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Note: This is a sub-section of 1908 Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Visits to Works (Excursions) in the Bristol area
THE AVONSIDE ENGINE CO., FISHPONDS, BRISTOL.
Avonside Engine Co
This Company has been in existence since 1837, when the works were situated in Little Avon Street, St. Philips, Bristol. In 1905 new works were erected at Fishponds on a site nearly 4 acres in extent, having access to the Midland Railway by a siding, and to Fillwood Road, Fishponds, from which there is the main entrance to the works.
The present shops are large and airy, and well lighted with Keith and Blackman's system of compressed gas. The shafting is driven by a Mather and Platt high-speed vertical non-condensing engine, which is supplied with steam by Ruston and Proctor's Lancashire boilers on the induced-draught principle.
The Machine Shop contains a large number of the latest tools, including vertical and horizontal boring mills, Miley lathes, milling machines, planing machines, and an Entymon air-compressor by the Consolidated Pneumatic Tool Co., which is used to supply air for (trilling, caulking and chipping.
The Smithy is provided with 20 fires, which are supplied with air by a Roots blower; there is also a steam-hammer and annealing furnace, beside angle-smiths' and Hangers' fires.
The Pattern Shop is placed over the paint shop and is large, roomy, and light, and has room for 10 to 12 pattern makers, besides a large space for storing patterns.
The Paint Shop will hold six locomotives, and is kept at an even temperature by means of hot-water pipes, which also supply the Pattern Shop with hot water and an equable temperature.
The Erecting Shop is placed in a suitable position adjoining the fitters' benches; and room is provided for erecting about eight locomotives at a time.
The Company provides work for between 200 and 300 men, and turns out locomotives at the rate of about 40 per annum. The Boiler Shop employs about 60 men, and is supplied with cranes, hydraulic riveters, shears and punches, rolls, etc. The main shop is supplied with two travelling-cranes, two bicycle-cranes, and several of tho radial-drilling machines have cranes to assist in placing the work in position.
BRISTOL CORPORATION DOCKS.
The shipping trade of this port dates back for many centuries. Vessels were formerly discharged and loaded at landing places along the banks of the tidal River Avon, which then flowed through the heart of the city. In 1809 a new course for the river was formed, and the old waterway for a length of two and a half miles was converted into a floating harbour. This is now equipped with modern wharves, granaries, transit sheds, cranes, railways, etc., and many large manufactories and other industrial concerns are located in the immediate neighbourhood of the quays. In the course of the last forty years the river navigation has been greatly improved. The channel has been deepened, the banks and points have been marked by a series of illuminated posts and lights, and a new entrance lock has been constructed. The Avonmouth and Portishead Docks are situated at the mouth of the river, and afford accommodation for ocean-going vessels of large dimensions. All these docks are the property of the City of Bristol.
The following are the dimensions:—
[See table on attached image of page 726]
City Docks.—The depth of water on till is 33 feet at mean spring tides and 23 feet at mean neap tides. The lock is 350 feet long and 62 feet wide. Alongside the harbour are public quays having direct connection with the Great Western Railway Co.'s hoes, and by steam lighter with the Midland Railway Co.'s lines. There are extensive transit and other sheds, granaries, warehouses, elevators, etc.
A regular trade is carried on in horses, donkeys, cattle, sheep, and pigs from the southern Irish ports, Bristol being the chief supply depot for store beasts for all the grazing districts in the south, south-western, and eastern counties. There is a large import of grain from foreign parts, also cottonseed and linseed, which are crushed at the mills situated near the docks.
The exports consist chiefly of galvanized and other iron goods, machinery, tinplates, chemical products, railway wagons, manufactured oils, salt, spar, etc.
Avonmouth Dock.—The depth of water on till is 38 feet at mean spring tides and 28 feet at mean neap tides. The dock. is 2,180 feet long and 500 feet wide, the lock being 485 feet long and 70 feet wide. There are extensive covered quays provided with railway lines and hydraulic cranes, and on the east side are 2,000 feet of continuous shedding, 140 feet wide, fitted with nine hydraulic cranes, having a lifting power of 30 c•ts. each. There is also a coaling crane capable of lifting loads up to 30 tons. On the west side are large transit sheds with double floors; these are equipped with five hydraulic 30-ewt. cranes and one 15-ton hydraulic crane. A fruit store and warehouse has also been provided specially for the West Indian trade at the south-west end of the dock.
The lairage and slaughter-house accommodation is sufficient to deal with consignments at one time of 1,000 cattle and 500 sheep, and the cold stores have a capacity of 220,000 cubic feet. There are nine oil tanks, each averaging over one million gallons storage capacity, and several others in course of construction. The import of petroleum in 1906 exceeded twenty million gallons. Tbe floating pontoon dock is 365 feet long and 62 feet wide.
Royal Edward Dock, Avonmouth.—The construction of this dock was undertaken after a report by Sir John Wolfe Barry to the Bristol Corporation in 1896, in which three schemes for the enlargement of accommodation in the Avon were described, namely: Building a new (lock at Avonmouth; building a new dock at Portishead; and the dockization of the whole River Avon from its mouth to Bristol.
The dock was opened by His Majesty on 9th July of this year. The depth of water on outer till is 46 feet at mean spring tides and 36 feet at mean neap tides, the depth on the inner till being 6 feet less. The clock is 1,120 feet long and 1,000 feet wide, the lock being 875 feet long and 100 feet wide. It is connected with the existing dock by a junction cut 525 feet long and 85 feet wide. On each side of the entrance lock are piers at which steamers can land mails and passengers. Trains from alongside can reach London, over a line almost straight, in about 2 hours. A graving dock, 914 feet over all, has been constructed, which can be divided into two compartments, 550 feet and 300 feet respectively.
The first sod of the new dock was cut by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales on 5th March 1902, the contractor being Messrs. John Aird and Co. There is a large area of land adjoining this dock, having railway and road access thereto, available for the erection of industrial works of all kinds.
On the eastern side of the dock there are two transit sheds, each 500 feet in length and two storeys high, equipped with electric roof and wharf cranes, and on the southern side a transit shed, 450 feet in length, consisting of a single floor only, also provided with electric cranes. Behind the sheds, on the eastern side of the dock, a large granary has been erected capable of containing 50,000 quarters of grain, the greater portion being stored in bins and the remainder on floors.
Between the dock and the sheds on the eastern sides there is an underground passage leading to the granary, and this passage contains a number of conveyor belts for conveying grain from the vessels discharging at the sheds to the granary. Elevators will be provided to lift grain from the hold of the vessel and deposit it on to the bands or into craft or trucks alongside. The dock will be completely surrounded by lines of rails connected with the railways on the old dock.
In 1884 the tonnage of vessels entering the Port of Bristol was 1,244,537 tons; in 1894 it was 1,541,713 tons; in 1904 it had increased to 2,116,339, and for last year it was 2,058,757 tons.
BRISTOL CORPORATION ELECTRICITY DEPARTMENT.
The supply of electricity for lighting and power throughout the City! of Bristol is controlled by the Electricity Department of the Bristol Corporation. The supply was commenced in August 1893, and was given from the Temple Backs Generating Station situated almost in the centre of the busy part of the City. After a few years' working, however, the progress was so great that the site was deemed inadequate, and another site of about 10 acres was procured at Feeder Road on which the Avonbank Electricity Works have been constructed. Nearly the whole of the electricity is now generated at these works, whence three-phase current at a pressure of 6,000 volts, 50 periods, and single-phase current at a pressure of 2,000 volts, 93 periods, is transmitted to 82 substations and 7 transformer kiosks situated in different parts of the City. The City has an area of 17,004 acres, and current is supplied to the extremities of the area in most directions.
AVONBANK ELECTRICITY WORKS.-The subsoil on the Avonbank site necessitated considerable preparation in the way of foundations. The works are built upon longitudinal walls of concrete which rest upon the hard red marl, about 34 feet under ground level; eight such \mils 4 feet to 41 feet in thickness run continuously throughout the length of the buildings, except in the case of the latter extensions where there are seven walls from 41 feet to 6 feet in width. The superstructure is built of Cattybrook brick in cement. It is an absolutely plain structure of rectangular form, and at present consists of one generator room 402 feet long (engine-room 350 feet 9 inches, workshop 51 feet), adjoining which is a boiler-house and a stoking space 350 feet in length, provision having been made for duplicating the building, when the stoking space will be common to another boiler-house similar to that now existing. The generator room contains steam generators having a total capacity of 12,890 kw., supplying three-phase electricity at 6,000 volts, single-phase electricity at 2,000 volts, and direct current at a pressure of 250 + 250 or 500 volts. These works are also used to a limited extent as a converter station, containing three-phase to direct current converters for power supply in the immediate neighbourhood.
Coaling Arrangements.—Coal is discharged from the barges in the feeder canal by a " Hones " grab, and after passing on to an automatic weighbridge is discharged by a " Hunt " gravity railway to a " Hunt " conveyor, having a capacity of 40 tons per hour, and a speed of 35 feet per minute, encircling the whole of the coal bunkers. The whole of this plant is electrically driven.
Boilers.—There are sixteen Babcock and Wilcox water-tube boilers, four having a normal evaporative capacity of 15,000 lbs. per hour each; four 17,000 lbs. per hour each; four 18,000 lbs. per hour each; four 25,000 lbs. per hour each; from feed water at 60° F. to steam at a pressure of 200 lbs. and 200° superheat. Meldrum's stokers are used throughout. The superheaters made by Messrs. Babcock and Wilcox are situated between the water-tubes and the steam-drums of boilers. The economisers are of Green's standard type, one to each pair of boilers.
Induced Draught Plant.—There are two short steel chimney stacks. No. 1 is fitted with four induced-draught fans at base of stack, three having a capacity of 97,000 cubic feet of gas at 500° F. per minute against 2i-inch water-gauge. These are driven by Bumsted and Chandler's high-speed engines, the fourth being electrically driven by a 50-B.H.P. Laurence-Scott motor. No. 2 stack is fitted with three fans, each having a capacity of 137,500 cubic feet of gas at 500° F. per minute, driven by 110 B.H.P. Bruce- Peebles motors. Feed Pumps.—Of these there are five, each delivering 8,000 gallons per hour, and there are four general service pumps, of a capacity of 10,000 gallons per hour each, against 45 feet head.
Condensing Plant—The condensing plant, except in the case of the Willans single-phase sets, is placed immediately under the generator room floor. Surface condensers and motor-driven air-pumps are used throughout. Circulating water is pumped from and returned to the feeder canal, passing through two 3-foot 6-inch culverts to the circulating pit where there are fixed circulating pumps by Bumsted and Chandler, W. H. Allen and Co., Alley and McLellan, and Gwynn and Co., except in the case of the largest sets where there is a circulating pump for each condenser.
Switchboards.—Practically the whole of the switchboards in these works have been constructed by Messrs. Siemens Brothers. The extra high-tension switchboard is in course of rearrangement and reconstruction at the present time.
Tanks.--A ferro-concrete tank for soft-water storage, capacity 150,000 gallons, has just been constructed to provide stand-by for boiler feed, for use at times when the water is lowered or let out from the feeder canal.
TEMPLE BACKS.-The most important of the substations is the Temple Backs Electricity Works, these being still used for generating purposes at times. They contain nine Lancashire boilers (28 feet by 8 feet), fitted with Vicars' mechanical stokers, two Babcock and Wilcox boilers, one fitted with Meldrum's stoker and one hand-fired, and other auxiliary boiler plant. In the generator room there are ten Willans central-valve engines ranging from 100 to 750 I.H.P., direct coupled to 100-volt exciters, 500-volt are lighting and power dynamos, and two 400 kw. Siemens copper type alternators (2,000 volts). There are also three 500-kw. Peebles-La Cour three-phase to direct-current converters, converting energy at 6,000 volts from the Avonbank Works, to supply 250 + 250, or 500 volts to the power network.
