Author Topic: Short Brothers of Rochester  (Read 29440 times)

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Offline rossco

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Re: Short Brothers of Rochester
« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2009, 18:26:42 »
My question is what are the 2 concrete structures on the Medway riverbed on close to the Shorts Bros. slipway. I have been told they are AA gun positions but this dosn't seem right.
Can post photos when i know how....

Just further along the river outside Oliver Twist Close are the remains of the where Medway Tower stood, part of Fort Clarence defences. More on it here: http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=1110.15

seafordpete

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Re: Short Brothers of Rochester
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2009, 13:45:51 »
March 14,1939

The King and Queen at Rochester - Tour of Aircraft Works



At one point in the tour the King and Queen walked far into the catacombs driven into the hill behind the works. These underground passages,from 60 ft. to 300 ft. under the surface,serve as the air raid shelter for all the thousands of employees.
Short.

Just for once we had actually built shelters BEFORE the war started

Offline kyn

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Re: Short Brothers of Rochester
« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2009, 19:34:04 »







































Offline rossco

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Re: Short Brothers of Rochester
« Reply #35 on: September 06, 2009, 18:40:06 »
You can never get bored wandering around that place. Maybe lost, but not bored!

Heres a couple of my pics:










PowerSurge

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Re: Short Brothers of Rochester
« Reply #34 on: September 06, 2009, 17:24:02 »
It was great to finally see shorts first hand.







Offline Merc

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Re: Short Brothers of Rochester
« Reply #33 on: September 05, 2009, 21:08:26 »
March 14, 1939

The King and Queen at Rochester - Tour of Aircraft Works

The King and Queen spent more than an hour today in one of the most crowded and active aircraft factories in the land. They travelled by road to Rochester to visit the works of Messrs Short Bros,where whole fleets of flying-boats for the ocean routes of Imperial Airways and for the service of the R.A.F. are in course of construction. They watched blue prints being made. They saw aircraft parts being beaten into shape with a mallet or machined to precise limits,or being fitted together with jigs. Finally they stood on the slipway in the rain to watch one of the military boats, launched only last night, take off on its first flight.

They must have walked fully a mile on their way from the entrance gate through shops and subterranean passages to the exit at the far end. In the course of their walk the King and Queen talked to many of the men and women in their overalls. At one point in the tour the King and Queen walked far into the catacombs driven into the hill behind the works. These underground passages,from 60 ft. to 300 ft. under the surface,serve as the air raid shelter for all the thousands of employees. The figure of the Queen dressed in a violet costume and hat trimmed with fur,was watched by many of the workpeople as it passed deeper into the well-lit burrow and at last vanished round a bend far into the heart of the hill. Returning from the 600 ft. long shelter.

They went on to the shop where hundreds of wing-tip floats were being made,and next they found themselves in a shop where the hulls of many Sunderlands were being put together on huge jigs. By this time the heavy clouds had brought a cold rain,but as the visitors emerged the four engines of the latest Sunderland began to roar and the flying-boat moved steadily away and lifting off the water climbed over Rochester bridge. Their majesties stood on the river bank while the big seaplane circled over the works,an umbrella held thoughtfully high enough over the Queen to protect her hat without obscuring her view. Afterwards they drove away to Rochester aerodrome to see the land aircraft which are being built there. The King and Queen were guided on these tours of inspection by Mr. Oswald Short.

Offline kyn

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Re: Short Brothers of Rochester
« Reply #32 on: September 04, 2009, 15:46:46 »
Between the years 1948 and the 1960?s parts of the Shorts site has been owned or rented by various people.

CAV Ltd - Juy 1954
Blaw Knox Ltd - Dec 1955
Ozonair Eng. Ltd - Oct 1958
Wm Palfrey Ltd - Nov 1960
City of Rochester Highway - March 1961
CAV Ltd - Nov 1963
Berry Ede & White - Sep 1975
Medway BC - Feb 1978

