The importance of Birkenhead as the centre of world large steam crane making - especially
James Taylor of the Britannia Engine Works - from about 1855 to about 1889 The Britannia Works of James Taylor and Son was in Cleveland Street in Birkenhead click cranes
Alongside the path in front of a Celtic cross in Flaybrick
is the grave of James Taylor Cochran (1848-1916) who built the ‘Resurgam', the worlds first mechanically powered
submarine at the Britannia Iron Works in 1879. Designed by the Reverend George Garrett.
The Resurgam was 45 feet in length, 7 feet in
diameter, had a displacement of 30 tons and cost £1,397 to build. It took 30 Shire horses to pull it the 300 yards to the Great Float where it was 'launched' on the 26 November.
The submarine was steam driven using a Lamb Smokeless Steam Generator, however, with carbon monoxide fumes leaking from the boiler and a temperature that could exceed 110 °F with the
hatch closed, conditions inside made life very difficult for the crew. It had a top speed of 3 knots and a cruising depth of 150 feet.Resurgam‘s maiden voyage was to be its last. On 24 February 1880 it sank whilst being towed
from Rhyl by the yacht Elphin. Conditions on the boat were so bad that the crew had to transfer to the Elphin and the hatch could not be sealed from the outside. The heavy seas
poured down the open hatch until the towing hawser broke and the worlds first mechanically powered submarine sank off the Great Ormes' Head. Resurgam was discovered in 1995 and is
now in the process of being raised.