More help for crane project.

Some good news to pass on this milder, Monday morning regarding efforts to restore what is believed to be the oldest crane surviving to be made at Bath’s world famous Stothert and Pitt works.

The crane before it was dismantled.

It’s a portable hand crane which was built at the Newark Works around 1864. During its working life it was used to load cut blocks of stone onto railway wagons at Corsham.

The leader of what is a small restoration team is Peter Dunn – who himself is an ex S & P employee.

Peter Dunn

He tells me:

‘The project team is delighted to have received a generous donation from Hawker Joinery of Bath.

Hawker Joinery had a longstanding relationship with Stothert and Pitt.  Colin Frayling, who visited to see the progress on the restoration of the crane, is the great great grandson of the founder of the company​, Frederick William Hawker.

Mr Fredrick William Hawker at Northend, Batheaston.

For ​many years the timber work on the cranes (​crane house, incorporating the driver​’s cabin, winding ​drum, ​electrical motors) ​and rope slides, walkways and buffer blocks were built​ on the Stothert and Pitt site under the supervision of Frederick William Hawker who was carpenter shop foreman at Stothert and Pitt at that time.

 ​Then, from 1919 ​Hawker Joinery set up their own business in Steway Lane, Northend, ​Batheaston. ​Frederick William was followed by Frederick William Benjamin Hawker.

Peter said: ‘The firm continues its proud tradition a hundred years later, and the donation to our project is in recognition of longstanding links between local industries.

We have also been given grants from – 

The Association of Industrial Archaeology (AIA)

The Bristol Industrial Archaeological Society (BIAS) 

Mr Steve Kerss 

Plus match funding from The Bath Stone Quarry Museum Trust (BSQMT) who will have donate the crane to the City of Bath.’

Inspecting the new paintwork on the crane parts – L to R – Brent Pollard of Hawker Joinery, Peter Dunn and Colin Frayling.

Peter is hoping – if the money can be raised – the restored crane might go on permanent display at the new flag-ship Bath Quays office-led development on the old Newark Works site.

If anyone is interested in helping with this project please contact Peter Dunn on 07719911421 or email on