By SugarSheds1

Titan Cantilever Crane

Right next to our wonderful category A listed sheds (sheds! Cathedrals to sugar is more appropriate) is Titan, dating from 1917 and constructed by Sir William Arrol and Co Ltd for the Greenock Harbour Trust. Described in the listing (©Historic Scotland) as "a 150 ton grant, steel cantilever crane on the south side of James Watt Dock. Lattice girder tower supporting roller track on which rotates the asymmetrical cantilever truss gib with motor room and counter weight at short end."

Which is all a bit technical for me. It's bright blue and stunning, a true landmark, its new function a modern landmark for the James Watt Dock, a marker for the Sugar Sheds, a marker for Absent Voices. Look for this crane and we will not be far away.

The notes for the listing continue "Constructed during the 1st World War then there was great competition for materials. This crane was a considerable achievement and is (1988) still in complete working order. About 42 giant cantilevered cranes were constructed world wide and the Glasgow firm of Arrols were responsible for 40. 27 were located in Britain, 15 survive but 7 (1988) are at serious risk. In Scotland 7 remain at the 2 Arrol cranes at Rosyth are under Threat (1988)."

The image is a taken by Alastair Cook and is an in-camera double exposure on film, using a camera almost contemporary with the crane itself, a 1931 Kodak Brownie.

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