Lobnitz's Derocheuse

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SCameron
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Lobnitz's Derocheuse

Post by SCameron » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:29 pm

Demogreuse 1.jpg
This is the dredger Derocheuse, built by Lobnitz & Company at their West Renfrew Shipyard on the River Clyde , itwas one of many hundreds of dredging machines of many types that they supplied for ports and waterways around the world. Derocheuse was one of many dredgers that they supplied to the Suez Canal developers. Such was the reputation of this relatively small Clyde yard that one of the principals of the great industrial Japanese company, Mitsu Bishi, sent his eldest son to live in Glasgow for almost eight years during the 1880s to learn the art and science of shipbuilding and marine engineering under the mentorship of Lobnitz.. Many years after the young Ryokichi Kawada returned to his native land, as Baron Kawada, he had played a pivotal role in the development of the great Mitsubishi industrial empire. Incidentally, as a farmer as well as an industrialist Kawada introduced something else to Japan from Scotland - the humble potato.

Although Lobnitz were a world leader in the design and provision of dredging plant they were not the inventors of the steam dredger. That recognition must be justly conferred on Andrew Brown of William Simons & Company's West London shipyard, which was, in fact, nowhere near London. Indeed Simon's shipyard was literally just over the fence from the Lobnitz yard and immediately upstream of it. Thus the ancient Royal Burgh of Renfrew, cradle of the Royal Stewarts, became the principal centre in the world for the design, development and construction of dredging technology. The Simons and Lobnitz companies remained rivals and neighbours in Renfrew until the 1960s when they were acquired individually and merged, as Simons Lobnitz, under the overall ownership of the world renowned Glasgow-based engineering giant, G & J Weir, later the Weir Group. However, that status was short lived and the historic Simons and Lobnitz shipyards in Renfrew closed in 1963. The intellectual property and goodwill of the dredging business was sold to another Clyde shipbuilder, Alexander Stephens & Sons of Linthouse , but they too succumbed to the de-industrial axeman just five years later. However, the tremendous legacy and heritage in dredging technology survived and remains to the fore in the 21st Century in the shape of the specialist marine consultancy, Lobnitz Marine Holdings in nearby Paisley. Today, Lobnitz Marine Holdings Ltd is a privately owned and totally independent group of companies based in the West of Scotland comprising, Alluvial Dredges Limited, Clark & Standfield Limited, and Seadrec Limited (http://www.lobnitz.com/Lobnitz/Lobnitz_Home.htmm)

The pictures , from the 9th March 1888 edition of 'The Engineer', show the Derocheuse moored near the entrance of the Greenock Harbour Trusts new James Watt Dock, where she demonstrated her capabilities commendably by removing a particularly recalcitrant deposit of calcareous sandstone and quartz that had, hitherto, thwarted efforts to make the dock accessible to the largest vessels it was built to accommodate.
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iain crosbie
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Re: Lobnitz's Derocheuse

Post by iain crosbie » Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:28 pm

Thomas Blake Glover from Fraserburgh is supposed to have been instrumental in the founding of what was to become Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, and there is an interesting brief history of his involvement in the development of the company on this Mitsubishi site:
http://www.mitsubishi.com/e/history/ser ... index.html

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