-arranged and important new buildings erected. They have an annual capacity of about 60,000 i.h.p. of steam or oil reciprocating engines, or an equivalent output of turbine shaft horse-power.

All classes of reciprocating steam-engines, geared-turbines and marine oil-engines are built here. The types of engines constructed include the Metropolitan-Vickers Rateau impulse type of turbine and the "Neptune" two-stroke cycle marine oil-engine. The large twin-screw passenger ships, the "Mendoza" and the "Alsina," owned by the Societe Generale de Transports Maritimes a Vapeur, of Marseilles, and the "Cuba," owned by the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, of Paris, were recently very successfully fitted with this Rateau type of turbine, with double reduction gearing, and they easily attained the required speeds of 17 and 18 knots respectively on trial on a very low consumption of fuel.

The Neptune Engine Works were largely responsible for the development of the combined type of machinery by which the high economy of the reciprocating engine when using high-pressure steam is economically combined with low-pressure steam-turbines. This combination of machinery was successfully carried out in the "Reins Victoria Eugenia," a passenger and mail steamship built for the South American service of the Cia. Trasatlantica, of Barcelona. In this ship there were four propellers, two driven by reciprocating engines and two by low-pressure turbines. A later example of this type is the machinery for the "Lamoriciere," built for the Cie. Generale Transatlantique, of Paris. It consists of one four-crank triple-expansion reciprocating engine balanced on the builders' well-known Yarrow, Schlick and Tweedy system, and two low-pressure turbines with single reduction gear.

The "Neptune" reversible marine oil-engines of the single-acting, two-cycle type have been built at the Neptune Works for more than ten years. Over a dozen ships built and engined by the Company have this type of machinery, the total b.h.p, being close on 27,000.

In this "Neptune" oil-engine great attention has been paid to simplicity and accessibility of all parts. The scavenging pumps are placed at the back of the engine, driving them - together with cooling water pumps, lubricating pump and bilge pump - by levers from the engine crossheads. The cylinders and pistons embody special points; the piston being fitted with an inner casting, ensuring effective cooling and easy accessibility for cleaning. The piston top is symmetrical in shape and a special construction of the scavenging ports has been adopted - the result of long-continued experiments in the Neptune Works. The cylinder liners and cylinder covers are designed so that all metal subject to high temperature is free to expand in every direction, and heat stresses are reduced to a minimum. They are all cooled by sea water, the water joints being so arranged that they are not exposed to the heat and pressure of the combustion gases.

Ship and Engine Repair Works, Wallsend. - Amongst the equipment at this station is comprised the following:- One graving dock 561 feet in length, with 26 feet 8 inches depth on sill at high water; one graving dock 495 feet in length, with 25 feet 8 inches depth on sill at high water; one floating dock capable of lifting ships up to 330 feet in length; steam travelling-cranes; shear-legs lifting up to 80 tons; and a floating crane with a lifting capacity of 150 tons.

Wonderful work has been done in the Dry Docks Department at Wallsend, which includes machine shops, forges, platers' sheds and other facilities for repairing ships and their engines and boilers. The resources of the two adjacent shipyards of the Company and of their Neptune Engine and Boiler Works are available for large repair jobs, which can be executed with great rapidity. During the Great War 520 ships were repaired here; of this total 243 ships were repaired for the Admiralty, including 40 cruisers, 71 torpedo-boat destroyers and flotilla leaders, and 72 submarines.

A subsidiary Company, under the title "Titan Crane, Limited," operates a self-propelling crane of a lifting capacity of 150 tons.

Charles W. Taylor and Son


Charles W. Taylor and Son

These Works were established by the late Mr. Charles W. Taylor in 1890, and were carried on under his personal direction up to the time of his death in 1918. The Firm is now a private limited company, with Mr. C. R. R. Taylor, son of the founder, as Managing Director.

During the early years of the business the manufacture of castings was principally for ordinary reciprocating engines, but as the Turbine type of machinery came more to the front this class of casting was also taken in hand and specialized, with highly successful results. The original Works occupied an area of 2 acres, but in 1909 the business had so far increased as to necessitate considerable additions. The Works now cover an area of 5 acres, and are immediately adjacent to the London and North Eastern Railway and Tyne Dock, thus enabling quick handling of materials by rail or water.

The Shops Nos. 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8, have a floor space of about 4,500 square yards for dealing with large castings, and are served by two 35-ton, six 25-ton, and two 12-ton overhead electric cranes. There are forty-six casting pits, or cases, and each is served by a jib crane for lifting patterns out of the mould; the largest case is 24 feet by 16 feet and 9 feet deep; and castings up to 95 tons weight can be dealt with. The Shops Nos. 3 and 5, in which small castings are made, have a floor space of about 750 square yards, and are also served by jib cranes.

The Foundries have nineteen stoves for the drying of cores and moulds, including one heated by Priest's Patent Furnace, which is also used for the annealing of castings, and is fitted with a pyrometer. There are five cupolas, which have a total melting capacity of about 30 tons per hour, and air is supplied by two Baker blowers driven by two electric motors. Two Cleaning and Dressing Shops, with a floor space of about 600 square yards, are placed at the end of each foundry, and the castings are lifted out of the cases and carried to the cleaners by travelling cranes. Railway sidings run into these shops, so that when castings are cleaned off, they can be lifted into the trucks ready for despatch. Near at hand there are also two Sand-Milling and Mixing Shops, with a floor space of about 520 square yards, in which there are five loam and sand mills, riddles, and mixers driven by motor.

The total output capacity of the Works is now approximately 10,000 tons per annum, and the output includes castings of the smallest and most intricate type up to the largest it is possible to handle. The Firm have been Contractors to the British Admiralty since 1896, as well as to numerous Foreign Powers, and during the War period the Works were solely engaged in the production of castings for battleships, cruisers, destroyers, and standard vessels. The output during that period was remarkable, as the following particulars will show: - Eight sets of turbine-engine castings for Battleships, including the "Queen Elizabeth," " Warspite," "Malaya," "Royal Sovereign," and "Royal Oak"; nineteen sets of turbine-engine castings for Cruisers; fifty-one sets of turbine-engine castings f or Destroyers; and thirty-one sets of reciprocating-engine castings for Standard Ships.

