We Dunn it!

[Peter Dunn who led the restoration team of volunteers]

I am so pleased today’s early morning downpour didn’t wreck the little gathering at Bath’s new South Quays business site to witness the official handing over to the city of a proud monument to the engineering giant that once occupied this site.

Land still better known as the former home of Stothert and Pitt’s Newark Works where thousands of local men and women helped the firm gain the reputation of being ‘crane makers to the world.’

Some years ago a group of volunteers – many of whom had been apprentices at the factory – got their hands on an old hand operated quarry crane – made by the firm in Bath around 1864 – and have spent the last four years restoring it.

The team – led by former S & P employee Peter Dunn – recorded at least 11,000 hours of work on the project.

As the now unveiled plaque in front of this mechanical marvel states:

‘It’s believed to be the oldest known surviving crane – built by S and P – so it is a fitting tribute to the thousands of people who worked for the company between 1855 and 1989. The crane is a reminder of the goods produced by the firm and of the stone quarrying history of Bath, Box and the Cotswolds National landscape.’

Well done Mr Dunn – and your team!

Amongst the guests was Caroline Pitt – a direct descendant of the original factory co-owner!

I only had a small hand mike to play with today but did my best to bring you a snatch of some speeches and the unveiling.

Also amongst the guests was the Chair of B&NES, Cllr Sarah Moore and the Mayor of Bath, Cllr Dine Romero.

Do pop down and walk across our new pedestrian/cycle river crossing – the Newark Bridge – and have a look!


  1. Hi Richard
    Congratulations to Peter Dunn and his team for all their hard work. I’m looking forward to viewing the crane hopefully in September which will be my next visit to the city. I understand that Peter is also involved in keeping Claverton Pumping Station in working order? Best wishes Nick

  2. Well done Mike and the team. This is a good example of how a small dedicated group of volunteers can achieve high standards on a complex practical restoration project over a reasonable period of time. They use just a few thousand pounds to do about £50,000 worth of restoration, saved an early and important piece of machinery, and have provide evidence of Stothert and Pitt’s manufacturing presence in Bath.
    It would be shameful if S & P’s products which survive all over the world were not also still visible in their home city.
    Geoff Wallis, AIA Council.

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