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1906 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Visits to Works

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Note: This is a sub-section of 1906 Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Visits to Works (Excursions) in the Cardiff area

Cardiff Tramways

Cardiff Electric Tramways Co

Roath Power-Station.—This station is situated on the Newport Road, by the side of the Roath Brook, and was built in 1901, when the Cardiff Corporation took over the horse-cars from the old company for the purpose of electrifying them. The power-station itself consists of an engine-room, 243 feet long by 60 feet wide, and 35 feet from the engine-room floor to the gantry rails. The boiler-house, which runs the full length of the engine-room, is 56 feet wide. The cooling-pond is capable of holding 400,000 gallons of water.

There is at present installed a plant having a capacity of 5,400 kw. This consists of: four 300-kw. Westinghouse generators mounted between the high- and low-pressure cylinders of a Musgrave cross compound-condensing engine; two 1,000 kw. Dick Kerr generators mounted in the same manner as the above; two 1,100 kilovolt-ampere three-phase generators of the General Electric Co.'s make, mounted in a similar manner to the above. The direct-current sets are compound wound, and by an arrangement on the switchboard it is possible to run the sets either on traction as compound-wound generators or on lighting as shunt-wound generators. These machines are all capable of standing a 25 per cent. overload for two hours without undue heating. The General Electric Co.'s machines are star-wound for 6,600 volts, and are separately excited from a small direct-current set capable of generating 1,000 amperes at 100 volts. This set consists of a Siemens dynamo direct-coupled to a side-by-side Bellis engine. The whole of the valve-gear on the generating sets is of the Corliss pattern. The condensers are of the jet type, the air-pumps of which are driven by means of beams from the cross-head.

The original direct-current switchboard was erected by Messrs. Ferranti, and the Board of Trade leakage-panel occupies a space at right angles to the main switchboard. The new three-phase switchboard which has recently been erected by the Westinghouse Co. is of the remote control type, having the operating panels mounted on a floor 12 feet above the level of the engine-room floor. The whole of the bus-bars are contained in brick cubicles, and are duplicated, so that it is possible to run any generator on any feeder, independent of the main bus-bars. The three-phase motor panel and direct-current generating panel are for controlling a reversible motor-generator, capable of an output on either side of 500 kw. This set is used principally when the load is too small to make it necessary to run one of the main generators. The cables between the power-station and the main sub-station are of the three-core type in copper-earth sheath, and have all been tested to 20,000 volts. These cables are protected at either end by lightning arresters of the Worts type.

There are at present installed in the boiler-house sixteen boilers of the Lancashire type. Twelve of these boilers were supplied by Messrs. Musgrave and Sons and four by Messrs. J. and J. Horsfield, of Dewsbury, and are capable of evaporating 7,000 lbs. of water per hour at 180 F. (feed temperature), and at a pressure of 150 lbs. per square inch. They are fitted with Vicars' mechanical stokers of the latest pattern. There is also a superheater capable of superheating steam 100° F., and to each boiler is fitted a Hotchkiss scum-extractor. There is installed in the pump-room at the present time three Weir pumps, each capable of pumping 7,000 gallons per hour against boiler pressure. The whole of the feed-water passes through two economisers, which were made by Messrs. E. Green and Son, each consisting of 388 tubes.

The coal is brought into the bunkers by means of trucks, and is there tipped into a large hopper, from which it is elevated by means of buckets into a worm running the full length of the stokehole. The bunkers are at present capable of holding 2,000 tons of coal. Suitable arrangements have been provided for hand-firing in case of a breakdown of the mechanical stokers. A worm runs full length of the stokehole for the purpose of conveying the ashes of each furnace to a hopper situated at one end of the boiler-house. From this hopper the ashes are elevated by means of buckets and tipped into trucks. There is a small 50-H.P. electric locomotive for running the trucks to the power-station from the siding some 300 yards distant.

Arrangements have been made for running the old electric lighting station from the Roath Brook Power-Station during the daytime. When the lighting load is only light, it is found economical to run a motor-generator instead of the steam sets. This helps to improve the load factor at the Heath power-station.

Eldon Road Electric-Light Station — This station was erected ten years ago, and is an alternating-current station, single phase, generating at 2,500 volts. The installation comprises Davey Paxman engines and Siemens alternators, a Ferranti engine and alternator and three Siemens-Belliss sets; also a 500-kw. motor- generator worked from the Reath power-station by means of a three-phase motor converting to single phase.

The motor generator is used for day-load purposes, the main plant being shut down. There is a surface-condensing plant of the Mirrlees-Watson type, and in the boiler-house are nine boilers, including four made by Messrs. Babcock and Wilcox.

Hayes Sub-Station. — This is the central sub-station for the distribution of continuous current in the central area of the city. All energy is transmitted from the Heath power-station to this one, and thence it is distributed to different underground distributing centres. The installation comprises two 300-kw. motor-generators converting from three-phase to direct current, also large extra high-tension and low-tension switchboards, and a battery having a capacity of 3,000 ampere-hours for day-load purposes, also balancers, feeder, and battery booster.

Docks Sub-Station — This is similar to the Hayes sub-station, and controls the supply in the district of the docks.

Cardiff Town Hall and Law Courts

(see p.570 for plan of building)

One desirable feature of this apparatus was aimed at from the commencement of the design, namely, that of having a centralised boiler-house and plant. This is situated in the courtyard of the Town Hall building, from which either or both buildings are served with heat or hot-water as desired. (See Block Plan p.570). The boiler-house has been designed for three boilers, but only two are fixed at present; they are of Lancashire type (two flues but without cross-tubes), each 28 feet long by 7 feet diameter, built to carry a working pressure of 120 lbs. per square inch, but it will be seldom, if ever, that they will be used at more than 40 lbs. pressure, unless the authorities should be inclined at a future date to instal their own electric lighting plant. The daily working pressure of 40 lbs. in the boilers is kept to enable the various pumps to be worked, of which there are two for boiler-feeding, two for hot-water circulating (these are fixed in duplicate), and one vacuum pump.

One feature of the warming apparatus is that the steam-pressure is reduced to that of the atmosphere, and the exhaust from the various pumps, after passing through the grease-separator, mixes with the live steam from the boilers which is reduced to atmospheric pressure, thus becoming part of the steam which supplies the warming system without pressure. The whole of the warming system is worked on what is now familiarly known as the " Vacuum " system, and has been installed under the Atmospheric Steam Heating Co.'s patents. By means of this system the temperature of the heating surface is reduced; no " water- " or " air-hammer " is possible, as the air and water are being continually drawn away by the vacuum pump. Each radiator can be controlled as may be desired, and makes the apparatus as a whole, or any smaller unit, much more manageable than the usual form of steam-heating apparatus. Much of the heating surface has been fixed in the air-ducts below the ground floors, and these are controlled by valves to allow more or less steam to enter the heating surface as required. The advantage of the larger rooms being heated in this way prevents the necessity for the presence of radiators and pipes, unsightly in themselves, and forming an objectionable feature in buildings of this kind, and oftentimes the means of harbouring dirt and other deleterious matter.

In some of the rooms in the Town Hall building it was considered advisable to make a " modified plenum " system, namely, fresh air coming up from the ducts below to supply the rooms with a proper amount of air for the occupants, and direct heating in the rooms themselves in case it is found desirable for those occupying them to have a little direct heat as well as the plenum system. If, on the other hand, it is preferred to have the heat direct from the radiators, this method can be adopted, but it is not anticipated that the latter method will often be preferred or adopted, as the occupants of the room will find to their advantage it is better to allow the fresh air to come in through the inlet gratings, and so keep the rooms in a fresh and healthy condition.

In the Town Hall five fans have been fixed with electric motors for driving the same; these fans propel the air into the various rooms. Four of these fans are fixed in the basement, namely, one 8 feet, one 6 feet, one 5 1/2 feet and one 4 feet diameter. The fifth fan, which is 6 feet diameter, is erected in a space adjoining tho roof of the Assembly Hall, and is used for the Assembly Hall only. No mechanical means for the extraction of the vitiated air have been adopted for the Town Hall beyond the fact that the vitiated air passes down in vertical channels or ducts to the basement, thence through horizontal ducts up the vertical shaft, in the centre of which is a cast-iron pipe 2 feet 6 inches internal diameter, which carries the gases of combustion from the steam-boilers. The heat from this flue-pipe assists the withdrawal of the vitiated air from the buildings without additional cost to maintenance account.

In the Town Hall buildings the following rooms and offices are warmed and ventilated on the " plenum" and " modified plenum " system:— Lower ground floor, 7 rooms; ground floor, 41 rooms and offices; first floor, 38 rooms and offices, including the Assembly Hall, Council Chamber, and Committee Rooms.

In the Law Courts three fans have been fixed for dealing with the incoming air, with electric motors for driving same. These fans are of 7 1/2 feet, 6 1/2 feet, and 5 feet diameter respectively. In addition to the fans which deal with incoming air only, two exhausters have been fixed with necessary motors for driving, one set of each being fixed in the main extraction towers.

In the Law Courts the following rooms are warmed and ventilated on the plenum system:— Ground floor, 35 rooms including the Police Courts, Wreck Court, etc.; Mezzanine floor, cells for prisoners; first floor, 14 rooms, including the Assize Courts, etc.

For the extraction of the vitiated air from the two Assize Courts, two Police, Courts, Wreck Court and the other main portions of this building, two exhausters and motors are fixed at the top of each of the two rectangular spaces which form the centre or core to each of the main staircases. The radiators used are what the engineers designate as their "Nestor" and "Nuzolar" type, and call for little comment beyond the fact that they are very efficient in their heating capacity, plain in character, and shorn of any adornment.

The warming of the Town Hall is divided into eight sections, and that of the Law Courts into six sections. The engineers who have designed and carried out this installation consider from their long experience that the dividing up of the apparatus into various sections is the most suitable for such buildings as these. The several sections control the buildings in such a manner that a minimum amount of steam is used; for instance, the corridors can be heated without the other portions of the buildings, and other sections may be put into commission as required, without the entire plant being put into operation. The corridors always being kept warns in this way has the effect of keeping the whole building warm and comfortable, and provides for the various rooms a kind of warm " jacket," and stops inrushes of cold air into the various rooms when the doors are opened for ingress and egress.

The domestic hot-water supply to the building forms a unique installation; the delivery from the vacuum-pump discharges into the "Nuconomiser" system which is in combination; the latter is fixed in the pump-room and supplies the whole of this service for the two buildings. This system is so efficient that during some portions of the year it will not be necessary to use any live steam in the "Nuconomiser" system for heating the water, the "exhaust steam " from the various pumps being sufficient for this branch of the work. The whole of the hot-water service has been fixed in solid-drawn copper, so as to prevent any possibility of corrosion in the pipes and discolouration of water, such as might take place if iron pipes had been used.

The circulation of hot water is all that can be desired, as will be noted by anyone using the taps in the various lavatories and other draw-offs. To keep down the first cost of this hot-water installation, recourse had to be taken to what is now termed "forced circulation." This means a quicker velocity of the circulating water, and prevents much "dead water" lying in the various pipes and branches, as is often the case without such "forced circulation." Special joints have been fixed in the service so as to secure a thoroughly efficient piece of workmanship and the prevention of leakages. This form of joint has enabled the engineers to use a lighter pipe than is usually the case where screwed ends are employed, and is now universally known as the " Manchester grip joint."

It has been found that the coal consumption has been extremely low for buildings of such magnitude; it has only been necessary to use one of the boilers during the past winter, and both buildings have been warmed at the same time. Whether this will be so when the whole of the buildings are put to work, it is impossible to say at present, but it is fair to assume that if the two boilers have to be fired they will be worked very much more easily than when one has been working alone, and it is anticipated that no further fuel will be required with the two than has been used by one during the past winter.

The architects for these imposing buildings are Messrs. Lanchester and Rickards, Bedford Square, London, W.C.; the clerk of the works is Mr. E. C. Howell, of Cardiff, and the engineers for the plant are Messrs. Ashwell and Nesbit, of London and Leicester.

Cardiff Corporation Water Works

Cardiff Waterworks

This description has been prepared by Mr. C. H. Priestley, Waterworks Engineer, Cardiff.

Llanishen Reservoir, and "Heath" Filters.— The Llanishen reservoir was commenced in the Spring of 1884, and was finished at an opportune moment, immediately preceding the very dry summer of 1887. Had it not been for the additional storage of some 235 million gallons, which was put into the reservoir from the Lisvane streams, the town would have been put to serious inconvenience by want of water during the exceptionally dry summer of 1887.

This reservoir immediately adjoins the Lisvane reservoir previously built by the company, which was bought by the Corporation in 1879. It is 59 acres in extent, and has a total capacity of 317 million gallons; its top-water level is 150 feet above Ordnance datum. The natural formation of the ground was favourable to the construction; the main bank is on the south side of the reservoir, and rises about 40 feet at its deepest point above the original ground level, the puddle wall having been carried down to about the same depth below at this point. The valve-shaft with three decanting culverts is near the western end of the embankment. It is built in brickwork, with masonry top; inside are fixed copper-gauze screens for straining the water before it is passed into the cast-iron pipes conveying it to the filters. A by-channel is provided, running along the north-west and south-west banks for taking the waters of the Lisvane drainage area to the river; the overflow from the reservoir can also be discharged therein when required. This water is now utilized for filling the pleasure lake in Heath Park.

