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Note: This is a sub-section of 1926 Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Visits to Works (Excursions) in the Ipswich area
THE PORT OF IPSWICH.
Ipswich is one of the oldest ports in the United Kingdom, and its records go back to very early times. Before the economic changes occurred which tended to concentrate the industries of the country in the North and Midlands, Ipswich ranked, after London, as one of the more important ports in the Kingdom, but the decay of East Anglia as an industrial centre and the increasing trade of the country with the New World resulted in the port not keeping pace with other more favourably situated coast towns. Nevertheless the presence of a navigable estuary stretching some dozen miles into the land has always resulted in sea-borne trade, and within the last century-and-a-quarter the handiwork of man has, in the case of the Orwell, on which Ipswich is situated, been continually exercised to supplement the natural facilities of the river.
Until early in the nineteenth century the river was under the control of the Corporation of Ipswich, but in 1805 an Act of Parliament was passed appointing a number of local gentlemen as River Commissioners, and since that time the control of the port has been vested in a special body separate from the civic authorities. The River Commissioners did good work in improving the channel, but after a time it became evident that better berthing accommodation must be provided if foreign-going vessels were to be attracted to the port, and in 1837 an Act was passed empowering a dock to be constructed in a convenient bend of the River Orwell, and a large number of Commissioners were appointed to deal with this work. The dock was built during the next few years, and when completed ranked for a time as the largest dock in the British Empire, being some 33 acres in extent. In 1852 the Commissioners (still over a hundred in number) were incorporated and their powers extended to embrace the provision of warehouses, cranes, additional wharves, etc.
The steady increase in the size of the vessels using the port during the next twenty years necessitated the making of a larger entrance lock, and an Act for that purpose was obtained in 1877. The new entrance was constructed shortly afterwards, and opened for traffic in the year 1881. The lock is 300 feet long by 50 feet wide, and ships up to 48 feet 2 inches beam and drawing 17 feet 3 inches have been brought within it. The depth on the outer sill at high water spring-tides is 23 feet 6 inches. In the first years of the present century a new public quay 800 feet in length was constructed within the Dock enclosure and public warehouses were erected.
For the accommodation of vessels which are too large to enter the Dock and which do not require quay accommodation owing to their being discharged overside, four deep-water mooring berths were provided at Butterman's Bay, some 5¾ miles down the river, the largest berth being 550 feet long and having 28 feet of water at low-water springs. Vessels of over 5,000 tons net register have been accommodated at these berths; and others from 400 to 450 feet in length and drawing nearly 27 feet have also been discharged there.
As the size of ships continued to increase, plans were prepared in 1912-13, and the sanction of Parliament obtained in the Act of 1913, for the making of a new entrance basin to take larger vessels, and for providing further public quays. Before this work could be started, however, the War broke out and all such projects had to be postponed. After the war the enormous increases in the cost of constructional work made it evident that the expense of a new entrance lock could not be undertaken, but, in order to accommodate larger ships, power was obtained by the Act of 1918 to construct a deep-water quay outside the Dock, and to purchase a considerable area of land which such a quay might serve.
Financial considerations made it inadvisable to carry out the whole of the projected work, but in 1923 the authorized land was purchased and a limited scheme was started, under the aegis of the Trade Facilities Act Advisory Committee, with the result that by 1925 a new quay outside the Dock, 600 feet in length, with 28 feet of water alongside at low-water springs, and two quays inside the dock, 600 and 420 feet in length respectively, had been constructed. In the same year dredging for the maintenance and improvement of the Channel, which had been suspended during the War, was recommenced.
The Commission owns some 50 acres of land behind the Cliff Quay, and portions of this area have already been let on long lease to two of the large oil companies, for oil and spirit depots, and to a firm of timber merchants. Roads have been made and sidings laid down, connecting with the London and North Eastern Railway system; and the "Cliff Quay Estate" now provides numerous sites, with rail, road and water communication, which are available for firms requiring land for the establishment of businesses involving the import or export of goods by sea.
Inside the Dock area the filling-in of a portion has rendered available for business purposes a considerable amount of vacant ground, as has also the pulling-down of various old buildings which were on the site when it was originally purchased by the Commission.
The Act of 1913 replaced the somewhat unwieldy corporation of over 100 Commissioners by a smaller body of 19 members, partly appointed by the Ipswich Town and East Suffolk County Councils and partly elected by payers of dues and payers of rates. There are no shareholders, the Port being financed by means of fixed interest-bearing debentures, any excess of income over expenditure being devoted to the gradual repayment of capital moneys and to the supply, maintenance and improvement of the Port facilities.
CORPORATION ELECTRIC SUPPLY AND TRANSPORT DEPARTMENTS, IPSWICH.
The Electric Supply Works were opened in 1903. There were at first installed 6 steam-generator sets of a total capacity of 776 kw., the engines for these sets being supplied by Messrs. Reavell and Co., Ltd., Ipswich. These were supplemented in 1904-5 by a further 2 sets, one of 220 kw. and the other of 500 kw. capacity. The whole of the above plant, however, has now been displaced, and the existing plant consists of-
With extensions in progress there will also be 5 rotary converters of a total capacity of 6,300 kw., together with others in various sub-stations of a capacity of 2,500 kw.
The Boiler plant originally consisted of 5 Dryback marine-type boilers of 11,000 lb. duty per hour and 170 lb. pressure, 4 of which were made by Messrs. Danks of Birmingham and a little later by Messrs. Fraser of Millwall, with Weir reciprocating feed-pump. The present plant, however, consists of-
3 - 11,000 lb. duty Drybacks, 170 lb. pressure, installed 1903/4.
1 - 20,000 lb. duty marine-type, Babcock, 170 lb. pressure, installed 1913.
1 - 20,000 lb. duty marine-type, 250 lb. pressure, installed 1919.
1 - 60,000 lb. curved tube type, Clayton, 250 lb. pressure, installed 1925.
1 - 60,000 lb. curved tube type, Clayton, 250 lb. pressure, installed 1926.
It is fully expected to raise the steam-pressure of the Station to 250 lb. this year, with a steam temperature of 650°F.
The undertaking has undergone a considerable development in recent years. Beginning in the first year with a maximum demand of 390 kw. the figure slowly crept up to 1498 kw. before the War. During the War the highest figure was 2,811, but since then, with a slight set-back immediately after the conclusion of the War, the maximum demand grew to 6,580 kw. in last December. Towards the end of last year the supply to Felixstowe was started, which is being given from a Static Sub-station at the Borough Boundary and transmitted at 6,000 volts.
The Distribution System has kept pace with other developments, and is rapidly getting to a position where an alternative supply by means of a ring-main and other duplicate mains will be available at any point in the system. The D.C. system was in sole use up to 1914, but since that date the A.C. system has been extended over the Eastern and Western districts.
Financially the progress has been similarly active. The capital necessary for the inauguration of the undertaking was about £70,000, while the gross capital expenditure is now in the region of £450,000. No less a sum than £205,000 has been provided out of revenue for repayment of this capital. The gross income for the past financial year is something like £105,000, a figure much higher than any previous year. This has been achieved notwithstanding continuous decreases in charges. These decreases have been responsible for a reduction in the average price per unit sold from 3.28d. in 1921 to 2.22d. this year, the average price realized for power purposes alone during the same period being reduced from 2.46d. to 1.45d. per unit. The total units sold in the past year were about 9,500,000, of which the following is an analysis:—
|Lighting . . . .||2,100,000|
|Heating and Cooking . . . .||1,200,000|
|Power . . . .||5,500,000|
|Traction . . . .||700,000|
With a substantial reserve of about £35,000 it will be seen that the undertaking is in a very satisfactory financial position. whilst providing electrical energy for the Borough at low rates, having regard to the isolated position of the town.
The Tramways Department was also inaugurated in 1903. At first running with 26 cars, to which were added in 1904 a further 10, the undertaking, operating nearly 11 miles of route, has met the needs of the Borough for over twenty years until the necessity for deciding on the question of reconstructing the track or converting the system to another form reached an acute stage. The Corporation after careful consideration, decided upon the latter plan and have obtained parliamentary powers to run Trackless Trolley Vehicles. The new system is partially in operation, and it is hoped that during the summer the whole of the route will be worked by trackless vehicles. It is intended to open up certain new routes in order to meet the increasing needs of the population, especially in those portions of the town where housing has developed.
MESSRS. CRANFIELD BROTHERS, LTD., FLOUR MILLS, IPSWICH.
These Mills, owned by Messrs. Cranfield Brothers, Ltd., are situated at the north-west extremity of Ipswich Dock, and have an output of 70 sacks of flour per hour.
The grain silos have a capacity of 35,000 quarters, and an additional silo, to hold 20,000 quarters, is in course of construction in reinforced concrete.
The engines — one of 500-550 h.p. with Corliss valves, and the other of 250-300 h.p. with drop-valves—are by Messrs. Cole,Marchent and Morley, Ltd. of Bradford.
The direct-coupled electric generators, by Messrs. Laurence, Scott and Co., Ltd., of Norwich, are driven by engines of 200-250 h.p. and 100-110 h.p. respectively, supplied by Messrs. Belliss and Morcom, Ltd., of Birmingham.
Vessels up to 250 tons net register come alongside the premises to discharge cargoes of grain, and there are two elevators, by Messrs. Spencer and Co., Ltd., of Melksham, each of a capacity of 60 tons per hour.
The machines for the wheat-cleaning plant at intake were supplied by Messrs. Thomas Robinson and Son, Ltd., of Rochdale, whilst the local Ipswich Firm, Messrs. E. R. and F. Turner, Ltd., were the suppliers of the flour-milling machinery and other wheat- cleaning plant.
MESSRS. GABRIEL, WADE AND ENGLISH, LTD., CLIFF QUAY SAWMILLS, IPSWICH.