Switchboards.— Practically the whole of the single-phase alternating current is distributed from the Temple Backs Works, where the distributing switchboards are situated. These switchboards are contained in specially constructed fireproof chambers, and in addition to the twelve trunk mains there are forty-four feeder and two generator panels. The whole are fitted with maximum cut-outs and Andrews time-limit device for operating the automatic switches, and the machine and trunk panels with Andrews reverse current devices. The power and arc-lighting switchboards are situated on the gallery of the Generating Room, the former being by Messrs. Ferranti and Messrs. Siemens, and the latter of Ediswan and COMA. manufacture.
UNDERFALL YARD SUBSTATION.-This contains two 300 kw. Westinghouse rotary converters, and one 300 kw. Peebles-La Cour motor converter. It is fed by three 6,000 volts three-phase trunk mains from the Avonbank Works, and supplies energy at 250 -I- 250, or 500 volts direct current.
There are two Static Substations working, from which three- phase energy is being supplied at 360 volts, 50 periods for power purposes, and 210 volts for single-phase, 50 periods for lighting, and also four in course of equipment. There are seventy underground substations and eight transformers kiosks supplied at 2,000 or 3,000 volts, and delivering to the distributing network at 105 + 105 volts, or in some districts 210 volts (2-wire). These substations range from 20 to 250 kw. capacity each.
Public Lighting.—The Public Lighting consists of 689 arc lamps. The earlier equipment of arc lighting was supplied at 600 volts direct current, but with a view to a standardisation of pressures and simplicity and economy in the generating stations, 115 flame lamps have been substituted on many of the circuits, and the supply pressure has been brought down to a standard of 500 volts, no that the whole of the are lighting is in common with the power supply as regards voltage. Forty-seven alternating and sixty-eight direct- current Oriflame Lamps have been substituted for the older type of lamp. 25.2 miles of streets are lighted by are lamps, including most of the centre of the city and the main arteries in different directions. The average distance between lamps is 75 yards, although in narrow streets and the central portions of the city the lamps are somewhat closer.
Supply of Avonmouth.—Mains, three in number, have been laid from the Avonbank electricity works to Avonmouth, a distance of 81 miles, where a rotary substation has been equipped for the purpose of supplying the Avonmouth Docks, and other demands for power and lighting in the neighbourhood of Avonmouth; three-phase energy is transmitted at a pressure of 6,000 volts, and direct current is supplied at 250 + 250 volts, or 500 volts for power as in other portions of the city.
Mr. H. Faraday Proctor is the City Electrical Engineer.
THE BRISTOL GAS CO.
Bristol Gas Co
Gas lighting in Bristol has a rather curious and not uninteresting history. In 1811 Mr. Breillat, of Broadmead, a dyer by trade, introduced the now illuminant to the City by lighting his own shop and part of the street where it was situate, and giving descriptive lectures on the subject. The first works were at Temple Backs, and were in the hands of a syndicate.
Progress was at first very slow, as it was not until the year 1816 that the idea was first entertained of lighting the City by coal gas. At the end of that year a sum of just over £1,000 had been expended on the works and mains, the latter being laid as far as the centre of the City. Meters at this time were not in use, the charge for light being by contract, based on the size of the burner and time of use. For instance, a Cockspur No. 1 burner from sunset to 8 o'clock cost 10s. 6d.; from sunset to 10 o'clock, 17s. 6d.; and till sunrise, £2 2s. Oil. per annum (of 313 days). An extra charge of ls. was made for two additional hours once a week, presumably for use on market days. By the summer of 1817 the five principal streets of the City had been lit by gas, and a general demand for further extensions was made on all sides. At the end of 1817 the number of customers was 142, the price of gas being 15s. per 1,000 cubic feet.
The Committee in January, 1818, proposed that the capital of the concern be increased to £20,000, and that application be made to Parliament for a charter. As a result, The Bristol Gas Light Co. was incorporated, and the works were removed to Avon Street, St. Philip's.
In 1823 a rival company was started to supply oil gas, the style of the company being The Bristol and Clifton Oil Gas Co. Their works were situate at Canons' Marsh (then known as Lime Kiln Lane), and the price of the gas was 40s. per 1,000 cubic feet. The light was, however, claimed to be four times as brilliant as that from coal-gas. The price of oil went up, and the company were unable to pay any dividends. They applied to Parliament in 1836, and were granted power to use coal, both Companies reducing their price to 12s. per 1000 cubic feet. In 1853 the two Companies amalgamated under the style of the Bristol United Gas Light Co., which name was subsequently altered in 1891 to The Bristol Gas Co. The capital of the Company at the end of 1907 amounted to 1,1,313,002; coal carbonized during last year was 270,051 tons; storage capacity of gas-holders, 15 million cubic feet; total mains laid, 358. miles; and the public gas lamps number 9,404.
The Company serves an area of nearly 30 square miles, and no better evidence of the public service rendered by the Company could be offered than that 16-c.p. gas is sold to the Corporation, and all consumers using over 500 thousands, at ls. 6d. per 1,000 cubic foot. Gas is also delivered over the entire area of the Company's district, to all consumers large and small, for power, at ls. Gd. per 1,000 cubic feet, and to all other consumers extending to a distance of seven miles from the works, at a cost of 28. per 1,000 cubic feet.
The Company has three Works. Avon Street and Canons' Marsh have already been named, and the Stapleton Road Works were erected in 1879 to meet the growing business.
The Avon Street Works were erected in 1819, and some of the original buildings still exist in an excellent state of preservation, and are a monument to the enterprise and foresight of the Bristol pioneers of gas lighting. These works contain a total of 520 retorts and are capable of carbonizing over 600 tons of coal per diem. The chief features are the inclined retorts and the modern coal- and coke-bundling plants on the "New Side" of the works, the latter of which are worked by internal combustion engines, and are described in Mr. Stagg's Paper (page 565)
The Canons' Marsh Works contain 350 retorts and are capable of carbonizing over 350 tons of coal per diem. The chief features are the mechanical stoking. Two of the Retort Houses are worked by the Fiddes-Aldridge Machine, the retort being discharged and recharged simultaneously. The stoking machines and coke-handling plant are electrically driven by current produced on the works. The electric plant is provided in duplicate.
The Stapleton Road Works are the most modern works of the Company, the site occupying 28 acres of land in what is practically the centre of the Company's district of supply. The works contain 432 retorts and are capable of carbonizing 500 tons of coal per diem. The works have recently been equipped with modern stoking machinery, coal-breaking, elevating and conveying plant. The coke is also removed from the retort house, cooled and stored in the yard by mechanical arrangements all electrically driven. The electric plant at these works is also provided in duplicate.
In addition to these three manufacturing stations, the Company possesses five gas-holder stations, situated in various parts of the district of supply away from the works. The Engineer to the Company is Mr. Daniel Irving.
BRISTOL TRAMWAYS AND CARRIAGE CO., CENTRAL POWER STATION, BRISTOL.
Bristol Tramways Co
The building of the Company's Power Station at Counterslip was erected on the site of Finzel's sugar refinery, situated on the banks of the Floating Harbour adjoining St. Philip's Bridge and East Tucker Street. It has been arranged in three storeys, the engine standing on the main floor with the boiler room placed directly overhead, whilst the coal-storage bunkers, economiser, and water-tanks are located on the third floor level, the whole forming a very compact and economical working arrangement.
The station building is divided as follows:—The engine-room is 115 feet long by 48 feet wide by 42 feet high; boiler-house 133 feet by 48 feet 6 inches wide by 26 feet high; the basement contains the circulating pumps, lifting pumps, hot-well, etc., and is the same size as the engine-room, but with a depth of 9 feet below the main floor.
The foundations of the Power-House consist of piles about 30 feet long and from 12 inches to 14 inches square, placed about 3 feet apart from centre to centre, finally packed around with concrete, and the heads cut off at water-level, crowns being fixed across the top of each, on which the concrete boil and steel grillage are placed; the columns rest on the steel grillage beams, consisting of three layers of rolled joists under each stanchion.
On the top of the columns are the main girders carrying the boiler-room floor with all its machinery; immediately over this are the girders supporting the main flue, coal bunkers, economisers and water-tanks, whilst on the top of these columns are the main roof trusses; attached to these columns in the engine-room are brackets riveted for supporting wrought-steel plate girders on which the travelling-crane runs.
The main engine steam plant consists of five vertical cross compound condensing engines, four of which are 800 I.H.P., driving a Thomson-Houston continuous-current 500 k.w. railway generator; the fifth machine, recently added, is 1,600 I.H.P., driving a 1,000 kw. railway generator of a similar type. These engines were made by the Allis Chalmers Co. of Milwaukee, and they are of the ReynoldsCorliss type. The gear is of the automatic type, with double ported valves for the steam and single ported for the exhaust; there are two eccentrics to the valve-gear of each cylinder, one for operating the steam-valves and the other for the exhaust-valves. Two governors are attached to each engine, one of which operates both the high and low-pressure cylinder valve-gears, while the second or safety governor automatically closes the main stop-valve in case of excessive speed.
The fly-wheels are built up in segments which are fitted to cast-iron centre pieces, the sections of rim being held together by wrought-iron arrow-head connections shrunk in place after the wheel is erected. Between the cylinders there is a reheater receiver with coils supplied by steam boiler pressure.
In the engine-room, parallel with the main engines, are three Bellis vertical compound enclosed type engines, capable of developing 300 I.H.P. running at 400 revolutions per minute, the total capacity, of these being 200 kw.; they are all carried on a combined bed- plate. These engines are of the standard pattern with forced lubrication for all the working parts supplied by a valveless pump worked from the crank-shaft; they are used for lighting the Power- House and all the depots.
The condensing plant consists of three Wheeler (Admiralty pattern) surface condensers, having cast-iron rectangular shells, strongly ribbed on the outside, and fitted with water bonnets at each end. The tube plates are of brass, into which the seamless brass drawn tubes are fitted. The condensers are arranged so that either of the main engines may exhaust into them. The circulating pumps are of the centrifugal type, electrically driven; they are placed in the basement and draw their supply from the harbour, returning the discharge to the same. The exhaust steam on its way to the condensers is passed through oil separators of an efficient type, which, with the filters on the low-pressure pipe line, practically eliminate the whole of the oil mixed with the steam. The air-pumps discharge their water to a hot-well placed in the basement, from which it is taken by an electrically-driven pump of the three-throw type, and discharged into the tanks over the boiler-room. The travelling-crane is a 25-ton overhead electrically-driven one, operated by three motors, one each for the hoisting longitudinal and traversing movements.
The generators are direct connected to the engines already described, and the laminations of the armature are of the best quality soft iron, with staggered joints, assembled with ventilating ducts, insulated from one another by a coating of japan; each segment is dovetailed into the iron spider at least twice during its length. The conductors extend from end to end of the armature without a join, and are insulated between the conductors and the iron core. The commutator segments have a radial depth of about 2 inches and are of hard drawn copper, the insulation used being mica, of such quality as to wear evenly with the copper segments. The insulation between the segments and the rings exceeds s inch thickness, and there are eighty segments to the pole, which allows groups of segments to be removed without disturbing the remaining ones.
There are five motor generators, constructed so that the field of the generator is put in circuit with one or more of the positive feeders running from the positive bus-bars at the switchboards to the trolley lines, whilst the armature is placed in circuit with the return feeder, one end of which is fixed to the negative bus-bar and the other end is connected to the track rails at a distant point of the system. The generator is thus separately excited, and the current in the armature corresponds with the current in the field. The motor driving this generator is a four-pole shunt-wound machine direct connected to the generator.
The switchboard is arranged in two galleries, and comprises the five main generator panels and twenty-six feeder panels arranged for handling a current of 600 ampêres. There are also five booster panels, two lighting generator panels and nine lighting distributor panels, the latter for supplying the current to the Company's various depots.
