Bristol City Docks 1989

A Memory of Bristol

Two of the cranes were purchased by 'City Dock Ventures' and two by the city council. All four were put into the museums care in 1989. Although the electricity supply to them was cut in 1974, one has been restored and another is in the process of being restored by a dedicated team of volunteers, led by Dave 'The Crane' Cole.

One crane is now fully working and sometimes open for the public to go up to the cab and see it in action. It has also been used for TV programmes and plays. They remain the only partially or fully working old city dockside cranes in the country.

Often the driver couldn't see where he was lowering the cargo to so he completely relied on a banksman (on the shore) or a hatchman (on the ship) to relay how to manoeuvre with hand signals. The drivers had to obey the signals. Although there were set signals, every banksman would do them slightly differently and some in a very subtle manner, so a driver had to be able to interpret them well.

A memory shared by Paul Townsend , on Dec 28th, 2009.

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