Now that progress in the manufacture of the internal-combustion engine is increasing, castings for this type of engine, from the smallest to the largest, are being manufactured, the results giving entire satisfaction. Widely known on account of its excellent output of propeller castings, solid and built - this being a speciality - the Firm is prepared to guarantee that the pitch and surface are true to drawing. The largest propeller casting, up to 19 feet 6 inches diameter, can be turned out in a week, and prompt despatch of these, as well as other types of castings, is undertaken to any part of the world.

Tyne Improvement Commission


Leaving Newcastle Quay and proceeding westward, the party passed under the Swing Bridge, which was built by the Tyne Improvement Commissioners and opened in 1876 in order to enable large vessels to pass into the upper reaches of the river. The site of the Swing Bridge was originally occupied by a Roman bridge built in the year 120 A.D. by the Emperor Hadrian, and there has been a bridge on this site ever since. The number of vessels whirls passed through the Swing Bridge last year was 11,551.

The bridge immediately above the Swing Bridge is the High Level Bridge constructed by George and Robert Stephenson, and opened in the year 1849. Although designed at a time when rolling stock was very much lighter than at present, the bridge is still equal to carrying present-day traffic, but the congestion on the roadway has become very great, and is to be relieved by a high level road bridge, which is being constructed a little below the Swing Bridge.

The next bridge is the London and North Eastern Railway Company's King Edward VII Bridge, which carries four lines for main-line traffic. It is purely a railway bridge, and was opened by H.M. King Edward VII on the 10th July 1906. It was designed by Charles A. Harrison, D.Sc., M.Inst.C.E., and built by the Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Co., Darlington.

The bridge immediately above the King Edward VII Bridge is the Redheugh Bridge for road traffic only; it was rebuilt in 1901, the former structure being then in an unsatisfactory condition.

Immediately after passing under the Redheugh Bridge the London and North Eastern Railway Company's Dunston Staiths for coal shipment will be observed on the south side of the river.

On the opposite side of the river is the commencement of the well-known works of Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth and Co., Ltd. This Company does not now build warships at Elswick as formerly. Warships as well as large vessels for the merchant service are now built at the Company's Walker Yard, situated eastward of the bridges on the way down river.

Also on the south side of the river opposite Elswick will be seen the Co-operative Wholesale Society's Dunston Flour Mills and the Dunston Power Station belonging to the Newcastle upon Tyne Electric Supply Co., Ltd. Electric power from this station is carried in cables laid in a trench under the bed of the river, and also by means of the overhead lines which will be observed, there being at present seven overhead wires carrying a current of 66,000 volts across the river at a height of about 114 feet above high water ordinary spring tides.

Above the Dunston Power Station, but on the same side of the river, will be seen the London and North Eastern Railway Company's West Dunston Staiths, constructed just before the outbreak of war in 1914, but not used for coal shipment until after the war.

On the south bank of the river immediately eastward of the Scotswood Suspension Bridge, built in 1834, will be noted the Consett Iron Company's Derwenthaugh Coal Shipping Staiths.

On the eastward journey down the river, after passing through the Newcastle bridges, will be seen the quays of the Newcastle Corporation, of which the new one at the east, end was completed only last year. Its length is about 600 feet, with a depth alongside of 25 feet at low water ordinary spring tides.

To the eastward of the Corporation Quays, the Commissioners are now making a Swinging Berth for large vessels, having a diameter of 500 feet, and a depth of 25 feet at low water ordinary spring tides.

On the north bank of the river a little below the Swinging Berth will be seen the St. Peter's Works of R. and W. Hawthorn, Leslie and Co., Ltd., and a little eastward the Armstrong and Walker Shipbuilding Yards of Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth and Co., Ltd., at which the Company is building one of the two battleships laid down some time ago by H.M. Government under the Washington Agreement.

Further on will be seen a number of shipbuilding and engineering works, including those of Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson, Ltd., on the north bank, and R. and W. Hawthorn, Leslie and Co., Ltd. (Hebburn Yard), and Palmer's Shipbuilding and Iron Co., Ltd., on the southern.

At Jarrow Slake may be seen the Oil-Fuel Jetty built by the Commissioners on behalf of the Shell-Mex and British Petroleum Companies for bunkering vessels with liquid fuel.

On the south bank of the river near to this Jetty is the London and North Eastern Railway Company's Tyne Dock, and on the north side the Northumberland and Albert Edward Docks and the Whitehill Point Coal Shipping Staiths, belonging to the Tyne Improvement Commissioners. The Whitehill Point Staiths are up-to-date bunkering places where steamers of large size can be dealt with, the coal being shipped by gravity, electric band conveyor and hydraulic hoist, and the berth alongside No. 5 Staith being dredged from time to time to a depth of 30 feet at low water ordinary spring tides.

Immediately below the Albert Edward Dock will be seen the extensive ship-repairing yard, with both pontoon and dry docks, belonging to Smith's Dock Co., Ltd., after passing which the visitors may observe the three lines of ferries maintained by the Tyne Improvement Commissioners between North and South Shields.

In the lower part of Shields Harbour will be seen the Fish Quays of the Tynemouth Corporation.

Passing into the entrance to the harbour the North and South Piers will be noted. The North Pier is about half a mile, and the South Pier about a mile, in lengths. Shortly after the completion of these works in 1895 the North Breakwater was breached during a succession of severe storms, necessitating reconstruction of the outer half.

The channel of the river is from time to time dredged from the sea westward to Northumberland Dock to a depth of 30 feet at low water ordinary spring tides, and from Northumberland Dock to the Consett Iron Company's Derwenthaugh Staiths to a depth of 25 feet at low water ordinary spring tides, the available depth varying from time to time owing to silting.

Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Co


Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Co

In 1871 the Works of this Company began operations, two slipways comprising the principal scope of its activities and only repair work being then undertaken.

