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Author Topic: Cable and Wireless  (Read 3756 times)

Bryan Young

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Cable and Wireless
« on: May 20, 2007, 08:14:16 pm »

In no particular order...except for the cartoon, which was pretty accurate!
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2007, 08:39:40 pm »

Cable & Wireless had some wonderful looking vessels. I remember seeing sone of them at Southampton in the Sixties, including Retriever if my memory is correct.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2007, 10:45:23 pm »

8 happyish years with them learning the obscure ins and outs of navigation and hydrography. Quite an education!
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RickF

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2007, 11:16:21 pm »

Mirror and Norseman look more like Edwardian gentlemen's steam yachts than working vessels. Any info on them, Bryan?

Rick
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Bryan Young

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2007, 06:50:00 pm »

re-Norseman and Mirror.
Loads of info on "Norseman". Shipbuilders plans etc. It helped that I was 3rd mate on her in the early 1960s. Ask as many questions as you wish...but put them via my e-mail (see profiles). Any problems come back through here. Cheers. BY.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2007, 11:00:24 pm »

Cable & Wireless had some wonderful looking vessels. I remember seeing sone of them at Southampton in the Sixties, including Retriever if my memory is correct.
You are quite correct. The berth we used was right up beside the entrance to the graving dock, this berth/warehouse was the base for the storage etc. of submarine cables (can't remember its proper name, but something like Standard and Submarine Telephones Ltd.)
"Retriever", and her slightly later sister "Cable Enterprise"(1964) plus the cable layer "Mercury" all won "Ship of the Year" award for all the proper reasons. Beutifully designed, superbly appointed, well run and examples of what a ship should be. All gone now. Sob.
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Roger in France

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2007, 06:13:45 am »

Please, what is a "graving dock"?

Roger in France.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2007, 08:13:37 am »

Quote
Please, what is a "graving dock"?

It's just another name for a dry dock.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2007, 06:27:35 pm »

Quote
Please, what is a "graving dock"?

It's just another name for a dry dock.
Shame on you Colin!
As far as I can recall, a Dry Dock has swinging gates and a Graving Dock has a caisson closure....or is it the other way round???
No doubt someone will ask what a "caisson" is, but we can leave that for awhile!
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2007, 07:01:13 pm »

A fine distinction Bryan - but probably correct! Still, it all ends up the same way in the end - you stick the boat in, close the door(s) and pump the water out.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2007, 11:08:16 pm »

A fine distinction Bryan - but probably correct! Still, it all ends up the same way in the end - you stick the boat in, close the door(s) and pump the water out.
In the dim, dark and distant past there must have been a reason for the distinction. I would suggest (suggest only) that the history lies in the word "graving". Let us look at the "dry-docks" in Devonport (Plymouth). I am not too sure if it is open to the public, but there is an almost intact medeival slipway there. When ships were smaller they could be dragged up a ramp and "fixed"..probably using the tides to help.
This became impractical and so "holes" were cut to put a ship in...and closed to stop the water getting in again. This may seem very obvious, but there is an example of a "dock" carved out of rocks underneath Dunstanbrough Castle (Northumberland) that probably goes back to the 10th century.
Back to Plymouth...the older docks there are of granite and shaped to fit the sort of ship that was going to be "graved". In those days without hydraulics etc. having "gates" would have been undreamt of...but caissons had been used for centuries. A floating "plug" basically. And they still work. As Colin says, they do the same job but with a different principle behind the engineering.
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Roger in France

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2007, 06:26:50 am »

Thanks for the information. I guessed it was a dry dock but wondered if it was a special dock in some way for breaking up ships. i.e. sending them to their grave.

Roger in France.
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sinjon

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2007, 07:48:30 am »

Not that it adds anything, but my book states,   (The Country Life Book of Nautical Terms Under Sail)
GRAVING. Cleaning a vessel's bottom by burning off weeds and barnacles before re-tarring, a process necessarily performed in a dry dock or while the ship is careened.

Colin
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Bryan Young

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2007, 05:03:20 pm »

Go on then..I dare you...who is going to be the first to ask what "careening" is...!
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catengineman

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2007, 09:18:00 pm »

Thats a subtle way to ASK the question

Richard,        (not sure but have an idea)


To lay a ship onto it's side by use of it's masts
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sinjon

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2007, 08:03:08 am »

Actually, I wondered how you BURN weeds and barnacles off the bottom of a tarred wooden boat - sounds a little risky to me.

Colin
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Bryan Young

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2007, 04:35:52 pm »

Actually, I wondered how you BURN weeds and barnacles off the bottom of a tarred wooden boat - sounds a little risky to me.

Colin
Never used a blowlamp to remove paint from wood? And remember the ships timbers would be pretty well wetted through. The system worked....usually.
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Bunkerbarge

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2007, 10:18:25 pm »

I always thought a graving dock was any type of land based dry dock whatever the doors as opposed to the more common floating dry docks used nowadays.

A casson is a single door that folds down onto the river bed as opposed to two hinged doors.  In both cases the water pressure provides the seal, with the two doors they are angles outwards providing a tightening of the two doors against each other and with a casson it goes over the flat end of the dock.

Two doors are much stronger so are used for the larger types of dock.  Many is the time I have stood at the bottom of a pair of dock gates with the ship behind me looking up at the huge gates above me and wondering,

"I wonder what would happen if they broke now!"
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Bunkerbarge

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2007, 10:21:08 pm »

I've just checked and this is from Wikepedia:


Graving Dock
The classic form of drydock, properly known as graving dock, is a narrow basin, usually made of earthen berms and concrete, closed by gates or by a caisson, into which a vessel may be floated and the water pumped out, leaving the vessel supported on blocks. The keel blocks as well as the bilge block are placed on the floor of the dock in accordance with the "docking plan" of the ship.

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Bryan Young

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2007, 11:10:41 pm »

I've just checked and this is from Wikepedia:


Graving Dock
The classic form of drydock, properly known as graving dock, is a narrow basin, usually made of earthen berms and concrete, closed by gates or by a caisson, into which a vessel may be floated and the water pumped out, leaving the vessel supported on blocks. The keel blocks as well as the bilge block are placed on the floor of the dock in accordance with the "docking plan" of the ship.


We are'nt much further ahead with this one then! Perhaps one of them ghost busters could ask Mr. Brunel his opinion?
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Bunkerbarge

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2007, 11:39:17 pm »

I thought it was sorted. 

A graving dock is any kind of land based dry dock, no matter what is used to close it, as opposed to a floating dry dock.
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farrow

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2007, 11:43:26 pm »

Chatham Naval Dockyard had several dry docks and one graving dock. All had cassion gates, but the graving dock was the biggest and was on it's own on St Mary's Island. The docks were all used for similar work, although there was no heavy industry workshops near the graving dock. Although the Flag Officer and the Captain of the Port used to go shooting on St Marys.
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farrow

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Re: Cable and Wireless
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2007, 09:27:30 pm »

cassions are floating gates which are sunk in the entrance to seal the dock, then pumped out and removed to open the docks. Nearly all the Naval Dockyards had these instead of gates. The pilots loved moving them as they were paid by draft as well as length and some of these cassions could draw 20+ feet, as much as a loaded tanker payment for less worry.
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