Wooden Fronts to Ships' Bridges

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Wooden Fronts to Ships' Bridges

Postby Portland » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:00 pm

Many cargo vessels and tankers built as late as the 1940s had wooden fronts to their bridges, even though the rest of their superstructures were steel. (See the link below to a painting of a Glen Line ship.) Why was this so? Was the wooden front at these late dates merely a design feature, an echo of past practice, perhaps, or were there practical reasons? All comments are welcome. (I have posted this enquiry on other websites' forums.)

http://www.shippaintings.co.uk/JAlbum%2 ... 20Line.JPG
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Re: Wooden Fronts to Ships' Bridges

Postby northeast » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:30 am

Welcome to the site, Portland!
I don't have an answer except to suggest that wood was maybe cheaper than steel and yards that still had skilled carpenters available were able to continue, and as long as it did the same job then why not!
Examples in the Everard fleet go welll into the 1950's such as the two below, both from the Goole shipyard
ASSURITY1956CAH.jpg
ASSURITY - 1956

SINGULARITY1952BCAH.jpg
SINGULARITY - 1952
Cheers, George
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Re: Wooden Fronts to Ships' Bridges

Postby shipbroker » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:02 am

In the late 50's one of the vessels being used for Iron Ore was a German ship which had a full timber bridge front and decking on the bridge..One trip she returned from Pepel, in Sierra Leone, with a whole new bridge front that had been made whilst she was been loaded over a week.

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Re: Wooden Fronts to Ships' Bridges

Postby northeast » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:06 pm

Can't recall a German flagged in the trade Geoff, what was her name?
Maybe we need a competition to find the last UK-built with a wooden bridge!
Cheers, George
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Re: Wooden Fronts to Ships' Bridges

Postby shipbroker » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:58 pm

Colonius...one of the pre BISC(Ore) new built fleet, the trip mentioned she lightened at Dents Wharf before moving up to Gjers Ayresome Wharf...this was 1958/9 when I was with Constantines.

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Re: Wooden Fronts to Ships' Bridges

Postby Whickham » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:53 pm

But returning to th original question, was it just pride/image and other words of that ilk.
Daniel Ludwig was famous or infamous for his no holds barred approach to ship design, everything had a cost and if there wasn't an increased benefit then it would not be fitted. Black hulls, uniform dirty brown upperworks, stove pipe funnels, black funnel without logo, utilitarian accommodation etc etc.
So are nice lines, fancy coloured hulls, large funnels displaying corporate logos, woodwork on the bridge etc just a matter of image. This is most important for cruise ships and ferries to attract customers but not perhaps for tankers, bulkers and cargo boats....
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Re: Wooden Fronts to Ships' Bridges

Postby Portland » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:22 pm

northeast wrote:Welcome to the site, Portland!
I don't have an answer except to suggest that wood was maybe cheaper than steel and yards that still had skilled carpenters available were able to continue, and as long as it did the same job then why not!
Examples in the Everard fleet go welll into the 1950's such as the two below, both from the Goole shipyard
ASSURITY1956CAH.jpg

SINGULARITY1952BCAH.jpg


Thanks, George, for your reply. Great fun ahead, I think, as I explore the site!

Cheers, - Eric
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Re: Wooden Fronts to Ships' Bridges

Postby Portland » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:25 pm

Whickham wrote:But returning to th original question, was it just pride/image and other words of that ilk.
Daniel Ludwig was famous or infamous for his no holds barred approach to ship design, everything had a cost and if there wasn't an increased benefit then it would not be fitted. Black hulls, uniform dirty brown upperworks, stove pipe funnels, black funnel without logo, utilitarian accommodation etc etc.
So are nice lines, fancy coloured hulls, large funnels displaying corporate logos, woodwork on the bridge etc just a matter of image. This is most important for cruise ships and ferries to attract customers but not perhaps for tankers, bulkers and cargo boats....


This may duplicate an earlier message, but all the same, thanks, Dave, for this information. I had heard that Ludwig had something of the scoundrel about him, and it is good to have this detail.

Cheers, - Eric
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Re: Wooden Fronts to Ships' Bridges

Postby Whickham » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:37 pm

I'm not so sure about the scoundrel, just an accountant with a very sharp pencil and lacking in romance (when it came to ships at least)
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Re: Wooden Fronts to Ships' Bridges

Postby northeast » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:21 am

shipbroker wrote:Colonius...one of the pre BISC(Ore) new built fleet, the trip mentioned she lightened at Dents Wharf before moving up to Gjers Ayresome Wharf...this was 1958/9 when I was with Constantines.

geoff


Ooh, before my time (just!) Geoff. I do remember just once walking round the riverside from Dents to Gjers, never did it again!
That must have been KOLONIUS, the ex SILVERELM by Doxford in 1924, so wood not unusual at that time

http://www.sunderlandships.com/view.php ... =SILVERELM
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