At the present time, in addition to ship and engine repairs of every conceivable description, the construction of marine steam reciprocating, turbine and internal-combustion engines, cylindrical and water-tube boilers, as well as oil-burning installations, is carried out on a large scale. With the gradual expansion, the premises have been extended from time to time to meet requirements, and the Works, occupying an area of 50 acres, are considered to be one of the best equipped in the United Kingdom.

Skip-Repairing Department. - The old slipways were dismantled in 1909, and the land thus vacated has since been utilized for the development of various branches of the undertaking. A Graving Dock, having a length of 540 feet, was built in 1895, and in it ship repairs of a more or less extensive nature have been dealt with from time to time. Perhaps one of the most interesting of these was in respect to the steamship "Savoia," belonging to " La Veloce Company," Genoa, which was lengthened by 70 feet, thus increasing her carrying capacity from 700 to 2,200 tons. Large additions and alterations were also made in her passenger accommodation.

Boiler-Making Department. - In the early days of the Company the boiler-making department was a very modest one, but, in common with other sections of the works, it has since progressed, and is now capable of dealing with any problem that is brought within its scope. The boiler shop is fitted with the most modern appliances for the manufacture of cylindrical and water-tube boilers, and its capacity can be best realized from the fact that the twenty-three double-ended boilers, each weighing about 110 tons, constituting part of the boiler-room equipment of the R.M.S. " Mauretania," were constructed in this shop.

Engine Construction Department. - Although the Company was formed in 1871, it was not until 1874 that the manufacture of marine engines was commenced. A very interesting record of progress in this branch has been revealed since that time. The average production of new propelling machinery in the ten years ended 1896 was 26,145 horse-power, while for the seven years prior to the Great War no less than 83,096 h.p. was the yearly average. These figures are, however, comparatively insignificant when contrasted with the enormous output of the War years, for during that period sixty-eight ships of all classes were equipped with machinery of various types, and the immense total of 1,346,290 h.p. in the aggregate was reached. A comparison of the power of some of the engines built within the last decade is interesting when placed side by side with that of the first set of machinery which the Company built. The enormous total of over 90,000 h.p. has been developed with engines of recent construction, as compared with the modest 120 h.p. of the first set of machinery constructed by the Wallsend Company.

Among the many achievements with which the Company has been identified may be mentioned the supplying of engines and boilers for battleships, comprising H.M. ships " Queen Elizabeth " and " Malaya," the "mystery" ship "Furious," cruisers, torpedo-boat destroyers, submarines, etc., as well as passenger and other liners, including the R.M.S. " Mauretania," which was fitted with turbine machinery developing over 70,000 h.p. The Company also converted the boilers of this great liner to burn liquid fuel on the Wallsend-Howden system.

The fitting and erecting shops are very capacious, and are served with overhead travelling cranes of immense power. In the iron and brass foundries will be found the most modern appliances for the production of castings of large size. Then there are shops for blacksmiths, coppersmiths, plumbers, joiners, and patternmakers, all revealing a complete and up-to-date equipment for carrying on the various crafts.

The Fitting-Out Department is admirably served with sheerlegs of 80-tons lifting capacity, and a giant electric crane on the river front, capable of handling loads up to 200 tons.

Railway facilities are afforded by the London and North Eastern Railway, to which the Works are connected by a complete system of sidings. In close proximity are Point Pleasant, Howdon, and Willington Quay stations.

The general arrangement of the establishment places it in a position of marked advantage for the execution of the heaviest class of work with efficiency and despatch. The largest vessels can be accommodated, repairs or alterations of any magnitude effected, while machinery and boilers of any type and size can be constructed.

Oil-Burning Department. – In the burning of liquid fuel the Wallsend Slipway Company have had over forty years' experience. Research work extending over a lengthy period has been carried out, and as a result the well-known Wallsend-Howden system has been evolved. This system can be applied to both land and marine boilers of all types, whether working under natural, forced, or induced draught. Oil-burning installations in connexion with engines representing a total of more than 7,000,000 h.p. have been supplied by the Company.

Turbine Diaphragm and Blading Department. - In the early days of the marine steam-turbine the Company, observing its future possibilities, made immediate preparation to deal with the manufacture of this type. Complete equipment was laid down for the purpose, and this, in conjunction with continual research, has placed the Company in the forefront among turbine-engine builders.

The number of men employed in normal times is about 3,000.

Henry Watson and Sons


Henry Watson and Sons

The Works of the above Firm are situated in the Walkergate district of Newcastle upon Tyne, and they adjoin the Walkergate Railway Station on the Newcastle and Tynemouth branch of the London and North Eastern Railway.

The site which is occupied by the Works, and which extends to about 6 acres, is almost rectangular in shape, and is bounded on the one side by the London and North Eastern Railway, on which there is a frequent service of electric trains, and on the other side by Shields Road, which is the main artery linking up North Shields and Wallsend with Newcastle upon Tyne, and upon which there is a frequent service of tramway cars. The Company has a private railway siding, and is therefore in an excellent position as far as transport and accessibility are concerned.

The Works are divided into three main departments - the Brass Foundry, the Iron Foundry and the Machine Shop - and the class of work undertaken is mainly marine and motor engineering.

The Brass Foundry is equipped with thoroughly up-to-date plant, and has recently been made capable of dealing with castings up to 16 tons. Solid manganese bronze propellers up to a diameter of 22 feet 6 inches, or loose blades to any size, can readily be cast.

In the Iron Foundry the principal product is motor cylinders, of which about two dozen different types are dealt with. Some of these are supplied to motor manufacturers as castings only, and the remainder are passed into the Machine Shop to be machined and finished.

The class of work undertaken in the Machine Shop is of a very varied nature, including, as it does, practically all types of marine auxiliary machinery, such as pumps, condensers, evaporators, heaters and coolers.

As a whole the Works are capable of employing about 1,000 persons.

Ashington Coal Co


Ashington Coal Co

The Ashington Group comprises four collieries, which are all situated within a radius of 1.1 miles about 18 miles north of Newcastle upon Tyne and 5 miles north of Blyth. From this latter port most of the output is shipped.

