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#692019 - 10th May 2012 10:33am Britannia Engine Works & James Taylor and Son
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 5015
Loc: Birkenhead
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.


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Edited by derekdwc (10th May 2012 10:36am)

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#692329 - 11th May 2012 1:39pm Re: Britannia Engine Works & James Taylor and Son [Re: derekdwc]
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 5015
Loc: Birkenhead
There was a huge shed used by the Co-op about there.
It's roof was supposed to be the biggest of it's kind in Europe at one time,
I wonder if it had anything to do with Britannia works.

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#692499 - 11th May 2012 11:10pm Re: Britannia Engine Works & James Taylor and Son [Re: derekdwc]
Norton Online   Reading

Smartchild

Registered: 29th Sep 2011
Posts: 614
Loc: Wallasey
The Co-op garaged a range of vehicles in the shed, from milk floats to coal waggons. I don't think it was that old - maybe late 50's / early 60's, so no trace of its earlier life. I only went in there a couple of times.
As the coal trade declined after the natural gas conversions, they sold off some of their waggons and rented out part of the space for garaging or other uses. In at least one instance, one of their 'old' coal waggons carried on living in the shed but with a new owner, but still carrying coal.
In fact, those waggons were quite short lived with the Co-op, as they were long wheelbase Bedford TK's with OCM 3xx H registrations, from July 1969, but were sold off in the mid 70's.

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