Tradeston Crane

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SCameron
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Tradeston Crane

Post by SCameron » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:46 am

The following pictures show the 'saved' parts of the 'Tradeston Crane' (this is the name that National Museums of Scotland gave it but I Don't think it ever had that name officially) at the outer extremity of the west wall of KGV Dock recently.

The crane was constructed by Babcock & Wilcox at Renfrew in 1909 for work at Windmillcroft Quay in Glasgow (the quay opposite Broomielaw / Anderston Quay on the riverside of the wall separating the former Kingston Dock from the river). For many years the crane was used by the coastal steamers of William Sloan & Co which connected Glasgow to the Bristol Channel and Thames ports. Latterly the crane was used by Euroyachts Ltd prior to their departure from Windmillcroft Quay to make way for the south side landfall of the new Tradeston Bridge.

With a working life of over 80 years the little crane was one of the longest serving of the many hundreds that once lined the riverbanks. It is of a rather peculiar design as it had to be tall enough to clear thw adjacent dockside sheds when slewing lifts but run on a very narrow rail track as Windmillcroft Quay was rather narrow compared to others - the original Babcock & Wilcox records show that this presented the crane designer with some challenges to ensure that the loads were always adequately counterbalanced. The crane was electrically powered (both for travel along the quay and lifting operations) throughout its working life (probably one of the earliest electrically powered cranes on the riverbanks as most were either steam powered or hydraulically driven at that time).

I was contacted by Ms J R Brown (Curator of Technology at National Museums of Scotland) for details of the crane just before it was due to be scrapped in 2007 (I had previously had collaborated with NMS on the preservation of a Renfrew-built boiler from the old Hopkinsons valve factory in Huddersfield which - allegedly - had the first all welded steam drum manufactured in the UK). Unfortunately NMS did not have funding to take on the 'Tradeston Crane' but Glasgow City Council, to their credit, came in with sufficient funds to have the crane dismantled rather than demolished. Since its removal from Windmillcroft Quay (until a couple of months ago) it was in storage in one of the KGV Dock sheds. I don't know why it has been moved out - will post reason if I find out
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Tradeston Crane 1.jpg
Tradeston Crane 3.jpg
Last edited by SCameron on Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Angus Mac Kinnon
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Re: Tradeston Crane

Post by Angus Mac Kinnon » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:27 pm

Excellent, Stuart. That crane always attracted me for some reason. Somewhere I have a few photographs of it about 2-3 years before Euroyachts finished up. I was down to get photographs of that ex-Caledonian Canal vessel that lay alongside there for years, but ended up getting more interested in your crane ! Wonder what happened to that excursion boat? She had nice lines, a lovely stem and a beautiful pair of old anchors of quite a unique design.
Angus Mac Kinnon

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StewartM
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Re: Tradeston Crane

Post by StewartM » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:15 pm

Angus, are you referring to Neptune's Lady ?

If so, I am pretty sure she is still at Rothesay Dock. I saw a photo recently, not sure if here or Clydesite. Needless to say I can't find it now.
Stewart D Mungin

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Barry Watson
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Re: Tradeston Crane

Post by Barry Watson » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:27 pm

Neptunes Lady alongside the River Clyde Boatyard, 7th July 2010. She is up for sale, more info at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/robert.mcm ... kerage.htm

Second bottom pic.

A stren view can be seen at http://www.upperclydeshipping.com/searc ... tunes+lady

Barry
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StewartM
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Re: Tradeston Crane

Post by StewartM » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:32 pm

Thanks Barry, now I see your photos I realise it was these I was thinking of. :)
Stewart D Mungin

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Barry Watson
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Re: Tradeston Crane

Post by Barry Watson » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:33 pm

Back to the original topic. Seen from the safe side with APOLLO FALCON alongside the KGV cement berth.
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Angus Mac Kinnon
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Re: Tradeston Crane

Post by Angus Mac Kinnon » Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:14 pm

Thanks, Stewart and Barry :

That's her. of course, but how sad to see how much she had 'gone down' since last seen.

Wonder what's the plan for the old crane ? At 101 years of age I hope scrapping is not the reason for it coming out of storage? Hopefully Stuart might hear further in this regard.
Angus Mac Kinnon

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