The extent of royalty area held by the Company is about 40 square miles, and in this area five seams, varying from 2 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 11 inches in thickness, are being worked. The four collieries are:-

Ashington: with three coal-drawing shafts from 35 to 90 fathoms deep. Daily output 5,000 tons.

Woodhorn: with two coal-drawing shafts 130 and 150 fathoms deep. Daily output 2,600 tons.

Linton: with one coal-drawing shaft 50 fathoms deep. Daily output 1,550 tons.

Ellington: with one coal-drawing shaft 68 fathoms deep. Daily output 1,650 tons.

The output from these seven shafts was 2,617,000 tons in 1924, partly household and partly steam coal. This production was obtained on a double shift system comprising ten days of thirteen hours and one day of eleven hours per fortnight.

All the coal winding is accomplished by steam-engines, a feature of the winding being the very rapid acceleration and retardation, which, coupled with efficient handling of the tubs both at the banking-out and on-setting levels, enables this large output to be drawn with small diameter shafts, none of which exceed 13 feet 6 inches in diameter.

In addition to the steam winders there are three shafts equipped with electric winders, one an A.C. 3,000-volt 3-phase conical-drum winder, and the other two Koepe winders driven by Ward Leonard sets taking power at 3,000 volts. These shafts are used solely for men, this relieving some of the coal-drawing shafts of this duty, and in the case of the Koepe winders, which are situated about a mile from the coal-drawing shafts, putting the men down close to the coal face.

Below ground, at all the pits, extensive use is made of electric power for driving haulers, pumps, conveyors, and coalcutters, whilst in addition each pit has its own compressed-air plant, although the use of this form of power distribution is being curtailed and wherever possible replaced by electric power.

In addition to coal mining, the Company farms about 3,700 acres, and also manufactures bricks, the output of which has recently been increased by installing at Ashington a continuous kiln and machinery capable of making 100,000 bricks a week. The total annual output of bricks is about 10 ¼ millions, and these are nearly all used either in the pits or for the Company's various housing schemes of which the most notable is that at Lynemouth, close to Ellington, where a town of about 1,500 houses is being laid out to accommodate the increasing number of employees, who total at present about 11,000.

In the Northumberland and Durham Coalfield it is customary to supply the majority of the workers with free coal and either a free house or a rent allowance, and the Company owns over 3,040 houses in which their men live rent-free.

For purposes of communication the collieries are linked up by a private railway line, the rolling stock comprising 17 locomotives, 613 waggons and 34 passenger coaches. The railway repair shops are situated at Linton.

Ashington Colliery. - At Ashington, the largest colliery of the group, and the administrative centre, there is an electric power station with an aggregate of 4,600 h.p., generating at 500 volts 3-phase 40 and stepping up to 3,000 volts, for distribution purposes to the other collieries and for linking-in with the Newcastle upon Tyne Electric Supply Company's system of power stations. The steam for this, and for the winding engines, etc., is supplied at present by thirty Lancashire boilers, but there is in course of erection a powdered-coal-fired boiler house which will replace all these boilers. This boiler house is being erected by the Stirling Boiler Co., Ltd., and the Underfeed Stoker Co., Ltd., the latter firm being responsible for the Lopulco system of firing, which has been adopted. All the winding engines and reciprocating compressors exhaust into a common low-pressure main which delivers steam to two mixed pressure turbines, one driving an alternator and the other a turbo-compressor.

The following figures may give some idea of the extent to which power below ground has been developed at this colliery:-

Number of coal cutters: electric, 43, pneumatic, 95. Number of haulers: electric, 68, pneumatic, 7. Number of pumps: electric, 38, pneumatic, 26.

The aggregate electric horse-power below ground at Ashington is about 2,350.

The shops for dealing with repairs and renewals are being remodelled and new and up-to-date additions are in course of construction.

Consett Iron Co

Consett Iron Co

Blast-Furnaces. - This plant consists of eight blast-furnaces, seven of which are 55 feet high, with a hearth diameter of 10 feet. One furnace is 75 feet high, with hearth diameter of 12 feet 6 inches. A 7-ton crane is arranged over the pig-beds to load the combs of pig-iron, by means of magnet, on to bogies for transport to the pig-breakers.

Melting Shop. - This building has a length of 884 feet. The iron from the pig-breakers is taken in charging boxes to the stockyard bay of this Melting Shop, and the scrap from the various mills is also brought in like manner to the same bay.

The melting furnaces are nine in number, arranged in line, six of them having acid bottoms of 70 to 75 tons capacity, and three with basic bottoms of 60 to 65 tons capacity. These furnaces are served by three 100-ton cranes in the Tapping Bay; three 3-ton overhead furnace-chargers in the Charger Bay; and three 14-ton cranes in the Stockyard Bay. All ingots are cast on cars, and are then taken to the stripper house at either the plate-mill soaking-pits or the angle-mill soaking-pits.

Each furnace has a "Woodeson" waste-heat boiler and induced draft fan. The gas-producers, which are of the static water bottom type, with "Chapman" agitators, are arranged in two batteries of nine each at the back of the Stockyard Bay, and are served by an inclined railway delivering the coal into overhead coal-bunkers.

Plate Mill Soaking Pits. - The soaking pits for heating ingots for the plate mill are five in number, and deal with ingots up to 10 tons in weight, being arranged for firing either by producer-gas or coke- oven gas. The ingots from the Melting Shop are stripped by an overhead electrically-driven stripper at one end of the soaking pit building, and are then delivered by an overhead charger into the pits.

Plate Mill. - The ingots from the soaking pits are delivered into a tilting chair, and from thence on in-going rollers to a 40-inch electrically-driven Slabbing Mill, the motor for driving which has a maximum of 14,000 b.h.p., with a varying speed up to 120 r.p.m. The slabs produced are cut by steam hydraulic shears, and then charged into the 6-slab re-heating furnaces, to be re-heated for either of the two plate mills.

The Large Plate Mill has rolls 9 feet 6 inches long suitable for rolling plates up to 9 feet wide by 2 inches thick, there being two stands of rolls, one for breaking down and the other for finishing. This mill is driven by a motor similar to that for the Slabbing Mill and of the same horse-power.

