We’ve only gone and done it!

Here’s a story l was following last year and – as 2022 dawns – it’s good to hear that restoration work on the Stothert & Pitt circa 1864 six-ton crane that spent all its working life in the stone industry around the Wiltshire village of Box, is now complete.

It is due to be assembled on a permanent public display site within the South Quays development project – originally the Newark Works complex in Bath.  This has been delayed due to the site’s landscaping not being complete and is now scheduled to be installed sometime in mid-2022. 

The new pedestrian bridge that will link the development site. Library photo.

On behalf of the Crane Restoration Group, Peter Dunn tells me: ‘I would like to thank all involved with this project. Starting with Nina Roberts, who is in the process of transferring ownership of the crane to the City of Bath for public display.

The rest of our team, Mary Sabina Stacy, Arthur Feltham, Varian Tye, Mike Dodds, Stuart Burroughs and Tony Wray for their work, support, and fundraising efforts over the last 3 years.

  Also our funders – The Bath Stone Quarry Museum Trust, The Association for Industrial Archaeology, The Bristol Industrial Archaeological Society, Hawker Joinery, The Cotswolds National Landscape plus some private individuals.

Also Bath & North East Somerset Council for taking ownership of the crane to be displayed for public viewing. It is an important piece of Bath’s Industrial heritage.

To date, there has been a total of 1107 volunteer hours put into this project

During 2021 we refitted the hoist gearing and drum, made and lined a new band brake, fitted the timber deck to the truck frame, obtained a replacement hoist chain cleaned it, and wound it onto the hoist drum. The trickiest job was fitting the head and foot castings to the replacement timber jib. An interesting and challenging piece of woodwork.’

Well done to all involved Peter and we look forward to the crane becoming a permanent memorial to a great engineering company that was at the working heart of this city.