Photos and/or Information required


Photo: Illustrative image for the 'THE SHEERLEGS' page

Many photos of the sheerlegs have been published on this website & elsewhere, and I am commencing a working scale model for exhibition. I have a copy of the original working drawings of the legs etc, but I DO NOT have any details of the mechanism which operated the actual movement of the legs, except I am aware that the rear leg moved back & forwards by means of a wormscrew drive, but I do not have details of exactly how it was driven. I know that there were two motors connected to the sheerlegs, one for operating the movement back & forwards of the single rear leg and another motor for operating the lifting cables.

Is there anyone out there who has photos or drawings or memories of the operating mechanism which they could share with me so that I can complete my drawings and get my model underway please. RB

This page was added by Richard Beckett on 04/09/2009.
Comments about this page

There is a model in the museum including the enginehouse and also photos of the engine

By Pete
On 05/09/2009

Dear Pete

Unfortunately, the model in the museum to which you refer, bears no relationship whatsoever to the actual crane construction. The drawing above is based on the information I have from the original engineering design drawings of which I have a copy.
The model in the museum only has a single pulley system in which the cable goes directly back to the "engine house" from the top of the crane. This is a system, which engineering-wise, would not have been able to take and lift the heavy loads. If you examine the photos closely you can see that there were actually two sets of pulleys, a single-block system set at the top of the crane for the lighter loads, and a multi-block system lower down for heavier loads such as ship boilers, Railway Locomotives and similar. Furthermore, the photograph(s) in the museum do NOT show how the engine was connected to and drove the wormscrew. Neither is it obvious from the photos how the engine was constructed to operate two different mechanisms for the cables to the pulley blocks, how they were operated by the man/men working them or where the engines which drove them were located or connected to them. Obviously the pulley cables were wound on and off of large drums, but where were these located? One photo I have seen indicates these were outside of the "Engine House" and were much closer to the foot of the crane.

It is for these reasons that I have requested information from anyone who actually operated, worked on, passed by or came into contact with the operating mechanisms.

On 05/09/2009

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