Photo of The Month
February
Princetown Pocket Power Station

Princetown Pocket Generating Station
Published for Purely for Sentimental Reasons.
In 1959 as a young Engineer fresh from schooling I designed (under supervision) the unorthodox foundations for the site on the basis that the building would revert to a store within 15 years. It actually it served for 43 years and carried on for 10 years more than me. At that time I was a mixed up civil and electrical engineer in CCD (about to receive a degree) and was asked to go with Hal Langford, CCD's Civil Engineer, to see the site at Princetown which was behaving as a "Dunlopillo Mattress" or in more modern lingo a "Bouncing Castle" tossing JCB's and Bulldozers all over the place. A truly amazing site.
The total budget for the foundations was 800 and it was made clear to us that exceeding the estimate was not on - cancellation of the project was the only alternative. Solid Rock existed over 50 feet down but pile driving to that depth was too costly by far, so a raft was the only cost effective solution. A quick assessment of the relative masses of the building, the turbines and exhaust system and of the total rotating mass called for a complete separation of the building on the one hand and the turbine and exhaust system on the other onto two separate rafts free to move relative to each other. There was however a strong possibility that the raft carying the rotating masses would develop a tilt giving the exhaust "chimney" an angle to the vertical. This was avoided by drilling 8 well bore holes with a 4" diameter lining and forcing concrete down them to form a pad at a depth of around 25 feet. Hammer tests on these short piles showed that while not capable of completely supporting the mass above they did assist and when locked into the raft they prevented any tilt.


Photo of The Month
March
Dolcoath Mine Power Station

Dolcoath Mine Power Station
Dolcoath Mine was one of the first where the pumping was converted to electricity. This photo is an early picture of the substation at Dolcoath receiving Electricity from Carn Brea



Princetown Foundation Rafts

Princetown Foundation Rafts

Princetown - Exhaust Silencer

Princetown - Exhaust Silencer

After the site visit and preparing the foundation drawings I moved on to other projects - never visiting the site or the completed Generating Station again. Finding the photos in the Cairns Road archives gave me what nowadays is called a buzz and here I am indulging myself.

New pages

Tramways in the South West


You will find that the Navigation Heading on every page has changed to accomodate not only a new page for "Tramways" but also this page.

The Tramways link takes you to a collection of memorabilia, data pictures and drawings from the tramways in the South West. These are arranged to make a series of Showcases which the visitor can browse through, investigating items of interest more thoroughly.

It owes its existence to John Perkin, a member, who has collected nearly all the data provided here and arranged for information from various sources. Photos and articles previously presented in supplements or from the archives.

The presentation of 3 Mbytes of drawings or pictures for an audience that is mainly not on broadband gives rise to tricky problems. The site has been arranged so that no large images are loaded unless you as a visitor ask for it. Any drawing on which the mouse changes to an hand has a larger more detailed version available by clicking on it.

As someone who travelled in trams daily in come rain,snow and freezing temperatures, whose schooltram still runs in "silent" mode in Helsinki, I am happy to include this section which represents one of the most efficient and green uses of electricity.