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Author Topic: Cox and Danks Shipbreaking Company  (Read 7628 times)

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Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Cox and Danks Shipbreaking Company
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2015, 22:33:03 »
Can thoroughly recommend COX'S NAVY by Tony Booth which covers the salvage of the German High Seas fleet from Scapa Flow between 1924 & 1931.

ISBN  1 84415 181 6
Published by 'Pen & Sword Maritime' in 2005
Well illustrated with 199 pages & a very good index


24 photos from the above book have been put online, with permission, @ http://www.naval-history.net/WW1z12aCox.htm

Biography of Ernest Cox http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Cox

To Raise the Hindenburg (1925) British Pathe. To raise the Hindenburg. Colossal floating dock leaves on first stage of journey to Scapa Flow. Chatham, Kent.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=n8T05SxkhP0
Don't Let the Devil Ride Chris and Abby

Offline helcion

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Re: Cox and Danks Shipbreaking Company
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2015, 23:01:16 »
Another Scapa Flow salvage book   -

JUTLAND to JUNKYARD        S.C. George

Published by Birlinn Ltd. 1999       ISBN  1 84341 010 9

150 pages  +  40 pages of photos         Softback.

A lot of detail on the salvage operations, with good appendices.

Recommended.

Offline alkhamhills

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Re: Cox and Danks Shipbreaking Company
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2014, 20:28:37 »
Thanks Helicon
Just bought the book on E-bay for 8.94
Quite a few more but bit dearer

Offline helcion

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Re: Cox and Danks Shipbreaking Company
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2014, 17:12:58 »
Can thoroughly recommend COX'S NAVY by Tony Booth which covers the salvage of the German High Seas fleet from Scapa Flow between 1924 & 1931.

ISBN  1 84415 181 6
Published by 'Pen & Sword Maritime' in 2005
Well illustrated with 199 pages & a very good index

It was interesting to read that initially the larger salvaged warships were towed to British shipbreaking yards by German tugs until the German Government could no longer face the humiliation of having their surrendered warships being towed to British yards by their own tugs & recalled them.   [subsequent tows were carried out by Dutch tugs].
However this did not prevent Germany buying a large amount of the scrap armourplating & other high quality steel.

There is excellent coverage of the salvage operations on the Pathe News' website  -  just bring up the homepage & type in 'Scapa Flow salvage'

There are further excellent photos of Sheerness operation [& much else besides] on the 'Lucky Trev' website recommended earlier by HERB COLLECTOR.

 

Offline Alastair

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Re: Cox and Danks Shipbreaking Company
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2014, 15:38:50 »
Read an article (or saw it on TV) some time ago about the chap who salvaged the German High Seas Fleet from Scapa Flow. A tremendous undertaking, it seems, as each ship had to be dealt with individually as they had all sunk at diffrent angles, etc. Presmably the salver was Cox & Danks if he was awarded the contract.
One description that remains in my mind is of the salvaging of the Kaiser Willhelm der Grosse. She was upside down so a tube had to be lowered and a hole cut in the bottom to gain entry through the engine room and the diver spoke of being thoroughly unnerved by the enormous engines hanging above him.
The whole salvage operation was, I recall, absolutely fascinating and made use of a lot of inventive procedures to get at the vessels.

Alastair

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Cox and Danks Shipbreaking Company
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2014, 23:00:37 »
Herbcollector that is an amazing collection of pictures. I know this is going off topic a little but do you know if Friese Greene had a studio on Sheppey?

S4.

Thanks Sentinel S4.  I do not know if Friese Greene had a studio on Sheppey, but hopefully someone will be able to answer your question.
Don't Let the Devil Ride Chris and Abby

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Cox and Danks Shipbreaking Company
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2014, 17:29:32 »
Herbcollector that is an amazing collection of pictures. I know this is going off topic a little but do you know if Friese Greene had a studio on Sheppey? I see his name on the bottom of one of the studio shots, if so then I feel another thread coming on concerning the Father of Colour Moving Pictures. These are very interesting of the Island in general and some of those pics are of huge interest to me from a rail and industrial point. Thank you so much for posting the link, somewhere my family has an almost identical pic of me stood at the Milstead cross roads taken in 1968.

S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Cox and Danks Shipbreaking Company
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2014, 17:01:23 »
The German U-boat floating dock referred to in my previous post arrives at Sheerness.
A short British Pathe film @http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKVzQhYb_-s 1923.

(And the Google ads jump straight in and ask if I want to hire a floating pontoon!)
Don't Let the Devil Ride Chris and Abby

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Cox and Danks Shipbreaking Company
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2013, 00:18:48 »
Novel use for German floating dock.