Gabriel, Wade and English
This Mill is situated fronting the new Cliff Quay, Ipswich, and has only recently been erected, taking the place of older and temporary mills which this Company has been using, pending the completion of the new Works carried out by the Ipswich Dock Commission during the last two years. The Company has fourteen depots in various parts of the country, some of which have Mills and Creosoting Works.
The business in Ipswich was originally a branch of the old-established firm of Thos. Gabriel and Sons of London, which in 1919 was incorporated in the Limited Company of Gabriel, Wade and English, when the amalgamation of several old Timber firms took place.
The Mill is small, but equipped with some of the latest and most up-to-date saw-milling machinery, both in circular saws and planing machines, all individually electrically driven and capable of turning out first-class work at a high speed.
With the provision of up-to-date electric cranes on this new Cliff Quay by the Ipswich Dock Commission, it is anticipated that quick dispatch will be given to timber cargoes, and the future shows promise of fulfilment in this direction, especially if the cranage facilities can be increased.
THE GREAT EASTERN TRAIN FERRIES, LTD. (MANAGED BY THE L. AND N.E. RAILWAY).
The Great Eastern Train Ferries, Ltd., in co-operation with The London and North Eastern Railway Company, the Societe Belgo-Anglaise des Ferry-Boats, and the Belgian State Railways, have established a Train Ferry service on a commercial basis between Great Britain and the Continent via Harwich—Zeebrugge, and a regular service has been maintained since April 1924.
Ferry Steamers. — To operate this service, the Ferry Company employ three Train Ferry Steamers (classed Al at Lloyd's) built for the British Government, two by Messrs. Armstrong, Whitworth and Co., Ltd., and one by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., Ltd., and the following general particulars in regard to them will be of interest:-The vessels are at present running on Coal, but have been converted to be capable of steaming under either Coal or Oil.
|Length overall . .||363 ft. 6 ins.|
|Breadth, extreme . .||61 feet 6 inches.|
|Length of Rail Tracks . . .||Two centre tracks, each 316 feet; two side tracks, each 240 feet.|
|Capacity . .||54 loaded 12-ton wagons, or equivalent in other rolling stock.|
|Engines . . .||3,200 I.H.P.|
|Speed . . . .||12 knots.|
The distance between Harwich and Zeebrugge is 84 miles, and the actual sea passage occupies about eight hours, or from berth to berth nine to ten hours.
Rolling Stock. — Arrangements have been made with the Belgian State Railways to supply such number as may be required of special wagons, suitable for running both on the British and Continental Railways, and the control of this wagon stock has been successfully organised. In addition, a considerable number of privately owned Italian wagons of special construction are regularly employed in connection with the Ferry Service.
Harwich Terminal. — The geographical situation and sheltered position of the Port of Harwich makes it eminently suitable for the English terminal of the service. There is a permanent deep water channel close to the shore, which makes it possible for the service to be operated at all states of the tide. The London and North Eastern Railway has provided the necessary rail connections to the electrically-operated communication bridge of the Train Ferry berth over which the wagons pass between the land and the boat.
Harwich is in direct rail communication with London, the Midlands, North of England, and Scotland.
General. — The unique commercial advantages of the Ferry Service are:-
Direct and rapid transport in special wagons from supply to final destination, thus avoiding at least two handlings, i.e. discharge from truck to ship, and ship to truck, with a consequent saving of time and money.
Greatly reduced risk of damage and pilferage.
The use of lighter and less expensive packing for some classes of traffic, while in many cases consignments can be sent loose, thus reducing the cost of transport, packing and import duties which are ordinarily based on gross weights.
Locomotives and other rolling stock can be completed at Builders' works, and then be run direct on to the Ferries ready for immediate service on landing. All dismantling and re-erection costs are saved and delivery expedited by many weeks.
Wagons-Lits and Parlour Pullman Coaches have been, and are still being, conveyed by Train Ferry to the Continent. These Coaches can be in service within 24 hours of leaving England.
The Ferry Steamers are particularly suitable for the conveyance of all classes of Road Vehicles, Lorries, Cars, Steam Wagons, Steam Rollers, Tractors, Caterpillars, etc.
All descriptions of perishables, including poultry, eggs, fruit, vegetables and flowers are carried in specially ventilated, closed wagons direct to the London and other principal markets.
MESSRS. WILLIAM PRETTY AND SONS, LTD., CORSET FACTORY, IPSWICH.
William Pretty and Sons
The firm of William Pretty and Sons, Ltd., was founded in 1820, the present Factory block being erected in 1882, with additions made in 1886 and 1894. The office block was built in 1903.
Although devoted to the manufacture of women's garments, the Directors of the firm have always been keenly interested in, and have often been among the first to make use of many mechanical contrivances designed for the saving of time and labour.
The machinery throughout the factory is electrically driven, the firm having installed its own generating plant some seven years before the Corporation Power Station was built; now, however, all current consumed is obtained from the Corporation, with satisfactory results. The factory is heated and ventilated on the Sturtevant system, and is protected from fire throughout by Grinnell sprinklers.
Situated near the main building is the Steel Factory, where busks and steels for corsets are produced, several of the machines being designed and made in the firm's own machine shop.
The main factory is devoted to the making of corsets of all types, women's and children's fleecy bodices, and artificial silk underwear; the latter, though only recently introduced, is rapidly becoming a most important department, high-class underwear of every description being made.
MESSRS. RANSOMES AND RAPIER, LTD., WATERSIDE WORKS, IPSWICH.
Ransomes and Rapier
Waterside Works were established in 1869 to take over the manufacture of railway plant from Messrs. Ransomes, Head and May, and they now occupy a site of 13½ acres on the west bank of the River Orwell. The Works are directly connected with the Griffin Wharf Siding of the London and North Eastern Railway, and their position on the riverside affords facilities for the handling of water-borne cargoes. The original Works were of modest dimensions, but they have gradually extended until at the present time the whole of the area above-mentioned is occupied by workshops and erecting yards.
The early products of the Works were mainly those associated with the requirements of railway and dock engineering, and included points, crossings and signals, and hand and steam cranes of every description. A considerable business was done in the manufacture of treenails and fastenings for railway track, and a large mill was actively engaged in the production of this class of work for a number of years. It is also interesting to note that the first locomotive to run in China was made here in 1876. A number of cranes of the Titan and Goliath type were made to fulfil various dock and Government contracts, and the Firm was one of the first to apply electric power to the working of shop and wharf cranes.
The greatest development, however, was due to the acquisition in the "Eighties" of the patent rights for the "Stoney" sluice, and since then the Firm has undertaken the manufacture of water-control devices for some of the largest water-storage and irrigation projects in the world, including the Assouan Dam and Isna Barrage in Egypt, the Sennar Dam in the Sudan and other important Works on the Nile, the Neuquen Barrage in the Argentine, the Bassano Dam in Canada, and more recently the sluice-gates and lifting gear for the Suleimanki and Ferozepore Barrages on the Sutlej River in India. Besides these larger projects, work for irrigation and water-control schemes has been shipped to all parts of the world.
From early days, the association with railway and dock engineering has continuously been maintained, and the Firm's range of products has been greatly extended in order to meet requirements in this direction. It now comprises all types of electric cranes for wharf and dock use, hydraulic buffer stops, engine turntables, railway traversers, etc. . . . a recent production being a petrol-electric crane of 2 or 3½-ton capacity for dock and railway use.
The manufacture of concrete-mixing machinery was started 25 years ago, and the present output comprises all types of machines ranging in size from 4 cub. feet to 2 cub. yards capacity. Large numbers of machines may be seen in progress.
In view of the Company's connexion with the making of cranes and lifting machinery, a recent development has resulted in an affiliation with the Marion Steam Shovel Co., of Marion, Ohio; and the making of excavating machinery of all descriptions is now being undertaken at Waterside Works.
The large variety and increasing volume of work has necessitated a progressive enlargement of the Workshops, and these to-day comprise the following:-
(A) The Pattern Shop and Pattern Stores are situated on the western side of the Works and adjacent to the Iron Foundry. The Shop consists of two bays each 45 feet wide by 156 feet long and is divided into two sections accommodating pattern-makers and carpenters. It is equipped with the usual woodworking machinery, including saws, lathes and universal woodworking machines. The adjacent sheds, which were built during the War period, are used as a Mixer Stores and they also accommodate an experimental River and Hydraulic Investigation Department. This department has proved of very great service in connexion with research work, undertaken to meet requirements in designing water control apparatus.
(B) The Foundry is situated alongside the Pattern Shop and consists of a main bay 36 feet wide by 260 feet long, with side bays each 18 feet wide. Cupolas of 4- and 6-ton capacity are situated at the southern end, and the fettling section is at the opposite end. The Shop is of steel construction throughout, and 25-ton and 5-ton overhead electric cranes are installed in the centre bay, while the side bays are served by 5-ton jib cranes revolving round the stanchions of the main bay. A small casting shop and brass foundry are situated alongside the main shop.
(C) The Stock Yards for sectional material are directly served by main-line communication with the London and North Eastern Railway and are spanned by overhead electric cranes which can carry the material into the Plating, Press and Girder Departments.
(D) The Plating Shop and Planery is 50 feet wide by 400 feet long and is equipped with up-to-date machinery for planing plates and sectional material. Hydraulic pumps, with converter station and compressor house, are situated alongside these shops. The Press Shop is 55 feet wide by 400 feet long and is equipped with the usual furnaces, hydraulic presses, straightening machines, etc., and both shops are served by 10-ton overhead travelling electric cranes. The Smiths' Shop is adjacent to the Press Shop and is 84 feet long by 84 feet wide. A section of this shop is devoted to electric welding, and a bolt-making plant is also installed there. The main girder shop is 84 feet wide by 350 feet long and is laid out so that materials entering from the Planery, Press Shop, and Smiths' Shop pass through the marking-out section, then to the plate and girder radial drilling machines and finally to the plating and riveting section. The Shop is equipped with 20-ton and 5-ton overhead electric cranes, and with 30-cwt. wall cranes operating on the sides of the shop.
