Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
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Volume Three - The Pontoon Era - The plant specification, pumping plan and operation of the pontoon . . .

Within the Newcastle Archives are documents and drawings relating to yard number 845 of Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Co Ltd which includes specification, drawings and quotations for the plant and equipment for the pontoon. Included is a pumping plan which provides a valuable insight into how the pontoon was intended to be operated. The pontoon was built in two halves basically as mirror images of each other, complete with plant and ancillary equipment of identical specification. The following description is therefore generally relates to one half only.

penarth pontoon

Plant Rooms
- A plant room was installed at the top of the wall and contained the boiler and engines to drive the pumps for one totally independent hydraulic system to drain and fill one half of the pontoon. The front and plan elevations show the plant rooms and the layout of the boiler and pumps of the aft section. The plant room was cantilevered outwards on the quay wall side so as to provide the operatives a gangway with clear access along the top of the wall to operate the pontoon and associated equipment in order to ensure the stability and trim of the ship and pontoon during the delicate lifting and lowering operations.

Boiler plant and engines

The boiler plant specified is a similar water tube boiler to that shown on the left being a standard configuration, Babcock & Wilcox which was a manually coal fired package.

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