Monday, July 25, 2016

Port Operation Refurbishes Historic Listed Dock Structures

Steam Crane and Lock Equipment Get a Facelift
Shipping News Feature
UK – Anyone who has been familiar with Hull docklands over the years will know how the area has evolved into a vibrant community as the old waterside has been developed into housing and retail areas. Now a £500,000 programme of refurbishment is underway on Hull’s Alexandra Dock to ensure the long-term future of three listed structures. Associated British Ports (ABP) has recently invested £200,000 in the Port of Goole’s last remaining boat hoist and this new scheme means the group has spent £700,000 on listed buildings in the past three months.

The Grade II listed Hydraulic Engine House and Tower and the Pumping Engine House, along with the Grade II* listed Steam Crane, are undergoing a programme of restoration which includes the replacement of roofs and windows, as well as new guttering. The work is being carried out by Lincolnshire building and civil engineering specialists A Torn Construction Ltd.

The structures, which were built in the 1880s, were crucial to the operation of the port at the time. The Hydraulic Engine House and Tower contained boilers and engines for the hydraulic system, which operated much of the dock including the lock gates, while the Pumping Engine House contained equipment used for draining the dry docks and raising the water levels of the dock itself.

The steam crane had a lift capacity of 100 tonnes and was regularly used to manoeuvre heavy goods. Its last lift was performed in 1977 when it was deployed to unload a steam locomotive for the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. The works are scheduled to take 26 weeks and ABP Head of Projects Humber, Simon Brett said:

“We’re very fortunate to be able to work on these wonderful remnants of the city’s maritime heritage and make sure they remain in place for future generations of our community to enjoy. We’ve worked closely with Hull City Council’s conservation team and our contractors to ensure all works are carried out sympathetically and to the highest possible standard and while there are no firm plans for their immediate future, we now have the option of bringing them back into use should we want to.”

Photo: The Steam Crane on Alexandra Dock.