British based defense contractor BAE has started to dismantle the large yellow, hammer head crane on the outfitting quay at Buccleuch Dock in Barrow, England.
The crane was erected in 1942, replacing an older crane that had been hit by bombers during an air raid on the town of Barrow and its docks by the Luftwaffe 1941..Two watchmen, posted on top of the crane died when it was hit.
The crane a classic hammerhead design has been used to fit-out liners and warships ever since and has been a visual reference point for the area given its height of over 50 metres.
BAE says that around two metres of the crane’s base will remain along with a one fifth scale model of it, made by an apprentice and mounted on a plinth at the site, together with a plaque identifying it as a war memorial.
The crane was last used for the outfitting of HMS Bulwark in 2004, since then its maximum lift capacity was first reduced to just 25 tonnes and then it was finally condemned last year.
BAE spokeswoman Alyson Russell-Stevenson said: “We have been looking at this for a really long time. The crane has not been used for a good number of years. It is starting to rust. It has to come down for health and safety reasons
“It will be safely dismantled and will be gone in six to eight weeks. We need to take it down while it is still in a safe state for us to take it apart. It has also got asbestos in it so we would not have been able to get it fixed up.”
A number of similar but older cranes have been rescued around the world and fully restored along the lines of the Titan crane in Glasgow which has kicked off its new career , as a tourist attraction, very successfully.
Sadly it sounds as though this particular crane is too far gone to be rebuilt and perhaps given the fact that it is not that far from the Glasgow crane its prospects for tourism were limited?