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Tam Nugent
February 27, 2017, 9:30pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
Mystery
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Well, it's a mystery to me at least. Located by the Clyde at the old pond at Mackerston (now a swingpark), it appears to be some kind of capstan or cable guide. Does anyone know what it is and why it's there?

Streetview https://goo.gl/maps/zbAA4U69RkJ2
Geograph http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/5295831 Just submitted, hopefully visible now.
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February 27, 2017, 11:01pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Well...

THAT'S interesting.

While it may be some time since I was last able to be there, and I have walked all that area, I can honestly say I NEVER noticed it

Offhand, I recall ordinary stuff like little shelters or similar, and some areas of tamac or similar, which I always note in case they mark something of interest, maybe from the past, but I really simply cannot remember tripping over that.

I can even point to a large anchor by the side of the road, near houses some way further along the street - not relevant, just illustrating I can actually recall stuff here.

Hmm...

On seconds, thoughts, having spied the location on the Street View view, I WOULD have mostly missed this, hidden behind that small building, as I stayed more towards the street than the shore.

THAT was obviously a mistake!

I kind of like the capstan idea given, but...

Thinking of the effect that deep 'V' would have on a fibre or synthetic rope worries me - if used to haul or secure something large enough to need a capstan that size, I suspect rapid damage due to the load imposed, and the rope being forced into that 'V'.

Surely they would have gone to the effort of making it rounded, like a 'U'.

Hope the answer turns up soon
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Tam Nugent
February 28, 2017, 12:08pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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The V profile puzzled me too, for the same reasons. I wonder if the wee hut contains a powered capstan and the cable ran around the bobbin thing to keep it in line? Maybe the bobbin thing was mounted horizonatlly originally? There used to be a tall wooden post here, with a diamond shape on top, which I think indicates an underwater cable, perhaps a power cable running to Cumbrae (this is the narowest point of the channel. I wonder if there's another one on the Cumbrae side?
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February 28, 2017, 12:53pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I hadn't associated the hut with the object - and had assumed it was a 'modern' addition for something like the putting green, crazy golf, or attendant for deckchairs or suchlike.

Actually, looking at pics, it was looking onto a shallow pool - now gone, like all such 'dangerous' things

I'm probably going to stick my neck out a little, and suggest the item has nothing to do with where it lies now.

More likely recovered from the shore at some time, and just placed there as an ornament, this being cheaper for the council than formally disposing of it

I think it is mounted as it would be used, with the axis vertical and a single bearing at the base.

If the axis was horizontal, it would surely need a 'through hole' for mounting a shaft and bearing, in order to avoid an unbalanced load on the shaft if something passed over the groove, and carried a load in keeping with its size.

There is also no evidence of a hole in the 'top'.

Always assuming, of course, it is some sort of capstan or pulley - sitting on the ground as it is, we can't see the bottom and what is, or is not, there

For what it's worth, I spent some time pulling up pics of the area, and as far as I can see there isn't another pic online.

It came up in the largely useless Pinterest, fortunately the first image, since Pinterest blocks the screen if you try to scroll down and look at more of the tiny offering, and blackmails you for registration if you want to see more.

Old Mackerston boating pond | cool | Pinterest | And then, Ponds and Boating

The pic is unfortunately not dated, but is old rahter than ancient - and the object can be seen to be there, so it dates to the at least the 1950s or so.
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FordPerfect
February 28, 2017, 12:54pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Mooring -  something to throw a large multiplait over , re-located as a conversation piece     I doubt if it is for winching operations.

I can only think it is anti-vandal protection for a local coastal navigation emitter  

Note the small bolt on plate       I had considered it a alternative to a mine collection coin box - but why    

Cheapo modern art for seafront representing nautical past /shipbuilding skill , just needs a brush coat of red-oxide bilge paint every few years    
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February 28, 2017, 12:55pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Stuff you Pinterest!