In the Boiler-House the steam-generating plant consists of ten Babcock and Wilcox boilers, arranged in five batteries. Each boiler contains 3,140 square feet of heating surface and is of sufficient capacity for evaporating 8,000 lbs. per hour, the working pressure being 160 lbs. per square inch. There are three vertical duplex direct-acting boiler feed-pumps, which draw their water from two tanks placed directly overhead. Each tank is of 6,000 gallons capacity and receives its supply from the hot-well in the basement of the station; the feed-pumps are each capable of drawing 6,000 gallons of water per hour. The steam-piping is designed to suit the particular arrangement of the station, there being one header in the boiler-room and another adjacent to the main engines; proper provision is made by the insertion of separators to prevent water passing to the cylinder of the engines. From the lower steam-header risers are taken to the stop-valves of the engines, and the ring main is taken around the basement of the station for supplying steam to the auxiliary plant.
There are ten pairs of Vicars mechanical stoke, driven from a shaft which runs in a passage formed between the girders in front of the boilers; this shaft is driven by an electric motor coupled direct to the spindle of a worm reducing-gear. The coal supply is brought alongside the quay by steamers and is deposited by a steam-winch into the main storage bunker, whence it is transmitted overhead by the conveyor and discharged into the bunkers immediately over the boilers. Attached to the bottom of each bunker is fixed a separate hopper with weighing scale and chute, so that all the coal passed to the mechanical stokers can be carefully weighed, checked, and a record kept.
The ashes are raked from the boilers on to the floor and passed through an opening placed in front of each boiler to the conveyor, which on its return journey carries the refuse to a storage-bin outside the building adjoining the stack; when a sufficient quantity has accumulated it is disposed of through a chute into barges. One special feature in connection with this arrangement is that the coal can be passed to the overhead bunkers at the same time as the ashes are being removed; this forms a twofold advantage in a plant of this description. The main flue for conveying the gases from the boilers to the chimney is placed directly over the rear of the boilers, being connected to them by suitable breeching pieces, in the neck of which a plate damper is fixed. The flue is made of steel plates, stiffened on the outside with angle bars and is lined throughout with firebrick.
The economiser is composed of 560 tubes in fifty-six sections of ten tubes width, and is of sufficient capacity to deal with the water required for the ten boilers. The scraper gear is driven by an electric motor, the speed being reduced by means of belts and a countershaft placed on top of the economiser.
The chimney stack is composed of two parts, one being a brick pedestal and the other the steel shell forming the shaft, this arrangement being necessitated by the extreme height of the boilers and their flue. Advantage, however, has been taken in the design to utilize the interior of the pedestal for a spiral staircase to give access to the boiler-room floor. On the pedestal top is the chimney proper, 200 feet from the base plate or 265 feet from the ground level. The shell is made of steel plates in three thicknesses, namely, 3/8 inch at the bottom, 5/16 inch in the centre portion, and 1/4 inch at the upper end, where it is 10 feet 9 inches in diameter and is finished off with an ornamental cap. The interior of the chimney is lined throughout with specially moulded firebrick.
BRISTOL WAGON AND CARRIAGE CO., BRISTOL.
Bristol Wagon and Carriage Works Co
The works of this firm cover about 12 acres of ground, and provide employment for about 1,000 men. Their productions include any kind of vehicle, from a spring cart to a railway coach, a steam-motor, or an electric brougham. Most of the English and foreign railways have, at one time or another, been supplied with rolling stock from these works. The business, originally a wheelwright's shop, is of old standing, and was acquired by the late Mr. Albert Fry in 1866, when it was enlarged and converted into a company. Since that time numerous extensions have been made and modern machinery with labour-saving appliances introduced.
The timber-yard and drying-sheds hold a three-years' stock of various kinds of suitable woods, valued at over £60,000, the careful drying and maturing of which is a question to which very careful attention is given. The sawmill is equipped with wood-working machinery of all kinds. So exhaustively, and with such exactitude, is the various work dealt with in the sawmill, that little except glueing and fixing remains to be done in the erecting-shops, where may be seen in different stages of construction hundreds of vehicles of all kinds—railway rolling stock for 5 feet 6 inches down to 2-feet gauge, dogcarts, phaetons, omnibuses, tramcars, carts, wagons, vans, drays, etc.
The smithy is a large one, containing nearly 100 fires, together with a good number of steam-hammers. There are two well- appointed foundries and a forge. Practically everything—frames, bodies, wheels, and all accessories except springs and special fittings —is made on the premises.
BRISTOL WATER WORKS, YE0 RESERVOIR, PUMPING STATION, AND OTHER WORKS AT BLAGDON.
Yeo Reservoir.- The construction of this reservoir was authorised by Acts of Parliament in 1888 and 1889, and the works were designed and constructed under the direction of Messrs. T. and C. Hawksley, of Westminster. The area of the watershed draining to the reservoir is 5,300 acres, and the area of surface of water when the reservoir is full is 450 acres. Its capacity is 1,770 million gallons, and the maximum depth of water is 37 feet, the compensation water delivered daily to the river below the embankment amounting to 1,900,000 gallons. The length of the embankment is 530 yards, and its maximum height 43 feet. The puddle trench is sunk through red and variegated marls and a layer of grey dolomitic conglomerate, all of the Keuper Series, on to a bed of watertight red marl. The maximum depth of this puddle trench below the natural surface of the ground is 175 feet. During the construction of the embankment a tunnel, having a diameter of 10 feet, was in use for the passage of floods. In this tunnel were two sets of valves, in tandem, each 4; feet by 14 feet. The length of weir at the head of the by-wash for carrying off floodwater is 180 feet.
Yeo Pumping Station. - This pumping station consists of two Engine Houses, each containing two compound rotative beam engines, each of 170 maximum horse-power, and a speed of 17 revolutions per minute. The high-pressure cylinders are 21 inches diameter by 5 feet 3 inches stroke, and the low-pressure cylinders are 34 inches diameter by 7 feet stroke. The main pumps, of the bucket and ram type, one to each engine, are 30 inches diameter by 3; feet stroke. Each pump delivers 106 gallons per revolution, or 1,802 gallons per minute, or 2,594,800 gallons per twenty-four hours; and the maximum head, including friction of water in pipes, is about 250 feet. The Boiler House contains six Lancashire boilers, 30 feet in length by 7 feet 6 inches diameter, two sets of Green's economisers, and feed pumps in duplicate. Steam pressure in boilers is 100 lbs. per square inch. There are two coal stores, each with a capacity of 500 tons.
Two receiving tanks are supplied with water from the Yeo reservoir, and by the lines of pipes from the Rickford and Langford springs. Each tank has a capacity of 567,000 gallons, and the water gravitates from them to the pumps in the Engine House.
The fitting shop contains 6-inch and 12-inch lathes, and drilling, shaping, and screwing machines driven by water power, with 15 H.P. Pelton wheel.
The pipe lines are all laid with cast-iron socket and spigot pipes jointed with lead.
There are three separate treatment works for drainage from the villages of Butcombe, Compton Martin, and Ubley, and part of Blagdon, which are situated within the watershed of the Yeo reservoir.
Blagdon Drainage Treatment Works. - Road refuse and other heavier materials are deposited in the grit chamber before the drainage flows into the septic tanks, of which there are two, each 40 feet by 10 feet, by 91 feet deep, with a capacity of 23,750 gallons. The drainage, partially decomposed, flows from the septic tanks over an aerator, and becomes mixed with air. There are six filter beds, each 20 feet long by 16 feet wide and 4 feet deep, and the capacity of each bed is 8,000 gallons, including crushed clinkers, which is the filtering medium. The effluent passes on to laud on which osiers are grown. The moderating tank is 100 feet long by 331; feet wide and 3 feet deep.
BARROW RESERVOIRS AND FILTER BEDS, CHELVEY Pump. STATION, AND OTHER WORKS.
Barrow Resersoirs.—The Yeo reservoir being at too low a level to admit of gravitation to Bristol, the water has to be raised by pumping into the Company's aqueduct at North Hill, whence it gravitates to Barrow, together with the Company's original supply from the Mendip Hills. At Barrow there are three storage reservoirs of a total capacity of about 860 million gallons, and ten filters of a total area of about 'TA- acres having a filtering capacity of 18 million gallons per 24 hours.
Other sources of supply to Bristol are from Chelvey Pumping Station, the Sherborne Spring, and the Cold Bath Spring. Of the water supplied to Bristol, some portion is pumped again to the higher levels from the pumping stations at Clifton, Bedminster, St. George, and Knowle.
The original works of the Company, including the aqueduct from the Mendip Hills and two of the reservoirs at Barrow, were designed by the late Mr. James Simpson, Past-President of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Another reservoir and the filter beds at Barrow, the pumping station at Chelvey, the gravitation works from the Sherborne Spring, and various other works of the Company, have been designed and constructed under the direction of Messrs. Taylor, Sons and Santo Crimp, of Westminster. The pumping station and high level water-tower at Knowle have been designed and constructed under the direction of Mr. J. A. McPherson, the Company's engineer.
The Company supplies a population of nearly 400,000, and the average daily supply is about 91, million gallons. The total length of mains, exclusive of aqueducts, is over 400 miles.
MESSRS. CHAMPIONS, DAVIES AND CO., MANUFACTURING CONFECTIONERS, BRISTOL.
Champions, Davies and Co
These works have been established about forty years, and are situated in the parish of St. Jam., the principal entrance being in Lewins Mead, while the side of the factory faces St. James' Churchyard. The goods made by the firm comprise all classes of Sugar Confectionery, and also Chocolates.
The number of hands employed is about 200.
THE CO-OPERATIVE WHOLESALE SOCIETY, BRISTOL.
Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS), Bristol
This branch was started in 1884 in a small building in Victoria Street, Bristol, with a staff of six employes. Within a few years the business had grown to such an extent that greater accommodation was required. A large warehouse was accordingly acquired in Christmas Street, and opened in October 1888, and these premises served the Society's requirements until 1905. The business of South Wales was also rapidly increasing, so that a Branch was opened in Cardiff in 1894. At the present time the staff at Bristol numbers 235.
The buildings are situated in the most central position in the City, and adjoin the Floating Harbour. The site is in the form of an island, being bounded by Broad Quay, Prince Street, and Currant Lane, and covers an area of about 2,230 square yards. The premises consist of a basement and six floors above rising to a height of 86 feet from the street, and from the street to the top of the clock-tower the height is 130 feet. About two-thirds of the site has been covered by buildings, but the foundations and basement cover the whole area. The present floor space amounts to 100,000 square feet, which will be increased ultimately to 150,000 square feet.
The principal entrance is at the Quay, with two other entrances from the Narrow Quay, each leading to ample stone staircases which are continued to the top storey. In the centre of the building is an open courtyard which serves as a well-hole for light and a loading- way. The latter is served by four electrically-driven hoists, communicating with every department. The architectural style is a free treatment of English Renaissance. The principal materials used for the exterior are blue pennant stone, which was quarried and worked at Fishponds, near Bristol, and buff terra-cotta from Tamworth. Internally the construction of the building is fire- resisting, the columns being of iron and the floor of steel girders, filled in with cement concrete and covered with pine flooring. The whole of the power and light is electrical, being obtained from the Bristol Corporation Electrical Department.
Basement.—The greater part of this is allocated to the Grocery and Provision Departments. Particular attention is also given in this space to the green fruit trade, particularly to bananas, and special rooms have been constructed for handling the fruit, the temperature being varied according to its condition by means of Bunsen burners and ventilators.
Ground Floor.—The loading-way previously mentioned runs through this floor, and apart from the necessary space required for the receiving and despatching of goods for all departments, space is devoted to the storing of grocery goods of a heavy description.
First Floor.—On arriving at this floor from the main entrance the visitor is faced by doors in the front leading to the Grocery Saleroom. On the left are the Bank and General Offices in which there is accommodation for 80 clerks. On the south side of the Saleroom is situated the Sundries Grocery Department.
Second Floor.—This is devoted to the Drapery Department.
Third Floor.—Here are stocks of a varied character connected with the Furnishing, Hardware and Carpets Departments. A special room is also provided for the permanent display of crockery from the Longton depot.