After the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet at Scapa Flow, the allies, in retaliation, recommended that some or all of the floating docks belonging to Germany should be handed over.
Among those handed over was a 3,000 ton lifting capacity, 400 foot long floating dock used to build and repair submarines. The dock was towed to the main British submarine base at Harwich, then to Sheerness. In 1924 the Admiralty sold the dock to Cox and Danks for 24,000. The dock was towed to the Cox and Danks shipbreaking yard at Queenborough. Here the 40 foot dia. steel cylinder in its centre, used for pressure testing u-boats, was broken up and removed.
Cox then realised that the dock would be useful in his task of raising the scuttled German fleet at Scapa Flow.
One half of the dock was removed, leaving one sidewall and a section of the floor. This sidewall was fitted with a machine shop, generating plant, air compressor etc. A series of 20 pulleys and hand winches were fitted, giving a lifting capacity of around 2,400 tons.
With some difficulty, it took two weeks, the dock was dragged off the mud. Finally refloated, three tugs took charge and the dock was towed to the Orkneys. Once in the Orkneys the dock was cut in two to make two 200 foot long pontoons, each fitted with ten winches and ten pairs of lifting blocks.
The two pontoons would be moored over the vessel to be raised, one on each side. Steel hawsers would pass over a pulley on one pontoon, pass under the sunken vessel, then over a pulley on the second pontoon. The idea was to begin the lift on a low tide. As the tide rose the vessel would lift from clear of the bottom. In a series of lifts the vessel would be dragged to the surface, towed into shallow water and beached. When the tide fell, the vessel could be pumped out.

Photos. John Griffiths.
German floating dock being broken up, pressure cylinder in centre.
http://pbase.com/luckytrev/image/41150829
As above, later photo.
http://pbase.com/luckytrev/image/41150827
Floating dock ready to be towed to the Orkneys.
http://www.pbase.com/luckytrev/image/41150828
Don't Let the Devil Ride Chris and Abby

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Cox and Danks Shipbreaking Company
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2013, 23:45:12 »
In the early months of the present year there was inaugurated at Queenborough, on the Island of Sheppey, an industrial enterprise of considerable magnitude. Messrs. Cox and Danks, Ltd, of London, who are well known as iron and steel merchants, decided to combine the business of shipbreaking with their other activities, and to that end acquired a lease of the pier, offices and warehouses formerly used in connection with the Queenborough-Flushing shipping service.

The first two vessels acquired for demolition were the
[British] dreadnoughts Orion and Erin, sentenced to destruction under the Washington Agreement. The Orion, commissioned in 1912, was of 22,500 tons displacement, and carried as main armament ten 13.5 guns. The Erin was built by Messrs. Vickers for the Turkish Government under the name Reshadieh. She had not been delivered at the time war broke ish [sic] Government and put into commission in August, 1914. The Erin was comparable with the Orion in size, having a displacement of 23,000 tons. In speed and main armament the two vessels were identical, and both had a 12in. armour belt. Both of these vessels were at the battle of Jutland.

Members of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers who visited the Queenborough establishment were very interested in the cutting up of the guns, turrets and other large masses of metal by means of oxyacetylene apparatus of Messrs. Cox and Dank's own design. The burner was carried on a long slide attached to the work to be cut, and was traversed along as the cut proceeded by a small electric motor. The heaviest cutting appeared to be in connection with the breeches of the big 13.5in. guns. The flame in this case cut through 21in. of solid metal, including the wire winding, leaving a comparatively smooth sided cut about 1in. wide. The 10in. armour plating of the turrets was cut into rectangular slabs of a weight suitable for transport, the cut surface being extraordinarily smooth and regular considering the method employed.


Hawkesbury Herald, Thursday 31 January 1924.

Photo. John Griffiths.
http://www.pbase.com/luckytrev/image/41150825
If this photo was taken at Queenborough this is unlikely to be a German gun.
Don't Let the Devil Ride Chris and Abby

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Cox and Danks Shipbreaking Company
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2013, 23:03:00 »
Ernest F. G. Cox was an electrical and mechanical engineer born in Wolverhampton in mid 1883.
In 1913 he set up the firm of Cox and Danks Ltd, iron and steel merchants, with his wife's cousin T. Danks as a silent partner and financier.
Cox brought out Tom Danks interests in 1919, and opened a scrap metal business in Sheffield.
In 1921 he opened a ship breaking yard in Queenborough, Kent. In 1924 he brought the rights to salvage the German High Seas Fleet that had been scuttled at Scapa Flow in the Orkneys by its German crews.
By the mid 1930's Cox had sold his marine salvage interests to Alloa shipbreaking, after which he opened 7 large scrapyards across England.
In 1949 he sold Cox and Danks to the Metal Industries group.
Ernest Cox died in early 1959 at the age of seventy-five.
Don't Let the Devil Ride Chris and Abby

 

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