From the rolls the plates pass through a hot Straightening Machine before passing on to the cooling banks, which are equipped with turn-over gear about the centre of the bank. From this bank the plates pass through cross-cut shears, then on to a cold bank, from which part of the plates are delivered to a side-cut shears equipped with an "Ennis" Table, and the remainder to a side-cut shears with a "Castor" bed. From each of the side-cut shears the plates are delivered on to a turn-table with live roller gear for turning the plates lengthwise in the loading bay.

The Light Plate Mill is of the three-high type with rolls 6 feet 6 inches long, to roll plates from inch thick up to 6 feet wide. It is driven by an A.C. motor having a maximum of 5,000 b.h.p. at 240 revs., the driving being through reduction gear arranged in the pinion housings, giving a speed of 52 ½ r.p.m. of the mill rolls. In the run-out from this mill, between the mill rolls and the hot straightening machine, a pair of chequer rolls is arranged for dealing with the plates when required, this chequer mill being driven by an A.C. motor having a maximum of 1,500 b.h.p.

The cooling banks and shears for this mill are similar to the equipment at the 9 feet 6 inches mill, with the exception that there is no "Ennis" table at the side-cut shears. The loading bay for the plate mills is 620 feet long and is served by three magnet cranes of 100-feet-span.

Angle Mills. - For heating the ingots for these Angle Mills, four soaking pits are provided, the ingots being stripped at one end of the building before being charged into the pits. The ingots weigh up to 4 ½ tons, and are delivered on a tilting chariot to the togging mill, which has rolls at 36 inches centres and coggs down the blooms for either the 22-inch or the 32-inch roughing and finishing mills. Between the togging-mill and the roughing and finishing mills a re-heating furnace is installed for re-heating the blooms as required. At the 32-inch mill there are two stands of roughing rolls and one stand of finishing rolls, and at the 22-inch mill one stand of roughing and one stand of finishing rolls. All the above mills are steam-driven.

In addition to the above mills there is a 16-inch roughing mill arranged in tandem with a 12-inch mill for rolling small sections and guide material. The billets for these mills are heated in a continuous-push furnace, and the mills are driven by D.C. motors, the 16-inch roughing mill motor being 250 h.p. at from 60 to 140 r.p.m. and the 12-inch mill motor 500 h.p. at from 60 to 300 r.p.m.

The material from both the 32-inch and 22-inch mill is loaded from the cooling bank by overhead magnet cranes, or placed by this crane on to a transfer gear which delivers it into an adjacent stockyard and finishing bay also served by overhead magnet cranes.

Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Co

Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Co

This business was founded in the year 1877, and has gradually grown until, at the present time, the Works cover 20 acres. They are situated on the main London and North Eastern line, every convenience being thereby afforded for loading and unloading steelwork and other heavy goods. They comprise:-

An Unloading and Storage Yard, in which are installed angle and plate straightening machines, cold saws, cropping machines, and a few drills.

A Main Assembling Shop, 850 feet long by 90 feet wide, and an Auxiliary one 600 feet long by 60 feet wide. In these are installed drilling and riveting machines.

A Shop for Smith Work and Hydraulic Press Work, in which a number of hydraulic presses are in use, the largest being capable of exerting a pressure of over 1,000 tons.

A Templet Shop, a Marking Shop, and a Plate Shop for planing, shearing, and drilling plates, together with Joiner and Fitting Shops for maintenance work, are amongst the other main buildings.

The temporary erection of bridges and other structures is carried out in the Erecting Yard, which is 1,150 feet long by 500 feet wide, and is served by four Goliath cranes varying from 30 to 65 feet in height.

All the shops are equipped with electric overhead travelling cranes capable of dealing with the heaviest weights in use in modern bridge practice. All holes are drilled from the solid, and there are over one hundred Asquith drills of the latest pattern.

The main products of the Firm are steel bridges and buildings, but the Works are equipped for the carrying out of any class of steel structure, including circular work. Their capacity is 25,000 tons per annum of bridgework.

In addition to the manufacture of steelwork for bridges, the Company has a large staff engaged on the foundation work and erection of bridges in all parts of the world, and when fully engaged about 2,000 men are employed in this connexion.

Darlington Forge Co

Darlington Forge Co

The Darlington Forge, one of the most noted firms in the country for the production of forgings and steel castings, commenced operations on a very small scale in the year 1845. At that time the Works covered about an acre of ground, whereas now the Works site consists of upwards of 90 acres of freehold land. For a few years the Company was chiefly concerned in the production of railway requisites, such as wrought-iron wheels, axles, etc., but in the early "Sixties" the management introduced the manufacture of forgings for the mercantile marine, which was then fast developing. For this purpose steam-hammers, cranes, etc., were installed, and, later on, machine and smiths' shops fully equipped with heavy machinery capable of finishing the productions were added. About the year 1888 the business was further extended by the erection of a large steel foundry for the manufacture of the heaviest class of castings by the open-hearth acid process, and it was here that the huge stern frames, brackets, and rudders for the " Oceanic," " Baltic," " Carmania," " Caronia," " Lusitania," " Mauretania," and other steamers for the principal mail and passenger lines were cast.

The Steel Foundry consists of four bays, each approximately 300 feet long by 56 feet wide, equipped with five open-hearth furnaces ranging from 35 to 100 tons capacity, which are served by seven overhead cranes of lifting power varying from 40 to 100 tons. Smaller steel castings are produced in a separate foundry building of two bays equipped with two " Stock " converters, each of 3 tons capacity, and the necessary cranes.

The Press Shed contains three hydraulic forging presses of 4,000 tons, 2,500 tons, and 2,000 tons respectively, in a bay 750 feet long by 100 feet wide, equipped for the easy and expeditious handling of heavy articles, and served by overhead travelling cranes of a capacity ranging from 50 to 250 tons.

