The restored travelling gantry crane was reinstalled into the Musgrave Engine House in March last year but it was missing the hook block, this was the only major part of the crane to go missing after the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks shut in 1980. A new design was drawn up based on detailed scaling from old photographs together with lengthy discussions to ensure the dimensions were matched with modern components and standards. The design was then approved by Cadw.
No original crane and hook block drawings were found in 4 years of searching the Musgrave Collection in the Bolton Archives. On our last visit to the archives (which took place after the new hook block was designed) we did find a crane drawing for 1909 with a hook block for a different works, and we are very pleased to say that it does look very similar to the new design drawn up by R.C Jones(Lifting) Limited who have done a great job in the design and production of the new hook block.
The new hook block arrived at the Henderson Engineering workshop in resplendent red (for health and safety purposes), looking very large and weighing in at 120Kg which is almost twice as heavy as Tom!
The hook block was fitted on 21st February and this proved to be a relatively straightforward task. Keith, standing on the new basement infill panels is watching on while Tom adds some grease to ensure the mechanism works smoothly.
A comparison of photos of the old and new hook block inside the Musgrave Engine House show the proportions are spot on….well done Tom on your extensive research.
Thanks to Weaver Contractors and City and County of Swansea for facilitating this work. The engine house is looking great with the new basement infill panels which allowed us to freely walk around in the Musgrave Engine House when fitting the new hook block. All the controls on the crane worked well and we can’t wait to make use of it. The hook block has now been winched up and is waiting for some action (subject to the crane being load tested and gaining the appropriate certification).