Fourth Floor.—The whole of this floor is occupied by the Boot and Shoo Department.
Fifth Floor.—On this floor are situated the Woollens and Hat and Cap Department, also the dining-room for the use of staff and visitors, and the meeting-room, with a seating capacity exceeding 250. The remainder of this floor is utilized by the Grocery Sundries Packing Department.
Sixth Floor.—The kitchens, communicating with the dining-room below, by means of lifts, take up a large portion. of the space, and adjacent are the apartments of the resident caretakers, the remainder of the floor being utilized for machinery for self-raising flour, etc.
Bacon Department.—The necessity for a separate building, consequent upon the smoke arising from the smoking of bacon, led to the purchase of two small warehouses on the Narrow Quay, adjoining the depot. These have been adapted for the washing and smoking of all classes of meat, the present output being about 20 tolls weekly. Three smoke-houses have been erected, with room for doubling the number. In the stone building a specially constructed plant mixes poultry corn, extracting all dust and dirt.
The Head Offices of the Society are in Manchester, and there are branches in London, Newcastle-on-Tyne, and Cardiff, besides numerous other distributing centres and productive works.
MR. EDWARD EVERARD'S PRINTING ESTABLISHMENT, BRISTOL.
This artistic building, situated in Broad Street, was designed and erected in 1901 by Mr. Edward Everard, and is an example of fifteenth-century work illuminated with slab mosaics. The dominant note pervading the scheme is that buildings erected to the Industrial Arts should boar in no uncertain form of expression symbols of their craft or trophies to great originators.
To Messrs. Doulton and Co., of Lambeth, was entrusted the general idea, and their principal artist, Mr. W. J. Neatby, formulated an illuminated colour scheme in outdoor ceramics which claims originality. The elevation was treated entirely in ceramic materials of an ivory tone, broken irregularly by deeper shades produced by the natural firing in the kiln. The material is named by the firm as Carrara ware, because of its similarity of texture to Carrara marble, though it has characteristic qualities of its own.
The illuminations in Parian ware give the structure an Eastern tone, associating it with the Byzantine period with which Celtic art is so closely connected. A blue-green plinth is carried about 3 foot above the street line. The ground floor is kept very simple in its general lines, but is relieved by a frieze about 2 feet high of conventional tree forms in colour, with a simple moulding as a cornice. Above this come the two large windows of the first floor, with semi-circular arches. Above the first-floor windows are three spandrils, the centre one having a winged figure representing the " Spirit of Literature," whilst on one side is a life-sized figure of Gutenberg pulling his press, and with his alphabet forming a decoration on the wall space around. On the right is a similar figure of William Morris pulling his press, with his golden alphabet also decorating the wall.
The first floor is crowned and finished by a battlemented cornice, and the upper wall is sot back about 3 feet, giving room at each end for an octagonal turret, which is surmounted by domes and finials. The upper part of the building is finished with a gable of quaint form with a large semi-circular arch covering a tympanum, on which appears a heroic-sized figure in slab mosaics, bearing a lamp and mirror in uplifted hands, signifying the symbols of " Light and Truth." The open vestibule is reached by solid steps of opalescent Labrador granite. The gates are of massive wrought-iron, and are designed further to convey the traditions of this age. The walls of the public office are covered with cartoons (in oils) of the Celtic period, and the low colour key gives the office an enlarged appearance.
The letterpress machines on the ground floor are of the Miehle pattern, an American invention constructed upon tho "two-revolution" principle of motion. This type of machine is fast superseding the early "stop-cylinder " method, with its cumbersome "brake" arrangement and consequent loss of power. The Miehle is designed for strength and accuracy of work, ensuring that dead register " required for the three-colour process and the finer classes of colour printing.
The principal machine-room is conveniently placed on the same floor level as the public office; it is in direct lift communication with the composing and lithographic transfer rooms, and for the ready despatch of goods, etc., has egress to three streets. The floor is laid with concrete, and upon this, for the warmth and comfort of the operators, are placed 3-inch pitch-pine blocks. Tho motive power throughout is electricity conveyed by means of motors, and, with but one or two exceptions, every machine has an independent motor, which being driven direct upon the machine means an absence of the noisy and unsightly overhead beltings. Cableways are formed in covered channels along the floor, and are easily accessible for extensions, the coils being placed in flexible steel tubing.
Printing on the lithographic machines is done by means of aluminium plates. The method is found to be more expeditious and less costly than with the use of lithographic stones, besides effecting the minimum of labour for the operators. The composing-room is essentially laid out for the purposes of display composition, and has an extensive range of old style and modern characters. All type is hand-set, the body founts being cast in the works in single letter from matrices and distributed into type cases.
MESSRS. J. S. FRY AND SONS, SAW MILLS, BOX FACTORY, AND PAPER BAG FACTORY, BRISTOL.
J. S. Fry and Sons
The Saw Mills of this firm are situated in Canons' Marsh, and were built about eight years ago. The machinery is driven by a 50-H.P. compound tandem engine made by Messrs. Bryan Donkin and Clench, and the works are well equipped with circular saws and planing machines. About 80 men are employed at this branch.
The Wooden-Box Factory is situated in Prince Street, and employs about 300 men and girls. All the operations of wood planing, sizing, nailing, bingeing, as well as printing and pasting the covering papers on, aro carried out by machinery.
The Paper Bag, Cardboard Case, and Fancy Box Factory is situated in Quay Street. Every operation is carried out by machinery, much of it being of a complicated and highly interesting nature. About 400 men and girls are employed here.
MESSRS. HUMPAGE, THOMPSON AND HARDY, BRISTOL.
Humpage, Thompson and Hardy
This firm was started in 1906, when premises were secured in Jacob Street, within ten minutes' walk from the centre of the City. They comprise a Machine Shop, Fitting and Erecting Shop, Pattern Shop and Drawing Office, with room for extensions as may be needed. The speciality of the firm is the manufacture of high-speed gear-hobbing machines and their accessories. The firm is also building a generating machine for grinding the involute teeth of gear wheels both in the soft state and after hardening. The plant was specially selected for the purpose of manufacturing these machines. It consists of the most up-to-date high-speed machinery, including lathes by five or six of the best known makers, automatic gearhobbing machines, high-speed planers, universal milling and grinding machines, etc. All the work is carried out with jigs and templates on the interchangeable system. The number of men employed is about 50.
MESSRS. JOHN LYSAGHT, CONSTRUCTIONAL ENGINEERING WORKS, NETHAM, BRISTOL.
These works are situated at Netham, about a mile from the Bristol Joint Railway Station, and cover an extensive area. There is water access by the tidal River Avon on the south, and by the feeder canal on the north. The firm manufactures all descriptions of Constructional Ironwork, comprising bridgework, iron buildings, roofing, pontoons, tanks, etc., as well as timber-framed structures, the capacity of the works being equal to a very large tonnage of finished material per annum. The works are at present busily engaged upon a number of important contracts for the Colonial Office and various Foreign Railway Companies, in addition to structures for erection in this country.
Mention may be made of several contracts carried out in recent years, namely, the construction and erection of the roofing of the Buenos Ayres Produce Market, covering about 9 acres; the whole of the iron and steel work for the new Harbour Works at Gibraltar; the double-deck swing bridge over the Avon at Bristol; widening of the Great Western Railway at Bristol; floating pontoon landing-stage at Bristol and at Barry Dock; extensive shops of the heaviest construction at Messrs. Vickers, Sons and Maxim's Works at Barrow; ore bins and approach viaduct at Dowlais Steel Works.
The extensive shops are equipped with the latest machinery, the whole being driven by electricity supplied by the Bristol Corporation Power-House. The installation comprises twenty-eight continuous current 500-volt motors, manufactured by Messrs. Siemens Brothers; these motors varying in capacity from 10 to 60 H.P. The smaller machines are driven in groups by motors of reasonably high power, individual drives being only adopted with the heavier machines. To economise space, and keep the belting out of the way as much as possible, the motors, where practicable, have been fixed on platforms attached to the roof framing.
The general Machine Shop measures 600 feet by 70 feet. The Girder building-up and Riveting shop 450 feet by 45 feet, covering a Girder erecting shop 320 feet by 50 feet; the last two shops being equipped with 5-ton, 10-ton and 12-ton overhead electric travelling- cranes, by Messrs. Stothert and Pitt. These shops are installed with the latest pneumatic appliances by the Consolidated Pneumatic Tool Co., as well as with high-power electric portable drills; there is also a full equipment of hydraulic riveters.
The Smiths' Shop, 350 feet by 80 feet, has the usual installation of steam-hammers and other appliances, as well as various hydraulic- presses, and there is a Foundry at the north end of the general Machine Shop. The Joiners' and Patternmakers' Shop, 240 by 40 feet, is equipped with the usual type of wood-working machinery.
The works are lighted throughout by electricity, power being generated by a 75-kw. Belliss-Westinghouse generator, taking steam from a boiler 30 feet by 8 feet 6 inches, working at 160 lbs. pressure. This boiler also supplies the steam-hammers, the pressure for this service being reduced to 80 lbs. per square inch.
The head Offices of the firm are at St. Vincent's Works, Bristol, where the business was established over fifty years ago, and where there is one of the most extensive galvanizing plants in this country. The Black Sheet Rolling Mills are situated at Newport, Mon., and contain the finest machinery and the latest appliances of every description. The Company has offices in London and numerous branch works and warehouses in the Colonies and abroad.
The number of men employed varies from 4,000 to 5,000, of which about 500 are at the Engineering Works above referred to.
MESSRS. PECKETT AND SONS, ATLAS LOCOMOTIVE WORKS, BRISTOL.
Peckett and Sons
These works are situated about ten minutes' walk from the St. George trams and two miles from the Bristol Joint Station. They stand on about 5 acres of land, and there are an additional 8 acres adjoining to provide for further extensions. The works have been in operation since 1864 and have been carried on by the present proprietors since 1880, during which time the works have been entirely re-modelled and the capacity trebled; they are connected by sidings to the Midland main line, so that locomotives can be sent to any part of the country on their own wheels. The speciality of production is tank locomotives of all varieties and sizes, of which over 1,200 have been made; these have been mostly supplied in this country, although a considerable number have been exported to all parts of the world. All parts of the locomotives, namely, boilers, iron and brass castings, steam fittings, etc., are made on the premises.
The works have a floor space of 101,800 square feet, and the steam power is supplied by three Lancashire boilers, each 30 feet by 8 feet working at a pressure of 130 lbs. per square inch. The Machine Shop with a gallery on both sides is fitted up with all the latest modern tools, and the power for same is supplied by a pair of horizontal compound engines of 300 I.H.P. There arc also Smith's - Shop, Stores, Coppersmiths' Shop, Pattern Shop, Iron and Brass Foundries, Brass Finishing Department, Erecting and Paint Shops.
The Boiler Shop is 320 feet by 50 feet, and adjoining is the power-house in which are a pair of vertical compound condensing engines of 150 I.H.P. In the same building is a compound air-compressor with receiver, etc., for supplying pneumatic pressure at 100 lbs. per square inch, besides which are hydraulic pumps and an accumulator for 1,500 lbs. pressure for supplying power to riveters, 200-ton flanging-press and cranes. Here is also a separate engine for driving the electric light installation for lighting the works by means of some 70 arc-lamps, together with numerous incandescent lamps.
The number of men employed is about 375.
MESSRS. E. W. SAVORY, FINE ART PUBLISHERS, BRISTOL.
E. H. Savory
The publications of this firm include principally Fine Art Calendars and Christmas Greeting Cards, which are known by the title of the " Clifton Series," together with picture publications of various kinds, including the well-known sporting pictures by George Wright.
