Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
Penarth Dock, South Wales - the heritage & legacy . . .

Volume Two - The Era of Optimism, Investment & Development - The gridiron and slipway of the Penarth Shipbuilding & Ship Repairing Co. . . .

A pen and ink drawing of a vessel undergoing repair upon the gridiron of the Penarth Ship Building and Ship Repairing Company Limited.

A vessel undergoing repair upon the gridiron of the Penarth Ship Building and Ship Repairing Company Limited sometime in the period between 1882 (when R. Monroe superseded G. Cooper as manager of the Company) and prior to November 1885, when the vessel seen on the gridiron, the 'City of Manchester', was lost off Ushant, France.

The pen and ink wash drawing above was made by Julie [124] in the Summer of 2016 when she was shown a faded photograph owned by an old school friend from the Penarth area whilst visiting her sister, Judith. It had been passed down from her friend's grandfather whom she recalled was a shipwright. It was not known at that time that the photograph was of the Penarth gridiron and she thought it was perhaps at Cardiff.

In March 2018, an identical photograph came up for sale on a well known auction website and I recognised it immediately as being the same as that within Julie's sketch pad. The sale photograph was framed, in good condition but, sadly, priced way outside my budget. However, it has provided a great deal of information which has assisted in the positive identification of the vessel, approximate date, photographer and location.

The title detail is as follows :

Penarth Ship Building and Ship Repairing Co., Limited, Penarth Dock, Cardiff. Slipway, 867 feet in length. Gridiron, 374 feet in length. Robert Monroe, Manager.

Below the photograph are the words :

s.s. "City of Manchester," Whitby, undergoing repairs on gridiron. Length, 350 feet. Breath, 42 feet. Depth, 27 feet. Weight of vessel when photographed, 3,520 tons. M. R. Collings, Photo, Cardiff.

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