Owing to the construction of the Llanishen reservoir, it was necessary to move the old filters which occupied a site in the middle of the reservoir. Land was procured near the " Heath," distant about 2 miles from the Town Hall, and three filter-beds were built. The size of each bed is 200 feet by 75 feet by 7 feet 3 inches deep; they are calculated to filter 1,000,000 gallons per twenty-four hours, allowing 2.78 gallons per superficial foot of filtering area per hour. The floors of the beds are constructed of cement concrete; the side, end, and division walls are built of brickwork and masonry with concrete backing and hearting, in a very substantial manner. A main drain, with semi-circular invert in brickwork, was constructed in the centre of each bed, with lateral drains running into it. The filtering material is composed of shingle, gravel, and sand, most of it coming from Bideford, in Devonshire.

A pure-water covered service reservoir was also constructed, with a capacity of 1,300,000 gallons, top-water level 125 feet above Ordnance datum. The floor and walls are of concrete, the piers of brickwork being covered with brick arches on cast-iron girders. The three filters becoming inadequate to the requirements of the town, an additional three beds of the same size and capacity were constructed by the author in 1897, together with caretaker's house, workmen's shed, office, etc.; and in 1904 and 1905 an additional service reservoir of 1 3/4 million gallons capacity was constructed, also a battery of mechanical filters erected, together with a Venturi meter for measuring the flow to the city.

Taff Fawr, Works.— In 1884 an Act of Parliament was obtained, after great opposition, for impounding the waters of the River Taff Fawr in Breconshire. The watershed consists of 10,400 acres divided into two portions, the "upper area " containing 4,000 acres and the "lower area " 6,400 acres. This division was made by the engineer in order to develop the "upper area" first, thereby reducing the capital expenditure to commence with, and also to enable the compensation water to the river to be given in two portions as the works proceeded, the amount being for the "upper area" 531 cubic feet per minute, or nearly 3,000,000 gallons per day; "entire watershed," including the "upper" and "lower" area, 861 cubic feet per minute, or 7 3/4 million gallons per day.

The works authorised consisted of three storage reservoirs with a capacity of 1,220 million gallons (it was afterwards found that No. 1 reservoir could be advantageously enlarged, so that the total storage has been considerably increased). No. 1 and No. 2 reservoirs, now called respectively the "Beacons" and "Cantreff" reservoirs, are on the "upper area," and No. 3 on the "lower area." Three balancing reservoirs are at Cefn, Blackbrook, and Rhubina respectively, on the line of conduit, and a "high-level" service reservoir, and filter-beds also at Rhubina for the supply by gravitation of the whole of the high-level district. There is also an aqueduct or conduit connecting the storage reservoirs and passing down the valley of the Taff, through the towns and villages of Merthyr Tydvil, Troedyrhiw, Merthyr Vale, Quaker's Yard, Pontypridd, Treforest, Taffs Wells, and Tongwynlais to Rhubina, and from there to the two storage reservoirs at Lisvane and Llanishen—a total distance of 32 miles.

After obtaining the Act, the engineer proceeded at once with the construction of the several works in the first portion.

No. 2 or Cantreff Reservoir.— This storage reservoir was commenced in March 1886, and completed and opened for use in September 1892. The embankment of the reservoir is 1,080 feet above Ordnance datum, and the 4,000 acres of watershed above the reservoir (chiefly mountain pasture) rises to a height of 2,910 feet above Ordnance datum at the Brecon Beacons. The height of the embankment from foundation to top is 120 feet; height from bed of river 90 feet; greatest depth of water available for compensation and supply 73 feet. The length of the reservoir is about three-quarters of a mile, and the capacity when full 322 million gallons.

The length of the embankment as seen is about 600 feet; there is half as much more out of sight in the hills on either side. The foundations below the original ground-level are in cement concrete, with a puddle wall resting thereon. The length of the puddle wall is 616 feet, but beyond this headings are driven into the mountains on both sides, continuing the wall with cement concrete 140 feet on the west and 155 feet on the east, making the total length of the central wall from east to west 911 feet. The valve-shaft for withdrawal of water is built in the middle of the embankment, constructed of brickwork in cement. The tunnel, which was built in the first instance for the passage of the river during construction, is 610 feet long and 13 feet in diameter, horseshoe shape; it is of brickwork in cement, with cement concrete backing and dressed ashlar stone ends. The overflow is on the west side of the reservoir, at right angles with the embankment, and is 160 feet in width; the weir and steps are constructed in Cornish granite. With the exception of the granite the whole of the stone used on the works and the clay for puddle were obtained at Cefn, some 7 miles distant, and conveyed to the works on the railway, which was constructed up the valley at the commencement, from Cefn station on the London and North Western Railway.

Taff Fawr Conduit and Balancing Reservoirs.— Simultaneously with the building of the Cantreff reservoir, the aqueduct (or conduit) and balancing reservoirs were constructed. The conduit was commenced in October 1885, and completed in September 1888. It consists of a line of cast-iron pipes 29 inches and 24 inches diameter. The pipes are laid for the whole distance under the roads, except where it was necessary to cross the river, canal, and railways. In these places special provision for carrying the pipes had to be made.

The pipe-line running for a considerable distance through a mining district subsidence is constantly going on, the Ordnance bench marks having lowered in places 1 foot to 1 foot 6 inches. It is a matter of congratulation that no very serious accidents have taken place, although it has been necessary to relay and repair on several occasions. The maximum carrying capacity of the conduit between the reservoirs at Taff Fawr and the storage reservoirs at Llanishen is 12 million gallons per twenty-four hours.

Balancing reservoirs were constructed at the same time as the conduit was being laid at Cefn, near Merthyr; Blackbrook, near Quaker's Yard; and Rhubina, 4 1/2 miles from Cardiff; the top-water levels of these reservoirs being respectively 765 feet, 490 feet, and 330 feet above Ordnance datum. The capacity of each reservoir is just over half a million gallons; provision is made for discharging into the river in case of accident to the conduit, until the water can be shut off at the head works. The reservoirs are similar in construction, the floors and walls being formed of cement concrete and arched over with brickwork carried on cast-iron girders and columns. A cottage is provided at each reservoir, where the keeper lives, who also acts as linesman, walking over his section of the conduit twice weekly in order to report any interference or damage to the engineer, with whom he is in telephonic communication.

At Rhubina a set of sand filter-beds and covered pure-water service reservoir were also built, from which the supply is taken for the high-level service; eventually the whole of this service will be taken from Rhubina, but at present the supply to Penarth is still pumped at Cogan. The area of the district supplied from this source has been considerably enlarged since the works were first constructed; three filter-beds and two service reservoirs have been added to the above.

No. 1 or Beacons Reservoir.— On the completion of the Cantreff reservoir, owing to the continued increase in the population and trade of the town and district, it was deemed advisable to proceed at once with the construction of the No. 1 or Beacons reservoir. It was decided to carry out this work entirely by administration without a contractor, the plant, etc., from the Cantreff reservoir being utilized at the " Beacons." The work was commenced in April 1893, and the reservoir opened on the 30th September 1897. As before stated, this reservoir was made larger than originally intended, parliamentary powers for the enlargement being obtained in 1894. This reservoir, like the Cantreff, is constructed on the Old Red Sandstone by building an embankment across the River Taff Fawr. The embankment is 1,200 feet long and 65 feet high above the old river-bed, the greatest transverse width being 400 feet. The main trench was carried down to the solid rock, the greatest depth below the surface being 70 feet. As in the Cantreff reservoir, the puddle wall is built on a cement concrete shoe, the whole of this work being carried out with great care to ensure its water-tightness. The valve-shaft and tower is built at the eastern end of the embankment, and forms a conspicuous object for miles around. Near too is the overflow weir, which is 160 feet long, from which all the overflow and storm water is conveyed down the by-wash (built of solid masonry 20 feet in width) to the river below the works. A discharge tunnel 10 feet in diameter was provided for carrying the river during construction. The top-bank level is 1,346 feet above Ordnance datum, the top-water level being 6 feet lower. The water area is 51 acres, and the capacity 345 million gallons.

No. 3 Reservoir.— When the growth of the town is such as to require a further supply, the Corporation have parliamentary powers to construct another reservoir in the Taff Fawr Valley (No. 3 of the series), the land for which has already been purchased. This will be the largest of the three reservoirs, and will have a capacity of over 1,000 million gallons. This reservoir will give another three million gallons per day for the use of the town, making a total supply of 10,500,000 gallons per day, or sufficient for a population of 420,000 at 25 gallons per head. Mr. J. A. B. Williams, in a report to the Corporation written some years ago, states:-

"The watershed secured by the Corporation in the Taff Fawr Valley is capable of yielding a further additional quantity of 7,000,000 gallons per day for a town supply by the construction of another storage reservoir, to be situated between reservoirs Nos. 2 and 3. It would contain about 900,000,000 gallons."

In addition to the Taff Fawr sources of supply the Corporation have power to abstract three million gallons of water per day from the River Ely, as well as to take the water from the drainage area of 2,200 acres at Lisvane and Llanishen, all of which water is suitable for trade and sanitary purposes, and might be made use of by means of duplicate mains. The engineer has a scheme now before the Waterworks Committee for utilizing this source of supply.

Altogether these several sources of supply would yield some 21 to 22 million gallons of water per day, probably sufficient for the supply of a population of at least 700,000 persons.

Additional works have been added as necessity arose, and a service reservoir has been constructed at Leek with a capacity of 2,000,000 gallons at an elevation of 300 feet above Ordnance datum for the supply of the Penarth high-level district. A service reservoir with a capacity of 3,000,000 gallons, and a water tower, have been constructed at Penylan for the high-level district of the city and other portions of the area of supply.

During the twenty-seven years that the waterworks undertaking has been in the hands of the Corporation a full and constant supply for domestic use has always been maintained, with the exception of a short time during the very dry summer of 1887, notwithstanding the abnormal increase in population which has risen within the city itself during that period, from about 78,000 to 180,000. In addition, the Corporation supply a suburban and rural population of about 35,000.

The total capital expenditure to the 31st March 1906 has been £1,266,266. The revenue up to the end of the year 1890 was sufficient to pay all charges for interest and sinking fund on borrowed capital, together with the working expenses. Since that date, owing to the large expenditure on new works, it has been necessary to levy a rate in aid, which last year amounted to about 3d. in the £.

Aberaman Colliery, Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Co

Aberaman Colliery

The Aberaman Colliery is situated in a group of collieries belonging to the Powell Duffryn Co., in the Aberdare Valley, and is 20 miles distant from Cardiff. Until very recently six of the nine pits in the valley had isolated direct-current plants generating at 200 or 400 volts for lighting and power purposes. Instead of extending these plants for the more general use of electric power, it was decided to erect a power-station to supply the whole of the company's pits, the direct result being to lower the capital and generating costs and to obtain the advantage of a higher load-factor.

The power-station is about 1,300 yards from the Aberaman pit, and is equipped to deal with an average load of 1,300 kw. The engines are horizontal, cross-compound, jet-condensing, and were made by Messrs. Yates and Thom, of Blackburn. They are governed on both high- and low-pressure cylinders, so as to carry momentary overloads of 50 per cent. The air-pumps, of the Edwards' type, are driven from the tail-rod of the high-pressure cylinder. Steam is supplied from Babcock and Wilcox boilers, each having a grate area of 49 square feet, heating surface 3,080 square feet, with 350 square feet of superheating surface, five boilers being used at the time of maximum load. The feed is heated by Green's economiser. The switchboard is of the carriage type, and is of cellular construction with the bus-bars running along the back in a separate chamber, from which contacts project into each division. The output of the power-station is at the rate of 4 1/2 million units per annum.

Each sub-station is fed from the power-station by one or more H.P. feeders, which are protected at each side by lightning arresters. Before connection to the sub-station bus-bars, the incoming feeders are controlled by oil-break switches and by fuses in the case of sub-stations fed by two feeders. The sub-station bus-bars branch to:-

(1) 3,000-volt sub-stations below ground, connected by armoured cables; (2) 3,000-volt motors connected by overhead distributors; (3) Three-phase transformers reducing the pressure to 500 volts (for motors below 50 H.P.); (4) Single-phase 110-volt lighting transformers.

The general arrangement of the underground sub-stations is the same as those above ground. The mine cables are carried down four of the pits and extend a distance of 700 yards from the pit bottom. The overhead distribution from the sub-stations to the various motors consists of bare wires supported on insulators attached to wooden poles or to the existing buildings.

The motors are divided into two classes:—

(1) Variable speed, for haulage and winding, of which forty are in use, varying in power from 300 to 25 B.H.P.; (2) Constant speed, for driving fans, pumps, screens, conveyors, workshops, and brickyard, of which thirty-seven are at work, from 180 to 5 B.H.P.

The fan-motors are run at full load continuously, being shut down for examination and cleaning for ten minutes every three weeks.