(E) The Machine Shop is situated on the eastern side of the Works and consists of two main bays each 35 feet wide by 300 feet long, served by 5-ton and 10-ton overhead electric cranes and equipped with a variety of machine-tools, including large boring mills, gear-cutting machinery, planers, etc. The Tool-room and General Stores are situated adjacent to this Shop and these in turn are directly connected with:-
(F) The Fitting and Erecting Shops, of which department the main bay is 54 feet wide by 325 feet long and the second bay is 40 feet wide by 220 feet long. These shops are equipped with 25-ton and 5-ton overhead travelling cranes, and "walking" cranes are provided on the sides of the main Erecting Shop. Having regard to the variety of work undertaken, a great deal of erection has to be done in the open, and a large yard between the Foundry and Erecting Shops is devoted to this purpose. This is equipped with steam and electric cranes, including a tower crane having a capacity of 10 tons at 35 feet radius and 100 feet clear lift.
(G) The Packing Department is situated on the south side of the Works and consists of a building 65 feet wide by 375 feet long. Overhead electric cranes of 12½-ton and 5-ton capacity are provided in this Department, and a line of rails passes through the shops so that goods can be loaded direct into railway trucks.
Electricity is employed throughout the Works as the motive power, the larger machines being equipped with their own motors, while the group system is used for driving smaller machines. Until recently the power for driving the Works was generated in a central power-house, but towards the end of 1925 this was closed down and the Works are now supplied from the Corporation Power Station by power at 3,600 volts. The alternating current is converted in a sub-station in the Works to 460 volts direct current and this is distributed on a 3-wire system.
Compressed air at 100 lb. per sq. in. is supplied by two direct-coupled electrically-driven air-compressors and is available in all the shops A special rotary converting plant is also provided in a sub-station so that all classes of alternating and continuous current motors can be run to meet the requirements of customers' inspectors when testing cranes, etc.
During the War the Works were the headquarters of the East Anglian Munitions Committee, and after the Armistice the buildings used for this work were acquired by the Firm, part being used as workshops and the remainder being devoted to an extension of the dining- and billiard-rooms which were started in 1900. Facilities for recreation are an important feature of the general welfare arrangements at Waterside Works, and the accommodation comprises a Concert, Dancing and Cinema Hall capable of seating 750 people, Bowling Green, Tennis Courts and Quoits Ground, Billiard- and Dining-Rooms and Baths. A large recreation ground is also provided on the outskirts of the town. Another important feature in this direction has been the provision of Works and Staff Contributory Superannuation Funds.
MESSRS. RANSOMES, SIMS AND JEFFERIES, ORWELL WORKS, IPSWICH.
Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies
This firm was founded by Robert Ransome, who was born in 1753. His first business venture was as an ironmonger in Norwich, with a small brass foundry, to which was afterwards added an iron foundry for the manufacture of ploughs. In 1789 he removed to Ipswich, and in 1806 brought out the well-known chilled ploughshare which laid the foundation of the subsequent greatness of the firm. In the early years of the nineteenth century he was joined by his sons James and Robert, and enjoyed also the services of William Cubitt, afterwards Sir William Cubitt. The firm became important ironfounders, and were among the first to build cast-iron bridges, — Stoke Bridge, Ipswich, erected in 1819, being one of their early undertakings.
In 1846 the manufacturing business was transferred to the present premises at the Orwell Works on the dockside. During the period of railway construction which ensued, the firm were among the most prominent makers of railway material. Their most important industrial productions, apart from bridges, were chilled railway crossings, railway chairs, and keys and treenails, made by a process of their own, and these products were turned out in enormous quantities. During the height of the railway boom a railway wagon per hour of railway material was turned out from their workshops, besides tons of chairs and thousands of fastenings. This activity was quickly followed by a great development of their agricultural machinery business. At the meeting of the Royal Agricultural Society of England in Liverpool, in 1841, they exhibited the first Portable Steam-Engine.
At Bristol in 1842 they showed a self-moving engine capable of travelling at the rate of four or five miles an hour, whilst in 1871 four passenger road steamers were built for the Indian Government, Lieut. Crompton (now Col. Crompton, R.E., C.B.) being associated with their manufacture on behalf of the Government. It was the " Ravee," one of those engines, which in October, 1871, made the journey from Ipswich to Edinburgh and back (a total distance of 850 miles) at an average speed of 6.9 miles per hour running time.
In the years 1856-7 a large amount of work was carried out for the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, amongst which was the great Equatorial Instrument which was constructed under the direction of Sir George Airy, the Astronomer Royal.
The first steam-plough was manufactured for Mr. John Fowler at the Firm's works in 1856. The Ransomes were amongst the earliest pioneers in the introduction of thrashing machines worked by steam; they played also a leading part in perfecting the principal standard English agricultural implements, including the plough, the harrow, the horse rake and the cultivator. They were amongst the pioneers in the manufacture of portable engines fired with straw for foreign countries where coal is scarce, and in the production of thrashing machines fitted with apparatus for chopping and bruising the straw as fodder for cattle in hot countries. Ransomes, in 1835, were the first to manufacture a hand lawn-mower, and were also the first to introduce the motor lawn-mower driven by a petrol engine.
In 1869 the Firm's railway business was transferred to the Waterside Works of Messrs. Ransomes and Rapier in Ipswich, this firm being originally formed for this purpose by the late Mr. J. A. Ransome, the late Mr. Richard C. Rapier, and the late Mr. R. J. Ransome. The manufacture of their food-preparing machines was taken over by Messrs. Hunt and Co., of Earls Colne, in 1871. This abandonment of portions of the business was necessary to allow for the expansion of the sections dealing with their main articles of manufacture.
The business was turned into a limited liability company in 1884, and from the small beginning in Norwich, when half a dozen men represented the entire staff, the Works now extend over 35 to 40 acres, employing under normal conditions upwards of 3,000 men. The main Engineering Works have a quay frontage on the Ipswich Dock of 800 feet, and the Orwell Works proper extend over three streets. The Plough Works and Lawn Mower Works are both entirely separate and self-contained.
The specialities of Messrs. Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies include traction, portable, semi-portable, undertype, and stationary steam engines, simple and compound; oil engines; thrashing machines; maize shellers; clover hullers and corn mills; share, disk, tractor and ploughs; cultivators, harrows and horse rakes; mealie and cotton planters and potato diggers; and hand, horse and motor lawn mowers. They were the first British manufacturers of electric vehicles for town use, and also of electric industrial trucks. Their other electrical specialities are electric trolley buses, electric runabout cranes, and electric motors and dynamos of all types. They are also manufacturers of omnibus bodies and portable hangars for aeroplanes.
During the War, Messrs. Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies undertook a large amount of work for the Government, the principal items being 790 aeroplanes, 650 airship and aeroplane sheds, between two and three million shot and shell, 5,000 wagons, 1,700 mines, and countless other items of war material.
The Shops of the Orwell Works are equipped throughout with the most up-to-date machine tools and appliances, and with electric cranes and electric trucks for the rapid handling of raw materials and partly-finished or finished products. The Works comprise 6 separate factories, of which 2 are devoted to the manufacture of lawn mowers. The other factories are respectively the Engine Works, including a Boiler Shop, the Plough and Implement Works, the Thrasher Works and the Electrical Works. In addition there is a central Smiths' Shop and Forge serving the whole of the 6 factories referred to. There are also 3 foundries, one of which is entirely devoted to the production of the high-class and very accurate castings required for lawn-mower work.
MESSRS. REAVELL AND CO., LTD., RANELAGH WORKS, IPSWICH.
Reavell and Co
This business was established as a limited liability company in 1898, when Works were erected on the present site, which is situated within three minutes' walk of Ipswich Station, London and North-Eastern Railway. The object of the Company was to manufacture high-speed steam-engines, and the first engine — which was completed in October, 1898 — is still in service, driving a shop generator. During that same year the manufacture of pneumatic hoists was inaugurated and the first compressors were put in hand in August, 1899.
In 1905 the first three-stage compressors for direct attachment to the original Diesel engines were constructed for Messrs. Carels Freres of Ghent, Belgium, and the Company has from that date been continuously associated with the development of high-pressure compressors for this and similar service.
Since 1913 the business of the Company has been entirely devoted to the manufacture of air-compressors and exhausters, the types produced covering a complete range of volumes and pressures for various purposes.
Two years later, in 1915, the manufacture of turbo-compressors was started, and these machines are now regularly constructed, together with rotary and reciprocating machines, both single and multi-stage.
The Works were extended in 1907, and again in 1911 and 1916, whilst a further addition to the site was acquired in 1920. In 1911 an Iron Foundry was built, and this was extended in 1921. The premises now comprise - Pattern Shop and Stores, Foundry with Laboratory and sample testing machines, Machine Shops, Inspection Department, Tool-room, Fitting and Erecting Shops and Test House, and also, in a separate building, the department manufacturing Pneumatic Picks and Concrete Breakers and having its own Tool-room, Heat Treatment Shop and Testing facilities. The complete premises include in addition a Packing Department, Works Stores, and a complete suite of Offices, the whole occupying an area of about 3 acres.
MESSRS. E. R. AND F. TURNER, LTD., ENGINEERS, IPSWICH.
E. R. and F. Turner
This Firm was started in 1837 by Mr. Walton Turner under the style of Bond, Turner and Hurwood. On the decease of Mr. Walton Turner in 1847, his son Mr. Edward Rush Turner became a partner, and later he was joined by his brother, Mr. Frederick Turner, when the title of E. R. and F. Turner was adopted, the word Limited being added in 1897, when the business was turned into a private Company.
The original premises were St. Peter's Works on the South side of College Street, and these were retained as the General Offices and Foundry until 1922, when the Foundry was moved to a new site on Foxhall Road, and the Offices to Greyfriars Works, which had been an extension from St. Peter's Works since 1863. There is still a considerable portion of the original St. Peter's Works on the north side of College Street, and these premises include the famous Wolsey's Gate, immediately behind which is now Messrs. Turner's electric motor erecting shop.