I scraped the full size image out, so here it is:

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February 28, 2017, 12:58pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Found a couple more catches here, but they are modern pics:

Mackerston Place | Mapio.net

Few pics of this end, most are the esplanade, for obvious reasons.

None of the others caught the object - mainly because they all look inland or towards the town, so the spot concerned is just not caught by accident.
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FordPerfect
February 28, 2017, 1:21pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Admin
Stuff you Pinterest!

I scraped the full size image out, so here it is:



That photograph seems to have a few years on it and the drum thinghy seems a bit toppled - could not have been so important in the day    

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February 28, 2017, 2:02pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Indeed, there are definite signs of a tad of subsidence there, in days gone by, no doubt things are bit more robust now.

The "bolt on plate" looks like an original inspection hatch, which would have been used to allow for a MKI Eyeball corrosion inspection of the interior when the whatever-it-is was in service.

I'm a tiny little bit irritated now...

Usually, a search online will catch something similar to and item of interest, as the search is not exact.

But in this case, after trying a lot of variation connected with marine and related industry I iave not seen anything that even resembles thus deep 'V' design.

Plenty of items with 'U' or similar sections, and extended cylindrical drums, also with various sectional details, but never a deep 'V'.

That nothing using the same shape showed up is intriguing.

I even had a hunt for Cold War nuclear sea mines! Yes, there were such things, but not looking anything like this (so we can whip the inspection hatch off )
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FordPerfect
February 28, 2017, 3:32pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I am thinking it just floated in with the tide , when beached it was rolled / dragged to where it is now - to keep folks guessing    
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February 28, 2017, 3:54pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Yes, I was thinking it was a 'Beach Find' too, rather than something originating locally.

I was even thinking of Admiralty mooring buoys that were (are?) located around the coast.

But again, nothing known looks like this - the ones I'm aware of are simple cylinder or drum shapes, with surface fixing for mooring ropes.

They do break loose from time to time, and have to be caught and returned home  
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Tam Nugent
February 28, 2017, 4:45pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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Note that the mystery object, wee hut and diamond sign on the post in the old photo are aligned and pointing out to sea.

Mystery #2, what is the red structure beside the lady to the right of the ice cream kiosk?  
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FordPerfect
February 28, 2017, 5:14pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Tam Nugent
Note that the mystery object, wee hut and diamond sign on the post in the old photo are aligned and pointing out to sea.

Mystery #2, what is the red structure beside the lady to the right of the ice cream kiosk?  


The wee hut  - pump house to drain the boating / model lake    


I wondered about that , I came to the conclusion - Royal Mail stamp book machine , often near kiosk selling postcards    
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FordPerfect
February 28, 2017, 5:16pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Tam Nugent
Note that the mystery object, wee hut and diamond sign on the post in the old photo are aligned and pointing out to sea.

Mystery #2, what is the red structure beside the lady to the right of the ice cream kiosk?  


The wee hut  ,  as stated , my opinion - fresh idea for the mystery object  ,  could it be a semi-submersible floating island - dry land for the gulls    
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FordPerfect
February 28, 2017, 5:48pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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FordPerfect
February 28, 2017, 6:18pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Other apparatus    


mooring” includes buoys and other apparatus provided for the mooring of vessels;

mooring” includes buoys and other apparatus provided for the mooring of vessels;

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2008/182/pdfs/ssi_20080182_en.pdf">http://origin-http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2008/182/pdfs/ssi_20080182_en.pdf
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February 28, 2017, 6:32pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Diamonds:

    warn about dangers like rocks, construction, dams, or stumps.
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Tam Nugent
February 28, 2017, 9:14pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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Whatever it is, it was there in 1964. Use the "mouse over to zoom" facility on this ebay page...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1964.....9:g:gfYAAOSwPYZU5Jj2
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FordPerfect
February 28, 2017, 9:40pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Yes ,  there in  1964  -  so it may have been there during WW2    
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February 28, 2017, 11:25pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Well before 1964 - that's the postmark date on the Valentine's postcard which has no copyright date, just the word.

These postcards were shot, then sold unchanged for year on year.

