Stern Structures of the SS Camlough (1920s Coaster - Kelly's Coal Boat) - Ships Nostalgia
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Stern Structures of the SS Camlough (1920s Coaster - Kelly's Coal Boat)

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Old 14th February 2018, 13:50
Nswstar2 Nswstar2 is offline
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Stern Structures of the SS Camlough (1920s Coaster - Kelly's Coal Boat)

I'm attempting to envisage the structures in the stern section of this ship - working upwards from what remains in the Solway sands some 85 years after she was wrecked.

This winter's storms are uncovering (and reburying) a surprising amount of the ship still in situ, after she was cut up for salvage on the beach at successive low tides.

What remains is the bottom few feet deep in the hull of the ship - perhaps more remaining furthest aft, as the wreck is angling down into the sand at the stern. The far stern structures have most commonly been completely buried by sand over the years - but a lot more has been revealed this winter.

I've been told that the triangular concrete-floored structure showing in these photos is the remains of the aft peak tank (ballast). Looking at plands and drawings of ships of a similar age and configuration, I've got a few questions about this identification:

* Was this triangular structure the <floor> of the aft peak tank? It's lying directly over the remains of the propulsion shaft - which protrudes into a flange in the direction of the Stern Tube and in the other direction (from the point of the triangle) into a stub where the propeller would have been fitted.

I'm guessing that the position of this slab may have been part of the reason that this stub of shaft was not salvaged (unlike the rest of the shaft which was removed from a sliced-open stern tube).

* So would this have been pretty much the original position of that concrete triangle - or has it collapsed down closer over the propulsion shaft over time?

* Where was CONCRETE (possibly of different compositions) used as a structural material in ships like this? There are chunks of thinner concrete slabs littering the interior of the wreck remains, and a few found on the ground around the wreck.

Looking at the broken edges of slabs of concrete, some slabs of concrete wreckage appear to have dark parallel bars, evenly spaced, running through them - while others appear to lack these structures.

See attached photos for this concrete triangle on the day when most was exposed (the stub where the propeller was fitted has been buried on every other occasion). Also shots of some thin concrete slab pieces from (as it happens) the Engine Room area.

* As a related question - anyone have ANY SUGGESTIONS on what piece of equipment with a 16 inch square base might have been cut off and removed from the Engine Room? It has one of those slabs of concrete with embedded dark (?rods) in it lying against it.

Whatever this was, the structure was attached to a thick metal plate running across the ship at the aft end of the Engine Room, and located at what would have been the starboard at the side. This metal plate is a couple of feet wide, and has numbers of places where scars/stubs show that Engine Room equipment was burnt off and removed in the salvage operations. However in this instance, they torched away the edges of that 16 inch square hollow structure (which then got clogged with salvage rubble inside). A small section of remaining copper tube that has a screw valve handle is still attached at the very base of this square structure (close-up photo attached) suggesting that whatever piece of equipment was removed, it may have contained some nice, valuable copper tubing. There certainly doesn't appear to be a scrap of copper tube remaining anywhere else in the wreck.

That robust metal plate is about the only remaining indication of where Engine Room structures had been removed for salvage. The attached photo shows about half of it, the portion that on one day only was above water and relatively uncovered with sand.

As before - any help with any of these questions is much appreciated! Please note, I've downloaded other Camlough photos in a couple of other posts so far - if you want more information about her.
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