At the site on Foxhall Road where the new Foundry has been erected there is accommodation for the whole establishment, and when the appropriate time has arrived this move will be completed. The new Foundry there is a thoroughly up-to-date one, and it has been built in two sections, the one for dealing with grey-iron castings and the other for chilled-iron rolls, for which productions the Firm is well-known, not only in connexion with its flour-milling business, but also for the supply of rolls for rubber machines, ink and paint mills, chocolate refiners, cocoa grinders, etc.
An interesting object at these Works is a private Transformer Station which takes current at 3,000 volts A.C. from the Corporation Power Station and reduces it down on the mercury vapour rectifier system to 470 volts D.C. It is a small installation of 120 kw. capacity suitable for the current which will be required when the whole of the Works are transferred to this site.
At St. Peter's Works are large and well-equipped Turneries and Tool-room and Smithy, but the greater part of these Works is now devoted to the making and erecting and testing of the electric motors and dynamos known as the "Bull" Motors, which two years ago were made by Bull Motors, Ltd., at Stowmarket. This is becoming an increasingly flourishing branch of the business, and motors for all purposes both d.c. and a.c. are made in large numbers, including motors for the new type of trackless trolley omnibuses.
Greyfriars Works are given up entirely to the manufacture of flour-milling machinery and grinding mills of all types, with the accessory dressing and sifting machines. One shop is devoted to the turning, grinding, and fluting of chilled iron rolls, and contains some most interesting and intricate machines designed and constructed specially for the work they have to do by the Firm themselves.
Flour Mills have been and are being erected in all parts of the world by the Firm, and vary in size from a capacity of 1 sack to 150 sacks of flour per hour, the latter being the size of a mill on their system and equipped throughout with their machinery on the Manchester Ship Canal.
The Firm is a branch of the AGE - Agricultural and General Engineers, Ltd., with head office at Aldwych House, London.
MESSRS. VICKERS-PETTERS, LTD., IPSWICH.
The Ipswich Works were built in 1913 for the Consolidated Diesel Engine Manufacturers, Ltd., and were specially designed and equipped for the manufacture of Diesel engines in multi-cylinder units up to 1,000 horse-power per cylinder. They form one of the largest, and most up-to-date, engineering establishments devoted solely to the manufacture of oil engines in this country. The site of the Works comprises about 46 acres on the outskirts of Ipswich, the actual Shops occupying about 10 acres.
Messrs. Vickers Ltd. purchased the Works in February, 1915, for the purpose of producing as rapidly as possible "Vickers" Solid-Injection Diesel Engines, and during the war period a considerable number of these engines were built for various classes of submarines. With the cessation of hostilities, the demand for submarine engines ceased and it became necessary to find some peace product suited to the capacity and equipment of the Works. After the Armistice in November, 1918, Messrs. Petters Ltd. of Yeovil were also faced with a problem, but of a different kind. Orders for "Petter" two-stroke cycle engines were pouring in; their Westland Works at Yeovil were crowded with work, and the doubtful expedient of further building appeared necessary. Happily, the two firms knew, and appreciated, each other, and it was not difficult to negotiate an agreement whereby the superfluous possession of the one was made to serve the other's immediate need. Vickers-Petters, Ltd., was formed in April, 1919, and to it was assigned the manufacture of oil-engines of 25 b.h.p. and upwards at the Ipswich Works.
The engines manufactured by Messrs. Vickers-Petters, Ltd. are of the vertical type and operate on the well-known two-stroke cycle principle. They are constructed in sizes from 25 b.h.p. to 100 b.h.p. per cylinder in one-, two-, three-, four- and six-cylinder units, both for marine propulsion and for industrial and electrical purposes. The fuels used in these engines are the so-called heavy-oils, ranging from light gas-oils of 0.83 specific gravity to heavy residual furnace oil of approximately 0.975 specific gravity. The aggregate total b.h.p. of engines built at the Works to date is over 375,000.
During the past year Vickers-Petters, Ltd. have introduced a new series of engines which are a development of their original "hot-bulb" semi-Diesel type. These latest engines are known as the "Vickers-Petter 'C' Type Heavy-Oil Engines" and they now form the standard product at Ipswich Works. One of the outstanding features of the new engine is the elimination of the "hot-bulb" and the adoption of a completely water-jacketed cylinder-head and combustion chamber. The ignition of the injected fuel is effected entirely by the heat of compression as in the Diesel and high-compression "cold starting" engines, but Vickers-Petters, Ltd. claim that one of the greatest merits of their "C" type is its comparatively low combustion pressure, which is 30 per cent. less than that of the average cold-starting engine, and results in a long life for the working parts. The fuel consumption, nevertheless, compares very favourably with Diesel and high-compression engines, being of the order of 0.42 lb. of heavy fuel oil per b.h.p. per hour; and further, owing to the absence of valves in the combusion chamber, this consumption does not tend to increase in service. Another improvement in the way of cooling is the adoption of a water passage round all the crank-shaft bearings — a policy which hitherto has been confined to marine engines.
The mixtures of cast-iron for various parts of the engine differ. The liners, pistons and cylinder heads are cast under special conditions for producing a high-duty cast-iron of pearlitic structure and a small cupola is used solely for this grade of iron. Beds, crankcases and fly-wheels, on the other hand, are in another mixture and are cast from a larger cupola. The Works Chemist, whose laboratory adjoins the foundry, keeps a check on the composition of all castings — complete analyses, with tensile and transverse tests of each day's cast, being always made. The moulds for all standard parts, such as beds, fly-wheels, pistons, crank-cases, etc., are made on large jar-ramming moulding machines, operated by compressed air.
A feature of the machine shops worthy of note is the manner in which the machine-tools are arranged in order to reduce the handling charges to a minimum. In no case does any part travel further than 100 feet from rough casting or forging to finished article. Instead of grouping batteries of similar machines together, such as all drilling machines together, all lathes together, etc., each bay is equipped with all the necessary machine-tools to complete all the operations on one particular set of engine parts; thus: bedplates, fly-wheels, silencers and exhaust pipes are completely finished in No. 7 Bay; connecting-rods, connecting-rod bearings, main bearings and cylinder heads in No. 8 Bay, and so on.
All the departmental shops are inter-connected by a full-gauge railway which joins up to the London and North Eastern Railway main line. At the entrance of each workshop, a large turntable is provided, so that the various wagons may be diverted into the appropriate shop for either loading or unloading The Stores are also connected up to the Machine and Fitting Shops by a narrow-gauge railway which runs down the aisles between each row of machine-tools and each line of benches; thus the engine components are quickly transported after each operation. Each bay is also equipped with electric travelling cranes, a number of which have been converted to "floor control" in order to reduce labour costs.
As the Works has its own electric power station and possesses its own water-pumping plant, it is entirely independent of the town's supply.
It is hoped that at the time of the Summer Meeting an interesting new type of high compression, cold-starting, direct-injection, two-stroke cycle engine will be available for inspection. This engine is rated at 750 b.h.p., and at the moment is in an experimental stage. A new type of uniflow scavenge is employed, and, in addition, the engine has several other interesting features.
MESSRS. BOULTON AND PAUL, LTD. RIVERSIDE WORKS, NORWICH.
Boulton and Paul
This Firm has been established for over one hundred and twenty years, but although founded in 1797 it was not until 1864 that the actual manufacture of goods was first seriously undertaken and the original works at Rose Lane started. Here development followed development, until during the War, when congestion on that site rendered further extension impossible, fresh works were erected at Riverside and the whole establishment transferred there in 1920. As the name implies, the new Works are situated on the banks of the River Wensum, and they are the more interesting inasmuch as they are particularly modern and up-to-date, having been constructed during and since the War, and also because they comprise four distinct classes of business. The following is a brief summary of the various sections-
Wood-working Department. - This is mainly devoted to the production of export bungalows, greenhouses, motor-garages, and other light structures in wood, in which line of business the Company is particularly well-known.
Wire Netting Department. - The Wire Netting Works in this section are amongst the largest in this country and have a capacity of over 350 miles of netting per week. Since the transfer of the Works from Rose Lane, a special plant has been laid down for drawing and annealing netting wire, thus still further improving the facilities of manufacture in this department and giving increased possibilities in output.
Steel Constructional Department. - This department is practically a Works complete in itself, where all kinds of light structural steel work can be undertaken and completed under expert supervision. It occupies a ground space of about three acres, and is fully equipped with hydraulic and pneumatic riveters and press tools, and also with planing, shearing, punching and drilling machines. The shops are large and served by powerful electric cranes. Ample room, too, is provided for the assembly and erection of large structures prior to dispatch. Steel-framed bungalows and other buildings for export have been a speciality in this section for a long time. At the time of the visit of the Members one of the new Sugar Factory Buildings will be in process of fabrication.
Engineering Department. - During recent years this section of the Company's business has been enormously developed, and the huge and commodious shops now devoted thereto are provided with some of the most modern and effective equipment to be found anywhere in the kingdom. This Department is just now concerned largely with the Firm's speciality of steel aircraft. This work is at the present time mainly in the experimental stage and in consequence is to a great extent hand work, but some interesting examples of the use of light steel members, spars, ribs, and girders, may be seen, made in stainless steel and in high-tensile 90-ton steel. The processes include special annealing baths, and electrical treatment for the prevention of rust. Amongst other interesting features connected with steel aircraft is the drawing and heat treatment of the steel sections used in the making of built-up spars, which work is carried out on specially constructed draw-benches with electric furnaces.
In connexion with this department too, although at some distance from the Works, the Company has its own experimental Aerodrome, with fully equipped Chemical and Physical Laboratories and Wind Channel, when scale models of aeroplanes and parts are tested.