Take this B&W image with the colour one I gave about, and we are easily going back into at least the 1950s with a high degree of certainty.

Our haunt was Ayr, and even as a kid, I was amused and amazed to look at the old pics featured on the postcards we used to send back then - I would not have been surprised to spot grandparents in them!!!

=====

I have no evidence to base this thought on, and is more 'Thinking out of the box' than serious, but should be raised.

Cable laying ships were laying cable from the west coast, bound of east coast of America.

While I don't have details to hand, earlier research revealed that there were accidents and disasters with the ships used for cable laying.

Details of these were not what I was interested in at the time, so I can't be specific, but this means that stuff was being lost from before 1900.

And that 'thing' is certainly of the right scale to have been used for this sort of job.

Sorry I can't be more specific, but still thought at least should be mentioned.
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FordPerfect
March 1, 2017, 7:02am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I don't date much before WW2 & because of welded construction / forming of fabrication - that is pushing it     If laid there since WW2 then the local authority must know original purpose & given it the odd lick of paint.  It does seem at times to have been sited on a wobble , now upright - I suspect set on a bed of concrete & the underside is identical to the topside.  It could have been used for cable or pipe-laying if mounted on a roller cradle    
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March 1, 2017, 11:01am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I'd go along with those thoughts too.

Apart from the idea that the local council might be smart enough to know what it is/was.

Their limit will be to move it if they can, or paint it if they can't

One of my sins of omission from my past is that, despite visits to Large that number in the hundred, if not thousands, over the years, and pounding all the back streets (often wondering 'Why?' since they are mostly houses, I NEVER EVER came across, or even noticed The Largs Museum

It's not all that noticeable, but to be fair, it does have a sign and notices and things, so I really don't know how I missed in all that time.

The only mitigation I can think of was the street it lies in was one I just never turned into and walked along - for some reason

While I used to be there most evenings a few years ago, that's a thing of the past and long gone now. otherwise I would already have whizzed down there and asked in the museum.

So I can only hope I've introduced it to someone who will get a chance to drop in and ask there:

It had a web site, but like all such things... that has evaporated and is now a dead link

Here's mine:

Secret Scotland - Largs Museum
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Tam Nugent
March 1, 2017, 11:03am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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There is (was?) a similar pole with a diamond on it at the water sports centre across the water on Cumbrae, Streetview https://goo.gl/maps/4Uv4yPmBNj42. There is also a wee hut with a green door there (bigger than the Largs one and with a flat roof).

Old Admiralty charts show four subsea cables running between these two points in the 1950s, so there is no doubt that there are cables there at the point where the object stands at Largs.

I would be very surprised if this object is not related to these (or later) cables, possibly used during their installation.

The convex watertight looking construction would have been much more expensive to produce than a plain old reel or drum - not sure what, if anything, that tells us about its function.
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March 1, 2017, 11:24am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Just a reminder...

You caught better evidence when in Dunoon

Regarding the cable, or cable-laying aspect...

One effect of the deep 'V' Groove would to guide a small cable, although the lack of obvious bearing (to allow rotation, rather than have a fairly heavy cable drag) is puzzling, unless there is a good reason, known to experienced cable layers.

The cable are heavy, but not massive in diameter.

The telegraph or communications cable itself is only a few cm in diameter, and is of the order of 10% of the total diameter.

The remainder is steel wire reinforcement, and other materials packed and wrapped to make it waterproof.

I can't lay hands on my pics of some original early (c.1900) transatlantic telegraph cables but they were TINY given that they were transmitting Morse (I use that only as a generic, there were other codes used) and only had to carry a switching signal, but this was High Voltage, in the order of kiloVolts necessary in order to get the signal across the distance.

It was actually DANGEROUS for the operator sending/receiving the signal due to that voltage - in those days the voltage could leak from the cable back to his telegraph equipment!

Some of those cables were only a coup of inches in diameter - yes, you can say 'No wonder they failed'.

OLD!!!

