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Author Topic: No.2 Covered Slip  (Read 12232 times)

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Offline mikeb

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Re: No.2 Covered Slip
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2018, 18:29:03 »
From Greenwich Maritime web site...HMS Thunderbolt as built.

Offline cliveh

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Re: No.2 Covered Slip
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2018, 15:56:25 »
No.2 Covered Slip in 1914 with the former floating gun battery HMS Thunderbolt in the foreground. Thunderbolt had been converted into a pier-head in 1873

cliveh

Offline Bilgerat

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Re: No.2 Covered Slip
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2015, 08:53:18 »
Here's a little bit more about HMS Thunderbolt. She was indeed a steam-powered vessel, with an auxiliary sailing rig. She was a vessel of 1,954 tons and was 186ft long and 48ft wide across the beam. She was built by Samuda Bros at Millwall and her role was to defend the Thames Estuary at a time of increasing tensions with the French, which saw the British actively preparing for war. Those preparations also saw the construction of the so-called 'Palmerston Follies' and vessels such as HMS Warrior. Things were settled peacefully with the establishment of the 'Entente Cordiale'.

These might be wild assumptions, but given the technology available, I'm assuming that the vessel was powered by a 2 cylinder compound steam engine and would have carried a brigantine rig (2 masted with square sails on the fore mast and fore-and-aft sails on the main mast). I say brigantine-rigged because given her role and the fact that her hull form wouldn't have allowed it anyway, long, trans-oceanic voyages were out of the question and speed and agility didn't enter the equation, so the brigantine rig would have been ideal. She would have proceeded to the required position, been moored with anchors fore and aft and remained in position for long periods.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline helcion

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Re: No.2 Covered Slip
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2015, 22:55:51 »
Bilgegrat    -

Many thanks  -  most interesting.

HMS THUNDERBOLT looks like a formidable beast, presumably she was sail-assisted with the rigging & most of the two masts being omitted from the model.   

Offline Bilgerat

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Re: No.2 Covered Slip
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2015, 21:13:59 »
The hulk is the original Thunderbolt Pier, so called because the former floating battery HMS Thunderbolt was converted into a floating pontoon and moored in the River Medway off the former No.1 Dry-Dock, which was filled in during the early 1890's.

Here's a model of HMS Thunderbolt in her original configuration:



HMS Thunderbolt was originally built for the Crimean War but was completed too late to see any service, being launched just after the war's end in 1856. She was converted to a pontoon in 1873 and sank following a collision with a tug in 1948. She was raised in 1949 and scrapped.

As far as No2 slipway is concerned, the car park was actually built over the original floor. That floor in turn was created when the slipway was filled in in 1893. I know this because when I worked at the Historic Dockyard, we had to lay some new concrete slabs in the car park. When we broke up and removed the original, we uncovered the floor of the slipway which was intact and still bears scorch marks from the 1966 fire. We also pulled up sheets of lead which had melted and poured to the floor and had set.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline helcion

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Re: No.2 Covered Slip
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2015, 20:22:42 »
Interesting-looking steel-hulled hulk moored off the slip  -  does anyone have any information on it ?
A quick Google found nothing.

Thanks.

Offline cliveh

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Re: No.2 Covered Slip
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2015, 17:53:55 »
No.2 Slip was built in 1770 and was covered by a handsome mansard roof in 1837. It was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1966.

The site is now used as a car park



cliveh

Offline afsrochester

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Re: No.2 Covered Slip
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2011, 14:28:14 »
I have made some addition to my post of 14 Oct now that a technical problem has been solved.

Offline mikeb

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Re: No.2 Covered Slip
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2011, 20:54:20 »
Thank you to all who have contributed to this thread, very interesting to be reminded of events that slip from memory!  I remember it well, now you have reminded me!!

One thing that puzzles me though, if the culprit was known
Quote
The Board of Inquiry concluded that the fire started as a result of the action of an employee who has since been discharged.
was he / she ever charged with arson, and if not, why not? I recall when as apprentices (1960) we had to sign the Official Secrets Act and to stress the importance of it all we were reminded that treason and setting fire to a Royal Dockyard were, at the time, the only crimes which still carried the death penalty. Even without the ultimate sanction surely a charge of some description should have been brought?

Merry

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Re: No.2 Covered Slip
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2011, 20:14:01 »
Golly, that burning figurehead must have been the most dramatic sight!

I seem to recall my dad saying the photo of the fire engine was in the local paper. Next week I have to go to a meeting at the Civic Centre as was, I think I'll try to nip into the archives afterwards (in my lunch hour of course, ahem...)