Amongst other items of interest produced in the Engineering Department are the "Boulton" Water Elevator, which is a French invention for lifting water from deep wells, the apparatus consisting of an endless band of special design and construction; the "Electolite" Electric House-lighting Plant running on paraffin fuel; and the "Lowrey-Turbo" portable Pump or estate fire-engine.
THE NORWICH GAS WORKS OF THE BRITISH GAS LIGHT CO., LTD.
The Proprietors of the Gas Works at Norwich are the British Gas Light Co., Ltd., whose head offices are in London, and who also own gas works at Hull, Trowbridge, and Holywell.
At Norwich, the Company has two stations — one known as the St. Martin-at-Palace Works and devoted to gas manufacture, and the other about half-a-mile away, and known as the Bishop Bridge Works, at which the Gas received from the former Works is purified and stored, and from which it is distributed.
As may be expected in the case of an old-established gas undertaking — and that at Norwich dates back to 1824 or even earlier — progress and extension have been the key-words of the local gas industry, and the long sequence of applications to Parliament for sanction for various requirements relative to gas (from 1858 to 1923), testify to the activity of Norwich in gas matters.
The St. Martin-at-Palace Gas Works are situated on the banks of the River Wensum, and occupy an area of about 4 acres. In 1903-4, in order to lessen the congestion at the Works, the subsidiary Works at Bishop Bridge were converted into an efficient purifying and distribution centre, and the consequent removal thereto of the purifiers and other plant from the main Works provided room for the much-needed addition to the carbonizing plant. The 1903-4 scheme of reconstruction rendered possible a daily output of 3 million cub. feet of gas, and the later extensions and remodelling of 1919-22 provided for nearly the same amount of production from continuously-operating vertical retorts, with steaming, and for an additional 1½ million cub. feet per diem of carburetted water-gas.
The Carbonizing Plant now in use comprises sixteen settings of ten horizontal retorts (five tiers), and a newer installation of vertical retorts of the Glover-West type - ten beds of eight retorts in a setting. The furnaces are of the stepped grate design, and there are controls both for regulating through-put of coal per retort and per setting and for matching the temperature of the retorts to the through-put.
The coke is removed by gravity lip-bucket conveyors (West's system) and the same method is used for filling the coal bunkers.
For the latter service the capacity of the line of conveyors is from 60 to 70 tons per hour, with a speed of 40 feet per minute.
The gas from the vertical retorts is passed through water-cooled condensers and a centrifugal washer (the lower tiers of which are supplied with coal-tar distillates as an absorbent medium for the removal of tar-fog and naphthalene), and finally, when the gas has been freed from ammonia, it is passed on to the Bishop Bridge Works for purification, measurement, storage, and distribution.
As regards coal supplies, the Company has a depot at the City Station for that which is rail-borne. Here they have a crusher and an elevator by which the coal is lifted to a bunker overhead, so that their steam-wagons can draw under and be loaded, which can be done at the rate of about 6 tons in 3 minutes.
Adjoining the vertical retort-house are the buildings for housing steam-boilers and three sets of water-gas plant. Four boilers of the water-tube type are here installed, with chain-grate stokers, superheaters, and economisers. The working pressure is 160 lb. per sq. inch, and each boiler has an evaporative capacity of 670 gals. per hour.
MESSRS. J. AND J. COLMAN, LTD., CARROW WORKS, NORWICH.
J. and J. Colman
This Company, long famous for the manufacture of Mustard and Starch, can trace its history back for more than a century, to a day in March 1804, when Jeremiah Colman, a young Norwich miller, became the possessor of a small windmill. Following the success of this venture a move was made in 1814 to a larger mill at Stoke Holy Cross, near Norwich, where the manufacture of mustard was started and carried on concurrently with the main business of flour milling.
At this period the methods used for the preparation of mustard were purely experimental and very crude; the clean bright yellow product that is known to-day was unobtainable, for no one had yet solved the intricate problem of separating the small fragments of brown husk from the pure mustard flour, and even the best mustard was a dark unappetizing powder. This, then, was the problem that young Jeremiah Colman set out to solve in 1814, and the success with which he tackled it is apparent from the contents of present-day cruets all over the world. By 1860 the Stoke Mill had become outgrown and a move was made to Carrow on the River Wensum, where the Works now stand.
Although Mustard and Starch are still the chief products associated with the name of Colman, the Company also manufactures Flour and Blue on a large scale, while as a consequence of the absorption in 1903 of the business of Messrs. Keen, Robinson and Co., Ltd., the well-known lines of "Patent" Barley, "Patent" Groats and "Waverley" Oats are also to be seen in production at Carrow. The latest addition to the range of the Company's activities is the food product known as "Almata" - which has only recently been on sale. In addition to these main products, the Company also makes its own tins and wood and card boxes, does its own printing, and has its own engineering and repair shops.
Practically the whole of the mills at Carrow have now been electrified, the power being supplied by the Company's own Generating Station, which is equipped with high-speed reciprocating engines, water-tube boilers and direct-current dynamos, and has a total capacity of 2,200 kw. To cope with the increasing demand for steam to supply the various buildings with heat, and to meet the Company's large requirements for manufacturing purposes, a large central boiler installation (by Messrs. Babcock and Wilcox) is now in course of erection.
The Works have a frontage on the River Wensum of nearly a mile and occupy in all about 50 acres of land. The employees now number upwards of 2,300.
A Pension Scheme was introduced in 1899 and was recently, by the provision of increased benefits, brought into line with present-day requirements. A system of Works Councils has also been in successful operation since 1918, and monthly meetings are regularly held between representatives of the Council and the Directors.
In 1925 a Prosperity Sharing Scheme was instituted, under which all profits remaining after provision for reserves and a sum representing 8 per cent. upon the capital of the Company employed in the business, are divided equally between the employees and the shareholders. The employees' share, after contributing to a fund for the benefit of workers on short time, is divided up amongst all who have been with the Company for two full years or more and is distributed on the basis of a bonus percentage on wages with an added "loading" for long service.
CORPORATION ELECTRICITY POWER STATION, NORWICH.
Norwich Power Station
The public supply of electricity in Norwich was started by a Company in 1893, with a Generating Station on the south bank of the River Wensum in Duke Street, within 300 yards of the centre of the City. The Undertaking was purchased by the Corporation in 1902, and has steadily progressed, the load last winter having been a little over 11,000 kw., with an output for the year of approximately 21,000,000 units.
The full capacity of the Works in respect of plant having been reached, the Corporation decided in 1923 to erect a new Generating Station, and secured a site between the river and the railway siding of the London and North Eastern Railway on the east side of the City. The site is a particularly favourable one, being within the City boundary, at a distance of 1½ miles from Duke Street, and having on one side an abundant supply of water for condensing purposes, and on the other favourable conditions for railway traffic. Added to this, a good foundation of gravel resting on chalk is obtained at a depth varying from 8 feet to 12 feet.
The design and carrying out of the Station has been in the hands of Mr. Rider of Messrs. Preece, Cardew and Rider, the constructional and building work having been planned and supervised, until his retirement, by Mr. A. E. Collins, the late City Engineer of Norwich. The general design follows the usual parallel layout, a switchgear bay 25 feet wide on the south side, a turbine-house 65 feet wide in the middle, and a boiler-house 90 feet wide on the north side. An office block of two floors extends across the whole of the west or permanent end. The buildings are carried out in constructional steel-work with walls of concrete blocks. The blocks were moulded on the site and are faced with china clay quartz from Cornwall, which gives a very pleasing appearance.
Coal will be brought by rail over a siding laid in from the London and North Eastern Railway, or may be delivered by river in small sea-going boats up to 300 tons or by lighters, into which the coal is transhipped at Yarmouth.
A telpher line running at a height of 80 feet from the ground is provided for handling the coal. The track starts in the boiler-house over the bunkers and is carried over the railway siding, the storage ground and by an extension (to be carried out) over an unloading dock on the river side and back over the storage ground again into the boiler-house. It thus forms a large loop with the ends in the boiler-house, and covers all the essential points without the necessity for any switches. Two telpher carriages with grabs of 50 cub. feet capacity are provided, and coal can be unloaded from a large hopper into which the wagons are discharged, or from the river and delivered into the bunkers or on to the storage ground.
The boiler-house is laid out for two rows of boilers with a central firing floor and coal bunkers overhead. At present four Stirling Boilers of 40,000 lb. per hour capacity have been installed, two being provided with Underfeed Class "E" Stokers, and two with Erith Roe Stokers. The ashes will be removed by two lines of the Underfeed Co.'s water-trough conveyors, which will deliver the ashes into two bunkers outside. The working steam pressure is 250 lb. per sq. inch, and Integral Superheaters on each boiler give a total temperature of 650°F.
On a floor above the boilers are installed the Economisers (Green's), one for each boiler, and the induced-draught fans delivering into short steel chimneys 9 feet diameter, each serving two boilers. There are also tanks for cold untreated water and for hot purified water coming from a P. and B. Evaporator on the floor below.
The boilers will be fed by two steam Weir pumps and one motor-driven Rees Roturbo pump, the water being drawn from a covered hotwell tank 15 feet above the pumps. The water coming from the turbines will be heated by bled steam to 180°F. and further to approximately 212°F. in the hotwell by exhaust-steam from the feet (sic) pumps.
In the turbine house, which is traversed by a 50-ton overhead crane, are two 5,000 kw., 6,600 volt, 3-phase B.T.H. Turbines, running at 3,000 r.p.m., and the foundation block for a similar set which will be brought from the Duke Street Station. There is also space for a fourth set, which will probably be one of 10,000 kw.
The condensing plant has been supplied by The Worthington Simpson Co., and includes air-ejectors, extraction pumps in duplicate, bled steam heaters, etc.
The control panels for the E.H.T. Switchgear, as well as the low-tension panels for the Station Supply are placed in the switchgear bay on the same level as the turbine floor, the stonework cubicles being placed partly behind these panels and partly on the floor above.