Adjoining the power-station is a Humboldt Washery, which is capable of washing 160 tons per hour. The small coal from all the collieries is carried here; from two places by means of aerial ropeways, and from the others by wagons. Near by, at the Middle Duffryn pit (which has not been used for winding coal since 1884), there are two Hathorn Davey engines pumping from a depths of 270 yards, in one column, by balanced lifts, having rams 17 inches diameter and 10 feet stroke. Each set is capable of pumping 80,000 gallons per hour.

Alexandra & Town Docks, Blaina Wharf & River Jetties, Newport

Newport Docks

Situation.— Newport is the geographical place of shipment for coal from the Monmouthshire section of the South Wales coalfield, besides which it is the natural port for the Midlands, being directly connected with the Great Western, London and North-Western, and Midland Railways. The company have also their own railway to the Merthyr, Rhondda, and Aberdare Valleys, thus enabling Glamorganshire coal to be shipped at their docks at the same rates as to Cardiff, plus 1 5/16d. dock railway charge. Newport is the second port of South Wales, the shipment of coal in 1905 amounting to over 4,000,000 tons, practically all of which was dealt with at the company's docks.

Area.— The deep-water area of the North Dock (depth on cill — neap tides 25 feet, springs 35 feet) is 28 3/4 acres, South Dock (same cill depths) 20 acres, and Town Dock (depth on cill — neap tides 20, and springs 31 feet) 11 1/2 acres. The entrance lock of the South Dock is 503 1/2 feet long and 72 feet wide, that of the North Dock 350 by 65, and of the Town Dock 220 by 61 feet. The extent of quayage of the Alexandra Docks (North and South) is about 10,000 feet, and of the Town Dock 4,215 feet.

Facilities.— For the shipment of coal there are seventeen hydraulic hoists, most of them having a 50-foot lift, and being capable of shipping at the rate of 400 tons per hour. Numerous cranes (fixed and travelling), varying from 1 1/2 to 40 tons, are also available for general cargo-work. For smaller vessels there are four river-coaling jetties [1].

Warehouses, suitable for the storage of tin-plates and general goods, arc provided at both docks, one of which possesses an overhead 30-cwt. travelling-crane. A large warehouse, 70 feet by 200 feet, situate at the East Quay, South Dock, has recently been completed and brought into use, and will shortly be equipped with a 3-ton electric gantry-crane.

Imports and General Exports are carried on at the east side of the North and South Docks and the west side of the Town Dock. The East Quay, South Dock, has recently been completed, and is equipped with eight powerful cranes with high lift and range. A river wharf, 400 feet long, is under construction and nearing completion.

A timber float, 10 acres in extent and 2,600 feet long, connected with the North Dock by a canal, as well as practically unlimited land space for storage, affords excellent facilities for timber traders.

Railway Accommodation.— Besides that mentioned above, the docks are covered with a network of sidings and main lines, amounting to nearly 50 miles.

Graving Docks.— The company own a Commercial Dry Dock, 523 feet long and 74 feet wide, directly connected with the North Dock by an entrance 50 feet wide, with a depth of water on cill of 20 feet.

Extension Works.— A new dock in extension of the existing South Docks will shortly be completed, and will add 86 acres to the present wet-dock accommodation. A river wharf, 450 feet in length, is nearing completion, and will be equipped for dealing with general cargoes.

A new lock entrance, 1,000 feet long and 100 feet wide, will shortly be taken in hand. This will give a straight course from the now dock into the Bristol Channel, and will accommodate the largest vessels afloat.

W. A. Baker and Co

W. A. Baker and Co

The above company have laid down extensive works and foundries equipped with modern plant driven by electric motors fed from the Corporation mains, and are engaged in the manufacture of constructional steelwork, ornamental and architectural wrought-and cast-ironwork. They have successfully undertaken contracts for the Admiralty, Office of Works, War Office and various public and railway authorities, both at home and in the colonies.

A speciality is made of ironwork for the building trades, such as gates, railings, colonies, verandahs, window-frames, etc., and at the present moment there is being manufactured in the works the steelwork for the now torpedo depot, gunnery school and gymnasium, and new cart-sheds for the Admiralty at Devonport, together with the steelwork for an extensive platform-covering which the Taff Vale Railway Co. are about to erect at their station at Pontypridd. There is also a brass foundry at these works, and a speciality is made of ornamental gun-metal and brass-work for interior and exterior decorations as well as for memorial tablets.

Barry Docks and Railways

Barry Docks

These properties, belonging to the Barry Railway Co., consist of docks at Barry, a railway (main line) from Barry to Trehafod (Rhondda Valley), where it joins the Taff Vale Railway, and various branch lines forming connections with the Great Western Railway, Rhymney Railway, and Brecon and Merthyr Railway. The company also has powers to construct a line across the Rhymney Valley to join the Brecon and Merthyr Railway. The Vale of Glamorgan Railway, which is worked by the Barry Co., joins the main line at Barry, and has a junction with the Great Western Railway at Bridgend.

Docks.— Deck No. 1, opened in 1889, is situated on the north coast of the Bristol Channel, about 9 miles south-west of Cardiff, and occupies the eastern portion of the old channel between Barry Island and the mainland. The entrance to the docks is at the eastern end, and lies under the high land of Barry Island, well sheltered from all westerly and south-westerly winds, while the breakwaters completely cover the only points of exposure. This dock is 3,100 feet long with a maximum width of 1,100 feet, and is divided into two arms at the western end by a mole. The water area is 73 acres, and the quayage 10,500 feet.

No. 2 Dock, opened in 1898, is 3,338 feet long with a width of from 400 to 600 feet. It lies to the eastward of Dock No. 1, from which it is approached by a passage closed by a rolling caisson, and has an area of 34 acres and a quayage of 7,000 feet. The north side of the dock, the greater part of which is sloped (as is also that in Dock No. 1), is fitted with ten high-level fixed coal- tips and three high-level movable tips. The south side of both docks is constructed with perpendicular walls and is reserved for the import trade, for which ample sidings, sheds, and warehouses are provided. A transit-shed has been constructed for imports, and is fitted with hydraulic cranes and traversers. An ice factory and cold storage has been erected at the south-east corner of the dock, and it is capable of storing 80,000 carcases.

The basin, 600 feet long by 500 feet wide, with an area of 7 acres, has vertical walls, and the eastern side is used for a large timber import trade. At the east end of Dock No. 2 are two timber ponds of an area of 6 acres and 35 acres respectively.

The waterway between the breakwater heads is 350 feet wide, and on the western head is a lighthouse 44 feet above high-water ordinary spring tides. From the breakwater heads a channel has been dredged to the entrances of the docks, of which there are two, the basin entrance 80 feet wide being tidal; the Lady Windsor Dock, 65 feet wide, has 13 feet at low water spring tides and 21 feet at low water neap tides.

The basin entrance and the passage between the basin and Dock No. 1 are each 80 feet wide.

Shipping of Coal.— This takes place on the north side of Dock No. 1 (eleven fixed and one movable tips), on the mole at the west end of the dock (five fixed tips), on the east side (one fixed tip), at the west end (one fixed tip), and on the south side two fixed and three movable tips.

The tips are distributed as follow:-

No. 1 Dock No. 2 Dock
Low Level fixed 9 -
Ditto movable 3 -
High Level fixed 11 10
Ditto movable 1 3
Total No. of Tips = 37 24 13

These tips have lifts of 37, 42, and 45 feet, and are each capable of lifting 20 tons. All tips are provided with two weigh-bridges, one on the full and the other on the empty roads. The machinery at the docks is worked by hydraulic power obtained at three engine-houses, which contain nine pairs of compound, horizontal, surface-condensing engines, with cylinders of 16 inches and 28 inches diameter and 24 inches stroke, indicating 250 H.P. per pair. Steam is supplied at 80 lbs. per square inch by twenty-five Lancashire boilers, 28 feet long by 7 feet diameter. The pressure-pumps are of the differential-ram principle, and maintain a pressure in the mains of 750 lbs. per square inch.

The dock entrances are provided with powerful capstans for warping ships in and out. Wagon-capstans are provided on all wharves and tips, while for the discharge of cargo, repairs, etc., there are sixty cranes of various sizes. The docks are provided with three powerful tugs for moving vessels, all of which are fitted with salvage and fire-pumps. The whole of the docks, coal-tips, sidings, etc., are lighted by electricity.

There are three graving docks, of which two belong to the Barry Graving Dock Co., and the other to the Barry Railway Co.

Railways.---The railways already constructed give access to the coalfields of the Rhondda, Aberdare, Rhymney, and Merthyr Valleys. The Vale of Glamorgan Railway gives access to the Llynvi and Ogmore coal district; and the new lines joining the Brecon and Merthyr Railway systems give access to the east side of the Rhymney Valley. The length of the company's railways at present opened is 66 miles, while they have in addition 142 miles of sidings. Tho rolling stock consists of 138 locomotives, 123 passenger carriages, 30 vans, 1,535 goods and other wagons, and 2 steam motor-cars.

The following statistics show the great increase in trade since the Dock No. 1 was opened in 1889:—

Year. No. of Vessels. Registered Tonnage. Imports. Exports.
Tons. Tons.
1889* 598 567,958 14,745 1,091,657
1891 2,166 2,510,603 167,697 4,899,317
1899 3,270 3,742,356 252,053 7,237,264
1905 3,225 4,278,759 399,996 8,671,868
* From 18th July

Method of Shipment of Coal.— Coal is hauled as far as Cadoxton by the main-line trains, and from this place it is worked to the various points on the docks by pilot engines. Marshalling sidings are arranged to the north of both Docks Nos. 1 and 2 for the high-level tips, and to the south of Dock No. 1 for the low-level tips. From these sidings the tip-roads lead direct on to the tips, and they are so arranged that the wagons are doors first when they come on to the tip-sidings, thus obviating the necessity of turning the wagons. Full roads have a falling gradient of 1 in 233 towards the tips, and the empty roads have a fall of 1 in 70 from the tips. This enables a train of coal to be dealt with on the full roads by a hydraulic capstan attached to the tip, and the empty wagons clear themselves by gravitation. The high-level tips are generally the more speedy, but in nearly all cases it is found that coal can be tipped faster than it can be trimmed into an ordinary vessel. With a self-trimming boat 450 tons can be put on board per hour with one tip; this has been exceeded on several occasions. Weekly boats run between Barry and France, carrying about 2,000 tons of coal, which average from 4 to 41 hours in loading. With two tips into the same boat 446 tons have been loaded per hour. With a high-level tip and a movable one combined, 460 tons have been loaded per hour, and with two high-level tips and one movable tip, vessels have been coaled at the rate of 655 tons per hour.

Brown, Lenox and Co

Brown, Lenox and Co

The Chain Works were started almost 100 years ago, and have been engaged principally in the manufacture of chain cables for the British Admiralty constantly ever since. Previous to the year 1810 vessels of all sorts had to depend for their safety upon hempen ropes, which were exceedingly clumsy to handle and lasted but a short time. Captain Sir Samuel Brown, R.N., of Brown, Lenox and Co., was permitted to fit out, at his own expense, H.M.S. " Penelope " with his recently perfected chain cable, and the results of the voyage to the West Indies proved so satisfactory that the Naval Board at once began to supersede the hempen-rope cables with the more durable and handy iron chains. It is worthy of note that the cables were made for the " Great Eastern " by this firm. They measured 2 7/8 inches diameter each link, and the total length 800 fathoms, weighing 153 tons. This was up to that time the largest cable made, and it was with these cables that the leviathan rode out the terrible gale off Holyhead in 1859 in which the "Royal Charter" foundered. The firm have well maintained their position ever since, and are at present manufacturing 3 3/4-inch diameter cable for the largest vessel in the world, namely, the Cunard Co's express steamer "Mauretania." (See photo, page 590, and Mr. Wicksteed's Paper, page 543.) They also hold the Admiralty contract for the supply of chains, etc., and are making the cable and gear for the " Dreadnought."

In connection with the 3 1/4-inch cable for the " Mauretania," a record was established by the samples, which were submitted for testing at Lloyd's Proving-House, Tipton, failing to be broken at the greatest tensile test ever applied to chain of any description, namely, 350 tons. It is thought that the actual strain was in excess of this, but even at this great strain the links showed no defect, although they elongated 6 inches, measured over three links.

See p.590 for illustration of Record Ship's cable in 1905: 3 1/4-inch diam. cable manufactured by Messrs. Brown, Lenox and Co., Pontypridd, for the Cunard Co.'s quadruple screw turbine express steamer "Mauretania," built by Messrs. Swan, Hunter, and Wigham Richardson.

The iron for all their chains is rolled in their own mills at Pontypridd, which have a range of sizes from 7/8 inch to 5 inches diameter. The firm have not confined themselves to the manufacture of chains, and in the earlier days erected the well-known suspension bridge at Hammersmith, and the chain pier at Brighton. With the development of the coal-field and allied industries of South Wales they are largely connected, enjoying a large trade in the manufacture of trams, crucible steel castings, wagon springs, and wagon and tram couplings, etc., and their moorings may be found in nearly every harbour of the world.

