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Local school children gaze 150ft below

Oct 2008 – Last day of Season 2

The Clydebank Titan Crane stands:

  • 150ft tall,
  • weighs 800tons
  • has foundations set approximately 80 feet deep.
  • It's canteliever is 240ft in length, the long arm being 150ft long and the shorter 90ft

When designing a Crane, a number of elements had to be considered by the engineers

  • the anticipated maximum lifting load required (hence the increase to 200tons for the Duke of York in 1938).
  • another consideration was the height to which the crane would have to lift a load in order to clear the structure of the ship,  known as the 'lifting range', and the distance out from the quay side a load could be taken, known as the 'radial capacity'.

During construction, small sub-assemblies of the cantilever weighing just a few tons were lifted by means of hand-powered cranes and riveted in place after first fixing with temporary bolts and adjusted for alignment etc. For lifting the heavier sections of machinery, a steam powered crane was provided.

The crane was initially fitted with two 'hoists' the main one able to lift very heavy loads of up to 150tons and a 30ton 'auxiliary' hoist to ensure that the crane remained useful for lifting lighter loads, as the very heavy lifts were comparatively few.  This lifting capacity was increased to 200tons in 1938 to assist with the war effort.

The success of John Brown's as a world leading shipyard, was attributable, in part, to the sheer lifting capacity of the Titan.  This lifting capacity helped John Brown's win many contracts that led to the huge passenger liners and battleships for which it is famous being built here.

The crane passed its commissioning tests and was accepted by John Browns on 24 April 1907.  Despite being a major target during the war, the Crane and shipyard survived the devastating Clydebank Blitz in March 1941.  More information on the Clydeside Blitz can be found at the Blitz on Clydeside website.