The first section provides for three alternators, two auxiliary circuits through reactors and four feeders. The whole of the Switchgear has been carried out by the B.T.H. Co.
Two 500-kw. Rotaries are installed for the low-tension supply for auxiliary motors and lights in the station, as well as for local distribution in the neighbourhood. A Chloride Battery of 458 ampere-hours capacity (5-hour rate) is provided for emergency use.
MESSRS. LAURENCE, SCOTT AND CO., LTD., ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS, NORWICH.
Laurence, Scott and Co
The Firm was founded in 1883, and Mr. W. H. Scott, the present Technical Managing Director, has been in charge from that date, a record of long continued control which is possibly unique in the electrical trade. The business was, and continues to be, as regards management, a personal one. Specialization within reasonable limits and a strong sense of responsibility for all work done have been the chief contributing factors to the Firm's success.
The Works cover about four acres, and have a personnel of about 800. They have been extended and enlarged from time to time, but in their main features they have been made to keep approximately to what is the modern ideal of Works design — that is, to take in material at one end of the establishment and deliver it at the other completed.
In spite of the great demand for and the general development of alternating-current machinery, the Firm has resisted the temptation to go into that line of business, and they have done so largely owing to the fact that they specialize in marine work. For many years a very large part of the firm's products has been for ship work, and Messrs. Laurence, Scott and Co., Ltd., probably have a greater aggregate horse-power of electric motors and generators afloat than any other single firm in the world.
Their main products are electric motors and generators of moderate size — say from 5 b.h.p. upwards to 600 b.h.p., but in the development of their marine work they found it necessary to include the mechanical gear of electric winches, owing to the fact that that gear was so intimately connected with the electrical equipment that conjoint designing and production were desirable. A very large number of the Firm's "Silent" electric winches with worm-gears are employed both on liners and in the merchant service, and a number of these may be seen passing through the Works in course of production, and on the testing tower.
An electrical system of Steering Gear has been developed by the Firm and has proved most successful. The "Ward-Leonard" method is employed, and the control by means of an electric telemeter, on the Wheatstone-bridge principle, is from the ship's bridge, which in large vessels is often a very long way from the actual steering gear. Electrical capstain gears are made, also on the "Ward-Leonard" system, which give the same characteristics as regards "stalling" with a heavy load as steam capstan gears.
The Firm's system of insulation has always been of the highest class. The large amount of Admiralty work that has been done for very many years has caused the Admiralty insulation to be adopted as the standard of the firm. This has enabled great success to be achieved in tropical countries, a very large number of Laurence- Scott electric motors being used by the Indian Railways.
A number of new designs of Electric Motors will be shown that have been specially got out for the engine-rooms of Diesel ships. These are liable to occasional small deluges of water from pipes being opened, but their construction is such that the machine is safe under such conditions, while retaining the advantages of good ventilation.
A few hundred yards from the main Works, on the other side of the railway, are the Firm's Switch Department and Foundry — two separate buildings.
In the former has been developed an interesting contactor gear, which is used in connexion with the Firm's winches and with a great many of their larger motors.
The Foundry is equipped with a number of electrical "bumping" machines, and it will also interest those who have foundries in that a new core-binding compound, made from refuse from Messrs. Colman's Starch Factory, has been used here for over two years. This material in itself is very much cheaper than the ordinary core gums, and it does not require fresh sand every time, the sand being used over and over again.
MESSRS. DAVEY, PAXMAN & CO., LTD., COLCHESTER.
Davey, Paxman and Co
This firm was inaugurated by Messrs. Charles M. Davey, James N. Paxman and Henry Davey in 1865, at premises in Culver Street in the centre of Colchester, but the growth of the firm was so rapid that in 1876 it was found necessary to provide a more extensive site for the various shops and offices necessary to cope with their rapidly increasing business. The original Works were, therefore, disposed of and formed a nucleus for the Works of another well-known Engineering firm.
Accordingly in 1876 the present site of the "Standard Iron Works," which covers an area of about seventeen acres, was chosen near the river, as affording facilities for transport both by water and rail.
In 1878 the Messrs. Davey retired from the business, and Mr. James Paxman became principal proprietor, and a few years later sole owner. Largely to his genius and enterprise the Firm owes its present high position. In 1898 the business was converted into a limited liability Company, and to-day is the largest engineering firm in the town, and one of the largest in Essex.
The Main Works comprise Pattern and Wood Shops, Stores, Brass and Iron Foundries, Smiths', Machine, Fitting, Erecting, Testing, and Paint Shops, with Boiler Shops and Stores, etc., and Drawing and Commercial Offices. All the buildings are spacious and well lighted.
The Shops are fully equipped with the latest tools, capable of dealing with the heaviest as well as the lightest work. Travelling cranes are fitted in nearly all the different shops, the majority being actuated by electrical power, and the smaller ones by hand gear.
The Main Offices are centrally placed, and comprise Commercial Office and Drawing Office for the thirty draughtsmen employed by the Firm for its varied productions.
At the Works entrance are the Time Office, Ambulance quarters and Fire Station. Just outside the Works, at the Main entrance is the Works Institute, fitted with all necessary appliances for the social welfare of the employees, including full cooking facilities and billiard tables, etc.
The Athletic Club of the Firm is a very valuable part of the Social side, and is an extremely active and well-managed one. A large Sports Ground, with all facilities for cricket, football, athletics, tennis, howls, etc., is provided.
The Pattern-making Shop, having an area of some 7,000 sq. ft., is fitted with the whole of the woodworking machinery necessary to produce the patterns for the complicated output of the firm, and comprises three bays, each about 90 ft. long by about 30 ft. wide. The Pattern Stores adjoin the foregoing and these have an area of 12,000 sq. ft.
In contiguity with the Pattern Shop are the Foundries, which cover an area of 38,000 sq. ft., the main Foundry being divided into three bays. The equipment is complete, including small moulding machines, jar-ramming and turn-over type machines with latest type of sand-slinging machine, and apparatus for quick drying of large moulds, with adequate crane capacity up to twenty-five tons. The Fettling and Dressing Shops are adjacent, and the core ovens are at each end. The Brass Foundry is at one end of the Main Foundry.
The Foundry is equipped with its own power plant and air compressors.
The Foundry Stores for pig iron, coke, sand, scrap, etc., are all in near proximity to the Foundry.
The Boilermaking Shop has an area of some 52,000 sq. ft., and is divided into two long bays, each of 45 ft. width. It is fitted with a most extensive range of machinery necessary for the construction of high-class boiler work, and embraces caulking and chipping tools of the pneumatic type as well as riveting, pressing and flanging machinery worked by hydraulic pressure, also acetylene and electric welding plant. The machine-tools comprise an appropriate assortment of drilling, punching, planing, shearing and other machines.
The Boiler Shop is equipped with its own power plant.
The Smiths' Shop is adjacent to the Boiler Shop, and to the north side of it. This Shop covers an area of 13,000 sq. ft., and contains an up-to-date equipment of steam hammers, cold saws, punching and shearing machines, as well as drilling and screwing machines and every necessary appliance for the carrying out of the work executed therein. Suitable Stores for stocking bars, etc., with cutting-off machines are in line with the Smiths' Shop.
The Erecting, Testing and Fitting Shops adjoin the Smiths' Shop. These Shops are fitted with the very latest type of appliances, not only for erecting and fitting, but also for testing mechanically and electrically the power generated by both steam and gas engines, the equipment including special automatic weighing tanks and special electric current dissipating apparatus. The Erecting Shop has a clear width of 70 ft. without a break, and a length of 160 ft. This Shop is of good height and is fitted with two travelling cranes; the larger one for dealing with 20 tons weight. The Test Shop is of even greater height, and also has a 25 tons capacity electric crane.
At the north end of this Shop are installed three of the Firm's well-known "Economic" boilers with Independent Superheater for steaming large steam engines under test, and for supplying steam to the engines furnishing power in the various shops.
A second Boiler House is in the Yard near the Boiler Shop, and has two further "Economic" boilers. Here also is the deep well-pump for supplying the water for the Works, and Power Plant for Erecting, Testing and Smiths' Shops.
Still further to the north of the Erecting Shop is the Machine Shop. This Shop covers an area of 28,000 sq. ft., and is divided into four bays; two bays are devoted to the lighter types of machining whilst the others are devoted to machines of the heavy type for dealing with the turning, boring, planing, milling, etc., of the larger parts of machinery produced by the firm. The whole of these bays are well furnished with power and hand overhead cranes. This department has its own power supply.
Adjoining the Machine Shop is the Tool Room which caters for all the jigs, tools, etc., necessary for the Firm's productions, and is equipped with the latest machines for the requirements.
The Paint Shop is parallel to and alongside the Testing and Erecting Shops.
All the Shops are lighted electrically, all power and electric current being generated on the premises. Adequate Stores for all small bought-in goods are centrally arranged with easy access to shops. Finished part stores are arranged parallel to the Fitting Shop.
The range of the manufactures at these Works is a very wide and varied one, covering as it does:
Boilers of the "Economic" type, brick-set, semi-self-contained and self-contained types: Marine, Cornish, Lancashire, Vertical Boilers of the "Essex," Crosstube, and Multitubular types. Also the All-Steel Sectional Hot Water Boiler.
Steam Engines: Paxman-Lentz with Positive Valve Gear, made in the single cylinder, compound tandem and coupled types. Girder type, single and compound; single-cylinder banjo-frame engines, also horizontal compound, vertical, portable and semi-portable engines.
Gas Engines and Suction Gas Producers for using anthracite, wood, charcoal and all waste fuels.
Ammonia and Carbonic Acid Compressors for The Lightfoot Refrigeration Co., Ltd., of London.
Roller Mills and Paint Machinery for Messrs. Sidney Smith and Blyth, Ltd., of London.
Vertical Oil Engines.
Narrow-gauge Railway Locomotives.
The normal number of employees is over 800.