Bute Docks

BUTE DOCKS, CARDIFF. (See pages 404 and 405.)
Bute Docks

The Bute Docks, which are the property of the Cardiff Railway Co., were opened in 1839, and have now a total area of 161 1/2 acres (exclusive of South Dock), vessels loading up to 12,000 tons regularly trading there. They are equipped with the most improved appliances for discharging and loading vessels with despatch, the greater portion being worked by hydraulic pressure. There is an ample equipment of cranes of various powers up to 70 tons, as well as grain-elevators, etc. Coal is shipped by the ordinary fixed, as well as movable, staiths, and by the Lewis-Hunter coaling-cranes. Three or more of these cranes can be worked simultaneously into one vessel, and as much as 330 tons have been shipped by one crane in an hour. The New South Dock will be entirely equipped with these coaling cranes, of which a description is given in Mr. H. S. C. Ree's Paper on "Mechanical Appliances used in Shipping of Coal at the Bute Docks, Cardiff" (page 403).

The warehouses and transit-sheds provide good accommodation for the storage of grain, provisions, etc., and large wharf-space and yards are afforded for stacking timber, deals, iron-ore, etc. The timber ponds have an area of 28 acres, with railway communication to all parts. There are ten private graving and floating docks, ranging up to 800 feet in length, and one public graving dock, 600 feet in length. They are the only docks in South Wales which have permission from the Board of Trade to land foreign cattle, and cattle lairs, slaughter-houses, and chill- rooms are erected adjacent to the wharf in the deepest water dock.

The Bute Docks comprise the following:-

Bute West Dock.— Entrance to basin, 45 feet wide; basin (area 11 acres), 300 feet long by 200 feet wide; lock, 152 feet long by 36 feet wide; dock (area 18 acres), 4,000 feet long by 200 feet wide; quayage, 8,800 feet; 13 staiths; depth of water in dock, 19 feet and 13 feet; 5 ballast cranes; one graving dock.

Bute East Dock.— Sea lock, 220 feet long by 55 feet wide; basin (area 21 acres), 380 feet long by 250 feet wide; inner lock, 200 feet long by 49 feet wide; dock (area 44 acres), 4,300 feet by 300 and 500 feet wide; quayage, 9,360 feet; 18 staiths; depth of water in dock, 25 feet; 19 hydraulic fixed and movable cranes from 35 cwts. to 20 tons.

Roath Basin.— Dock (area 12 acres), 1,000 feet long by 550 feet wide; quayage, 2,700 feet long; depth of water, 351 feet and 251 feet; 9 staiths; one graving dock (public).

Roath Dock.— Inner lock, 600 feet long by 80 feet wide; dock (area 33 acres), 2,400 feet long by 600 feet wide; quayage, 7,520 feet; depth of water in dock, 32 to 37 feet; Lewis-Hunter coal cranes and numerous smaller cranes; one pontoon dock, 360 feet long by 70 feet wide.

New South Dock (nearly completed).— Lock, 850 feet long between inner and outer gates by 90 feet wide; dock (area 501 acres), 2,550 feet long by 800 feet wide; quayage, 7,250 feet; depth of water, 411 feet.

Bute Shipbuilding, Engineering & Dry Dock Co, Cardiff

Bute Shipbuilding, Engineering and Dry Dock Co

Amongst the leading dry-dock undertakings in the Bristol Channel, the Bute Shipbuilding, Engineering, and Dry Dock Co. occupies a front place. This company was formed in the early part of 1883, and the first vessel entered the graving dock on 22nd June 1885. The Bute dry dock was therefore constructed and opened about three years prior to the opening of the Roath dock. This dry dock was constructed at a time when a 2,000-ton ship was accounted a large vessel, and it is indicative of the foresight of the promoters when it is remembered that the dock has a length of 600 feet and a breadth of 87 feet, with a depth of water over the cill at spring tides of 28 feet, and there is consequently no difficulty in accommodating the modern-sized steamship. The Bute dry dock occupies a unique position, inasmuch as, being situated within the Roath basin, vessels taken in hand are conveniently situated for subsequent loading in the Roath basin, Roath dock, or East dock, and may be moved to either of these wet docks regardless of tides with a minimum of delay and expense.

As regards equipment, one of the chief features of the dry dock is its compactness. The workshops are arranged around and in close proximity to the dry dock, with a crane railway alongside between the dock and the shops, which are well served with three steam travelling-cranes, capable of handling material and heavy machinery, etc., of all descriptions; and this, coupled with the proximity of the workshops, enables operations to be carried on with the greatest expedition. The large crane is capable of lifting 30 tons, and has a lifting power of 11 tons over a radius of 50 feet, these capabilities meeting all the needs of ordinary ship-repairing work. The various workshops are excellently equipped with up-to-date machinery plant and tools, replete in every detail. There is a complete electric-light installation in the workshops, yard, and dry dock, and no barrier exists to continuous working, repairs being carried on at night, internally and externally, upon vessels in the dry dock or alongside in the wet dock, under the same conditions as by day.

The Bute dry dock has a complete equipment of electrically-driven appliances, and it is fitted with powerful steam-pumps; it may be also drained by means of sluices discharging into the entrance channel. It is divisible into two sections by a caisson, thus enabling an ordinary-sized steamer to remain in dry dock for extensive repairs, leaving the other portion available for other vessels.

The work undertaken by this company is of a most varied character. In its earliest days as many as five vessels have been accommodated at one time. Now it is a common occurrence for a large tramp steamer to monopolise the whole of the dock. Ocean liners, troopships, sailing ships, mud dredgers, and warships, have found accommodation there. In August 1902, the Japanese cruiser " Takasago " was dry-docked for cleaning and painting, the work being efficiently and expeditiously carried out in three days. Successful salvage operations have also been carried out, one of these being the steamer " Adele Primavesi," which was successfully raised after sinking in the Roath dock while loading in Sept. 1892. A later case was that of the " Piva," which sunk while loaded near the entrance lock of the Roath basin. After being raised, this vessel was kept afloat while being discharged, and was afterwards docked and repaired by the same firm. A particular feature of the Bute dry dock is its capabilities for docking loaded ships. Over twenty ships have been dry-docked with cargo and repaired in this condition, two recent cases being tho " Vauxhall Bridge," loaded with a full cargo of rails and extensively repaired, the combined weight of the steamer with her cargo being over 8,000 tons, and the " Hillgrove," with a cargo of 5,500 tons of coal. The success which has attended work of this nature has proved beyond doubt the solidity of the dock bottom.

In 1901 the mercantile pontoon was acquired, and is worked as an annexe to the original dry dock. It is situated in the Roath dock and represents the only dry dock accommodation available there. It is 320 feet long and 52 feet wide, and is capable of raising vessels up to 2,600 tons displacement. There are excellently equipped workshops in close proximity to the pontoon.

Cambrian Collieries,

Cambrian Collieries

The collieries are situated in the main Rhondda Valley, and were sunk in 1874 by the late Mr. Samuel Thomas, Scuborwen, Aberdare. After his death they were carried on by Messrs. J. H. Thomas and D. A. Thomas, M.P., up to the year 1896, when they were taken over by the company. The collieries have an output of nearly a million tons per annum, and give employment to 3,500 men.

There are three shafts, known as Nos. 1, 2 and 3; No. 1 Shaft has been sunk through all the measures to what is termed locally the Coronation seam at a depth of 509 yards; the 6-foot seam — which is at a depth of 394 yards — and the Coronation seam are worked from this shaft. The winding-engine has 42-inch cylinders with 6-foot stroke, and has cylindrical drums of different diameters, one being 20 feet 6 inches and the other 15 feet 9 inches on the same shaft, made by Messrs. Llewellyn and Cubitt, Rhondda Engine Works, Pentre. The larger drum works to the Coronation seam, and the smaller to the 6-foot seam; the winding-rope is of plough-steel 5 1/2 inches in circumference. There are double-decked cages, raising two trams with an average weight of 35 cwt. of coal per tram; the dead weight on the 6-foot side amounts to approximately 13 tons 15 cwt., and on the Coronation side to 13 tons; the banking and hitching from both decks is done simultaneously.

Owing to the difference in the diameter of the drums, a 30-cwt. piece of cast-iron has been fixed between the upper and lower decks on the 6-foot side, thus securing perfect balance in the winding of coal. About 1,800 tons of coal per day are raised through this shaft, the largest quantity produced under the existing conditions in a single shift of nine hours being 2,450 tons. The head-gear of this shaft is of lattice ironwork.

The No. 2 Pit works what is known as the Red Vein seam, and is 415 yards in depth. It has a pair of horizontal winding-engines, 40 inches diameter, 6-foot stroke, parallel drums 19 feet diameter, made by Messrs. Llewellyn and Cubitt, Pentre. This engine, as well as the No. 1 winding-engine, is fitted with Barclay's cut-off gear. The cages are double-decked, and work similar weight to that of the No. 1 pit. The output in this pit is 1,600 tons per day, the largest quantity obtained in one day being 2,730 tons. The rope used in this pit is of plough-steel 5 1/2 inches circumference, the dead weight lifted being 13 tons.

The No. 3 Pit (upcast) has been sunk to the Coronation seam at a depth of 517 yards, and has a lattice-iron pit-head frame. The winding-engines are 36 inches diameter, 6-foot stroke, conical drums tapering from 16 feet to 19 feet, fitted with automatic cut-off gear and steam-brake, made by Messrs. Thornewill and Warham, Burton-on-Trent; 800 tons of coal are raised daily through this shaft.

The ventilation of the collieries is secured by a 35-foot Waddle fan, 80 revolutions per minute, producing about 400,000 cubic feet of air per minute, with a water-gauge of 4 inches. The engines are tandem-compound, the high-pressure cylinders 22 inches, and the low-pressure cylinder 36 inches, 3-foot stroke. The fan is fitted with a Korting ejector condenser, producing a vacuum of 27 inches. There is also in reserve a Scheile fan 21 feet diameter, with a single horizontal engine 42 inches, also capable of producing 400,000 cubic feet of air per minute with 4 inches water-gauge.

A water-softening plant has recently been erected, of the Archbutt-Deeley type, capable of dealing with 18,000 gallons of water per hour.

Power for ventilating, winding, and for some of the haulages underground is provided by twenty Lancashire boilers 30 feet by 8 feet, with pressures varying from 60 to 120 lbs. per square inch, supplied by Messrs. Daniel Adamson and Co., and Messrs. Tinker, Shenton and Co.

The screening plant supplied by Messrs. Head, Wrightson and Co., of Thornaby-on-Tees, is capable of dealing with 5,000 tons per day; there are five large coal-picking bands, two small coal-belts, and one stone-belt running across the centre of the large coal-belts. Provision has been made in this plant for dealing with four classes of coal — large, small, duff, and nuts. The whole is electrically operated by motors of various horse-powers supplied by The British Westinghouse Co., Manchester, each belt being worked separately. The five large coal-belts lead to different weigh-bridges, all the weighing being done from overhead.

The other surface plant, namely, saw-mills, fitting shop, smithies, chaff-cutting, are driven electrically with power supplied by the South Wales Electric-Power Distribution Co. The power is delivered at the transforming station at 3-phase alternating current, 25 cycles, 11,000 volts, and transformed for surface work to 440 volts, and for underground purposes at 2,200 volts. For underground purposes a main cable, capable of taking 1,500 H.P., is laid from the distributing station to a sub-station situated in the Red Vein seam, the respective circuits for all the haulages being taken from this station.

In the Red Vein the main hauling-engine is a 220-B.H.P. motor, working at 2,000 volts, 25 cycles per second, 180 revolutions per minute, geared 5 1/2 to 1, which deals with half the output of this seam (800 tons per day). All the underground motors were made by The London Electrical Co., supplied and erected by Messrs. D. Selby Bigge and Co., Newcastle-on-Tyne. The west side of the No. 2 Pit is still worked by steam-engines. The two main hauling-engines are fed by means of an endless-rope electrical engine, 150 H.P., 2,000 volts, 25 cycles per second, 170 revolutions per minute.

The 6-foot seam is worked by a similar electrical engine to that described in the No. 2 Pit. The Coronation seam is worked by a 24-inch hauling-engine, 6-foot drum, main and tail from the surface; there are also several other small steam and electrical engines working in the different parts of the collieries. The management of the collieries is under Mr. Leonard W. Llewelyn.

Cardiff Channel Dry Docks and Pontoon Co

(See page 405.)
Cardiff Docks

This firm, which has now extended its borders to Barry, Newport, and Sharpness, is able to accommodate in its docks twelve large modern steamers at the same time. The Cardiff dry dock is one of the largest and most up-to-date in the Bristol Channel. It was completed in 1895, and is 615 feet long with a width of 107 feet. This dock is capable of taking in four steamers at once, and has accommodated the largest steamer that has ever visited the Port of Cardiff. The pontoon is of the most modern off-shore type, and was built by Messrs. Swan and Hunter under Messrs. Clark and Stanfield's supervision. It is capable of lifting a steamer of 5,000 tons dead weight. The whole of the shops and works are laid out in the most convenient and modern manner, being lighted throughout by electricity, and a complete installation of pneumatic plant has also recently been laid down, which has turned out to be a great success as regards economy and despatch.

