THE LIVERPOOL DOCKS. From the Burrowa News Friday October 11th, 1889
The docks are, of course, the great glory of Liverpool, as they are also the chief fount of its prosperity. To de scribe these stupendous works in anything like detail would require a volume. When we say that the quay space on the Lancashire side of the river measure twenty five miles, and on the Chessire side nine miles, and that the entire dock estate, including warehouses and store yards, covers more than 1,500 acres, we have given the reader some conception of the .magnitude of these wonderful works. The oldest docks are those near the Custom House; the more modern are near the mouth of the river. These latter are constructed entirely of granite, in irregular blocks of Brobdignagian proportions, cemented together by lime which becomes as hard as the stone itself. Every wall and quay seems to have been built by a Cyclops, with the view of defying the ravages of time, so massive and solid are the materials and workmanship. Is these north docks the great Transatlantic and other large steamers find ample accommodation, even for vessels 550 feet in length, and of 5,000 or 6,000 tons burden. The entrance to these modern docks, with their huge lock-gates worked by pressure from hydraulic towers, are of immense extent, some being 100 feet in width. They are marvels of engineering skill. The old docks are chiefly used by sailing vessels engaged in the foreign trade. The quays are, almost without exception, covered in, and upon them we encounter every kind of goods and produce known to the importer — sugar, molasses, rum, wheat, spices, hides, jute, Indian corn, wines, tobacco, cotton, wool, and a thousand other miscellaneous articles, heaped together in great piles awaiting transport. The south end docks are not as modern as those at the north end; they are largely used by foreign going, trading steamers, and by ships engaged in the timber trade. Many foreign-going steamers of large size berth in the Birkenhead Docks, where the shipment of coal is on a vast scale. Several of the docks are surrounded by enormous ware houses, wherein bonded and other goods are stored. These docks are carefully guarded by Customs officers, who have under their charge untold wealth. The facilities provided for the landing and shipments of cargoes are probably unequalled in any other port in the world. A double line of railway runs along the whole range of docks; and there are direct connections from every dock with all the principal railways in the country. A wagon load of coal may be sent from the pit mouth in Yorkshire or Derbyshire and tipped into the ship's hold at Liverpool without any break in the transit ; or a ship may arrive in the Waterloo Dock with a cargo of wheat from abroad, and discharge direct into ware houses by means of endless broad leather bands, which by a most ingenious arrangement, carry the grain from the ship to any floor in the adjoining lofty storerooms, whence it may be passed through shoots into railway wagons and whirled away to any part of the country. As similar facilities have been provided for nearly every branch of the trade of the port, it will readily be understood that vessels of enormous size are enabled to enter a dock, discharge, load again, and sail, within the course of four or five days, or even a shorter interval. — The Cities of the World.
DIRECTOR OF LIGHTHOUSE. MR. RAMSBOTHAM'S CAREER. Mr. J. F. Ramsbotham, of the Western Australian Harbor and Rivets Department, who has been appointed Commonwealth Director of Lighthouses, served his articles as civil engineer to Mr. Anthony G. Lyster, then engineer-in-chief to the Mersey Docks and Harbor, Board Liverpool, and this year's president of the Institution of Civil Engineers. The Mersey docks and harbor offer a wide field for engineers. The Board has constructed, owns, and administers all the lighthouses from Point Lynas; on the Welsh coast, into Liverpool Bay, and their fleet of dredges is said to be unrivalled. Al together Mr. Ramsbotham was 13 years with the Mersey Docks and Harbor Board. During that period one million pounds sterling was spent each year in new works and improvements. In the year 1898 he was engaged on river and marine surveys under Sir George Nares, K.C.B., and in the following year he was assistant resident engineer on the construction of ferro-concrete wharves at Liverpool. In 1900 and 1901 he was assistant resident engineer on the con struction of the Stanley tobacco warehouse, a building of 14 floors. 125 feet high, and with a floor area of 36 acres. During 1902 and 1903 he was resident engineer in charge of the North carriers' warehouse, construct ed for the barge traffic for the Manchester Ship Canal Company. From 1903 to 1905 he was resident, engineer in charge of the construction of the new Brockle bank graving dock, at Liverpool this dock, which cost £175,000, is 805 feet long, has an entrance 135 feet wide, and the largest gates in the world. Towards the latter end of 1905 he was engaged in underpinning the Brockle bank dock walls, adjoining the graving deck. This work was done by the administration. He was awarded by the Liverpool Engineering Society the society's premium for a paper on the work in connection with the graving dock. In 1906 he carried out as resident engineer the underpinning of the dock walls in the Canada dock, at Liverpool. This work was done under cover of dams, while the traffic of the dock was maintained. In 1907 he was in charge as resident engineer of the construction of the raising of the level of the South Sandon dock walls and the building of a three-storied ferro concrete warehouse. Before the completion of this work he was transferred to more important work in the Liverpool Dock Estate. In 1907 and 1908 he was in charge of the construction of the New Brunswick dock extension works as resident engineer. The scheme was extending the present Brockle bank dock, making a new 100 feet passage; a double track swing bridge, and equipping the new walls with shed and railway sidings. In carrying out this work the old graving docks, each 450 feet long, and the old Union wet dock, were entirely removed. The fact that the wet docks at each end were kept in use necessitated the construction of very large temporary dams. The cost of the work was £250,000. In 1910 he was engaged by the Western Australian Government to design and carryout under the Engineer-in-Chief, Mr. James Thompson, and the construction of the graving dock at Freman tie. The dredging for the body was finished at the time of his arrival in the State. Mr. Ramsbotlmn will take up his new duties as Director of Lighthouses, at a salary of £1,000 a year, early in September, and his headquarters in all probability will be at Melbourne.
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