In 1918 the Firm acquired further premises on the other side of the River Colne, having an area of about 1 acre, where the manufacture of refrigerating machinery products is carried on.
In 1920 the Firm became associated with Messrs. Agricultural and General Engineers, Ltd., of Aldwych House, London.
MESSRS. A. G. MUMFORD, LTD., CULVER STREET ENGINEERING WORKS, COLCHESTER.
A. G. Mumford
This Firm, which has been established for 50 years, has specialized throughout in the manufacture of the high-speed type of marine propelling machinery, and in marine auxiliary machinery generally. Marine steam-engines of the smaller sizes for Admiralty pinnaces, yachts, and coasting craft have been produced in the Culver Street Works in large numbers, also marine boilers, of the "Mumford" water-tube type, for use in torpedo boats and other vessels.
In connexion with boiler matters, the Firm's automatic feed-water regulator will be noteworthy, as it is a well-tried speciality which has been fitted in all classes of vessels, British and foreign and is now being extensively adopted in land installations.
With the introduction of the oil-engine for propelling purposes, the Firm entered that field of manufacture and evolved the "Mumford" Paraffin Engine, which has so largely been adopted by the British Admiralty for motor boats and other service. In this connexion, too, the Firm's Paraffin Vaporiser will be of industrial interest.
The auxiliary machinery manufactured includes steam and electrically-driven pumps for all purposes, marine or otherwise. The steam-driven pumps are of various types, simplex or duplex, high-pressure, or low-pressure, to suit specific requirements, and the same observations apply to those which are electrically driven.
Mention may also be made of the Firm's rotary pumps, which are produced in various sizes for electric or belt drive, and for delivering against heads up to 100 feet.
The Culver Street Engineering Works comprise iron and brass foundries, pattern shop and pattern stores, machine shop, oil-engine erecting shop and pump erecting shop — with also a testing shop, where all pumps are tested under working conditions before dispatch.
The oil-engines are tested in a separate department on a "Froude" hydraulic brake.
MESSRS. CROMPTON AND CO., LTD., ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS, CHELMSFORD.
Crompton and Co
The Firm of Crompton and Co., Ltd., of Chelmsford, was founded in 1878 by Col. R. E. B. Crompton, C.B. The original Works were situated in the town on the site of the present Electric Generating Station. A serious fire occurred in 1896, after which the present Works were built on the Writtle Road. They are said to be the first Works in this country to be equipped with individual motor and group driving of machine-tools.
Since 1896 extensions have been carried out on several occasions, the last being in 1920, when the output capacity of the shop utilized for the manufacture of larger machines was increased by about 80 per cent. The Works are divided into two main parts one in which generators and motors of large and medium sizes are manufactured, and the other where smaller machines are built, together with switch and control gear, electrical instruments, and slow-speed ceiling fans for tropical use.
The whole of the Works and adjoining land for extensions comprise an area of about 30 acres, the shops themselves covering an area of nearly 6½ acres, and employing some 1,500 workpeople and staff.
The larger shop is all on one level, and is divided into 15 bays, each of about 440 feet in length, floored with wood blocks and covered with a roof of the weaving-shed pattern with northern lights. Two extensive erecting bays are provided, opening out into a large shop, some 240 feet in length and 90 feet span, which comprises the testing, packing and dispatch departments, and is served by two railway tracks in direct connexion with the main line. Both bays and the dispatch department are efficiently served by overhead travelling cranes.
In the main shop are constructed high- and low-tension alternators up to about 3,000 kva, direct-current generators and motors up to about 2,500 kw., together with alternating-current and direct current motors of every description and size, for industrial work of all kinds, including marine, mining, steel works, etc. A special feature is the auto-synchronous motor for mechanical load and power factor improvement, some of the largest examples of machines in the world of this class having been built here.
The smaller shop covers an area of over 91,000 sq. feet and is provided with a saw-tooth roof with northern lights, and consists of 14 bays, each about 280 feet in length. In this shop are manufactured a complete range of electrical measuring instruments, and switchgear of every description, including starters, regulators, and switchboards, ranging from the private house lighting boards to main switchboards of the steel clad and cubicle type for low and extra high-tension circuits.
Many special features of construction are employed in connexion with the building of the various classes of machines and apparatus, particular attention being given to the impregnation of the windings and the mica insulated alternator coils for E.H.T. circuits.
The Generating Station is equipped with 3 Diesel engines, each of 550 b.h.p., direct-coupled to Crompton 3-wire generators with static balancers, supplying motors throughout the Works as well as the lighting at 110 and 220 volts. This station was referred to by the Diesel Engine Users' Association as showing the lowest recorded generating costs in this country with Diesel engines, over a period of 12 months.
Messrs. Crompton and Co., Ltd., were one of the pioneers in connexion with the electrification of industry, and many of their earliest installations are still in operation. The private generating plants at the Mansion House, London, and the Law Courts, London, which were equipped in 1882, are items of interest, as well as the main generating station at Vienna, installed in 1884 to 1886. Many historical photographs and records of the early installations, as well as examples of the first machines constructed, are available for inspection.
THE HOFFMANN MANUFACTURING CO., LTD. CHELMSFORD.
Hoffmann Manufacturing Co
This Company was formed in 1898 for the manufacture of Steel Balls and Ball Bearings, and to this was subsequently added the production of Steel Rollers and Roller Bearings.
The site on which the original factory was erected approximated 3¾ acres and this has since been increased to 26 acres with shop areas amounting to 12¼ acres. The Works are served by a railway siding from the London and North-Eastern Railway main line.
The buildings and plant are of the most modern and up-to-date type. The former, with the exception of one 5-story (sic) wing, are of the single-story saw-tooth roof construction, which means that the shops are lofty and well lighted. Special attention is also paid to cleanliness and to making the working conditions approach the ideal. Employment is found for upwards of 3,000 workpeople and staff.
A Lymn Bituminous Producer-Type Gas Plant is in operation for supplying gas for the gas-engines and the various hardening furnaces. It consists of four generating units capable of gasifying 60 tons of coal per twenty-four hours. In connexion therewith a sulphate-of-ammonia recovery plant is also in operation. The tar collected from the scrubbers and washers is disposed of by spraying it into Lancashire boiler furnaces for steam production.
The power plant is capable of generating 4,700 h.p. in electrical units and comprises one 1,000 h.p. and two 300 h.p. Diesel oil engines and six 500 h.p. "Premier" gas-engines. The latter are equipped with exhaust-heat boilers for steam production. A further 500 h.p. "Premier-Crompton" set is in process of erection.
All materials used in the production of the bearings, cages, balls, and rollers are of British manufacture. The Works are equipped with a complete Chemical Laboratory with photo-micrographic apparatus for raw material testing and a Test Department for conducting running tests on all the products of the Company.
Attention has been paid to the question of economy, and as a result an oil-recovery plant of the most modern description has been installed, together with a laundry and rag-washing department.
"Hoffmann" Steel Balls are produced to within one ten-thousandth part of an inch accuracy both as to spherity and size. "Hoffmann " Steel Rollers are made within the same limit as regards diameter and within 2 ten-thousandth parts of an inch as regards length. The standards of accuracy introduced by the firm as a whole have been adopted very largely by manufacturers of bearings throughout the world.
All the special gauges used in connexion with the products of the Company are made at the Works, where there is a fully equipped measuring department for this purpose. Moreover, much of the special plant used has been manufactured in the Company's own shops — a full staff of jig, tool, and machine designers being employed on this work.
The Turning Shop comprises one of the principal departments and is equipped with the very latest plant for accurate and highspeed production. It includes subsidiary tool-rooms and stores, gauging and inspection departments.
The Hardening Shop is of a unique character, much of it being specially designed for the purpose. Special methods of heat control have been installed here, ensuring absolute uniformity in the treatment of large quantities of parts.
The Race Grinding Department is situate on one floor and is probably one of the largest installations, if not the largest, of its kind in the world. It includes plant capable of handling races from the smallest to the largest size, and embodies a complete inspection department for both dimensions and quality.
The Company employs a large staff of draughtsmen in the preparation of designs embodying fresh applications of " Hoffmann " bearings, whilst the field for the use of its products is steadily growing.
MARCONI'S WIRELESS TELEGRAPH CO., LTD., MARCONI WORKS, CHELMSFORD.
Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Co
In connexion with " wireless " matters Chelmsford may well claim to be entitled to special distinction, for it has been the home of Wireless Telegraphy from the time that that branch of electrical science, as invented by Senatore G. Marconi, G.C.V.O., D.Sc., LL.D., Hon. Life Member, I.Mech.E., was brought into practical use.
In 1898 the Marconi Co. established a Works in Hall Street, Chelmsford, and there they remained — excepting for a short break when the Works were transferred to Dalston, London — for about fourteen years. During those years the business expanded until the Works became inadequate for requirements and it was found necessary to remove to larger premises. In 1912, therefore, the Company acquired the old Essex Sports Ground and the Chelmsford Cricket Ground adjoining New Street, and on this site — which comprised about 10 acres — the present Works buildings were erected.
The main buildings and offices occupy a ground area of about 466 feet by 150, and exhibit in their design and equipment all that is required for the work done in them. Noteworthy and outstanding features of the Works are the two giant Steel Masts which carry the telegraph aerials. Each of these structures is 450 feet in height and 3 feet in diameter, and is built up of ½-inch pressed steel plates, having four external vertical joints to the round. The masts are supported by forty insulated stays (that is, five sets of eight), ten of which are connected to each of four anchors embedded in 100-ton concrete blocks at a radius of 220 feet. The central foundation block weighs 120 tons.
There are over 700 employees in the Works, engaged in the production of wireless equipment of all descriptions, amongst the output being the apparatus now used at all the broadcasting stations in Great Britain.
It may be mentioned, in reference to Welfare matters, that the Company has provided for their employees exceptional facilities for recreation in the shape of excellent Club Rooms and a Sports Ground of about 11 acres for cricket and other out-door games.