Ebbw Vale Steel, Iron and Coal Co

Ebbw Vale Steel, Iron and Coal Co

The Ebbw Vale Co. commenced operations under the direction of Messrs. Harford and Homfrey somewhere about 1780, although there is evidence of iron having been smelted at Ebbw Vale at an earlier period. The operations have been continuous to the present day, and the present output of 5,000 tons of pig-iron per week is the largest in the history of the Company. As an indication of the different conditions prevailing 40 years ago, a very much smaller output was produced by 23 blast-furnaces than is at present produced by the five responsible for the above output. The Company was one of the earliest to roll iron-rails, and it is on record that the rails for the Stockton and Darlington Railway were rolled at these works.

About 40 years ago the adoption of the " Bessemer " steel process, under the guidance of the late Sir Henry Bessemer, took place. The works were commenced by Mr. Moon, and finished, started and afterwards managed, by a Past-President of this Institution — Mr E. Windsor Richards. Within the last 2 or 3 years the iron and steel plant has been greatly modified and brought up to date, the most noteworthy additions being a large modern blast-furnace at the Victoria plant, a modern 2-vessel plant in substitution of the old " Bessemer " shop alluded to, and a large electric generating plant at Victoria.

The colliery property began to be worked at the same date as the commencement of the manufacture of iron, the coal in those days being worked in drifts in the side of the hill alongside the iron-stone. About the beginning of the last century the first coal-pit was sunk, and the output of coal from the various properties has been a greatly increasing one until it now reaches the total of approximately 1 3/4 million tons per annum. All the small coal is washed, the nuts and beans abstracted, and the resulting small manufactured into coke, the total output being about 4,200 tons per week.

The company employs about 9,000 men at its various properties and works, covers about 4 square miles of freehold and leasehold properties, and embraces in its products, best locomotive steam-coal, coke, steel rails, fish-plates, sheet and tin bars, billets (both Bessemer acid and Siemens basic steel), sleepers, and other similar products, and amongst other subsidiary manufactures there is the production of electric current and gas for public lighting, the manufacture of 12 to 14 million bricks per annum in three separate brickyards, and the possession of modern up-to-date engineering plant, wherein practically the whole of the requirements of the company in engines and gearing, boilers, locomotives, springs, railway wagons, and other accessories are produced by the company's own workmen.

Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds

Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds

These works are situated at the East Moors, Cardiff, on land leased from the Marquis of Bute. The erection of the works was commenced in March, 1888, and two blast-furnaces were blown in on 4th February 1891. The Steel Works and Plate Mill commenced operations in 1895.

The manufactures are:— Bessemer hematite pig-iron; Siemens-Martin steel slabs; Siemens-Martin steel plates for boilers; Siemens-Martin steel plates for shipbuilding, girder work, etc.

Blast-Furnace Plant.- Approaching the works from the wharf, the first portion visited is the blast-furnace plant. This consists of four blast-furnaces, three of them being 75 feet high, and the fourth has recently been raised to 85 feet high. At the back of the furnaces are twelve hot-blast Cowper stoves, eleven of which are 68 feet high, and one 85 feet high.

On the other side of the siding, which runs at the back of the furnace plant, are situated sixteen bunkers, which are used for the storing of coke, ore, and limestone. The wagons in which the material is brought to be deposited in the bunkers are raised by means of a hydraulic hoist to the top of the bunkers, and then run over a gantry, and, after unloading, are lowered by a hoist at the other end. In front of the blast-furnaces run the pig-beds, which are fitted with travelling-cranes running the entire length, and with two hydraulic pig-breakers.

The power for driving the blast-furnace plant is derived from four compound condensing blast-engines, which are placed in an engine-house 146 feet long, 32 feet wide and 60 feet high, directly facing the furnaces. The steam for these engines is produced by fifteen steel boilers which are placed at the north end of the engine-house. The boilers are heated with gas from the furnaces, and are fitted with economisers.

At the back of the engine-house is situated the pump-house and electric generating station. In this are placed the five hydraulic pumping-engines for working the hydraulic plant in connection with the wharf, blast-furnaces, steel works, mills, etc., also the electric generating plant, which consists of one 500-kw. direct-coupled engine and dynamo, and one 250-kw. similar set, also two small sets. This plant supplies the current for power and lighting; and there are about 4 miles of copper conductors about the works. Fifty motors are in use for driving overhead cranes, fixed and portable winches, furnace-charging machines, live roller- gearing, pumps, and portable tools, etc.

Steel Plant— This consists of a 160-ton Talbot furnace and six 40-ton Siemens furnaces, which are equipped with one 40-ton and one 30-ton overhead electrical-cranes, and two Wellman-Seaver charging machines. The requisite gas is derived from twenty-two ordinary gas-producers and one Talbot-Fraser producer, all of which are placed at the back of the smelting furnaces.

After casting, the ingots are placed in two vertical gas-furnaces, which are situated between the smelting furnaces and the slabbing mill. This mill is worked by a horizontal high-pressure steam-engine, cylinder 48 inches diameter, 60 inches stroke, and the mill is capable of rolling ingots up to 10 tons in weight.

Between the slabbing mill and the plate mill is the radial hydraulic charging-machine, by means of which the slabs are taken mechanically from the slabbing mill and placed in four re-heating furnaces, and then conveyed as required by the same machine to the plate mill.

The plate mill is worked by a high-pressure engine, with a pair of cylinders 54 inches diameter, 60 inches stroke, and is capable of rolling 1,500 tons per week. From the mill the plates are conveyed to the shears, and from thence to the loading bank.

Lloyd's Bute Proving-house, Cardiff

Lloyd's Bute Proving-house

This proving-house was established in 1866 for testing chain cables and anchors for manufacturers and for vessels coming to Cardiff and the adjacent ports. It is situated on the west side of the Glamorganshire Canal, within half-a-mile of the Great Western Railway station, and is connected to it by a siding to the riverside branch railway, also with the Bute Docks by water. It is owned by the Marquess of Bute, Sir William Thomas Lewis, Bart., being the general manager, and Mr. George W. Penn the superintendent.

The proving-house is fitted with three powerful hydraulic testing-machines, the strains being indicated by levers and dead weights, thus assuring accurate results, in addition to which the breaking-machines are fitted with hydraulic indicators for experimental and light testing. There are two breaking-machines, one made by Messrs. Joshua Buckton and Co., Leeds, and licensed to 350 tons, and the other made by Messrs. Brown, Lenox and Co., Pontypridd, and licensed to 250 tons. The tensile testing-machine, the bed of which is 15 fathoms long, is licensed to 180 tons, but is being altered to test up to 250 tons. The hydraulic shears are capable of exerting a force of 250 tons, and are fitted with gauges which indicate the pressure applied in shearing iron, steel, and other materials cold. In addition to the ordinary testing of chain cables and anchors, every description of experimental testing of iron, steel, wire-ropes, concrete, and wood is carried out with the greatest accuracy, and full reports of each test are supplied.

(See also Paper on " Large Testing-Machines in South Wales, 1829-1906," by Mr. J. Hartley Wicksteed, Past-President, page 543.)

Melingriffith Tin-Plate Works

Melingriffith Tinplate Co

The Melingriffith Works are situated at the foot of the Taff Valley, on the banks of the Taff River and the Glamorganshire Canal. The name "Melingriffith" is a Welsh one, meaning "Griffith's Mill," while on the crest of a hill, overlooking the works, is "Velindre," "the house of the mill." The works were the largest in the tin-plate trade until 1806. Associated with the Melingriffith Works at different times have been the following names:— The Johns'; Richard Blakemore; Thomas W. Booker; James Spence; H. W. Martin, and finally the present directors:— Sir W. Thomas Lewis, Bart. (Chairman); Edward P. Martin; Richard Thomas, and his son, R. Beaumont Thomas, whose Paper on "The Manufacture of Tin-Plates" was read at this meeting (page 499).

The works cover an area of five acres, and are connected with the Glamorganshire Canal and also with the Taff Vale Railway by a siding nearly 2 miles long, at a point just below Taff's Well station. Previous to the works coming into the possession of the present proprietors, it was worked in conjunction with the "Pentyrch Iron Forge, Blast Furnaces, Collieries and Mine Pits," located at Pentyrch. The manufacture of wire and sheets was at one time carried on together with that of tin-plates. The rolling-mills, eleven in number, of which four are water-mills driven singly by three breast wheels, one turbine and seven driven by steam, are situated at a lower level than the other parts of the works, in order to take advantage of the fall of the water. The water required for the works is obtained from the Melingriffith Weir on the River Taff, situated about a mile above the works, affording, in winter, about 400 H.P. Instead of being known by numbers, as at Present, the mills were formerly designated by such names as "Princess," "Volunteer," "Old Forge," "New Forge," "Fly," "Turbine," etc.

The boiler-house, situated at the top end of the mills, near the smaller stack, contains one Lancashire boiler, of the Galloway type, made by Messrs. Daniel Adamson and Co., 30 feet long by 8 feet 6 inches diameter, 180 lbs. working pressure. This drives two duplicate horizontal compound engines, 4 feet stroke, high-pressure cylinders 18 inches and low-pressure 24 inches. Coupled on to each of these are two mills of 26-inch rolls, worked only on one side of the engines. This is due to the fact that, originally, the engines were simple condensing and only drove one mill apiece. The present proprietors compounded both engines and added a mill to each. At the lower end of the works are two more Lancashire boilers of the same type, sizes, and make as that at the upper part, both of 160 lbs. working-pressure, which, amongst other work, drive one horizontal compound engine, 22 1/2 inches high-pressure cylinders, 37 3/4 inches low-pressure, stroke 4 feet 6 inches. This engine drives three mills of 26-inch rolls, two mills on one side and one mill on the other. The mills throughout the works are two rolls high, and each has two pairs of standard housings.

On the higher level of the works are situated the annealing, pickling, cold rolls, tinning and assorting rooms, also the carpenters' and fitting shops, smithy, etc. There are three annealing furnaces (reverberatory type), each about 20 feet long by 12 feet wide, and two pickling machines, of the type known as " Grey's." The cold rolls consist of 16 pairs, driven by two duplicate, vertical, compound engines, with horizontal condensers, 13 inches high-pressure cylinders, 26 inches low-pressure, stroke 3 feet, which are supplied with steam by the boilers at the lower part of the works. The engines have been recently erected by Messrs. Summers and Scott, of Gloucester, and have replaced one simple condensing horizontal engine, which, however, only drove twelve pairs of cold rolls.

The tin-house contains fourteen tin-sets of the type known as the "Melingriffith Patent"; fourteen Richard Thomas and Co.'s cleaners, and four dusting-machines. The tin-house machinery is driven by a 25-H.P. 3-phase alternating-current electric-motor. The fitting- shop contains four lathes, one screw-cutting machine, and one drilling-machine, driven by a 6-H.P. electric motor, of the same type as that driving the tin-house machinery. (This motor also drives the fans for the two fires in the smithy.) The building which contains the carpenters' shop was, in the remote past, used as a "company shop," where the workpeople obtained their supplies of food and clothing, etc. One of the locomotives in use was made by Messrs. Andrew Barclay, Son and Co., Kilmarnock. Cylinder 13 inches diameter, stroke 20 inches, four wheels coupled, and is fitted with a steam-brake, and the other locomotive was purchased by the company's predecessors.

Tin-plates, as made at the Melingriffith Works, are manufactured from long steel bars of about 16 feet in length, 9 inches wide and about 1/2 inch thick. These bars, after being cut into suitable lengths in the bar-shears, are heated in the mill furnaces and passed through the mill rolls. During this process they are folded until there are eight sheets in the pack, each about 42 inches in length and about 28 to 34 w.g. thick. These sheets have their edges trimmed and are cut into the required sizes by the mill-shears. (The shearings cut from the sheets are tied in bundles and sold to steel-bar makers.) The sheets are then separated by women, and are called " rough black-plate." From here the sheets are piled, weighed, and sent, by means of a steam-hoist, to the higher level of the works to the pickling machines, where they are dipped into a solution of heated sulphuric acid. The acid cleans off the iron-oxide formed by the hot sheets coming into contact with the atmosphere. They are then dipped into water, which washes away the traces of acid, etc. The acid, when unfit for use, is ruu off through lead pipes into the copperas house, at the lower end of the works, where it is converted into copperas, which is used for dye and paint manufacture and deodorising sewage. The plates, having been " cleared," are piled on stands, covered with pots and made air-tight with sand. They are then placed in the annealing furnace for about eight hours, after which they are taken out and are not uncovered until cold. The object of this process is to make the plates ductile. They are then passed through the cold rolls for the purpose of polishing them and closing the pores. As the cold-rolling hardens the plates, they are again slightly annealed, so as to rectify this brittleness. The product is then known as "finished black-plate." The next process is that of converting the " finished black-plates " into tin-plates. Before the plates can be tinned they must be again cleaned of all dirt, etc.; this is done by subjecting them to another bath of a weak solution of sulphuric acid. They are then placed in iron troughs filled with water, and are taken as required from these troughs into the tin-house. There the plates travel in a half-circular direction through zinc chloride (known as flux) lying on the surface of the molten tin, and, finally, through palm oil. When delivered from the tinning-machine the plates are placed in the cleaner, where they are cleaned of grease by means of bran, etc., and then passed through sheep-skin rollers, so as to rub off the bran. From the tin-house the plates are taken to the assorting-rooms, where the sheets are carefully examined, counted, weighed and packed into boxes ready for shipment. The finished product is then known as the "Elyn" brand of tin-plates.

