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Saving Cowes Hammerhead Crane

Historic England has given a grant of £76,000 to the Cowes Hammerhead Crane on the Isle of Wight. The crane is a fantastic example of the often overlooked industrial heritage found in the South East and is lucky to have survived the recent fire in neighbouring workshops.

Current works to the crane include surrounding the legs in scaffolding and carrying out urgent repairs. We are delighted to be using local island contractors for these painstaking and vital works.

Close up of damage to the structure of the hammerhead crane
Close up of damage to the structure of the hammerhead crane © Geoff Banks

Excitingly, as the removal of flaking rust and paint started, an undiscovered part of the crane's history was revealed; evidence of a glancing blow to the crane's steel structure was uncovered.

Keen local historian and part of the local contractor team GJ Banks (IW) Ltd of Cowes, Geoff Banks, suggests this is likely to have occurred during the Second World War (WWII, WW2). It may even have happened when the Cowes built Polish destroyer ORP Blyskawica was moored alongside giving support during an air raid in May 1942.

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