Update:  I popped into the Medway Archives today - goodness me the ladies in there are helpful and kindly - and looked at the press reports into the fire.  Sadly I found no photos of the fire engine but I was struck by how the story only featured in one edition, and then wasn't mentioned again except in a "round up of the year's news" feature in December.

(And I was amused by how the week after the fire, the Chatham News led with an article about Government cuts, lack of jobs, poor economic forceasts etc etc.  Talk about nothing new under the sun.)

Merry

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Re: No.2 Covered Slip
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2011, 20:15:38 »
Golly, that burning figurehead must have been the most dramatic sight!

I seem to recall my dad saying the photo of the fire engine was in the local paper. Next week I have to go to a meeting at the Civic Centre as was, I think I'll try to nip into the archives afterwards (in my lunch hour of course, ahem...)

Offline afsrochester

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Re: No.2 Covered Slip
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2011, 11:34:42 »
It was fitting for a former Naval officer that it was Chief Officer Fordham's lot to take charge of his last major fire as Chief Officer of the Kent Fire Brigade on Naval premises. A spectacularfire broke out in Chatham Naval Dockyard at 10.15 hours o 12th July 1966 at the time when Commander Fordham arrived to say goodbye to the Admiral Superintendent of the Dockyard, who was leaving the yard for a new post.

 On his arrival he found the dockyard blanketed in a pall of heavy smoke. The No2 Slipway with its 200 year old timber covering, a protected site of considerable historic interest on which Nelson's flagship HMS Victory was built, was well alight. Employyes from nearby offices and workshops had to be evacuated. a large number of cars parked adjacent to the building were destroyed.

Despite the very best efforts of the crews from 16 Pumps from 10 local stations, under the personal direction of the Chief Officer, the building was completely destroyed. Saving it was an impossible task due to the intense radiated heat from the fire. Many Dockyard workers assisted the brigade at the height of the operations and forty one persons, including a number of firemen received minor injuries during the fire-fighting. The figurehead of Lord Nelson, removed for preservation from the seventh HMS Vanguard, which had been launched in 1835, was badly charred. However, it was saved from further damage by fire-fighting operations and was subsequently restored by the Navy.

After the fire the Chief officer received the following letter from an employee at the Dockyard.

"I am writing on behalf of some  of the girls of Naval Stores who witnessed the fire which occurred on Tuesday, 12 July 1966 at HM Dockyard Chatham. We were so much impressed by the courage of the firemen who attended that we thought we would take the opportunity of conveying our own personal thanks"

Most of us are too young -some not even born to remember the brave deeds these men carried out during the last war, and to us the fire was the worst we have ever seen. Of course, we realise that these men possess a special quality but to see them tackle the blaze really brought home to us your men's dedication to duty. The heat was so intense that I'm sure some of these men must have sustained burns but nevertheless they carried on regardless.

Many brave deeds must be executed by these men which the public never hear about, so we as office girls would like to say "Thank You" not only to these men but to the Fire Service in general. None of us know any of the firemen, so please convey our heartfelt thanks to all the men who came from many different areas to attend the blaze, and they will always have our admiration."

signed Pamela Chuck.

24 girls in addition to Miss Chuck signed the letter.

From 50 Vigilant Years. A History of Kent Fire Brigade.

The restored figurehead was presented to Kent Fire Brigade and it now resides in Medway Fire Station.

Merry

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Re: No.2 Covered Slip
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2011, 20:36:13 »
I don't know, to be honest, but that book sounds like a treasure trove!  Thank you for the info, I'll keep an eye out for it.    :)

Offline afsrochester

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Re: No.2 Covered Slip
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2011, 15:32:51 »
Hi Merry :)

Is that the one with the figurehead of Lord Nelson on fire in the background with fire engine in front of it? If it is, it's in the book "Firefighting in Kent" by Roger C. Mardon & John A. Meakins page 47 top photograph which is copyrighted to Medway News and Standard. You should be able to borrow the book from your local library.

Merry

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Re: No.2 Covered Slip
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2011, 23:15:19 »
Apologies for double-posting, but I was telling my dad about this thread and he asked if the "picture of the burning fire engine" was here.  Apparently a fire engine tried to get close to the fire but the heat was so intense the (presumably wooden) ladders and fittings ignited.  The local press had a shot of the fire engine, in flames, speeding to safety.

If anyone has the image or could tell me where it can be viewed, I'm sure my dad would love to see it.  As indeed would I.

 

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