The number of workpeople is about 530, and the annual output is now over 17,500 tons of 30/31 w.g. tin-plates. (In 1800 the output was 13,000 boxes.) The principal markets are Germany and the United States of America.

Mounstart Dry Dock, Cardiff


The property of the Mountstuart Dry Docks Co. is situated at the end of Bute Road, Cardiff, at the entrance to the Cardiff loading docks; it is one minute's walk from the electric-tram terminus and pier-head, and consists of three large graving docks — Nos. 1, 2 and 3 — a long jetty, engineering shop, new boiler shop, smithy, joiners' and carpenters' shops, sawmill, stores, and general offices.

No. 1 Graving Dock was completed about 50 years ago, since which it has been deepened and on two occasions lengthened. It is 440 feet long, 70 feet wide, 52 feet wide at entrance gates, and the depth of water on ordinary spring tides is 28 feet. A portion of the original dock can still be seen at the centre.

No. 2 Graving Dock was constructed about twenty-five years ago, is 420 feet long, 105 feet wide, 52 feet wide at entrance gates, and the depth of water at ordinary spring tides is 26 feet. This dock will accommodate two vessels alongside each other 390 feet long, and the centre blocks will take a ship 420 feet long. The inner gates can retain water to a depth of 20 feet on the blocks when necessary.

No. 3 Graving Dock was opened in December 1901, is 550 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 66 feet wide at entrance gates; the depth of water on ordinary spring tides is 28 1/2 feet, and the inner gates can retain water to a depth of 20 feet on the blocks when necessary.

The engineering shop, boiler shop, smithy, and coppersmiths' shop are fitted with machinery and plant of the newest and best description, designed to execute work quickly and economically. In the engineering shop and smithy, a 25-ton overhead travelling-crane is fitted, while in the boiler shop a modern punching and shearing press is erected, the largest and most powerful in South Wales. The joiners' shop, carpenters' shop and sawmill are fitted with the most modern and up-to-date machinery, including a new pattern horizontal band-saw, with travelling carriage 40 feet long, also a wood-planing machine, small band-saw, circular saws, etc.

The jetty is built of pitch pine 220 feet long by 25 feet wide, with railway, steam-cranes, especially strong moorings and several large mooring buoys, enabling vessels to lie alongside the company's premises whilst undergoing repairs. The machinery and boilers for pumping out the docks are erected in a large building situated close to the jetty. The three boilers are of the Babcock and Wilcox water-tube type, 160 lbs. pressure, and run up to 700 H.P. The engines are of the latest Tangye type. Nos. 2 and 3 Docks can be emptied in about one hour, the quantity of water pumped being six and a half million gallons, against a head varying from zero to 30 feet. No. 1 Dock is equipped with a centrifugal pump, driven by an electric motor and vertical spindle, discharging about 2,500 gallons per minute. The inner and outer dock-gates are opened and closed by direct-acting hydraulic machinery, and hydraulic and electrically- driven capstans are fitted on the pier-heads.

The whole of the machinery in the engineering shop, boiler shop, sawmills, etc., is operated by electric motors, from current supplied by the Cardiff Corporation. In the engineering shop there are six 50-H.P. motors driving groups of machinery, and three 20-H.P. motors each driving an independent machine. The whole of the works, stores, offices, etc., throughout are fitted with electric light, with branch cables for lighting ships and transmitting power whilst undergoing repairs. The works are connected to all the principal railways by a private railway siding, and railways are laid around and alongside all the dry-docks and on the jetty. Five steam travelling-cranes are always in use, two being exceptionally powerful and suitable for heavy work, such as lifting propellers, shafting, etc. There are salvage pumps, boilers, and gear always on the premises ready for immediate use. Vessels entering the Mountstuart Dry Docks and lading at any other port incur no Cardiff Port or Harbour dues.

There were 191 vessels dry-docked from the 30th June 1905 until May 31st 1906, with an aggregate gross tonnage of 560,000 tons, while 64 vessels were repaired afloat with an aggregate gross tonnage of 180,000 tons. The chairman of the company is Sir John Gunn, who has been intimately associated with the undertaking for nearly 40 years.

Newport Transporter Bridge

Transporter Bridge, Newport

The Borough of Newport consists of the old and new towns, the former occupying the western, and the latter the eastern bank of the river. The two portions are connected by a stone bridge of five arches, built in 1800, which was widened in 1866 by the construction of cantilever footpaths on both sides. In order to make provision for the increased traffic in recent years, various suggestions were put forward by the Corporation, who obtained parliamentary sanction for the working of a ferry, and later for the construction of a foot-passenger subway 2 miles below Newport bridge. It was not until 1899 that the Corporation decided to erect a transporter bridge somewhat similar to those erected on the Continent. The principal dimensions are as follows:—

  • Span, centre to centre of towers 645 feet
  • Span between faces of piers 592 feet
  • Clear height to underside of stiffening girder from high-water mark, ordinary spring tides 177 feet
  • Height of tower from pier cap, or level of approach road, to saddle 2410 feet
  • Distance between centres of anchorages 1,545 feet
  • Centre of tower to centre of anchorage 450 feet

The foundations are set in the marl about 80 feet below the river bank, and the piers, eight in number, are placed in groups of four on each bank. Each pier consists of a masonry well or monolith mounted on a steel curb or shoe 20 feet in diameter. The walling is of local stone set in cement mortar, and steel-wire cables 1 1/2 inches in circumference secured to the shoe were carried up in the walling as it proceeded. The sinking was done under compressed-air. The anchorages are of rubble masonry in lime mortar on a pile and lime concrete foundation; galleries are provided for the passage of the cables, which can be inspected throughout their whole length. The reaction is taken through granite bed-blocks with armoured cement concrete blocks on their inner faces. Each anchorage weighs approximately 2,000 tons.

The towers are of lattice steel construction, the main members of the legs being formed of angles and plates riveted together in the form of a cross. The bottom part of each leg is well stiffened by gussets and brackets, and the general outline, looking in the direction of the stream, is an even taper from base to summit. Viewed from across the stream, the legs are spindle-shaped. The upper part of the tower above the platform is very rigidly connected together by three tiers of lattice girders and heavy bracing, and the extreme top is heavily reinforced by joist sections. On the top of each masonry pier a heavy cast-iron saddle is fixed, which carries a rocker or articulation pin, on which rests in turn an inverted saddle connected to the tower leg itself. A wind-pressure of 56 lbs. to the foot on the side facing the wind, with one half of this amount on each of the leeward faces, has been allowed for. Each tower is fitted with an easy stairway extending from the ground to the platform level, and the calculated weight of a tower is 277 tons.

The suspension cables are sixteen in number, four inside and four outside each of the stiffening trusses. Each cable is composed of 127 wires, giving a total section of 3.945 square inches. The anchor cables are also sixteen in number, the section of each being 4.273 square inches. The suspension and anchorage cables have an estimated weight of 196 tons, and the diagonal cables 19 tons.

The travelling frame or truck is built up of joist channel and angle sections, and is arranged to run under the bottom booms of the stiffening girders. It is furnished with sixty cast-steel wheels. From the frame is suspended the car, 33 feet in length by 40 feet in width, which is divided into a central roadway space and two footways. The frame and car are propelled by steel-wire ropes wound on a drum worked by electric motors, and the maximum rate of travel is 10 feet per second. The cost of the bridge was about £70,000, and it was erected by Mr. Alfred Thorne, contractor, of Westminster.

Thomas Owen and Co

Thomas Owen and Co

These works are situated about 1 1/2 miles from Cardiff and about 5 minutes' walk from the end of the tramway. They were started in 1865 for the purpose of manufacturing Esparto half stuff, which was supplied to other paper mills. In 1867 the first paper-making machine was erected, in 1869 the second, and in 1874 the third. The works up to this period had not been prosperous and in 1877 they were acquired by Messrs. Evans and Owen, of Bath, and since then they have been successfully worked and greatly increased. In 1885 the fourth machine was put down, in 1889 the fifth, in 1893 the sixth and seventh, and the eighth, a large American machine 132 inches in width, in 1897. On the death of Mr. Evans in 1885, the works were subsequently formed into a limited company by the late Mr. Thomas Owen, M.P. He was chairman of the company until his death in 1898, when Mr. R. W. Perks, M.P., became chairman.

The eight paper-making machines turn out between 400 and 450 tons per week. The paper is chiefly news, printings, supercalandered papers, imitation parchments, glazed casings, etc. About 500 men are employed at Cardiff, and the company also employ about 300 men at Hjerpen, in Jemtland, Sweden, where they have extensive forests, and manufacture about 300 tons of chemical wood-pulp per week, a large quantity of which is shipped to Cardiff for the firm's use. The works are excellently situated, being within easy carriage of the docks for importing raw materials, and have sidings communicating with the Great Western, Midland, London and North Western, and Taff Vale Railways.

Penart Dock and Ely Tidal Harbour

(See Plate 45.)
Penarth Dock

Penarth Dock is situated under Penarth Head, within the Port of Cardiff, and is distant by water about 1 mile from the Bute Docks Pier Head. It was constructed by the Penarth Harbour, Dock, and Railway Co., and is leased for 999 years to the Taff Vale Railway Co., with whose system of railways it is directly connected. It was opened in 1865, and enlarged in 1884. The dock is approached directly from the Bristol Channel and, under ordinary circumstances, the gates can all be thrown open from sea to dock, thereby enabling vessels entering to proceed direct to the tips or cranes without the delay of locking from the basin to the dock. The entrance channel is several feet deeper than the dock cill.

The dimensions of Penarth Dock are as follows:— Length, 2,900 feet; width, 370 feet; area, 23 acres; width of entrance, 60 feet; depth of water on dock cill at ordinary spring tides is 36 feet and at neap tides 26 feet.

Penarth Basin.— Length, 400 feet; width, 330 feet; area, 3 acres; width of entrance, 60 feet; the depth of water is the same as at the dock.

The dock-gates are opened and closed by hydraulic power, and hydraulic capstans are available at the outer and inner gates to assist vessels passing in and out. Storage sidings, to hold coal awaiting shipment, have been provided in convenient proximity to the dock and are capable of holding several thousand wagons. A movable crane, lifting 20 tons, is available for loading and discharging articles of exceptional weight. The dock is lighted by means of powerful electric lights, and the appliances for extinguishing fire are of the most complete character[2].

Penarth or Ely Tidal Harbour.— This harbour is under the control of the Taff Vale Railway Co. and is directly connected with its railway. It has a water frontage on the north side of 13,000 feet, and on the south or dock side of 3,000 feet. The water area is about 55 acres. There are six hydraulic tips on the north side, each capable of shipping 200 tons per hour; vessels not exceeding 800 tons burden take the ground at low water and can be loaded with safety in that position. The depth of water at the berths varies from 20 feet neap tides to 30 feet spring tides. A jetty, fitted with hydraulic cranes, etc., affords facilities for the discharge of cargo or ballast.

A subway connects Penarth Dock with the Penarth or Ely Harbour. Prior to 1900 there was a ferry at this point, but it was found to be so inconvenient that the company decided to abolish it, and obtained parliamentary sanction to construct the subway. It is 1,257 feet long, and has a diameter of 10 feet externally and 8 feet 10 inches internally; the footway is 6 feet wide with 7 1/2 feet headroom in the centre. Provision has been made for carrying four pipes through it, so that the gas, hydraulic, and water services on both sides of the harbour can be joined. The lowest point of the footway is 65 3/4 feet below the dock coping, and the gradients at each end are 1 in 9, joined at the lowest part by a vertical curve of 800 feet radius. The cast-iron tube is of two thicknesses: 1 inch under the land and 1 3/4 inches under the water.

Joseph Rank, Atlantic Flour Mills

Joseph Rank

The power to drive the machinery of these mills is supplied by two triple-expansion engines of 700 I.H.P., built by Messrs. Wood Brothers, of Sowerby Bridge. The boilers, of which there are four, 30 feet by 8 feet, working at a pressure of 200 lbs. per square inch, were supplied by Messrs. Tetlow Brothers, of Hollinwood. A complete silo installation with band-conveying arrangements for conveying the grain is in operation, the transmitting arrangements being of a capacity of 120 tons of wheat per hour. The storage capacity of the grain silos is about 50,000 quarters. A complete wheat-cleaning and conditioning plant for preparing the wheat for the mill is installed, with a capacity of sixty sacks of flour per hour. The grain-conveying plant was supplied by Messrs. Spencer and Co., of Melksham, the flour-milling machinery by Messrs. Henry Simon, of Manchester, and the whole of the erection of the plant was carried out under the superintendence of the firm's staff.

Rhymney Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Works

Caerphilly Works

The works are situated on the northern side, and run parallel with the company's main line at Caerphilly, 6 1/2 miles from Cardiff. They occupy about 17 acres, and, owing to the levels being lower than the main line, access by rail is obtained by a short branch line to overcome variation.

