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BARRY P. BRISTOL. DAMAGING ADMISSIONS BY THE CITIZENS. BARKYTHE MOST DANGEROUS RIVAL. VAST IMPORT TRADE TO COME HERE. The Special Commissioner of the Bristol Tihtes and Mirror (Mr Sheldon) last week visit-d Barry with the object of ascertaining how far certain statements made by Alderman Proctor Baker in the Bristol County Council were justified respecting the certainty of some of the vast import trade done at Avonmouth by Messrs Elder Dempster and Co.'s firm being diverted to Barry in the near future in conse- quence of the laxity of the citizens in making improved provision for the marine and railway traffic which it ensures. The article speaks for itself The position of dock affairs in Bristol, to which prominence has again been given (he says) by Mr Proctor Baker, through his speech at the last Council meeting, and the strenuous efforts that are being made by rival ports to secure the trade coming to the quays and docks of our city, seem to call for some further statement regarding the very serious dangers which threaten Bristol of having much of her import trade wrested from her by a neighbour- ing port. THAT PORT IS BARRY, and for the purpose of giving Bristolians an idea of what they have to contend with, and of making a general comparison of the dock. across the Channel with our own, I spent a whole day inspecting the gigantic enterprise that has sprung up around Barry Island. I do not consider the power of Cardiff to attract Bristol trade anything like so dangerous as that of the younger port, so I have not given it consideration. Nevertheless, it does in a lesser degree strive to secure some of the trade coming to Bristol, and would do so far more in the near future than in the past, and, therefore, has to be reckoned with. I may almost adopt the words of Alderman Baker, used to the councillors of Bristol on Tuesday, in beginning this article. Having seen the magnificent docks estate of Barry, I returned to Bristol exceedingly depressed, and with the firm conviction that much of the over- sea traffic which now passes through our city to the north and east will, in the course of a couple of years, go via Barry. These are the reasons for my belief. Her docks are of gigantic size; the largest steamer afloat can enter or leave th- port at almost any state of the tide every facility exists for dealing with traffic; provision is being made for a large import trade and railway facilities are already great, and will be further improved as time goes on. The first dock was opened in 1889— only ten years ago—but so rapidly has the traffic grown in the past decade that a second one has been made and a third one is IN COURSE OF CONSTRUCTION. There is a broad entrance channel (which has been deepened by dredging), protected by breakwaters, through which vessels reach either a tidal basin or a lock, by either of which the largest steamer can enter the dock. The basin measures 600 feet by 500 f-et, and is available for 2i hours before and after high water; and the lock, which is 6-17 feet long, 60 feet deep, and 65 feet wide, can be used aT any state of the tide, the entrance channel having 16 feet of water at the lowest state of ordinary sprint tides. The lock can be divided by gates into two, each being sufficient to take an ordinary size steamer. Parallel with the entrance is a commercial graving dock of about equal length, which can be divided into two, and each section of it is so recessed that it can take two ordinary-sizpd vessels, making four in all. The lock and entrance basin open into the first dock, which is 3,100 feet long, with a maximum width of 1,100 feet, and is divided at the western end by a mole, into two arms, 1,500 feet long and 500 feet wide and 1,200 feet long and 300 feet wide respectively. THE FULL WIDTH is left at the eastern end for a length of 1,600 feet, to give ample space for the largest ship to 5wing over when the lock is full of shipping. The area of water it 73 acres, and the depth 26 feet. At the north-east corner of the docks is a splendid graving dock, which is being lengthened, and alongside of which another is being made. Just within the entrance lock and basin is a bell-mouth junction, cut of ample width and closed by a caisson leading to the second dock, the dimensions of which art- 3,400ft. by 400 to 600ft. At the end of this is timber pond of six acres, and a second one ot 35 acres is being made. The gates, bridges, capstans, cranes, and tips are actuated by hydraulic power, generated by the finest pos- sible machinery; and among the equipments are three tugs, a steam fire-float, a steam ferry, a large hopper dredger, and about 50 buoys. All the docks, coal-tips, sidings, entrances, workshops, and stations are lighted by elec- tricity. Around the docks is a marvellous network or railways—enough, apparently, fur emergency as well as ordinary traffic. A branch line runs to the entrance channel, where there are floating pontoons for passenger steamers, which may come and go without let or hind- rance from the tide. New offices, like a huge and HANDSOME PILE OF MUNICIPAL BUILDINGS, are being erected for the company on the plateau opposite the David Davies monument, and are nearly finished. The excavation ac- complished at Barry Island has been immense, very considerable portions of the hill having been cut away, and the earth usud for levelling. By far thA greater volume of the enormous and ever expanding tr*de is