Offline AlanH

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Re: Short Brothers of Rochester
« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2009, 09:30:30 »
This is a great thread which I'm following with much interest. My Dad worked at Shorts for many years at the Esplanade and in Guildford I think (the years are getting the better of me now!) and I did an apprenticeship at Blaw Knox who occupied the old No 18 (?) workshop at the time as well as building the new and last building at the end of the Esplanade.
For someone who asked earlier, at least 2 of the air vents into the tunnels came out up on the bank where BK built their Admin. block, River House, on Shorts Way.
BK used to store a lot of equipment up on that bank.
The Admin. building can be seen on the first pic. showing the  apartments creeping along the riverside as the buildings are removed to make way for them.
As a matter of ghoulish interest, a dentist threw himself off the M2 bridge, Borstal side, on a long rope around 1962 and he could be clearly seen by all the workers trudging up the Esplanade on the way to work early that morning. :o
I believe he killed himself after shooting his wife earlier.
The best view was had by the people who lived in the houses close to the bridge as they opened their curtains....... :(

Just thought I'd give a little more history of that area!
Alan.

Offline afsrochester

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Re: Short Brothers of Rochester
« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2009, 18:38:51 »
I was really interested to read about Shorts on the Esplande. My Grandfather worked there during the War years in the Drawing Office. (Sidney Neary). I am paticularly interested in the events of 8/9 April 1941 when 3 AFS fremen were killed. Originally, it appeared that it was as the result of one incident. However subsequent research leads me to believe that there were 2 seperate occasions.

Two AFS men from Rochester were killed when a parachute mine scored a direct on their sub-station; Firemen Gibbons from Dorrit Way and Fireman Chater from City Way in the early hours of 8th April. It now seems that AFS Fireman Fred Ryder from Henry Street and a member of Chatham AFS, was killed at roughly the same time the following day when a parachute mine exploded outside the entrance to Shorts. It is very confusing as the entrance to Shorts and the AFS sub-station at that time,  were not that far apart. Their deaths were reported in the local press and from those reports, would appear to be two seperate incidents. If anyone can help with additional information, or if they know of any of their family members still surviving, I would be most grateful to hear from them.

Offline AlanH

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Re: Short Brothers of Rochester
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2009, 07:05:49 »
That is a great picture. The last building was the "new" BK workshop erected around 1960 together with the admin. building up on the bank at the back of the factories.
Thanks for posting it as it brings back many memories, mostly good.
Alan.

Offline numanfan

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Re: Short Brothers of Rochester
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2009, 11:47:08 »
The Blaw Knox buildings in 1989, at the far end of The Esplanade. The new houses can be seen 'creeping' along the road




Cropped & closer.

www.move2medway.co.uk - take the journey

Offline Riding With The Angels

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Re: Short Brothers of Rochester
« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2009, 10:31:35 »
Just realised Sarafand pic is the Valetta again! Sorry here it is -


Offline Riding With The Angels

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Re: Short Brothers of Rochester
« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2009, 22:09:01 »
Very well.....

Launched 17 Aug 1926 Short S5 Singapore I G-EBUP was spotted at Felixstowe by Sir Alan Cobham who later flew it on the African Survey Flight 1927-8 over 20,000 miles in eleven hours on 600 gallons of fuel.


Valetta and Mussel II


Shorts Mussel II in which Eustace Short learned to fly in July 1926. He died at the controls taxiing to the river bank 8 Apr
il 1932. It was scrapped in 1933. Note Fort Clarence in the background.


Short S.17 Kent 'Scipio' before her launch for maiden flight 12 March 1931


Short SII Valetta 1930 later flown by Alan Cobham to survey the Nile the following year.


The only Short Sarafand with 6 engines in tandem pairs built in 1931 having is wings put on in the barge yard.


The first prototype Empire boat 9 Feb 1936
<
br />
The maiden fight of Canopus 2 July 1936.


Golden Hind before her launch June 1939


The Mayo Composite


The Mercury under construction at The Barge Yard 1936


Mercury after launch 9 Sept 1937


L2158 The first Sunderland.


Female workers on the Sunderland ass
embly line.


King George VI and Queen Elizabeth having a tour by Oswald 1938.








Offline Riding With The Angels

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Re: Short Brothers of Rochester
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2009, 17:09:30 »
Shorts 310 type A 1916. Oswald Short on right of photo.


Shorts F.3 flying boats being constructed May 1918. The hulls were built at the Strood boat yard opposite and then towed across and assembled in No.3 shop.


N4041 (an F.5) along with N4044 from Felixstowe made a 2,450 mile tour of Scandanavia and the Baltic during July 1919.



Offline kyn

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Re: Short Brothers of Rochester
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2009, 11:32:12 »
November 1978

 

anything