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Author Topic: Trow Point Disappearing Gun at South Shields  (Read 2713 times)

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Offline hcheetham

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Trow Point Disappearing Gun at South Shields
« on: January 31, 2014, 03:55:52 PM »
Hi Does anyone have any information about the 3rd Durham Artillary Volunteers who manned the disappearing gun at Trow Point or anything about the gun- about when it was installed, when it was used etc?

Thanks
helen

Offline David

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Re: Trow Point Disappearing Gun at South Shields
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2014, 01:45:41 PM »
The Trow Rock Floating Platform was also known as the Clarke Maxim Disappearing Platform for barbette mountings.. The Clarke-Maxim mounting first appeared in 1885. The trial for this new maxim mounting took place one and half miles south of the mouth of the tyne at Trow Rock (NZ385667), hence its name.
The Durham Artillery Volunteers had three obsolete 32pr guns mounted there for practice. Also a small magazine for which they paid a nominal annual sum to the Tyne Improvement Commissioners who owned the site.  In 1885 they were asked to lease/lend the site to the War Office. It was leased for a year and in May 1886 the pit was excavated to a depth of fourteen feet for the mounting. In October 1886 Maxims agreed to construct the emplacement at their own expense and to have it ready for trial within four months. It was not ready until December 1886 and the trials took place in December 1887 with the 6inch B.L. MkIV gun.
The Elswick mounting at Shoeburyness proved to be more successful and was adopted for service. The Clarke-Maxim mounting was declared 'unlikley to be of any value and no more should be constructed'. The lease of the land terminated in 1894 and the machinery was removed, the emplacement filled. The site reverted to its use for Volunteer practice
« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 01:50:12 PM by David »
David Moore

Die, my dear Doctor? Thats the last thing I shall do. - Palmerston (attrib)

Offline hcheetham

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Re: Trow Point Disappearing Gun at South Shields
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2014, 10:04:41 AM »
Thanks David, I hadn't realised that the ownership of the site was so complex.  Is much known about the volunteers themselves?  Were they local workers?  Did they volunteer for fixed periods of time? Were they effectively a early forerunner of the modern day TA? Or is that not a reasonable comparison?

Thanks again,

Helen

Offline David

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Re: Trow Point Disappearing Gun at South Shields
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2014, 04:22:52 PM »
Yes, the Volunteer force was the forerunner of the TA. They were raised locally from the civilian population and were trained to supplement the regular forces during time of need. There were rifle, artillery and engineer volunteers. This Wikipedia entry provides a good summary.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volunteer_Force_%28Great_Britain%29
I have no more details on the Durham Artillery Volunteers but a search of the local newspaper archive should reveal more of their activities.
David Moore

Die, my dear Doctor? Thats the last thing I shall do. - Palmerston (attrib)

Offline hcheetham

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Re: Trow Point Disappearing Gun at South Shields
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2014, 04:45:34 PM »
Thanks again, that link was useful.  I also found the Northumbrian Gunners webblog which was very informative and some great photos.

Thanks David.

Offline hcheetham

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Re: Trow Point Disappearing Gun at South Shields
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2014, 04:48:26 PM »
Also thanks for the graphic, that's very useful.

Helen

 

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