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Author Topic: Landing-Craft accident, Railway Street, Chatham - 1953  (Read 134971 times)

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Offline peterchall

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Re: Landing-Craft accident, Railway Street, Chatham - 1953
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2013, 22:11:53 »
The report states that the driver tipped the trailer over deliberately because it was out of control, but deliberately or not, itís difficult to imagine what made it tip because the bend from Maidstone Road into Railway Street is not particularly sharp Ė compare that to the bend at the top of Star Hill, where the wartime accident occurred.

The presence of that one on the road might be explained by the fact that the smaller landing craft (and I canít remember its type)  were sometimes built at inland locations and it could have been easier to deliver them by road; being wartime they were still in production, but that would not have been so in 1953. However, SentinelS4 may have a point regarding time saving although, wherever it was going, there must have been better routes than via Railway Street.

To further muddy the waters, the one in this thread appears to be a Landing Craft Mechanised (LCM), which varied as follows:
LCM Mk1 weighed 21 tons, was 48 ft long and 14 ft wide.
Up to:
LCM Mk8, weighing 60 tons and was 74 ft long and 21 ft wide.

In comparison a Churchill tank weighed 30 tons and was 25 ft long. If a standard tank transporter could take 2 of those (I donít know if it could) it could just about take an LCM Mk6, at 25 tons and 56 ft long. Otherwise it must have been a 'Pickfords' job.

Photos below are of LCMís Mk3 and Mk7 (Warships of WW2 - Landing Craft , by H.T. Lenton & J.J   Colledge)
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Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Landing-Craft accident, Railway Street, Chatham - 1953
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2013, 21:48:44 »
A thought as to why it was being transported by road.
If this craft was based at Dover or one of the other South Coast ports and needed in Medway in a hurry it might have been faster to put it on a truck and take it overland. I am not sure of the specs for these craft but they were not the fastest or best sea boats in the World. If it was being sent from Dover you would be looking at a very long day or maybe two to sail it around, even under tow it would have been slow. On a truck from Dover even at 15 or 20 mph it would have been a lot faster and cheaper. As ever I am open for correction.

S4.
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Offline Rochester-bred

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Re: Landing-Craft accident, Railway Street, Chatham - 1953
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2013, 21:23:14 »
We definitely need to find more info on this, a great photo well found.
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Offline kyn

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Re: Landing-Craft accident, Railway Street, Chatham - 1953
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2013, 18:20:12 »
But why would it go via Railway Street rather than the A2? Better still, why not float it down the river?



My thoughts exactly, but, being a wingy-thing, I did not want to make the obvious comment that boats and ships are more at home in water, and be shot down.

Robin.


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Offline Robin

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Re: Landing-Craft accident, Railway Street, Chatham - 1953
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2013, 17:46:33 »
But why would it go via Railway Street rather than the A2? Better still, why not float it down the river?



My thoughts exactly, but, being a wingy-thing, I did not want to make the obvious comment that boats and ships are more at home in water, and be shot down.

Robin.
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Landing-Craft accident, Railway Street, Chatham - 1953
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2013, 08:57:54 »
But why would it go via Railway Street rather than the A2? Better still, why not float it down the river?

Interesting. Raises several question for me; what was the towing vehicle? What kind of trailer was it? Where the heck where were they coming from? Where were they heading to?

S4.
The one at the top of Star Hill was on one of those multi-wheeled tank transporter trailers. The usual tractor was a 6-wheeled Scammell with a big cylindrical thingy as a radiator cap (Scammel Pioneer?).
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Offline grandarog

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Re: Landing-Craft accident, Railway Street, Chatham - 1953
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2013, 08:24:56 »
It was probably on the way to the Kingsferry area as the bridge was out of action and landing craft were being used to ferry food etc to the stranded Sheppey residents.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Landing-Craft accident, Railway Street, Chatham - 1953
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2013, 00:16:41 »
"Well I'll go to Timbuktu" (appropriate today?) was a saying of my dad's when he was surprised, and I repeat that :)

Both my wife and I would have gone that way to/from work on the bus each day, and neither of us has the faintest memory of the incident. Were it not for the photo I  would have said that it was being confused with a wartime incident when a landing craft fell off its trailer and ended up against the wall of the almshouses at the top of Star Hill, Rochester. Copy the landing craft from Merc's photo and paste it on a photo of the almshouses and it would replicate that scene exactly!!!!
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Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Landing-Craft accident, Railway Street, Chatham - 1953
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 22:05:26 »
Interesting. Raises several question for me; what was the towing vehicle? What kind of trailer was it? Where the heck were they coming from? Where were they heading to?

S4.
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merc

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Landing-Craft accident, Railway Street, Chatham - 1953
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2013, 21:42:01 »
On February 12, 1953, a landing-craft was being towed through Chatham on a trailer, on its way to help with the flood relief, when apparently the towing vehicle got out of control. It seems the driver decided to tip the trailer before he approached crowded traffic, the landing-craft then fell over and struck a stationary bus. Seven bus passengers, all men, were slightly injured.

Photo from The Illustrated London News.


 

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