The present premises, which occupy a commanding position overlooking the whole of the City of Bristol, were erected in 1906 from the plans of Mr. Mowbray A. Green, and represent the most modern typo of industrial buildings, the outside suggesting the appearance of a handsome residential building. The front of the premises is occupied by the Entrance Hall, Offices, Dining Hall, etc., and behind these is the large Central Hall covering a space of 50 feet by 100 feet, in which the principal work is carried on. This rises two stories in height with a teak gallery running all round, the photographic operating studios, printing rooms, etc., being on the floor above. The premises, which are entirely detached and stand in a very elevated position, command a good and uninterrupted light which is necessary for the work. Palms have been placed in various parts of the Central Hall, and workers are clad in blue linen overalls during working hours. Every thing has been done that the work may be carried on under the best possible conditions.
In the publications of this firm the prominent feature is the reproduction by various processes of high class original paintings and drawings, the majority of which are commissioned in black and white, and are the work of well-known English and Continental Artists. The processes of reproduction are principally photographic. In the manufacture of the various articles very little machinery is employed, except in the printing department. A large proportion of the publications are in colour, but this work is for the most part coloured by hand, giving a much finer and more delicate result than can be obtained by colour printing. A number of colourists are employed on the premises, but the firm have various studios in the City of Bristol, many of the colourists having been taught in Paris, so as to acquire the style necessary for the Continental trade. Photogravure printing is also largely employed, and the embossing and relief stamping used in connection with the Christmas Greeting Card Publications is of the highest order. The Aerograph brushes are worked with an air pressure furnished by a pump in the engine house.
The Photographic Operating Studio is equipped with the most up-to-date apparatus. The copying camera and easel is of special design throughout, the stand of same being 20 feet in length. The daylight printing rooms are fitted with an arrangement of trays and runners by which negatives can be immediately exposed for outside printing. The dark rooms and gaslight printing-rooms are fitted with all the most recent appliances. A small box-making plant has also recently been installed for the purpose of making the necessary cases and protectors for the firm's own publications.
The "Clifton" Publications are well known throughout Great Britain and are also exported largely to the Continent and America, in spite of the heavy import duties of the various countries. They have invariably received the highest awards wherever exhibited.
The premises are heated throughout by two systems of hot air and hot water, and thoroughly ventilated. A system of intercommunication telephones has been installed throughout the building. The motive power is furnished by n 10-H.P. gas-engine, and a dynamo conveys current for the ventilating fans, a small motor, and a limited number of incandescent lights. Cloak rooms and bath rooms have been provided for both male and female workers, and a Broadwood piano in the gallery of the Central Hall fer their use during the dinner hour. The number of workers employed is about 100.
MESSRS. STEPHENS BROTHERS AND MARTIN, ST. PHILIP'S HEMP AND FLAX MILLS, BRISTOL.
Stephens Brothers and Martin
Bristol stands in the centre of a district comprising the three counties of Gloucester,Somerset,and Wiltshire, in which a considerable amount of woollen manufacturing is carried on. It has also a large cotton-spinning mill, and for upwards of a century the spinning and manufacturing of hemp and flax yarns and fabrics have been carried on at these mills by the firm of Messrs. Stephens Brothers and Martin, which prior to that was founded in the eighteenth century at Bridport, in Dorsetshire.
The materials spun and manipulated by this firm are sundry varieties of what are known as the soft spinning fibres, namely Russian hemp and flax, Italian and Hungarian hemps, Dutch and Belgian flaxes, Irish flax, and a diminishing quantity of English- grown flax and hemp, the latter having unfortunately gone much out of cultivation in recent years from a variety of causes. Italy has given special attention to the cultivation and subsequent preparation of good hemp; and Italian-grown hemp is the longest, finest, and best-coloured hemp produced in Europe.
Indian hemps of many different qualities and grades have in recent years been introduced into this country, chiefly on account of their low price, and to mix with and cheapen the stronger and dearer European fibres.
The advent of steamships during the last half-century has materially curtailed the demand for the best all-long flax sailcloth, which this firm made one of their specialities; but since their present Managing Proprietor, Mr. G. Palliser Martin, joined the firm in 1889 they have so altered and adapted their machinery for the manufacture of other hemp and flax yarns and fabrics, that they have in recent years quite changed the character of the goods they manufacture, which now embrace large quantities of hemp sackings, canvas and sheetings for the Admiralty, War Office, and other Government departments, as well as the spinning of yarn for cable work, twine and cord making, and a variety of other purposes.
The mills were considerably enlarged last year by the addition of a new wing of two floors in the middle yard, about 200 feet long by 50 feet wide, the machinery of which is to be driven by a new horizontal tandem compound condensing steam-engine of 300 H.P. by Messrs. Woodhouse and Mitchell, of Brighouse, at 120 lbs. steam pressure supplied by a Lancashire boiler, 30 feet by 8 feet, recently put in by Mr. John Thompson, of Wolverhampton.
The motive power at present is supplied by a compound condensing beam-engine of the old type, put down in 1835 by the old Bristol firm of Aikerman, originally with only a single cylinder, but compounded by McNaught, of Manchester, about the year 1860.
The number of workpeople employed is about 200.
THE BATH CABINET MAKERS' CO., TWERTON-ON-AVON, BATH.
Bath Cabinet Makers Co
The City of Bath has long been famous for the manufacture of high-class furniture. Thirteen years ago the above Company was formed, and the works, which are reached by tramcar in ten minutes from the Guildhall, were built with the intention of manufacturing furniture on a larger scale than previously attempted in Bath.
The Factory, which was built to the designs of Messrs. Silcock and Reay, of Bath, was specially planned to secure economy in the cost of production: all the recent improvements wore taken advantage of, with the result that the works form a very good example of an up-to-date Cabinet-making establishment.
Special attention was given to the Machine Shop, which is of large proportions, giving ample space between the various machines and having an excellent head light. The machines themselves are examples of the latest developments in wood-working machinery. Steam provides the motive power, the machinery being driven by a 50-H.P. engine. The Machine Shop is fitted with a dust and shaving-extracting system, so that it always presents a smart and clean appearance. The refuse is carried to the furnace.
The works have a complete electric-light installation with storage battery, providing light for all the Workshops, Show-rooms and offices. Other features in the factory are the drying stoves, and the well laid-out floors for the various trades. In the Show-rooms can be seen examples of the finest modern cabinet work, designed in the firm's studios, also many faithful reproductions of the best furniture of the Elizabethan, Stuart, Queen Anne, and Georgian periods. Fine Grinling Gibbons carving is also specialized by this firer. Another branch of the Company's trade is the manufacture of all kinds of internal decoration, joinery, including wood mantelpieces, and in this section of the trade they are one of the largest manufacturers in the kingdom. The managing director, Mr. Charles A. Richter, holds a leading position as an export on all matters relating to the architecture of the home, and the furnishing and decorating of public buildings.
The number of men employed is about 250.
BATH ELECTRIC TRAMWAYS POWER STATION.
[See plan of works on attached image page 758]
The combined Power-House and Car-shed of the Tramway Company is centrally situated on the banks of the River Avon, with a frontage in Walcot Street, and about three minutes' walk from the Municipal Buildings and Guildhall. Together with the workshops and tramcar repairing depot it occupies an area of practically an acre, and measures roughly 70 yards by GO yards. The buildings cover about three-quarters of this area, and are built of rod brick and reinforced concrete. They were opened in December 1902, and include engine and boiler rooms, repair shop and car-shed, whilst the general offices are conveniently arranged above the car-shed overlooking the main entrance. The engine room and boiler house run parallel to each other, while at right angles to these and across the south end is built the car-shed, underneath which is the repair shop.
ENGINE ROOM.-This room measures 93 feet long and 51 feet wide, and contains three 200-kw. and one 75-kw. compound wound direct-current sets. Sufficient space is left for extensions. The generators are all of British Westinghouse manufacture, and are capable of sustaining a 50-per cent. overload for one hour and a 100-per cent. overload momentarily. The 200-kw. generators are coupled direct to Yates and Thom engines, each of 320 H.P. These engines are of the horizontal tandem compound type running at 100 revolutions per minute, the valves being operated by the well-known Corliss gear with Dobson dashpots. The smaller generator is direct coupled to a British Westinghouse vertical single-acting compound engine of 120 H.P. running at 300 revolutions per minute.
Condensers.—The two condensers are situated in the basement beneath the engine room and are of the ordinary surface type manufactured by the Wheeler Condenser Co., having a cooling surface of 3,000 square feet. The engine for driving the air and circulating pumps is placed directly beneath the condenser.
Oil Separator. —A mechanical oil separator by Messrs. Holden and Brooke is placed in the main exhaust-pipe for the purpose of extracting the oil from the exhaust steam before the same passes into the condensers. The condensed steam is delivered to a hot-well, from which it is fed back into the boilers.
Switch Board.—This is of the ordinary British Westinghouse traction type and runs along the north side of the engine room, the platform being raised about 6 inches above the engine room floor. Auxiliary Plant.—This consists of three 20-H.P. negative boosters of Westinghouse manufacture. These are coupled to the return traction feeders connected with the outlying districts of the city.
Electric Traveller.—A 15-ton electric traveller, supplied and fitted by Messrs. Stothert and Pitt, of Bath, spans the engine room, and is supported by columns and girders independent of either of the engine-room walls.
BOILER HOUSE.-This house measures 90 feet by 49 feet and contains three double-drum Babcock and Wilcox water-tube boilers fitted with superheaters, each capable of evaporating 10,000 lbs. of water per hour at a working steam pressure of 150 lbs. per square inch.
Coal Conveyor.—The coal, which is a mixture of Ashton Vale (local) and Welsh small, is brought each morning in carts, weighed over the Company's weighbridge, and is tipped into the hopper of the conveyor which is driven by a 5-H.P. British Westinghouse direct-current motor running at 1,100 revolutions per minute. The coal is thence distributed to the storage bunkers which run the whole length of the boiler house, these being placed immediately in front of the furnaces. The storage bunkers have a capacity of about 80 tons, the average consumption of coal being about 60 tons per week.
Feed Tamps.—These consist of two vertical steam-pumps made by Messrs. Hall, of Peterborough, each pump being capable of dealing with 2,400 gallons per hour, working against a pressure of 150 lbs. per square inch at a speed of 14 double strokes por minute.
Water-Softening Plant and Grease Separator.—This apparatus is situated in the boiler house next the feed-pumps, and was installed by Messrs. Masson, Scott and Co., of Bow. Tho water is treated with soda till a standard of 4° of hardness is reached. The alum is added to condensed Neater for the purpose of separating out the grease, and the whole passes through a filtering tank which contains pebbles and sand before it enters the hot-well. The whole apparatus is entirely automatic.
Economiser.—The economiser is placed at the rear of the three sets of boilers, and immediately over the main fluo and adjoining the foot of the stack. It is of the Clay Cross pattern and contains 240 tubes, having an area of 3,000 square feet. The mechanical scrapers are driven by means of a 3-H.P. British Westinghouse direct-current motor.
CAR-SHED.—Over the Car-Shed is a single span roof of structural steel work covered in with slate and glass. The shed is a commodious building measuring 130 feet long by 82 feet wide, and giving accommodation for thirty-four double and six single deck-cars, also one water-car and track cleaner. Eight lines of pits give access to the under side of trucks for repair purposes. The cars are fitted with the Westinghouse standard equipment, consisting of two 49B motors with 901 controllers and magnetic brake.
As the question of tramcar brakes is very much to the fore at the present time, it may be of interest to call attention to the latest development now at work in Bath. This consists of a mechanical attachment to the magnetic brake, so that the brake can be operated mechanically as well as electrically. The mechanical attachment does not in any way interfere with the operation of the magnetic brake, i.e., the magnetic brake can be used for regular service or for emergency independent of the mechanical attachment, and the mechanical attachment can be put into use either alone or together with the magnetic brake.
Paint Shop.—The painting and decorating shop is an enclosed building of corrugated iron in the south-east corner of the car-shed.
Repair Shops.—Immediately connected to the car-shed by means of a sloping gangway is the repair shop, a building 80 feet long by 40 feet wide, side lighted by means of six large windows overlooking the river. The workshop is fitted up throughout with up-to-date machinery, the whole being driven by a 10-H.P. British Westinghouse motor, and comprises lathes, drilling and shaping machines, air- compressor, blacksmith's forge with fan, also a complete re-tyring plant, together with wheel-press for pressing on or off wheels, and capable of exerting a pressure of 120 tons.