The Main Forge buildings, covering various steam-hammers, cranes, boilers and other equipment, are in four sections and occupy 125,000 square feet. Adjoining the main Press Shed is the Smithy, 230 feet long by 75 feet wide, containing the usual smiths' fires as well as three steam-hammers, the largest of which is specially designed for welding iron and steel forgings for stern-frames, etc.

The large Bronze Foundry consists of three bays, each 250 feet long by 50 feet wide, and is equipped for the production of bronze propellers, gun-metal shaft liners of any size or weight, as well as every kind of brass casting.

The dressing of steel castings is done in two shops 280 feet long by 65 feet wide and 150 feet long by 36 feet wide, supplied with sand-blast and pneumatic tool equipment.

The Machine Shops consist of six buildings covering 87,200 square feet, the two largest being 360 feet long by 70 feet wide. These are equipped with thirteen overhead cranes of a capacity varying from 30 tons to 150 tons, and are fitted with the most modern heavy machinery for dealing with forgings and castings up to 150 tons in weight.

The electric power required to drive the whole of the machinery and overhead cranes is generated at a central station by two 1,000 kw. low-pressure turbines and three high-speed reciprocating engines of 350 h.p. each.

The site of the Works, which adjoins the main line of the London and N.E. Railway, is a commanding one, and possesses excellent rail facilities for the transport of material. All the developments and extensions (which, it may be mentioned incidentally, were pioneered and carried out by the late Mr. Wm. Putnam, J.P., Managing Director, down to the time of his death in 1897, and subsequently by his eldest son, Sir Thomas Putnam, J.P.), have been rapid and continuous, and to-day the Works may be said to be second to none in the completeness of their equipment, and in the rapidity with which even the very largest work can be executed.

The reputation of the Works is not confined to the casting of stern and rudder frames. A very considerable and important trade is being done in all classes of locomotive, hydraulic, rolling mill, bridge, marine, electrical, wagon and general steel castings up to any weight.

In the Forge Department, hollow steel shafts, weldless turbine tubes, naval gun tubes and jackets, crank-shafts, screw-shafts, mill rolls, ships' stern-frames, rudder-frames, keel bars, and locomotive crank and straight axles are specialities.

Gun forgings of both special carbon steel and nickel steel form an important and growing part of the Company's numerous manufactures. The hollow forged jackets made here for the 16-inch naval guns weigh 60 tons each when ready for delivery. To give some idea of the enormous size of these forgings, it may be stated that a steel ingot of over 100 tons is required to make one jacket.

The Company's plant is well adapted for the execution of breakdown work, in which they do a considerable business, notably for ships and marine engines.

Large Laboratories are attached to the Works consisting of chemical, microscopical, pyrometrical, and mechanical testing departments, where all the raw materials supplied to the Works undergo a rigid and careful examination and analysis; and all the manufactured outgoing work is subjected to the same careful survey.

The Mechanical Testing Department deals with the tensile, torsional, fatigue, and permeability testing. It is equipped with two powerful 50-ton hydraulic machines for tensile testing; and tests are here conducted on material having varying ranges of tensile strain from a few tons per square inch to material standing the enormous strain of 60 to 70 tons per square inch made from special manganese, silicon, nickel, chromium and vanadium steels.

The Pyrometrical Department deals with the temperatures of the furnaces and with the subsequent heat treatment to which the various kinds of steel are subjected in the hardening and annealing processes. This is considered a great essential, as all steel, whether casting or forging, undergoes a subsequent annealing before being allowed to leave the Works.

L N E R Darlington Works


Darlington Works

These Works, which were built in 1862, and are situated on the main North Road, at the north side of Darlington, comprise the chief building and repairing establishment of the London and North Eastern Railway. The approach to them by rail is at the west end, and from the Darlington-Bishop Auckland Branch Railway.

The offices face the North Road, and are flanked on the north by the Mess Rooms, and on the south by the Divisional Stores.

Entering by the main approach, visitors are faced by the Main Machine Shop. In this, all wheels and axles are dealt with in the left bay, and the right bay is devoted to planing, whilst the main alley-way contains shaping machines, boring machines, band saws, etc. The west end of the left bay is occupied by milling machines of various sizes and types for dealing with new coupling-rods, connecting-rods, and valve-rods. The west end of the right bay is occupied by automatic tools, large lathes, punching-slotting machines, and smaller shaping machines.

Turning to the left at the end of this shop, one passes to the Cylinder Shop, in which the main operations to cylinders are carried out. Boring machines, planing and slotting machines, and drilling and tapping machines are here. The cylinders for new engines are completed and fixed upon dummy frames, the pistons and slide-gear are fitted, and the whole – as one unit – is afterwards conveyed to the new engine-building bays.

Passing through this shop, the Smithy and Forge are reached. This contains 5- and 2-ton steam-hammers and a battery of drop-stamp hammers. The engine spring department is in this building, as well as bolt and rivet-making machines. The steam-hammers are supplied with steam from two Babcock and Wilcox boilers, which also heat part of the shops, and from locomotive boilers which are heated by waste heat from the furnaces over which they are placed.

Passing from the Smithy, through the Boiler House, the Coppersmiths' Shop, Light Boiler Work Shop, and Brake Shop on the right are in turn traversed to reach the Frame Shop. In this are the marking-off tables, axlebox benches, and frame bay. In this latter the new engine frames are straightened, marked off, and burnt to rough shape with oxy-acetylene before passing on to the frame slotting machine in the next shop.

In this shop, frames are slotted and drilled in readiness to place on the erecting pits. There are eight pits available for the erecting of new engines. In addition, there are six pits available for the repairing of the largest locomotives. The cranes over the repairing pits are two lately erected, and capable of lifting 60 tons each.

Beyond this shop is the Light Machine Shop, in which the fitting of connecting-rods and coupling-rods is dealt with. Planing machines, slotting machines, drilling machines, rod grinding machines, automatic machines, and lathes are all to be found here, dealing with the various operations necessary for new work, as well as for repairs.

