The third floor of the M Shed, a museum dedicated to the story of Bristol and its “unique place in the world”, offers exceptional views of the Floating Harbour and various points of nautical interest. Here are some of the main points of interest; photographed on a remarkably sunny afternoon.
The Electric Cranes.
40 cranes like these once worked the City Docks during Bristols 1950’s maritime hay day, but now only four remain. These cranes were a product of the Stothert & Pitt works in Bath.
It is difficult to believe that this ship is not even as old as I am; the ship being commissioned in 1994. The Matthew, captained by John Cabot, set sail from Bristol and across the Atlantic to find a new sea route to Asia, but bumped into Newfoundland instead.
The Fairbairn Steam Crane.
To quote the M Shed’s website, “The striking banana-shaped crane is the Fairbairn Steam crane, now the oldest surviving exhibit of its type in Britain and a Scheduled Ancient Monument“. The steam crane is also a product of the Stothert & Pitt works in Bath and, according to a certain on line encyclopaedia, it weighs in at 35 tons. You can also see two trains from the M Shed’s collection and I believe the one on the left is “Henbury”, built by Bristol based locomotive manufacturers Peckett & Sons in 1937.
The tug, John King, was built in 1935 to tow cargo ships from the City Docks to the mouth of the River Avon.