Transatlantic Telegraph Cable


Here are some later examples:

Cross section of undersea cable.


What it takes to be an undersea cable.
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FordPerfect
March 1, 2017, 2:34pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Watched a m/c that was designed to do these undersea cables - a British Ropes factory on Tyneside .  Then it was adapted due to downturn in trade for undersea, then to do large lifting ropes etc.  

Closing & stranding , interesting . A odd (and I think first time for them) was after closing pressure injection with bitumastic lubricant  (a large drill line - that had not to test snap under abt. 105 ton).  The wires were galvanised ,  yes there are butt welded joints + flash dressed off with die-grinder ,and the m/c has to be stopped obviously.  To conform - there must be no wire joints within a certain distance of each other (rope spec.s I was invilved  IIRC abt 2 metre distance - galvanised wires were made good with a cold galvanising stick  

Odd times I used to go in a different stages of manufacture on V. Important jobs.  Put my stamp brand on samples abt. 1 or  1.5 metre long , the greatest tonnage that could be tested to destruction on Tyneside was about 100 ton  - so bigger ones had to go south to Doncaster for ID check and test witness  
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March 1, 2017, 2:54pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Some 'old' history here (and link to some pretty detailed accounts):

Secret Scotland - James Anderson (Captain)

I'm not easily impressed, but...

That they were able to recover AND repair a dropped/broken cable as far back as 1865 - that just has to be worthy of a Gold Star
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FordPerfect
March 1, 2017, 7:22pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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During  WW2  Largs was noted for sea-plane and flying boat moorings.   It seems they have a low profile so less easy to be struck by propellers ,  I suspect this may be one and it could have had a HD rubber inflatable tube for buffering - it seems to me it had something with it canvas / rubber that perished away years ago, apart from that it seems designed to float.

Could it be saved as a wartime reminder because it is a interesting / rare artifcat.    Saunders Roe post WW2 automatic mooring system incorporated so that the pilot could moor the aircraft without external aid or leaving the cockpit  (unfortunately I can't find a image to see what this device actually looked like)    
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March 1, 2017, 10:36pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Seriously?

Nobody would make anything that big and expensive as a mere mooring in wartime.

And they'd have needed a lot for all the bases - there nothing to fix a mooring rope anyway, it's nice and smooth.

Flying boat mooring were simple pontoons and buoys, and many design had undercarriages, and sea-planes were amphibious.

The bases had large slipways to facilitate getting them out of the water for service and maintenance.

But that doesn't mean I'm not off to have dig for moorings!

And the Saunders Roe bit sounds good, but I expect rare, as it would have been complicated and possibly unreliable (unless there are records to the contrary).
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FordPerfect
March 1, 2017, 11:20pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Yes  ,  in my internet searching of images - I came across some large circular mooring buoys with two people stood on them and the aircarft was not a Sunderland  

Tie-up  -  as stated , I don't think it is presently complete.    The difficulty is with internet Searches - how to you describe the geometric shape  

It has to be something of local historical interest - otherwise the local authority would have weighed it in years ago esp. if it was flotsam , must be something that was in immediate locality - ferries , however I am placing my  ££ on Sea-planes / Flying boats  -  the only reminder left    
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March 2, 2017, 12:28am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Sea-planes sank at their moorings around Scotland - hard to see that happening with a mooring like that.

It would have been torpedoed!

It's too complex and expensive for that purpose, to my eyes at least.

The Admiralty buoys I referred to were simple cylinders, had visible mooring points on them, and were suitable for something the size of Britannia.

They had ladders'n'stuff too, for men to use when mooring (as with all good things, the last physical one I knew of was retired a few years ago, so can't point at it now )

That object is overkill for few sea-planes.

And it's smooth, completely smoooooooooth.

No attachment points, or evidence of same, or even rusting where they might have been chopped off and left an opportunity for the rust bug to bite.

I doubt it will turn up in any sea-plane base pics (but then again, this is one of those things I'd actually be happy to be served a slice of Humble Pie with if it comes to pass )
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