Entering the works by the railway, a 45-foot turntable, made by the Isca Foundry Co., Newport, and a water-crane for locomotives by Messrs. Beck and Co., London, are first seen. Close by are the carriage and wagon shops; the first department to be visited is the paint shop, 220 feet long by 42 feet wide, with tiled floor to enable it to be washed out periodically. The shops have two sets of rails with pits to enable the under portions of the various vehicles to be got at more readily; the whole of the rolling stock of the company is dealt with in this department, including the locomotives. At the western end the building is of two storeys, the ground floor being utilized as a store-room for mixing paints, and the painting of numerous small articles required on a railway and the foreman's office, the upper storey being used for upholstering and the making of carriage cushions and trimmings generally. The shop is heated during the winter months by hot water, heated by two slow-combustion stoves of Messrs. D. Griffiths and Co., Liverpool.

The wagon shop is 220 feet by 35 feet wide and has one set of rails; the building, rebuilding and all heavy repairs to wagons are done here; the lighter repairs are done in the yard where two cranes have been placed for the lifting and changing of wheels. A portion of this shop has been partitioned off, and is being used for the dressing and repairing of wagon sheets.

The carriage shop is 220 feet long by 42 feet wide; the building, repairing and maintaining of the coaching stock and general carpentry work is done in this shop, which also contains a good selection of wood-working machinery; also a circular saw, boring machine, mortising machine, fret-saw, band-saw, moulding machine, planing machine, and emery-wheel for sharpening tools, etc. The whole of the machines are driven by separate electric-motors, varying in power from 1 to 15 H.P., and from 600 to 1,200 revolutions; they are placed underground, and the machines driven by belts and countershafts, enabling the attendant to havo complete command of his work with less risk of accident, and keeping the motors free from dust and dirt. At the rear of the carriage shop is a small shop utilized for the repairs of dynamos, storage batteries, and recharging batteries for Stone's system of electric lighting for coaches; adjoining also are the timber storage-sheds for drying and seasoning the various timbers used.

The locomotive shops on the eastern boundary comprise machine, erecting, smiths' and boiler shops, with two test-houses for steam-raising and weighing of engines and for the testing of boilers.

The machine shop is 245 feet long by 42 feet wide, and contains a vertical-lapping machine with emery wheels for motion work, slot-drilling machine, radial-arm drilling and tapping machine, slotting machine with 2-foot stroke, wheel-turning lathe, rests, also double-geared, crank-turning lathe. Running down the centre of the shop is a 4-ton electric jib-crane. Power is obtained from two 32-H.P. motors running at 565 revolutions, the line shafting being geared to 105 revolutions per minute.

The erecting shop is 245 feet long by 84 feet wide, in two bays with two sets of rails in each bay, and fitted with pits; it is capable of holding twenty engines and has two 30-ton electric overhead cranes. Adjoining this shop is one utilized partly by the coppersmiths and for raising of steam and weighing engines; also for storing parts of the engines whilst undergoing repairs.

The smiths' shop is 245 feet long by 42 feet wide, with eighteen fires, small furnace for spring-smiths, and 10-cwt. steam-hammer, the blast being supplied by a Root's blower driven by 10-H.P. motor at 500 revolutions. Adjoining is a shop for the testing of new boilers, and boilers that have had heavy repairs previous to putting them in the frames.

The boiler shop is 245 feet by 42 feet wide, and is fitted with radial-arm drilling machine, plate-bending rolls, punching and shearing machine, furnace for heating plates for flanging, etc., 10-ton overhead electric crane; the shafting is motor-driven. Adjoining this shop is a water-tank with a capacity of 21,000 gallons, the supply being maintained by one of Hayward, Tyler and Co.'s 6-inch by 12-inch double-barrel, standpipe well-pump, lifting 2,500 gallons per hour, driven direct by a 5-H.P. motor; all the shops are supplied with water from this source, mains being laid to all parts for use in the case of fire, etc.

At the end of the machine shop is a generating station, supplying power and light required for the works and offices by means of duplicate sets of engines and dynamos. The engines are compound, having 11-inch by 12-inch high-pressure and 18-inch by 12-inch low-pressure cylinders, 140 lbs. of steam, 130 H.P., and running 250 revolutions per minute, steam being supplied by a Lancashire boiler, 30 feet by 8 feet. The dynamos are 75 H.P., working at 500 revolutions per minute. The shops are all connected by means of a line of rails (standard gauge) passing through each.

Midway between the locomotive and carriage departments are the general offices, drawing-office, time-office, stores departments, and mess-room capable of seating 300 men, the basement being used as a pattern shop and store-room for patterns. The whole of the shops and buildings are of stone, substantially built, well lighted and ventilated.

The storehouse is situated near the entrance gates of the works, and is 120 feet long by 30 feet wide, including storekeeper's and clerks' offices. The ground floor is arranged with ample counter accommodation, together with tiers of shelving; also a good supply of bins for the reception of bolts, nuts, rivets, washers, and nails of every description and size. At the eastern end of the building are two strong racks for storing iron and steel bars; on the top of each rack there is provision for the reception of six sets of brass tubes for locomotive engines. In the main building are placed four weighing machines of the respective capacities of 1, 2, 4, and 50 cwts. On the first floor are separate departments for storing gun-metal castings, waste, and rain-water goods, together with shelves for keeping small articles, glass sheets for carriages, etc.

The oils are kept in a separate building made of stone and corrugated iron, which contains necessary counters, bins, and tanks; also a tank for the storage of petroleum, having a capacity of 2,700 gallons. For the sake of convenience heavy goods, such as boilers, crank-axles, cylinders, and tyres are kept in suitable positions in the erecting-shop, etc. These are quickly handled by means of overhead-gantries worked by electric power.

Severn Tunnel

Severn Tunnel

The Severn Tunnel, which is 4 miles 28 chains in length, passes under the estuary of the Severn (at this point about 2 miles wide), and connects the Great Western main line to the West with the trunk lines to South Wales and the North, including the London and North-Western Railway, thus affording through communication between Devonshire and Cornwall and the North of England and Scotland.

The work was commenced in 1872, but numerous unexpected difficulties were met with, including the flooding of the tunnel by what is known as the "Big Spring" and by a very high tidal wave, and the tunnel was not opened for regular traffic until September 1886. The depth of water under which the tunnel passes is very unequal, being shallow on the English side, while on the Welsh side the deepest part, known as "The Shoots," is close to the shore.

The principal pumping-station, Sudbrook, which is on the Welsh side, is consequently placed close to the river and at nearly the middle of the tunnel. At this point the top of the tunnel is 45 feet below the bed of the river. The quantity of water met with in constructing the tunnel involved the provision of very powerful pumping plant. The pumping-stations are Sea Wall on the English side, Sudbrook (3 shafts, 29 feet, 18 feet, and 12 feet diameter respectively) 5 Miles 4 Chains, and Ben Acre, the latter disused. (Particulars of the engines, pumps, and boilers are given on pages 618 and 619.) The quantity of water pumped ranges from 16.66 million gallons per day of 24 hours, which is the minimum (January 1891) to 31.95 million gallons per day, the maximum, which was reached in February 1899. These figures give the average per day taken over a period of 14 days. The maximum quantity pumped in one day was 34,060,000 gallons on 15th February 1904, and the minimum 15,000,000 gallons on 15th January 1905. (Nett after allowing 5 per cent. for "slip.")

The ventilation of the tunnel is efficiently carried out by means of an up-cast shaft and a fan 40 feet in diameter, which is usually run at about 27 revolutions per minute.

Spillers and Bakers, Cardiff

Spillers and Bakers

The present works of this company, situated by the Docks, were opened in 1893, but they had previously manufactured biscuits at the West Dock, Cardiff, and at Newport; and, owing to the great increase in their trade, they determined in 1902 to open another factory at Newcastle-on-Tyne for their north-country customers. Last year a similar factory was started in London for the manufacture of these goods. The Cardiff factory is conveniently placed by the water's edge, and is in close proximity to the railway, having sidings alongside the works. The wheat is imported by the company, cleaned and milled by them into flour at their adjacent mills, and the meat is obtained from North and South America.

The first process to be seen is that of the mixing the flour and meat in the dough-mixers, which hold half-a-ton. The water is automatically introduced; and after the water, meal, and meat have been mixed long enough in huge churn-like machines, the dough is turned out on an iron table, broken up, and passed under heavy rollers, continually moving backwards and forwards until the dough has been moulded into suitable sheets. These sheets are passed on to other rollers and rolled into the requisite thinness, cut into lengths, and again cut into the size of a biscuit, after the faces have been smoothed. The dough then passes to the ovens, which are nearly 50 feet long, and the biscuits are placed in rows on a circulating sheet. They travel slowly through the ovens until they reach the other end properly baked, and are then picked up by machinery and lifted to the drying-rooms above. After remaining some time to be dried thoroughly, they are hoisted to the packing warehouse. In this factory alone 250 tons of biscuits can be manufactured in a week.

The meat arrives in large bales weighing from 2 to 5 cwts. It is first cut into large chunks by a machine, and then passed on to another machine, which not only grinds it smaller, but contains powerful magnets to extract any iron or metal which may have accidentally got into it. It is further examined and sorted, and any other foreign matter is picked out; then, having been finely ground, it finds its way to the mixer. The boxes and barrels for packing are all made on the premises.

Besides the manufacture of dog and puppy biscuits, the company has also given special attention to the rearing and feeding of chickens. Finding that soft foods are more effective than dry foods for developing poultry, they have brought out a special chicken meal and poultry food, and a preparation called "Ovitaline" for stimulating and warming young birds. With a view to encouraging the holding of shows, the firm caters for the feeding and benching of dogs and penning of poultry shows. The number of workpeople employed in the company's various factories and mills comes to nearly 2,000, with a clerical staff of over 200.

These works are situated in Moorland Road, at the extreme east of Cardiff. They were established in 1896 for the manufacture of high-class fancy biscuits and self-raising flour, and are equipped with modern machinery and appliances. In addition to their home trade, a considerable business has been developed in exporting biscuits to India, Africa, the Far East, and other parts of the world. The number of work-people employed is about 300.

Thomas Spittle, Cambrian Cast Iron Pipe Foundry, Newport

Thomas Spittle

This firm was established more than sixty years ago by the late Mr. Thomas Spittle, grandfather of the present chairman and managing director, and was converted into a private limited company in 1880. The firm undertakes every kind of cast-iron work, but their speciality is the manufacture of cast-iron pipes for gas, water, steam, and hydraulic purposes, of which they are the largest makers in South Wales and the West of England, their names being on the Admiralty and War Office lists. They have every facility for loading and unloading big steamers at their own wharves, having steam-cranes and locomotives.

Star Patent Fuel Co, Cardiff

Star Patent Fuel Co

This Company has two factories situated at North Road, one of which is new, and the other was recently renovated with the latest improvements. Their output amounts to 1,000 tons a day. The "Star" fuel is made from the best Welsh steam-coal and the best coal-tar pitch only by Heath's dry-heat process, and is compressed by powerful hydraulic machinery into blocks which average 22 1/2 lbs. each in weight, and measure 10.6 by 6.8 by 7.4 inches. The average cohesion of the fuel is about 85 per cent., which is the highest practicable result and double that of large steam-coal tested in the same apparatus. This fuel is heated by hot gases instead of by steam, as is usually the case with patent fuels. The hot gases extract the moisture and cause the pitch to combine with the coal, so that hardly any smoke is produced when the fuel is properly fired. Another advantage is that the fuel will stand for any length of time without deterioration. The blocks are adapted for stowing easily and rapidly in a ship's hold or on a stock yard. One thousand tons can be piled on a space 23 yards square and 7 feet high; one ton occupies 32 cubic feet, whereas a similar quantity of steam-coal occupies 42 cubic feet. The number of men employed at the works is about 100, and a similar number at the docks.

Swansea Harbour

Swansea Harbour

Previous to the year 1849 no dock accommodation existed at Swansea, the whole of the trade at that time being dealt with at river wharves. In 1851 a portion of the bed of the River Tawe was floated and made into what is now known as the North Dock, the river being diverted down a new cut. This dock proving insufficient to accommodate the growing trade, the present South Dock was completed and opened for traffic in 1859. In October 1881 in consequence of the continued expansion of trade the Prince of Wales Dock was opened by H.M. The King (at that time Prince of Wales). The trade still growing, an extension of this dock was made and opened for traffic in March 1898.

Since the Prince of Wales Dock was opened the dimensions of ships have greatly increased, more particularly in length and breadth, in consequence of which vessels of modern type cannot be taken into the Prince of Wales Dock, the entrance lock being too small to admit them. The Swansea Harbour Trustees therefore applied to Parliament in 1901, and obtained powers to construct a new dock on the foreshore outside the existing system of docks; and the first sod was cut by King Edward in July 1904.