The Main Engine Repairing Shop is now reached, where there are seventy-two pits in three bays. This shop is 520 feet long and 190 feet wide, and each bay is served by two electric cranes with a capacity of 70 and 15 tons respectively. The pits are laid transversely, the engines being carried by cranes to their required positions. At the east end of this shop are the Tool Tempering and Hardening Shop, the Machine Repairing Shop, and the Millwrights' Department. A gantry runs the entire length of this shop, which is used as a Store for jigs, templates, and gauges for all classes of engines.

Leaving this shop by the door midway in the north wall, the visitor approaches another Machine Shop. This shop, which is 320 feet long and 210 feet wide, contains the following important departments:—(1) Plumbing and Tube Departments, (2) Wet Grinding Department, (3) Engine Gear Fitting Department, (4) Automatic Bolt and Nut Turning Department, (5) Tool and Jig Making Department, and the (6) Brassfinishing Department.

The Tube Department comprises all machines and furnaces necessary for dealing with both ordinary and "superheater" tubes, such as tube-stretching machines, tube-welding machines, tube-swaging machines, etc.

The Wet Grinding Department contains grinding machines for both rough and precision work.

The Fitting Benches are served by all the machines necessary for their products. Valve gear for new engines is here fitted up entirely on a jig to ensure its accuracy before being delivered to the erecting pits, assistance in speedy production being thus secured.

In the Automatic Bolt-Making Department there are machines of varying capacity for turning out bolts and nuts for use throughout the Works.

In the Tool Department are made all the tools and jigs necessary for the production of locomotives "en masse," such as taps, drills, reamers, milling cutters, pneumatic riveting tools and chisels, etc., and jigs for "setting up " work on the machines to facilitate the operations and ensure precision.

The Brass-Finishing Department provides all the brass fittings required for the locomotives - new and old, and also carries out the repairs. The shop is complete with all the necessary lathes, drilling machines, and polishing devices for dealing with brass from the rough casting to the finished article.

At the west end of this Machine Shop, and in an annexe to it, is an electrically-driven pump in connexion with the hydraulic machinery. The accumulator is placed outside, and supplies hydraulic power for the whole establishment.

The brass castings are supplied from a Foundry situated in the Works area which is capable of giving 11 tons per week. It contains all the necessary furnaces — tilting and floor types, and moulding machines to deal with the output. Adjacent thereto is a pattern store and a moulding-plate store.

In the Works Yard are two round sheds, one of which is used for various duties, such as tube rumbling, electric welding, and engine stripping, whilst the other is used for stabling engines after repair in preparation for their trial trips. New engines are also dealt with here. The engine weighing machine is adjacent to this latter shed. Near-by are also the case-hardening furnaces. At the south-east corner of the main shops is the Pattern Shop. This is well equipped with machinery, and comprises the Joinery Department.

The Boiler Shop is some distance away from the main establishment, being about ½ mile in a south-westerly direction. It is by comparison new, being built in 1913. It is situated in a spacious yard, which contains the necessary storage room for completed boilers and tenders (which are repaired here), and plates, both steel and copper. The shop is capable of an output of 200 new boilers per annum, as well as carrying out the repair of boilers of such engines as are being dealt with at the main Works.

There are four bays, containing hydraulic presses, riveting machines, anglesmiths' fires, blacksmiths' fires, and all necessary machines for dealing with boiler and fire-box plates. All boilers are completely mounted with their fittings, and hydraulically and steam tested before leaving. Copper stay making is carried on, on the lines of mass production, and this also applies to the manufacture of vertical stays.

The Tender Department in the southern bay is capable of an output of two tenders per week, and of carrying out the repairs to all tenders of engines repaired at the main Works. Attached to the shop are electric welding plants, this process being followed upon tender tool boxes, engine splashers, and light work.

Further to the west again is the Engine Paint Shop, which is well lighted and heated. It contains the necessary paint-mixing plant.

All the machinery throughout the Works is electrically driven, the power being taken from the Darlington Corporation, and transformed in a Sub-Station in the Works area.

The total number of men employed at the Main Works, Boiler Department, and Paint Shop is 2,900.

The Works are capable of an output per annum of eighty new Engines, 200 new Boilers, and 540 heavily-repaired engines, in addition to a large number of light repairs.

Mess Rooms are provided for the use of the men at the Main Works, and at the Boiler Shop and Paint Shop.

An interesting section is the Artificial Limb Department, in which limbs are manufactured and repaired for men injured on the North Eastern Section of the London and North Eastern Railway.

L N E R Faverdale Wagon Works


Faverdale Wagon Works

These Works are situated 2 miles north-west of Darlington Station, and run east to west, adjacent to the Barnard Castle line. They cover 60 acres, the nearest tram terminus being at Cockerton.

The Wagon Building Works are the most modern in the country and were laid out to the design of Sir Vincent Raven. Their construction was commenced in October 1920 and they were completed in 1923, the first wagon being built in August of that year. They are designed to have a capacity of 200 wagons per week of the 12-ton open goods type, and comprise the following Shops:-

Sawmill. - The first conversion of log timber is carried out in this shop by two 10-inch vertical log band-saws, assisted by two horizontal band-saws. These are of the latest type, being fitted with "niggers" for turning the log, and also with automatic loaders and trout-gear for working the knees of the carriage. The scantling then passes through the smaller machines, all waste wood being, as far as possible, converted into keys, treenails, ferrules, etc., whilst the remaining firewood is automatically conveyed out of the shop.

Timber-Drying Shed. - This shed holds scantling for 10,000 wagons, and is 520 feet long by 120 feet wide. Seasoning is carried out by natural means, the whole building being louvered. The equipment comprises two overhead cranes.

Wood Machine Shop. - This shop is fitted with two large scantling planers and one Woods' deal planer. The timber passes through the various machines, and on arriving at the end of the shop is ready for the builders. The latest wood-working machinery is installed, and includes multi-boring machines, etc., one of which comprises seventy spindles.

The whole of the timber is conveyed on live and ball-bearing rollers, and, as far as possible, is kept off the shop floor, flowing through the shop at the speed at which it is put through the planers.

Building Shop. - This shop is 300 feet long by 240 feet, and has twelve building roads running through it. The wagons are built on their wheels, and all lifting and braking is done in this shop.