MOTOR GARAGE.-This company has, in addition to the forty cars, twelve motor omnibuses, six having boon supplied by Messrs. Milnes-Daimler, and six by Messrs. Sidney Straker and Squire. These act as feeders to the cars, and also form a connecting link between the City of Bath and the neighbouring villages. The garage is situated about three-quarters of a mile from the Guildhall on the main London Road. Together with petrol, carbide and general stores, smithy and tinker's shop, it covers an area of about s acre. The garage proper is a double-span corrugated iron building, top and side lighted, measuring 80 feet long by 50 feet wide, having a concrete floor, and galvanized swing doors to entrance. It has accommodation for twelve omnibuses, with a pit running the whole length of the shed, enabling three omnibuses to be inspected at the same time. The building is lighted throughout with electric light supplied from the company's mains. The garage is also equipped with a lathe driven by a 3-H.P. British Westinghouse motor, also re-tyring plant.
MESSRS. JAMES FORTT, ORIGINAL BATH OLIVER BISCUIT FACTORY, BATH.
The "Original" Bath Oliver Biscuit was invented by the celebrated Dr. Oliver in 1735, who was at that time physician to the Bath Mineral Water Hospital. The only biscuits then before the public were the "Captain" and the "Abernethy," and, no doubt, the success of the latter in some measure induced the doctor to turn his attention to the production of another first-class biscuit, which should be not only a novelty but a luxury, and an aid to digestion. The doctor, who died in 1764, bequeathed the secret of the composition of the biscuit to his coachman, who took a small shop in Green Street, Bath, and became its sole manufacturer. Eventually it came into the hands of the present proprietor, who for many years carried on the manufacture in the "original" house. The premises, however, had to be constantly enlarged, and a large factory equipped with every modern improvement was added in Manvors Street.
The old method of manufacture was what was known as the staff brake. This was an appliance of the simplest description; merely a staff of wood attached at one end to the side of a table or board, on which the dough was placed in such a manner as to allow of its being freely pressed. The dough was first thoroughly kneaded with the staff in this way, then each biscuit was weighed and moulded by hand, and, lastly, separately rolled with rolling-pins.
The staff brake in time became too slow and cumbersome for the purpose, and gave way to the steel roller. The principle was the same as that of an ordinary mangle, but the time came when it also had to yield to much quicker methods. The place of the old hand- turned mangle was taken by machinery, designed and introduced by the present proprietor. This consists of three sets of rollers driven by power. In addition to the celebrated biscuits, a large variety of cakes, buns and confectionery is produced at the bakery.
THE GRIFFIN ENGINEERING CO., KINGSTON IRONWORKS, BATH.
Griffin Engineering Co
These works are the outcome of a business started forty years ago by Mr. Samuel Griffin, who is now the managing director of the Company. Originally engaged in general engineering and the manufacture of steam-engines, Mr. Griffin was one of the earliest makers of gas-engines and took out many patents for improvements in principle and detail. Later, the manufacture of oil-engines engaged his attention, and at the present time engines for using the heavy hydro-carbons are a speciality of the Company, which owns numerous patents for these special appliances. These engines have been sent all over the world and are used both for stationary and marine purposes; for the latter various special appliances in the form of starting and reversing gears, feathering and other propellers, etc., are manufactured by the Company.
The present works, covering about an acre with land adjacent for extensions, consist of a main machine-shop fitted with the various machine-tools for making engines up to 200 H.P. The machinery is driven by a Griffin gas-engine in the power-house supplied with gas from a suction plant which has the firm's special fuel-feeder, an improvement which has revolutionized the use of such apparatus, as it ensures a gas of uniform quality giving perfect working at various loads, and without necessitating either constant or skilled attention. With an improved gas-engine to work with this gas, the Company are now making arrangements to supply these plants in various standard sizes, a large additional machine-shop having just been erected for this purpose. Separated from the main shop is a testing-house where the engines are thoroughly tested and finally adjusted. A large pattern store is isolated from the main buildings.
The office block consists of a well-lighted drawing office, clerks' and private offices with the main store, on the ground floor, the upper part being used as a Pattern Shop fitted up with circular and band-saws, lathes, drills, and other wood-working machinery. A blacksmith's shop and various outbuildings, with a workmen's dining-room, complete the works, which are lighted throughout with electricity. This is generated in the power-house from a dynamo driven by a Griffin engine run with suction-gas from a Griffin producer.
The number of men employed is about 70.
These works, however, represent only a very small percentage of the whole industry actively engaged in the manufacture and sale of the "Griffin" specialities. Palmer's Shipbuilding Co., of Jarrow-on-Tyne, besides having an interest in the Company, hold an exclusive license for Great Britain for the manufacture of the larger sizes of the marine type of oil-engines from 100 H.P. upwards, and are now actively engaged in making the necessary arrangements for a large output.
Recently the firm of Messrs. Weyher and Richemond, of Pantin, near Paris, have secured a similar license for trance and its Dependencies, with the further right to sell in Spain, Belgium and South America. This firm alone will employ about 800 men in this department only. Negotiations are also at the present moment being matured between the Company and a large firm of electrical engineers in Germany for the exclusive license to manufacture and sell the "Griffin" system of "Auto-Magneto" ignition.
MESSRS. STOTHERT AND PITT, ENGINEERING WORKS, BATH.
Stothert and Pitt
This Company commenced operations as a private firm in the early part of last century, and in the year 1883 was converted into a limited company. The works have in recent years been largely extended, and now consist of the principal or Newark Works and the branch or Victoria Works, both situated in the Lower Bristol Road. Both have access by water, and the Victoria Works are connected by a siding with the Midland Railway. The main works contain the Offices, Stores, Machine Shops, Pattern and Carpenters' Shops and Foundry, Smiths' Shop, Tool Room, Electrical Fittings Department and a large Erecting Shop and Yard; at the Victoria Works aro situated the Boiler and Structural Steel Departments, a large store for standard finished parts, a large erecting shop and two erecting yards.
The offices are a modern range of buildings, and contain on the first floor the secretarial, private offices, estimating and typing departments, and on the second floor a' well-lighted drawing office 54 feet by 45 feet, head-draughtsman's office, drawing store and board room; the upper storey is devoted to phototyping.
The large Machine Shop is to the right of the entrance, and is 310 feet long by 50 feet wide; it has galleries for small tools and electric fitting work. Amongst other notable tools may be mentioned a very large milling machine by Messrs. Hetherington, of Manchester, taking work 9 feet 10 inches wide by 20 feet in length by 6 feet 3 inches high; also quick-running planers by Bateman and others and a range of boring mills, the last of which is now being erected to take 14 feet diameter. There are a number of capstan and other lathes of heavy modern type, modern radial drills, and an extensive wheel-cutting plant, also bevel gear planers. In the galleries are a range of capstan lathes for bar work and other small tools. The Machine Shop is driven electrically and is served by two electric travellers.
In the North Gallery switchboards, cable drums, and light fittings and other electric details are fitted up. Tho centre block, which previously contained the stores and offices, is now entirely occupied by stores and tool rooms; in the latter are made milling cutters, gauges and other tools. The gauges are ground up in a Brown and Sharps precision grinder. At the east end of the works is the Smiths' Shop, 160 feet by 42 feet, fitted with three steam- hammers where much stamping is carried out, also the Erecting Shop, 165 feet by 50 feet, which is served by a 12-ton electric traveller.
Opening out of the Erecting Shop is the Generating Station in which are two Belliss and Morcom-Siemens sets, each of 137 kw. and a small set of 60 kw., steam being supplied by two Lancashire boilers fitted with Bennis automatic stokers and economisers. At the back of the Generating Station is the air-compressing plant.
The Foundry is to the north of the Machine Shop, and is 130 feet by 85 feet. There are two bays, one fitted with a 12-ton electric traveller, the other, for light work, fitted with two 3-ton electric travellers. There are also two 5-ton swing cranes placed on the columns separating the bays, which enable loads to be passed from one bay to the other. There are three cupolas of various sizes, and the usual drying stoves. Behind the Iron Foundry is a Brass Foundry. At the west side of the yard are the Carpenter and Pattern Shops, also a Pattern Store for current work, although the principal Pattern Store is a building separate from the works.
At the Victoria Works the largest shop is the Boiler and Girder Shop, 250 feet by 45 feet, served by a 10-ton electric crane. It contains the usual equipment of plate rolls, plate planing machine, shears, drills, etc., and a pneumatic-riveting plant. The plate furnace is heated by a Dowson gas plant. Opposite the Boiler Shop is a large Erecting Shop 160 feet by 45 feet, fitted with a 12-ton electric traveller and lathes and drill for adjustment purposes.
The space between the two shops is occupied by wide lean-to shelters, in which are shears and plate rolls, and by the Erecting Yard. The latter is served by a high 10-ton steam Goliath and by a 12-ton steam jib-crane mounted on a high portable gantry-truck, also two smaller portable steam-cranes.
Adjacent to the yard is a smaller erecting yard and large store for finished standard crane parts, also a small Fitters' Shop for assembling concrete mixers. This yard is served by a 12-ton steam gantry-crane. At both works are commodious dining-rooms for the men. The Victoria Works are electrically driven from the Corporation mains.
The work carried on is general engineering of all kinds, but the loading specialities are harbour plant, Titan cranes, concrete mixers, and especially electric jib-cranes mostly for dock equipment purposes, and also general cranes of all kinds, particularly railway hand-driven cranes. The number of employees at present is about 1,000.
MESSRS. SAXBY AND FARMER, RAILWAY-SIGNAL WORKS, OHIPPENHAM.
Saxby and Farmer
Those works are situated oboist five minutes' walk from the Great Western Railway Station, on about 10 acres of land, five of which are at present occupied, the remaining five being taken up with a view to extensions. At the north end of the works is the gas plant which provides power for engines whose total capacity is approximately 370 B.H.P. To the east side of the above is the Foundry with a floor space of 18,800 square feet, having an average outpost of 50 tons per week, and employing 120 to 140 men. Adjoining this on the south is the Pneumatic-Tool Department, where a large number of up-to-date machines, including automatic lathes, have been installed for the production of high-class pneumatic hammers, drills and moulding machines. The low-pressure pneumatic signalling apparatus is also manufactured here. The necessary power for this Shop is provided by a 100-H.P. Crossley gas-engine and suction plant.
Adjoining the Pneumatic-Tool Department is the Fitting and Erecting Shop for interlocking apparatus, electrical instruments and other signalling gear. A large number of machines for dealing with this class of work arc fixed here and are driven by a 100-H.P. gas-engine in an adjoining Engine Room, which contains also a 100- and a 33-B.H.P. gas-engines for lighting purposes and an air-compressor for supplying the pneumatic tools and hoists used throughout the works. Both in the Pneumatic-Tool Shop and Fitting Shop are tool rooms for the distribution of jigs, templets and special tools on the latest methods.
On the south side of the Fitting Shop is the Smithy with a weekly output of about 15 tons. A large quantity of drop stamp work is done in this shop by five steam and five belt-driven stamps with trips varying in weight from 9 to 15 cwts. A Ferguson bar-heating oil-furnace has just been installed. At the south-east corner of the Smith's Shop is the Boiler House, containing two 71. feet by 28 feet Galloway boilers, draught for which is obtained by a 90-foot stack. On the south side of the Smith's Shop is the Packing Shed, capable of dealing with about 200 tons to 300 tons of packed cases at a time. Next to this are spacious Stores for the receipt of castings, forgings and bought materials.
Returning to the gas plants, on the west side are:-
(1) Iron Signal Shop, where iron signals of all sizes and descriptions are manufactured, pneumatic hammers playing a very important part in the process.