thatof coal; but an important trade is being rapidly built up There is a network of branches "r spurs of rails going from the main line, like a comb, to bigh- level coal tips, from which the coal is ra; irtJy Shot into vessels. Betw-n thes- railway spurs are very numerous I ngilF ering works, sou e, like thoss of Mr C. H. Bailer, for example, being of consid^rabb size, and so composite and c. mprebenxive in character that they are capable of repairing or renewing with wonder- 1U1 speed any part of a steamer. Nearly all the coal tips are on the north side of Docks Nos. 1 and 2, where the sides shelve but on the south side of the second dock is constructed a per- pendicular wall for the accommodation of the import trade. Here is a wharf nearly twice as Ion as that at Portishead, where sheds are being erected, and Cattle lairs and cold stores are to be provided, in anticipation of a large import trade of a varied nature. So extensive are the docks that people—particularly en- gineers—who go constantly between their establishments and vessels keep horses and traps in which to cover the long distances from traps in which to cover the long distances from point to point. Good roads extend all round the docks, and the hindrances caused by closed gates to allow trains to pass, and opened bridges for vessels to go through, tuv not 8<-rious. At Barry the "ant" of tr .d. rs ,-eeu. to be anticipated. Dir ctly a Nugges ion is made jt is act-d up n i.mediately, without Jiiucb debate, and irrespecuve of co-t. i v rv- th?ng is J DONE TO SECURE TRADE, and the success ttat has attended the policy of the company mKy be gathered from these figures In th* aix month* from the op. ning or >o. 1 D ■< k, in July, I8N9, exi,(,i Is wtT. 1,091,06- and the iiu. ort- 14,745 ions. During the next ywr there were 3,201,697 and 63,675 respectively; while for the year 1898 they reached abont 6,000,000 tons of exports, and about 300,000 tons of imports. Let us see how the docks accommodation at Bristol compares with that of Barry. The fact that smaller craft have to come up a tortuous river of seven miles in length to the city cannot be helped; but the only way to make it abso- lutely safe is by dockisation. At the newer wharfs in the old dock the facilities for dis- charging the larger vessels are tolerably modern. It is in regard to provision for the biggest steamers, which are to be the carriers of the future for ocean traffic, that Bristol is hopelessly behind Barry. The water area of the Avon- mouth Dock is about 20 acres, against 73 acres of Barrv Dock No. 1, and the width of the former is 500ft. against 1,000ft. of the latter. T e entrance lock at Avonmouth measures 454ft, against 647ft. at Barry. The look at Portishead is 583ft. long, and the dock 1,800ft. long and 500ft. wide, against a length of 3,338ft. and a width of 400ft. to 600ft. of Barry's No. 2 Dock. While, therefore, the largest vessels can enter Barry Dock and turn there, it is impossible for them to come into our outer docks because the locks are not long enough, and the docks are not wide enough for them to turn. THREE MAGNINICENT GRAVING DOCKS practically exist for the largest steamers across the water, while here we have not one, and big vessels go from our port to our neighbour's to be repaired. It is quite marvellous that such things should have been achieved as exist at Barry in ten years, not only in constructing the docks, but in cutting enormous slices of the hill and turning awkward sites to account. No wonder nautical men, with very many of whom I have conversed from time to time, speak in terms of admiration of the spirit and energy displayed at Barry, of the things there accom- plished, the ease with which the largest vessels can go into and come away from the dock, and the dispatch that characterises all the dealings of the people there. I am of opinion, however, that it is now too late for Bristol to do anything. The citizens have talked incessantly and done, nothing while the Barry people have worked inces- santly and only talked when forced to, and that chiefly in Parliament. And now they are going to take away some of Bri-tol's present import trade and other traffic that might have come here. These are the reasons for my belief. Vessels can dock at Barry many hours-some- times days, according to the tide- before they can at Bristol. The rates are favourable; there is ample provision for dealing with cargoes, and other facilities are being speedily provided. Vast railway extensions have been and are being made. The lines between Cardiff and Newport have been quadrupled. In two years' time the direct line between South Wales and London will be finished. I have heard that the Great Western Railway Company have consented TO GIVE PREFERENTIAL RATES to Barry, and to spend a million or more money in extending and expanding their system, on condition that the traffic passes over their rails. The traffic which goes to London must, because the company bold the field; and their com- munication with the Midlands is as direct as that of any other company. Yes, in two years' time Bristol will begin to feel keenly the com- petition of Barry and knowing what I do, I shall not be surprised if steamers of Messrs fc-lder, Dempster, and Co.'s firm do not go there, and thus Bristol will lose much of the commercial traffic brought over sea by those vessels, as we have lost the mails and the passenger services..




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