Paint Shop. - This is a similar shop to the foregoing, and is heated like the rest of the Works on the "Plenum" system, giving three air-changes per hour. Paint Mixers and other additional auxiliary machinery necessary for painting are installed here. The completed wagons are traversed across the end of this shop, and then put over the "weigh," after which they are sent into traffic.

General Stores. - These are situated in a convenient position for transhipping the ironwork, bolts, wheels, etc., into the Building Shop. This is done by electric runabouts and tractors hauling trailers.

In addition to the buildings above mentioned, there are the Boiler House, Deal Saw Shed, Smiths' Shop, Iron Machine Shop, Oil Stores, Mess Room, Offices, and others.

As a result of the up-to-date equipment installed, the total number of men, including foremen and staff, is less than 500.

Robert Stephenson and Co, Locomotive Works, Darlington


Robert Stephenson and Co, Thompson Street Works

This old-established Firm, whose works were originally at Forth Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, was started in 1823 by George Stephenson, the celebrated engineer, and others, under the name of Robert Stephenson and Co., and it celebrated its Centenary two years ago.

The accommodation at the Newcastle establishment towards the end of the nineteenth century was found to be quite inadequate for modern requirements, and in 1900 the Firm commenced the building of the present Works at Darlington, from which it turned out its first engine - one of a series of passenger locomotives for the Oudh and Rohilkund Railway – in November 1902. The Works are situated about two miles from Darlington Station on the right-hand side of the main line going north, and the enclosed area comprises 23 acres. The shops are modern in every sense of the term, and are laid out and equipped for dealing with main-line engines of the highest class and chiefly of the heavier types. The bays run at right angles to the London and North Eastern main line.

Adequate siding accommodation is provided, and for the most part raw material enters at the south side of the Works, where the Forge and Smithy are situated. Accommodation is provided here for blooms, bars, angles and other raw material.

The Forge, situated on the south side, together with the Smithy, occupy an isolated building, which is well equipped with steam-hammers, ranging from 5 cwt. in the latter to 3 tons in the former. The Forge furnaces are fed from gas-producers adjacent to the building.

Coming to the large central block of buildings, the Boiler shop occupies the eastern end, the Flanging Department being situated on its south side. In this department No. 1 bay contains two large flanging presses, suitable for dealing with the heaviest locomotive boiler-plates, and served by gas-fired furnaces. The angle-iron and dome smiths' fires are in this bay, which is served by an electric travelling crane overhead, together with the necessary jib-cranes.

The next bay, No. 2, is equipped with heavy punching, shearing, plate-edge planing, slotting and drilling machines. The middle bay, No. 3, contains drilling machines of various kinds, slotting machines, planers, etc., and in this bay the cabs are erected.

In the next bay, No. 4, the boilers are erected, drilled in position, and riveted at the large hydraulic gap-riveters. Copper fire-boxes are also dealt with in this bay, and the arrangements for tapping and staying boilers are carried out here.

In the last bay, No. 5, the boilers are completely finished, crown and cross stays fitted, and copper stays riveted before being despatched to the boiler mounting shop. The east end of this bay is occupied by the tank building department.

Turning now to the Machine Shop, and beginning at the south side, there is a light machine shop, adjacent to which is the brass shop, a special store department and tool room.

No. 1 bay in this Shop is fitted principally with lathes, planers, shapers, and slotters, and in No. 2 bay there is similar equipment, but with heavier machine-tools suitable for dealing with coupling and connecting-rods, crossheads and slidebars, axle-boxes and guides.

No. 3 bay has a variety of machine-tools, and includes at the west end the principal fitting shop. It is in this bay that the cylinders are bored, planed, drilled, finished, and tested. All the valve motions are completely fitted here, the various machine-tools for radius grinding, hole-lapping, etc., being placed so as to be convenient to the benches.

In No. 4 bay, the west end is the wheel-and-axle shop. All wheel and axle sets are completed here before passing through to the Erecting Shop. Heavy planing, slotting, and drilling machines for dealing with frames are also conveniently installed, and the tenders are erected in a side section of this shop.

The next bay, No. 5, is the main Erecting Shop, where the engines are built in two parallel rows, the centre pit being reserved for wheeling and valve-setting, etc. Here there are two overhead 50-ton Craven electric cranes, and the various building pits are fitted with convenient jib-cranes. At the west end of this shop is the Steaming Shed, where all locomotives are tried on the drums before finally passing out to the yard for their trials. The centre pit is provided with all gauges from 2 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 6 inches. Adjacent to this Shed, and west of the main building, is the Copper Shop and Brass Foundry.

On the north boundary is the Paint Shop, an isolated building, but within easy shunting distance of the main factory, and with a special connexion to the main line. This building has accommodation for six standard gauge locomotives.

Adjacent to the Paint Shop are the Pattern Shop and Joiners' Shop, which are fitted with modern machinery. The packing of locomotives for export is carried out at the east side of this shop, which is served with a 6-ton crane.

All stripping is done at the west end of the Erecting Shop, and the lighter parts are transported to a specially prepared bay in the Packing Shop, where they are packed for shipment.

In normal times the Works can employ 1,000 men.

North Eastern Paper Mills Co


North Eastern Paper Mills Co

This Company's Paper Mills are situated between Marsden and Whitburn, close to the sea. Originally they consisted of buildings which had been used as a Pulp Mill, with one small machine, but in 1912 the Mill was practically rebuilt and a new up-to-date Walmsley machine was installed, together with a complete new beating-plant. In 1914 the buildings were considerably extended and a further new machine and beating-plant installed. During recent years the old Lancashire boilers have been replaced by three Stirling water-tube boilers and superheaters, with Green's steam economizers, the steam being used only for drying the paper and running the paper-making machines. All the other plant is electrically driven, the power being supplied by the County of Durham Electrical Power Distribution Company, Ltd.

The pulp is brought straight from the docks over the Harton Coal Company's line into the Mill, and coals are easily brought in from the colliery, which adjoins the mill-yard.

" News " is the only kind of paper made, and about 200 men are now employed.

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