(2) The Pattern and Carpenter's Shops, in which the chief products are wood signals, cabins and level-crossing gates. The plant comprises three circular and two band-saws, planing and morticing machines driven by a 60-H.P. Crossley gas-engine, which also drives a dynamo supplying light for this section of the works.
In the south-west corner are the Lamp and Paint Shops; in the former are manufactured the various signal, disc and other lamps used in signalling work.
The Firm at present employs between 700 and 800 men, and was founded by John Saxby in 1856, their first works being at Hayward's Heath. From there the works were moved to Kilburn, where a flourishing business was carried on till 1903, when they were moved to Chippenham.
MONKS PARK QUARRIES, NEAR CORSHAM.
Bath Stone Firms
The Monks Park stone mines, belonging to the Bath Stone Firms, Limited, are situated about 8 miles from Bath to the north-west of Wilts, and are in the principal area from which the Oolite (which has gained for itself, under the title of Bath Stone, a high reputation which it has so well deserved) is quarried. The Romans were probably one of the first to use Bath stone for building purposes, and the massive structures at and around the hot mineral springs in the City of Bath (erected nearly 2,000 years ago) are still in a state of preservation, which testify to the wisdom of the Romans and the excellence of the stone. At Box, about three miles from Monks Park, the Saxons excavated large quantities for the erection of Malmesbury Abbey and other monastic buildings, and to this day stone is being quarried from the same neighbourhood, and sent all over the world.
The Monks Park Mines yield a compact, close-grained, even- textured, and very strong stone, suitable for exterior work in any position. It is situated to the south of the village of Corsham on the estate of Sir John Goldney, whose residence was designed by Adam, the famous architect.
The mine is reached by a slope shaft, 1 in 2, about 90 feet below the surface of the ground, the system of mining the stone is universal throughout the whole of the district. The coal-miner under-cuts his coal, and the mass may fall and break, but building stone so quarried would make a valueless rubbish heap. The freestone miner or quarryman has to commence his operations at the roof of the stone. This " picking " operation is effected by means of long-handled pickaxes, and the men thus make their driving a distance of 6 to 7 feet back in the rock. The width or span of the workings must of course depend upon the soundness of the rock, but at Monks Park they can be driven a width of 25 to 30 feet without any danger. The removal of 8 or 9 inches of the rock immediately under the ceiling deprives the overlaying strata of the support of this area of stone as effectually as its removal throughout from roof to floor would do, but any tendency to settle or drop is at once detected, and any risk to life and limb thus guarded against.
The next process is the cutting of the rock into blocks of random dimensions, and for this a one-handled saw is used. These saws are worked in lengths of 4, 5, 6 and 7 feet, and are made broad and deep at the head or extreme point, so as to ensure the saw sinking to its work at that point. The rock is thus opened down to the next natural parting and the block is thus separated literally from the parent rock, levers are introduced into the bed or parting at the bottom, and these levers are weighted and shaken till the block is forcibly detached at the back. It is then le wised and drawn out by crane power, the broken end and beds dressed with the axe so as to make the block shapely; it is then placed upon a trolley, pulled up the shaft and taken to the loading wharf. After the first block is removed, the workmen have access by the opening made to the back of the bank of stone, and avail themselves of this to work the saw transversely, which, separating the block from its back or hinder attachment, renders all further breaking off unnecessary.
The extent of the workings in the mines of this Company is something approaching 60 miles. The ceilings are 12 to 15 feet high and there is no inconvenience whatever in traversing the roadways, the air being good, and with a powerful lamp one's way can be easily found. Many large public buildings throughout the country and in South Africa have been built of stone from these quarries, one of the most recent being Christ's Hospital, Horsham.
MESSRS. SPENCER AND CO., ENGINEERING WORKS, MELKSHAM.
Spencer and Co
These works are situated on the Great Western Railway near Melksham Station, which is about twelve miles from Bath. They were erected about five years ago owing to the then existing works, which were situated about half a mile further from the railway, being much too small to cope with increasing business.
The new works were accordingly entirely designed and constructed throughout by Messrs. Spencer and Co. to suit their own special requirements. They occupy a site of about eleven acres, bounded on one side by the railway and on the other by the main road from Melksham to Chippenham. A complete system of railway sidings runs from the Great Western main line through the various shops and yards, so that material can be unloaded from, and finished work loaded into, railway wagons at the most convenient points. There is also a supplementary system of narrow-gauge rails through the various shops.
The offices front the road, and are arranged in the most convenient manner for inter-communication, and the private rooms of the joint Managing Directors are so placed that they command a view from the windows, not only of the general office, but also of the main workshops.
The Drawing Office is on the first floor and provides thoroughly well-lit and complete accommodation for about sixty draughtsmen. There is also a fireproof room for storing drawings and a complete photographic department. The Tracing Department, where a staff of lady tracers are employed, is in communication with the Drawing Office by moans of a special lift. All the offices are mechanically ventilated and heated by a system of hot-water radiators, and are electrically lighted. A system of telephones connects the various departments, both of office and works. The Drawing Office also connects through double fire-proof doors with a passage leading to the Pattern Shop and Joiner's Department, which is fitted with complete outfit of modern wood-working tools.
The main shops consist of six bays, each 50 feet span by 260 feet long; of these five form one large open shop containing Machine Tool, Fitting, Erecting and Constructional Steel Departments, while the other, which is partitioned off by a brick wall, forms the principal Moulding Shop. In an annex of the latter small machine-moulding is done, also brass casting, and the cupolas are situated there. Each bay is commanded by 10-ton electric travelling cranes, and in addition to these there is a system of pneumatic cranes in the Foundry.
The Machine Department is fitted throughout with modern and efficient tools and a complete and thoroughly fitted-up tool-room is provided, fitted with special appliances for forging, tempering and grinding the high-speed tool-steel which is exclusively used. The partitions forming the tool-room and also the partitions shutting off the general stores are made of open expanded metal work, so that there is as little interruption as possible to view throughout the shops. The workshops throughout are exceptionally high and the roofs are glazed, so that abundance of light is provided. A complete system of heating and mechanical ventilation is also provided, so that the men can work in comfort and under the best conditions at all periods of the year.
The steel constructional work yards are well commanded by travelling steam-cranes, overhead gantry-cranes and boils narrow gauge and ordinary gauge railway lines. They are fitted with modern machine tools and hydraulic and pneumatic plant necessary for the production of all kinds of high class structural work. The whole of the works and yards are electrically lighted, and all the tools are electrically driven from a central generating station which is placed at some little distance from the main shops.
An extensive Pattern Store about 30 feet wide by 250 feet long, in two storeys, has been built some distance from the main shops so as to be isolated in case of fire. The works have their own sewage system of septic tanks. A large mess-room is provided for the men, completely fitted with cooking appliances, and a large bicycle shed provides for those who live at a distance. The whole of the works are specially adapted for the convenient and economical production of elevating and conveying plant for grain, coal, ore, cement and all other materials, and for the various labour-saving appliances with which Messrs. Spencer and Co.'s name is so closely associated. The average number of employees is about 700.
GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY LOCOMOTIVE, CARRIAGE AND WAGON WORKS, SWINDON.
Swindon is the headquarters of the Great Western Railway Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Department. The works, which have grown with the railway, were founded in 1842. At that time, the old town of Swindon (which dates back some eight centuries, and is mentioned in Doomsday book) had a population of 2,500, and was a mile distant from the works. The population is now nearly 51,000. The original line of the Great Western Railway extended from London to Bristol, a distance of 118 miles. Extensions and amalgamations have brought the total mileage up to 2,878 at the present time.
The Rolling Stock owned by the Company on 31st December, 1907, was as follows:— Locomotives 2,538; Carriages 6,525; Carriage Stock 1,159; Wagons 68,238; Rail-Motor-Cars 99; and Trailer Cars 70.
All new carriage and wagon stock (including rail-motor-cars and road vehicles) are built at Swindon, also the greater portion of the locomotives. A few of the latter, however, are constructed at Wolverhampton.
There are branch repairing shops at Wolverhampton, Worcester, and Newton Abbot, but the greater part of the repairs are done at Swindon, where also a great variety of other work is dealt with; rail chairs are supplied to the Permanent Way Department, points and crossings are manufactured, castings and stampings for the Signal Department, and furniture and fittings for stations. The heavy repairs to the large pumping engines at the Severn Tunnel, and to the very numerous hydraulic installations at the Company's stations and docks, are also carried out by the Swindon staff.
The Rolling Mills were erected in 1861, the Carriage Works in 1868, and new Iron Foundries in 1874. In 1902 a large Erecting and Machine Shop was built, very completely equipped with electric power. Large additions have recently been made to the Wagon Works, including a new block of stores and offices. The total area of the works is 254 acres. The number of employees is approximately as follows:—Locomotive Department 8,000; Carriage and Wagon Department 5,000, making a total of 13,000. The shops are large and well lighted, modern methods are in use, electric power is being rapidly introduced, while a special feature is the extensive use made of hydraulic and pneumatic appliances.
These are situated to the north of the main line, and are approached by a subway (page 775). At the end of the subway are the Locomotive Superintendent's Offices, a three-storeyed building of stone, having two wings 180 feet by 46 feet 6 inches and 148 feet by 45 feet 6 inches. This block also accommodates the Stores Superintendent and his staff.
Drawing Office.—This forms the top storey and consists of two wings 148 feet by 46 feet 6 inches and 148 feet by 45 feet 6 inches. It is one of the most up-to-date in the country, spacious and lofty, and lighted by inverted arc-lamps. In connection with the Drawing Office there is a large studio for photo-printing and photography. built over part of an adjacent shop and having an outside south balcony, thus ensuring the best possible light.
Old Erecting Shop (270 feet by 280 feet).—This shop is now used for repairing tenders and goods engines. It contains two steam traversing and four overhead rope-driven travelling cranes. There are 84 pits, each taking one engine or tender. The original engine shed (480 feet by 70 feet) is the oldest building in the works. It has four rows of pits and is used for finishing off and painting.
Machine Shop (adjacent to the above) is 280 feet by 160 feet, and is chiefly used for repair work. It is provided with 5-ton walking cranes, and a number of automatic machines.
Tool Shop—This contains machines for the manufacture and repair of all tools used in the works; for cutting spur and bevel wheels and for turning out gauges and templates.
Central Power House is a new building equipped with three Westinghouse 3-cylinder vertical gas-engines. These are of 250 H.P. and are each coupled direct to a dynamo giving 600 amperes at 250 volts, at 200 revolutions per minute. Provision is made for extension at some future date. The switchboard has automatic cut-outs throughout.
Nut and Bolt Shop.—Herein are the usual automatic machines for the rapid production of nuts, bolts, rivets, and pins. Three creosote oil furnaces greatly facilitate rapid production.
Stamping Shop (240 feet by 105 feet).—This shop contains twelve Brett drop-hammers and seven steam-hammers. A great variety of locomotive forgings are made here. The necessary dies are produced in a small shop adjoining. Revolving files, electrically driven by a flexible shaft, are used for finishing dies.
Smiths' Shops.—These have a total area of about 50,000 square feet, and are of the usual type. Many of the special frame angles for locomotives are pressed out in dies by hydraulic power.
Forge.—This contains 9 steam-hammers, the greatest capacity being 5 tons.
Points and Crossings Shop is fitted out with a number of hydraulic presses for bending rails.
Bolling Mills.—These were originally used for making rails, but are now employed in turning out merchant bar sections from scrap, the output being about 200 tons per week.
Millwrights' Shop.—This has a total area of about 20,000 square feet. In addition to the usual millwrights' work, the construction and repair of turntables, pumps, cranes, portable engines and hydraulic plant, chiefly for out-stations, are carried out.
Springsmiths' Shop.—Springs of all descriptions, laminated, spiral and volute, which are also tested to load, are made here.
Tank Shop.—The manufacture of tanks, coal bunkers, and steel-plate work, is carried out here. It is provided with overhead and jib cranes, and some large shearing and punching machines. Compressed air is available at all points. Two steam-traversers afford access to the Tank, Paint, and Boiler Shops, also to the Boiler and Frame Shops.
