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´╗┐MATE'S HANDBOOK TO SOUTHAMPTON.
feet has for the last two years been extensively used for the arrival and departure of the Union, Castle, North German Lloyd, and Hamburg-American steamers, one of the latter being of no less a tonnage than 15,500. Further quay space on the south and west, representing a total length of nearly 2,000 feet, is just completed. The contractors were Messrs. John Aird and Co., who have executed the work to the entire satisfaction of the railway company. Sheds have been erected on the new quays, and the network of lines laid down makes them at once available for various branches of business.
On October 11th, 1898, a brilliant Masonic gathering took place in the Docks. "The Diamond Jubilee" of the Docks was then celebrated by the laying of the Coping Stone of the Deep Water Quays at the south-western extremity of the Dock Estate, and the function was performed with full Masonic honours by Bro. W. W. B. Beach, M.P., Provincial Grand Master of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
The South Quay runs from east to west with a length of 430 feet, and the Test Quay 1,500 feet long, stretches towards the town. The total quayage will be 23,572 feet.
The Company has also acquired land on the Woolston side of the Itchen, in view of the time when it may become necessary to provide quays on that side of the river.
Near the berths used by the vessels of the American Line in the Empress Dock there is a refrigerator, capable of receiving 4,000 quarters of beef. This refrigerator, divided into four chambers, is considered to be one of the finest yet constructed. The carcases are, by means of lifts, loaded upon cold storage waggons specially built for the purpose and transferred by rail to Nine Elms, whence they are sent direct to Smithfield or elsewhere, without any handling whatever beyond that necessary in removal from the ship's hold.
In order that every necessary facility might be at hand for coaling the large number of steamers visiting the docks, the South-Western Company lost no time in providing on the River itchen, at the northern boundary of the estate, a coal-barge dock, so that bunker coal might be discharged from the South Wales colliers into lighters, which could be taken alongside vessels that were to be coaled. The transfer is effected by means of four hydraulic weighing cranes, erected on a jetty which runs out between the Itchen and the dock, the colliers being discharged from moorings on the river side into the lighters that lie on the other side of the jetty in the floating dock. The jetty has also been used in landing Seaborne coal into railway trucks, for distribution over the
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