MESSRS. RICHARD GARRETT AND SONS, LTD., LEISTON WORKS, LEISTON, SUFFOLK.
Richard Garrett and Sons
The history of this firm goes back to the year 1778, when the business was founded by Richard Garrett, the great-great-grandfather of the present Directors.
The early products of the Firm were sickles and scythes, practically the only agricultural tools known at that time, but these were rapidly followed by turnip cutters, corn drills, ploughs and hoes, thrashing machines, etc., and it is more than 100 years since the first steam engine was made at Leiston Works.
During the period of 147 years which has elapsed since the foundation of the business it has been raised from a small single workshop to a large well-equipped establishment capable of employing 3,000 men.
The following are some of the more important dates in the history of the Firm:-
The total area of the Works property amounts to over 25 acres, exclusive of ground available for extensions, and it comprises two portions, namely, the New Works adjoining the railway station and the Old Works in the centre of the town, but connected by a full-gauge railway track to the London and North-Eastern Railway.
Each portion is divided into various departments, the total area under cover being, in the New Works, 140,600 square feet, and in the Old Works, 213,650 square feet. The New Works consist entirely of modern buildings constructed of concrete blocks, with steel roofs, and included in the series of buildings is the Power Station, which contains three units of 175 kw. capacity each, driven by overtype combined engines and boilers of the Firm's own make. From this Power Station alternating current of 440 volts, 3-phase, 50 cycles, is distributed throughout the whole factory.
The New Works also contain timber stores and drying ovens, sawmill and wood-working machine shop, light metal machine shop (for thrashing machines and kindred products, electric vehicles of all kinds), erecting and painting shops, smithy and foundry.
The Old Works consist principally of brick buildings of a somewhat heterogeneous character, many of these being upwards of 60 years old. The older parts are used as stores principally, and actual production takes place in either modern-built shops or modernized older buildings under the best conditions.
In the Old Works is situated the boiler shop, having an area of 57,890 square feet, and completely equipped with modern boiler-making machinery. There is also a large erecting shop, principally devoted to the overtype steam-engines made by the Firm, having an area of 10,310 square feet, and the main machine shop with an area of 37,820 square feet. In these Works are also situated the pattern shop, foundry and various subsidiary erecting and machine shops.
Adjoining the main entrance of the Old Works are the Works House and the general office buildings. The welfare and education of the employees — important matters in the case of a large Works situated in a rural district — are well looked after. Evening technical classes are held in local schoolrooms during the winter by arrangement with the County Education Authorities.
The Works Hall, erected on the Company's property close to the main entrance to the Old Works, contains a large assembly-room, with stage, committee-room and a well-equipped library, in addition to a men's mess-room.
The Leiston Works Athletic Association, membership of which is open to the townspeople, comprises sections for cricket, football, tennis, bowls and other games for both sexes. At the Sports Ground, which is over eight acres in extent, there is a large pavilion, equipped with two billiard tables, a bar, baths and other conveniences, all managed by a representative employees committee.
Closely adjoining this ground is the headquarters of the 4th Suffolk Territorials.
Amongst the principal products manufactured at Leiston Works may be mentioned the following -
Overtype superheated steam combined engines and boilers. Portable and semi-portable engines, locomotive and vertical boilers.
Overtype and undertype steam wagons. Tractors and traction engines, road rollers, turntable and tracking type trailer wagons.
Electric vehicles, battery and trolley-bus types. Sleeping vans.
Thrashing machines, clover-hulling machines, mealie-shellers, straw-elevators, stackers, and agricultural machines and implements for various purposes.
MESSRS. J. W. BROOKE AND CO., THE " BROOKE " ADRIAN WORKS, LOWESTOFT.
J. W. Brooke and Co
These Works have been specially laid down for the production of a large range of Petrol and Paraffin Motors for marine and industrial purposes. The equipment is exceptionally complete, with its own foundry and hardening and testing department, and the most modern methods of distribution of the work have been adopted. Commencing at the Foundry, the work is passed through with the minimum expenditure of time and trouble.
The range of motors produced may be divided into three groups: heavy-duty motors, medium, and light — ranging from a 65 h.p. six-cylinder unit (a type supplied extensively to the Air Force) to a 3 h.p. single-cylinder motor.
Very considerable attention has been given to the design of these units, so that a large interchangeability of reverse-gears, cylinders, reciprocating and other parts is obtained. This method presents advantages not only to the purchaser but also to the producer, for - coupled with a systematic method of work distribution - it enables the Firm to lessen materially the costs of production.
The Adrian Works produced some of the earliest types of marine motor units marketed in this country, and may truly be said to have made a notable contribution to certain phases of British Marine Engineering reputation.
In the design of "Brooke" Motor units, attention has specially been given to simplicity of operation and to those features which make for absolutely reliable and efficient running, whilst their compactness and light weight have been treated as factors of importance in applying them to those portable and semi-portable pumping, lighting, and other industrial sets which have been produced in large numbers in these Works.
Oulton Broad Boat-building Yards. - Apart from the standard range of "Brooke" marine units, referred to above, Messrs. J. W. Brooke and Co., specialize in the construction of complete Motor Craft of various types and sizes. Their Boat-Yards are ideally situated at Oulton Broad, where there are excellent facilities for the construction of craft up to 120 feet in length, and an electric slipway for handling craft up to 80 tons, both these departments being under the supervision of the same management.
The boats, complete with engines, are subjected to a rigid test before dispatch, every boat being run on a measured distance, and accurate records made of the performance of both boat and machinery.
A considerable amount of work at both departments of the Firm is always on hand for the Admiralty, the Air Force, and for various Foreign Governments.
MARINE AIRCRAFT EXPERIMENTAL ESTABLISHMENT, ROYAL AIR FORCE, FELIXSTOWE.
Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment
The Air Station at Felixstowe was first opened as a Unit of the Royal Naval Air Service in 1913, with one flight of float seaplanes housed in a small wooden hangar. The strategic value of the site, its proximity to the Naval Base of Harwich, and the admirable stretch of sheltered water, coupled with the insistent demands during the Great War for aircraft co-operation with the Navy in patrolling the shipping routes, convoy, and anti-submarine duties, resulted in the rapid expansion of the Base as it is seen to-day. As the War progressed, and the anti-submarine campaign became more widespread, urgent demands were made for seaplanes of longer range and greater bomb-carrying capacity.
The limit in size in float seaplanes having been reached, the experimental construction of flying boats was commenced in 1915 to meet these new requirements. The evolution was rapid. Commencing with a type known as the "Open Boat," not much larger than a river skiff with a light aero structure fixed across it and driven by a 180 h.p. engine, by 1917 a flying boat with a hull the size and shape of a small submarine, weighing 13 tons and driven by five 360 h.p. engines, had been tried out. Design and construction to the latter point had been too rapid, however, and it was found that one of the intermediate types, known as the "F" type, weighing about 5 tons, best met the requirements of the Naval Service.
By the time the Armistice was reached, Felixstowe accommodated the equivalent of three operational squadrons (30 machines) in addition to the large section devoted to experimental work. Located all round the British Islands were squadrons of flying boats manned and equipped from Felixstowe, which was by then known as the "home of the flying boats."
During the period of economic reduction following the Armistice, Felixstowe was reduced to a Unit of two flights, and the experimental work was transferred to the Isle of Grain Air Station in Kent, and finally, in March 1922, the Station was closed down to a "care and maintenance" basis. However, for reasons of economy, and to localize the aircraft experimental work (the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment being at Martlesham Heath - 8 miles inland), Felixstowe was re-opened in March 1924 and re-named The Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment.
The function of the Establishment is the type-testing or trials of all new types of float seaplanes and flying boats, and auxiliary details of their equipment. In brief, Felixstowe, by a very comprehensive and thorough process of trials, ascertains whether a particular type fulfils the specified requirements laid down by the Air Ministry, and makes recommendations arising out of the trials. If successful, the trials are then carried to a final stage by the seaplane being passed to a Flight known as the Flying Boat Development Flight, attached to Felixstowe, where it is given practical trials under active-service conditions.
The results are pigeon-holed, and any particular type which has passed these trials successfully is ready to be put into production should the necessity arise. The evolution of the flying boat is thus being economically carried on, as it is only when the type in use in the R.A.F. becomes really obsolete or worn out, that a new type from the pigeon-hole is put into production. Considerable progress has been made, and the day is almost in sight when sea voyages will be made over the sea in comfort and security.
NORWICH BOOT FACTORIES.
For centuries Norwich occupied a high place in the commercial world by reason of its great weaving industry; to-day the city holds an international reputation for its boot and shoe manufactures. The commencement of this industry dates back little more than 100 years and in that period its growth has been very rapid. The factories specialize in the production of high grade light-weight footwear; and what may almost be regarded as the speciality of the city's craftsmen is the manufacture of " turn-shoes," in which the upper is made inside out to enable the sole to be sewn and is then turned for the finishing operations. Within the last fifty years many of the operations requiring manual dexterity have been carried out mechanically, and inspection of the workshops shows many intricate machines for the rapid production of what has now come to be called "foot millinery"; however, the old skill of the operatives still survives and works harmoniously with the aid of modern high-speed machinery. The methods of factory organization as applied to secure mass production in this trade are well shown in the workshops of the various firms, which are enumerated below:-
MESSRS. E. MARRIAGE AND SON, LTD., FLOUR MILLERS, COLCHESTER AND FELIXSTOWE.
E. Marriage and Son
Over 300 years ago the Huguenot family of Marriage settled in Essex as farmers and flour millers; the present business was founded in 1840 when Mr. Edward Marriage bought the East Mills at Colchester, and the East Anglia Flour Mills were established at Felixstowe in 1907. Both factories are equipped with the most modern milling machinery and with facilities for receiving wheat by rail and water. In general, the lay-out of each mill is such as to expedite the progress of the products through the factory during the course of manufacture. The mills are completely self-contained as regards power and lighting.