Boiler Shop (350 feet by 320 feet).—The capacity of this shop is 200 new and 900 repaired boilers per annum. There are two 20-ton overhead travelling cranes, hydraulic cranes for light loads, such as riveters, and a number of jib cranes fixed to alternate columns. There is also a 30-ton fixed hydraulic crane, with racking and slewing gear, provided with a pit. This is chiefly used for riveting barrels to fire-boxes. This shop is well equipped with hydraulic and compressed-air machines of all kinds, available at any point. There is a fixed hydraulic riveter with a 12-foot gap. Among other machines are a special drilling machine for fire-boxes, and two horizontal baud-saws for trimming edges of fire-box plates after flanging, also a large hydraulic flanging press capable of exerting a pressure of 600 tons. In this the largest fire-box plates are flanged.
Hydraulic Power House.—This contains three duplex pumping engines with two cylinders 16 inches by 21 inches, and four pumps 41- inches by 21 inches, built at Swindon, and two " Pearns " duplex triple-expansion pumping engines. There is also a double cylinder 16 inches by 24 inches engine for driving machinery.
Air-Supply Station.—This is situated in an upper storey of the Hydraulic Power House. Equipped with two Ingersoll-Sergeant two-stage air-compressors, with cooling chambers, tandem coupled to compound engines. A spare compressor is also provided.
Central Boiler Station.—This station is situated opposite the Hydraulic Pourer House. It contains a battery of nine locomotive boilers, and a Stirling water-tube boiler. The latter has a mechanical stoker, and two of the locomotive boilers are fired by special furnaces.
Frame Shop.—The equipment of this shop consists of large slotting, milling, and drilling machines, and two 5-ton walking cranes.
Cylinder Shop.—This is fitted with two 5-ton walking cranes, boring and other machines.
Machine Shop (295 feet by 80 feet).—This shop is driven by a 130-H.P. Crossley gas-engine, and contains slotting, milling, planing and other machines for the manufacture of locomotive details.
Brass Fitting Shop.—This shop contains a number of labour-saving machines. Vacuum-brake injectors, whistles, gauges and other fittings are made and repaired, and steam and vacuum gauges are tested.
Brake Test House.—This is completely fitted up for testing ejectors, brake-valves, steam-valves, and brake-cylinders.
The Brass Foundry has a capacity of 27 to 30 tons per week.
Iron Foundry (400 feet by 80 feet, in two bays).—This foundry is equipped with three overhead electric travelling cranes and several jib cranes. The usual output is about 240 tons per week, and castings up to 20 tons are produced. The capacity of the two cupolas is from 12 to 14 tons per hour each. Hydraulic lifts raise the metal and fuel to the charging floor.
Chair Foundry (adjacent to the Iron Foundry).—It has an output of about 80 tons of chairs per week for the Permanent Way Department, chiefly for points and crossings.
New Erecting and Machine Shops (with Power House).—These are contained in one block, covered with a "weaver" roof with north lights. The stores and offices form a two-storeyed building under the main roof and divide the Machine Shop from the Erecting Shop.
New Erecting Shop (480 feet by 306 feet).—This is the latest and most up-to-date building in the works. It is equipped throughout with electric power. There are two electric traversers and four rows of engine pits holding 80 locomotives. The western row of 20 pits is used for new work, and the others for repairing passenger engines. There are four overhead hydraulic electric cranes, each having two 25-ton lifts and two 21-ton quick lifts. The heavy lifts are by hydraulic power, worked by 8-H.P. electric pumps. There are independent motors for traversing movements, 33 H.P. and 2.5 H.P. Compressed air is available at any point in the shop, and is in general use. The shop is lighted by 700 c.p. are-lamps, and by glow-lamps at the benches and pits. Gas is also laid on. Capacity-80 to 90 DOW engines and 500 repaired engines per annum.
Engine Testing Plant.—This is arranged for complete tests of locomotives. Drawbar-pull is measured by a special steelyard dynamometer, and coal and water measuring apparatus is provided, while the speed is shown by indicators. There are five pairs of carrying wheels. These are adjusted to suit different locomotives by racks and pinions driven by an electric motor. The axles are connected by bolts and jockey pulleys. The locomotive is run to a table and lowered to the carrying wheels by sixteen motor-driven screw-jacks. The axles of the carrying wheels are provided with band-brakes, water-cooled, and worked by small hydraulic cylinders, which are supplied by a motor-driven return-flow pump. The pressure is regulated by hand and also by a centrifugal governor. Those brakes are not dynamometers, but merely absorb power, and are used to regulate speed. Power is measured by the drawbar-pull and speed. The plant is utilised to drive a 2-cylinder air- compressor, for supplying the pneumatic tools in the shop.
Engine Weighbridge.—This was made by Messrs. Pooley and Sons, and has twelve tables weighing up to 121 tons per wheel. The weights are shown on segmental dials.
Opposite the Erecting Shop, and connected with it by an electric traverser, is a building (163 feet by 60 feet), with ton pits, used as a paint shop. One end of this contains a large caustic-soda tank, provided with trolleys, in which grease and dirt are cleaned from the motion, etc., of engines.
Machine Shop (464 feet by 180 feet).—All machines in this shop are electrically driven; the smaller being group-driven, and the larger machines having separate motors. The shop is served by five 6-ton electric walking cranes, with 5-H.P. lifting and traversing motors. The machines include crank-axle lathes, tyre-boring, wheel and axle lathes, screw-cutting and gap lathes, vertical turning and boring machines, crank-axle sweep-cutting machines, multiple and radial drills, milling and profiling machines (including a very large milling machine), shaping, slotting, and planing machines, key- seating, grinding and lapping machines.
Electric Power Station.—This contains three Westinghouse 3-cylinder vertical gas-engines, each coupled direct to a dynamo giving 600 amperes at 250 volts, at 200 revolutions per minute. There is a 15-panel switchboard, with double-pole switches and automatic cut-outs. An automatic reversible booster brings the accumulators into action when required. These consist of 140 cells, and are placed in a battery room overhead.
Between the Erecting Shop Yard and the Boiler Shop there is a subway under a public road. This has a hydraulic lift at each end, and is used for transferring boilers and other large material.
Testing House.—This contains a 60-ton Buckton testing-machine, and a 100-ton chain-testing machine. Boiler-plate, rails, axles, tyres, copper, wood, cement, etc., are tested; and fatigue, friction and non-conducting tests are made. The drop testing plant for axles and rails is fitted with a steam-windlass working a 2-ton tup to a height of 40 feet. Chains, hooks and lifting tackle for the whole of the system are repaired and tested here.
Chemical Laboratory.—This is a department to which the most careful attention has been paid at Swindon for many years. Twelve chemists are employed in carrying out analyses of water for locomotive and drinking purposes; also of coal, steel, copper, cement, etc.
Pattern Storm—This is a fireproof building of three storeys, covered by a 230,000-gallon water-tank.
The Carriage Works are practically wholly situated on the south side of the main line.
Saw Mills (260 feet by 140 feet).—This mill is equipped with six vertical reciprocating log saws, band and circular saws, and grooving, tongueing and planing machines. A special feature is that the shafting is under the floor and the sawdust is drawn away through large tubes and used to feed the boilers for driving the shop. There is a rope-driven overhead crane, also special machines for turning out various body parts, such as pillars and roof sticks. A new saw mill and timber drying yard have recently been provided on the west side of the main line in the direction of Bristol.
Stacking Yard.—The Mill is 195 feet by 52 feet, with one through road. There is a 10-ton overhead electric travelling crane, 50-foot span and 20-foot lift. There is also a horizontal log band-saw (driven by a 60-H.P. electric motor, and capable of cutting 68 super feet of Java teak per minute), cross-cut and other saws.
Timber Drying Shed.—The dimensions of this shed are 410 feet by 100 feet.
Carriage Body Shop (275 feet by 260 feet).—A portion of this shop is used as a machine and fitting shop.
The Gas Fitting Shop adjoins the Carriage Body Shop.
Carriage Repair Shop (230 feet by 225 feet).—There are 15 roads in this shop connected by steam traverser with Body Shop. There are 4 hydraulic drop-pits for changing bogies.
Carpenters' and Finishers' Shop.—The dimensions are 230 feet by 40 feet.
Trimming Shop.—This contains a large number of machines. Female operatives perform the polishing, sewing, etc.
Carriage Paint Shop.—This is 195 feet by 270 feet to 250 feet, with 12 roads. It is connected to Repair Shop by a steam traverser. A novel feature of the Swindon Works is a well-equipped laundry, wherein is done the washing, etc., of the major portion of the towels, dusters, etc., belonging to the Company.
Although collectively termed the Wagon Works, the shops on the north side of the line, in the vicinity of the station, are responsible (in order to avoid repetition) for a good deal of work for carriages.
Smiths' Shop (524 feet by 44 feet).—Contains (with an annexe), 58 single and 13 double hearths. There are 8 steam-hammers, and the lighter forging work is done here.
Machine Shop and Carriage-Brake Shop (235 feet by 370 feet).— This has recently been extended. It contains the usual machine tools. Carriage bogies are built here, and vacuum-brake cylinders, brake-gear, axle-boxes, draw-gear, etc., are fitted up.
Frame Shop.—Herein carriage and wagon underframes are manufactured. There is a machine section, with shears and other machines, and multiple drills up to 50 spindles for frame members. The shop is well provided with hydraulic riveters, both on jib cranes and overhead runners. They are raised and lowered by light hydraulic cylinders. Compressed air is in general use.
Road Wagon Shop.—This has a total area of about 51,000 square feet. All kinds of road vehicles, such as delivery vans, lorries, omnibuses and carts are made and repaired here. Seven hundred vehicles are repaired per annum, and the output of new vehicles averages about 70.
Wheel and Tyre Shops.—This shop is conveniently arranged for consecutive processes and well supplied with labour-saving devices, and has the usual wheel, tyre and axle lathes and hydraulic presses.
Stamping Shop (240 feet by 185 feet).—This contains 18 hydraulic forging presses; two of 200 tons and seven of 100 tons capacity; also steam-hammers and Brett drop-hammers. There are six large boilers of the locomotive type utilising the waste heat from the furnaces. Here forgings of almost every kind required in carriage and wagon construction are cheaply and rapidly produced by hydraulic presses.
The Power House is equipped with two double-cylinder pumps with 16-inch by 21-inch cylinders, built at Swindon, and governed by the accumulators.
Carriage Washing Shed (350 feet by 60 feet) with three roads. There are raised platforms level with the carriage floors, with water troughs of " pick-up " section running along the edges. Carriage Lifting Shop (350 feet by 210 feet) with ten roads. This has a machine department, containing wheel lathes and other machines. There are four hydraulic drop-pits.
The Wagon Lifting Shop has an area of 160,000 square feet. Both new and repair work are done here.
These are situated at the extreme northern end of the works and supply all the gas required for the works, locomotive, traffic and stores departments. There is also an oil-gas plant for train lighting. The plant is of the most improved description and has an output up to 1,500,000 cubic feet per day. A special feature is the Methane Hydrogen Plant, which uses oil-gas tar; 25 per cent. of the above output is Methane Hydrogen. A large new gas-holder has recently been erected. This has a capacity of 1,000,000 cubic foot, and is of the three-lift spiral-guided type. The height from ground when full is 114 feet 6 inches, and the lifts work in a steel tank 130 feet diameter by 29 feet deep. A ladder-mast affords access to the holder at any point.
Fire Appliances. —The works are well supplied with hydrants and hose, fire buckets, and patent extinguishers. There are some powerful ejector hydrants, worked from the hydraulic mains, two steam fire-engines and several " manuals," and a trained fire-brigade, which has periodical drills. Numerous fire-pits, or sunk reservoirs, are provided for the use of the engines.
Lighting of Works.-The lighting of the works is in a transition stage. Incandescent gas is being gradually superseded by electricity. Gas-engines are used to drive the dynamos.