King's Dock, Swansea.—The new dock (see Plan, page 624) is being constructed on the foreshore to the east of the existing entrance channel, and the whole of the works, with the exception of the passage connecting the new dock with the Prince of Wales Dock, are below high-water mark of ordinary spring tides, on a site of little value for anything outside dock purposes, and which has in consequence been acquired at a comparatively small cost. The collective area of the existing docks amounts to 60 acres. The water area of the new dock will be 66 acres; so that, apart from any other considerations, the new undertaking will more than double the present accommodation of the port.

In order to exclude the tidal waters from the site of the works a rubble embankment about 1 3/4 miles long has been tipped, faced with heavy blocks of stone and backed with sand, forming a water-tight enclosure of about 400 acres, within which the dock works proper have just been begun. The area thus reclaimed provides for a dock with a water-area of 104 acres, of which it is only proposed now to construct 66 acres, leaving the remainder for future extension when the necessity arises. To protect the entrance the present West Pier is now being extended 800 feet, and a new East Pier will be built, with an approach jetty extending from it to the lock, alongside of which ships will "bring up" before entering the lock. The approach jetty will be of open timber-work to allow of any wave action passing through and expending itself before reaching the outer gates of the lock, in a wave basin constructed for this purpose.

The entrance lock will be 875 feet long between the pointing cills of the inner and outer gates, and 90 feet wide at coping level. There will be a depth of water on the outer cills of 40 feet at high water ordinary spring tides, and 12 feet at low water ordinary spring tides, 32 feet 3 inches at high water ordinary neap tides, and 19 feet 9 inches low water ordinary neap tides. It will thus be noted that ships of the largest size now or likely to be built will be able to enter at any tide in the year; and that vessels of the dimensions which the port now accommodates will be able to enter and leave at practically any state of the tide throughout the year. The depth of 12 feet over the outer cill at low water ordinary spring tides is greater than that of any other port in the Bristol Channel under similar conditions of tide, with the exception of Barry where the depth at low water ordinary spring tides is 13 feet 9 inches.

The lock will have vertical side walls and a flat invert throughout its entire length, so that the depth of water over the cills will be maintained practically for the full width of the lock. The angle at which the lock is placed relative to the quay walls of the dock will be such that the largest vessel the dock can take in, after it has passed through the lock, will be able to swing without interfering with any ship berthed alongside the adjacent quays. The dock walls will be vertical with ample quay-space behind them for warehouses and railway sidings. The central portion of the dock will be used for general trade. The eastern end will be reserved for a coaling arm. The Great Western Railway Co. have taken 1,000 feet of frontage on the north side of the coaling arm, and will put up coaling appliances of the most modern type, all worked on the high level, so as to leave the whole of the quay-space below free for the main-line traffic round the dock. The other railway companies are also negotiating for frontages on the southern side of the coaling arm; and the Trustees have before them several applications for works' sites on land adjoining the dock. The length of quays for general trade will be 7,350 feet; for coaling purposes 3,200 feet, or an inclusive total of 10,550 feet. The whole of the walling in the lock and dock will be of Portland cement concrete, in the proportion of 1 of cement to 6 of sand and broken stone, with about 20 per cent. of displacers. The dock walls will be faced with blue Staffordshire brick to a depth of 12 feet 6 inches and the lock to 26 feet below the level of the coping.

The dock is of irregular shape. The maximum length is 4,050 feet; the maximum width 900 feet. The length of the coaling arm is 3,050 feet; its width is 560 feet. A depth of water of 35 feet will be maintained in the dock. The communication passage between the new dock and the Prince of Wales Dock is 70 feet wide at coping level. The Tennant Canal will communicate with the dock by means of a branch canal and a barge lock on the north wall of the coaling arm. Twelve to fifteen coal-hoists will be erected in the coaling arm, the details of which have not yet been settled. The estimated cost of the works when fully equipped with coal-shipping, loading and discharging appliances, warehouses, etc., is £1,750,000.

Owing to the large amount of preparatory work in opening up a quarry to which a temporary railway 3 miles in length had to be laid from the site of the works, it was not until February 1905 that a fair start could be made on the permanent works. The first thing to be done was to tip the sea embankment and reclaim the foreshore; this bank has now been finished, and the sea was finally shut out on the 13th April. About 470,000 cubic yards of stone have gone to form it, about 107,000 of which is heavy stone pitching on the sea face with stones ranging from 2 to 5 tons in weight. Each of these stones is placed in position by a crane and the whole securely locked together. The stones are not coursed, and present a rough surface on which heavy seas are effectively broken up and rendered harmless. Several gales have taken place during the construction of this embankment; but they have failed to displace any of the stones. On the top of the sea slope a concrete parapet wall 5 feet 6 inches high is being built, about 7,500 lineal feet of which is finished. About 1,111,000 yards of sand have been tipped behind the embankment, to a width from the top of the sea slope of 150 feet, and have proved to bo perfectly watertight.

At the same time as the sea embankment has been in progress a heavy sewer diversion has been carried out. The original Corporation sewer, which dealt with the sewage on the east side of the harbour, discharged within the reclamation area on the site of the dock. This sewer has been diverted outside the dock works altogether and taken through the sea embankment with a new outfall.

The original East Pier has been lengthened and returned a part of the way towards the wing wall of the lock, and the contractors have tipped their main dam from this point right across the entrance and formed a junction with the sea embankment, so completing the watertight enclosure. This dam is similar in construction to the sea embankment; but being much exposed to wave action is carried somewhat higher with rather heavier blocks on the sea face: like the sea embankment itself it is perfectly watertight. The contractors are now laying in their roads, and six steam-navvies are already at work excavating gullets at formation level in the bottom of the dock. They are also sinking trenches for the dock walls, and have already constructed a considerable length of dock walling in the neighbourhood of the communication passage between the new dock and the existing Prince of Wales Dock.

Taff Vale Railway Locomotive Running Shed, Cardiff

Taff Vale Railway

The Locomotive Running Sheds of this company were originally situated at the Cardiff terminus of the railway. Owing, however, to the large increase in traffic it was decided to remove them in 1884 to Cathays.

The main shed can accommodate sixty large tender-engines, and is 383 feet in length. It comprises two spans of 67 feet each, and there are five roads under each span.

The engine pits are 3 1/2 feet deep, and extend throughout the entire length of the shed, excepting under a short length in the centre. In every alternate space between the pits there is a water-main with hydrants at every 37 1/2 feet.

Across the south end, and covered by continuations of the same roof, are placed the workshops and offices. The former comprise the coppersmiths', smiths', and boiler shops, which occupy the end of the western span. In the eastern span is the machine-shop, in the corner of which is placed the chief foreman's office, and outside on the western side there is a lift for wheeling engines.

Outside the shed at the northern end the ten roads lead to separate drop-pits, and adjoining these are two double-fire furnaces for lighting the engines. Passing out into the yard there are crossover roads with compound shunts, so arranged as to lead the engines out from any of the ten shed-roads to the six main-running lines that lead from the yard or to the main coal-stage roads.

Taff Vale Railway Locomotive Works, West Yard, Cardiff Docks

Taff Vale Railway
(See page 404.)

These works, situated close to the Bute Docks, cover 22 acres, and a further 1 1/4 acre is now being reclaimed from the dock for extension. The works comprise repairing and erecting shop, locomotive boiler-mounting shop, machine and lathe shop, boiler shop, smiths' shop, spring shop, and pattern shop. Most of the shops are antiquated, but the company is contemplating the building of new ones. Some of the tools, however, are very modern, and a list of the special machines, etc., worth notice, and the shops in which they are placed, follows:—

  • Boiler and Erecting Shops.—Pneumatic tools, consisting of drilling, caulking, and riveting machines.
  • Shop No. 1.—An excellent spring-testing machine.
  • Shop No. 2.—Allen's strikers, worked by compressed air.
  • Shop No. 4A.—Outside this shop is a boiler-tube stretching machine.
  • Shop No. 7.—Taff Vale Railway Co.'s capstan lathes with automatic stops; also oil separator.
  • Shop No. 9.—Large milling machine, with cutters (horizontal and vertical) 28 inches long; also friction-clutch, in connection with milling machine, and magnetic separator for cleaning brass turnings.
  • Shop No. 11.—Jones and Lamson's turret lathe; Beyer Peacock's lapping machines.
  • Shop No. 14.—Facing machine for boiler-mounting seats; tube-cutting machines, driven by compressed-air motor.
  • Shop No. 18.—Alley and MacLellan's air-compressor.
  • Shop No. 22.—Portable cylinder-boring machine.

Tredegar Dry Dock and Wharf Co, Newport

Tredegar Dry Dock and Wharf Co

The site of this Company's new Dry Dock is at the Commercial Road tram terminus, and midway between the Town Dock and Alexandra Dock entrances, and it is the largest in Newport. From the inside of the entrance gates to the head of the dock the length is 708 feet, the width 80 feet, and it is divided by intermediate gates into two compartments measuring 358 feet and 348 feet. A pair of retaining gates is also fitted at the entrance, so that vessels can be kept afloat within the dock even after the tide has ebbed. The width at the entrance gates is 65 feet, and the average depth of water on cill is 281 feet. The construction of the dock was carried out by Messrs. Price and Reeves, Westminster. A special feature is the strong foundation at the entrance, this result being attained by a system of sinking large monoliths about 18 feet square.

A line of rails connected with the Great Western Railway runs right round the docks, into the workshops and to wharves. The workshops extend along the south side of the dock for a length of over 300 feet, and are 65 feet wide. They are equipped with modern machinery and tools of the most approved description for doing work quickly and efficiently. Among the heavier plant in the boiler-smiths' shop may be mentioned a set of 28-foot steam-rolls, large punching, shearing, and plate-planing machines, while in the machine-shop there is a very fine arrangement of heavy lathes for tail-end and crank-shaft work, radial drills, etc. The bulk of the machinery is driven by steam-power, but for heavy lathe-work, and economy in working at night, an electric motor is installed. This can be regulated by the machinist, thus obviating the necessity of engine- and boiler-men being in attendance. The Dry Dock and the whole of the works and other buildings are lighted throughout by electricity.

The carpenters' shop is a spacious building on the north side of the dock, and is fitted with new wood-working machinery driven by a Brush motor. The dock possesses three locomotive steam-cranes, the largest of which has a radius of 50 feet, with a lifting capacity of 15 tons. For emptying the dock there are two 26-inch pumps driven by gas-engines, the whole being from the works of Messrs. Tangyes, of Birmingham. These pumps discharge 43,000 gallons per hour, and are capable of emptying one compartment of the dock in one hour and a quarter on ordinary tides. In addition there is a powerful drain-pump, also of Messrs. Tangyes' make.

The metal keel-blocks in the dock bottom are exceptionally high (5 feet), allowing of a thorough examination of vessels' bottoms, and facilitating the work of repairs. It is possible to accommodate two 7,000-ton vessels at the same time in this dock, and many very large liners up to 452 feet long and 10,000 tons carrying capacity have here undergone extensive repairs. A speciality is made of repairing oil-tank vessels, for which every facility has been provided. The repairing quay and wharves have a river frontage of 600 feet, and are fitted with four locomotive steam-cranes. Messrs. Jacobs and Barringer, Member, of London, were the engineers for the dock.

"Western Mail" and "Evening Express" offices, Cardiff


"The Western Mail" was established in 1869 in a series of wooden shanties which eventually grew into a handsome pile of buildings. These were destroyed by fire in 1893 and the present premises erected.

Passing through the vestibule the visitor is carried by an elevator to the first floor, where the editorial offices are the first to be entered. Then the photo-engraving and blockmaking department attracts attention. Here are produced the cartoons and portraits for the "Western Mail," "Evening Express," and "Weekly Mail," as well as large quantities of illustrations for various London magazines and publications.

On the second floor is the composing room, which is the home of the Linotype. Each machine does the work of three men setting by the old method, and the introduction of this class of machinery has completely revolutionised the business of printing. After being made up into pages the type is taken on a trolley into the foundry, where a matrix of papier-mache is made and dried. A number of metal plates are then cast from this matrix, curved to fit the cylinder of the printing press. The machine room is next visited, where the great presses are printing from the plates seen cast above. The machines are capable of turning out an aggregate per hour of 144,000 four-page papers the size of the " Evening Express." In addition to the pair of horizontal engines, an 80-H.P. electric motor is installed which can be switched on to the main shaft at a moment's notice in case of accident to the engines or boilers.

The ground floor is occupied by the company's offices and stationery and printing departments.

Tudor Printing Works.—Within five minutes' walk of either the Great Western Railway Station or the main thoroughfare of St. Mary Street will be found the jobbing, printing, and manufacturing stationery departments of the " Western Mail." They are situated at the city end of Tudor Road, just over the bridge which crosses the Taff and divides Temperance Town from Riverside. The works cover a very large area once occupied by saw-mills and timber-yards, which, however, have given place to a very large and most complete plant engaged in every phase of printing and its allied industries.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. For a description of the coal-shipping appliances, see Mr. John Macaulay's Paper on " Coal-Shipping Appliances at Newport," page 435.
  2. (For a description of the new coal-tips, see Messrs. Riches and Heywood's Paper, page 423.)
  3. For a detailed description with illustrations of these Running Sheds, see Paper by Mr. Charles H. Riches, Proceedings, 3834, page 243.