Bristol's dockside cranes move under own power again

Dockside cranes in Bristol have moved under their own power for the first time in 35 years following a restoration project.

The cranes are the only survivors from 30 which were built in 1951 and last used commercially in 1974.

They were designed to load and unload cargo ships outside the L and M transit sheds on the city's harbourside.

A £50,000 grant from the Friends of Bristol's Museums helped restore the power supply to the cranes.

Two of the four cranes are now fully functional with work on the third crane nearing completion. Work to restore the fourth crane will begin soon.

'Stunning sight'

Each of the cranes has had control gear stripped out with wiring inside either checked or replaced.

On one of the cranes the entire cab was rebuilt while window frames on others were replaced.

The four cranes will form part of the new M-Shed Museum which is due to open in June.

Bristol City Council's deputy leader Simon Cook, said: "The restored cranes look amazing.

"Their place on the harbourside outside M Shed are a physical reminder of how important a role our historic docks have played in the city's economic development."

Andy King, Bristol City Council's curator of Industrial & Maritime History, said: "It's marvellous to see the cranes moving again - they're a stunning sight as they glide almost silently along their tracks.

"Bristol's proud of its industrial heritage and it's right and fitting that every effort has been made to restore these beautiful industrial structures which were once the heartbeat of the Bristol's thriving port."

The cranes will begin moving again on Wednesday.

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