October 15, 2020
GREAT ADMIRALTY WORKS - THE EAST SIDE
We print today the forth in the series of photos from Book II - The East Side - folio iv.
Photo 1 – Photograph taken on 3rd May 1898, looking in a south easterly direction, of the elevated timber platform, being referred to as ‘Mixing Stages’ and understood to be referring to the concrete mixing stage. Wagons carrying materials would be rolled in from below, with the crane lifting the hoppers from above for subsequent mixing of the aggregates to form the concrete.
Photo 2 – This is a second photograph taken on the same day as the foregoing, but looking in a north easterly direction, and shows the gantry crane moving what appears to be a concrete block. Clearly visible is the stockpile of concrete blocks stacked for curing of the concrete and waiting to be transported elsewhere for use. Also visible on this photograph are natural stone blocks, lying on top of a flat top wagon. These stone blocks appear to still be in a rough condition awaiting ‘dressing’ of the block into its final size and shape, again for use elsewhere.
Photo 3 – This photograph was taken on 1st September 1898, looking southwards, with the North Face of the Rock clearly visible in the background. We again note the elevated timber platform but interesting to note is the two timber containers resting on the platform, understood to be the moulds used to cast the concrete blocks seen on the previous photograph. This is borne out by the caption on the photograph which tells that the photograph was taken from the area of the ‘block moulds.
Photo 4 – This photograph was taken on 29th May 1899, almost a year after the first photograph depicted within this set. This photograph is looking north, with Eastern Beach to the right on what appears to be a heavy levanter day, judging by the condition of the sea. This is a general view of the stockpile area where blocks of various sizes and materials were being stored. In the centre and slightly to the right of the photograph we can see the moulds used for casting the concrete and forming them into blocks of various sizes, with some at different various stages of the casting process. Towards the left-hand side, although we also see the moulds, we note natural stone blocks which have been dressed, meaning that they have been shaped to their finished size and texture. In the background, we can see three stacks of blocks being stored beneath each of the three gantry cranes, with larger concrete blocks on the right, what appears to be dressed stone blocks at the centre and smaller concrete blocks to the left.
(Photographs reproduced with permission.)