Monday 7 September 2015

Barton Swing Aqueduct, Barton upon Irwell, Manchester, UK built by Andrew Handyside in 1894

As well as Derby's famous Friar Gate Bridge, Andrew Handyside also made movable bridges!
In Manchester are two such bridges located right next to each other. This blog post is about Barton Swing Aqueduct.
On 27th June 2015 I made a special journey to go and see one of Andrew Handyside's movable bridges. I have been wanting to see this bridge for many years so it was such a thrill to finally see it in real life. I arrived at the bridge from the canal path from Ashburton Road West. Its really strange seeing the entire canal suspended in mid air. There were no signs of any water leaks around the iron trough. Its amazing to think that this bridge was made in Derby 121 years ago and its still being used.

Barton Swing Aqueduct is a moveable navigable aqueduct in Barton upon Irwell, Greater Manchester. It carries the Bridgewater Canal across the Manchester Ship Canal.
The swinging action allows large vessels using the ship canal to pass underneath and smaller narrowboats to cross over the top. The aqueduct, the first and only swing aqueduct in the world, is a Grade II* listed building, considered a major feat of Victorian civil engineering.
Designed by Sir Edward Leader Williams and built by Andrew Handyside and Company of Derby, the swing bridge opened in 1894 and remains in regular use today.

Aerial views showing Barton Swing Aqueduct and Barton swing road bridge.

Barton Swing Aqueduct in the closed position.

Barton Swing Aqueduct in the open position.

The aqueduct is a form of swing bridge. When closed, it allows canal traffic to pass along the Bridgewater Canal. When large vessels need to pass along the ship canal underneath, the 1,450-tonne 330-foot long iron trough is rotated 90 degrees on a pivot mounted on a small purpose-built island.

Gates at each end of the trough retain around 800 tonnes of water; additional gates on each bank retain water in their adjacent stretches of canal.

My Photographs of Barton Swing Aqueduct taken June 2015 :
Barton Swing Aqueduct over the Manchester Ship canal.

The Bridgewater Canal as it flows over Barton swing aqueduct.

Here you can see Barton Swing road bridge further down stream

A view looking up at Barton Swing Aqueduct.

Side view of Barton Swing Aqueduct with a narrow Boat passing over it. This photograph taken from Barton Swing Road Bridge.

The turning mechanism built into the central island consists of a 27-foot (8.2 m) race plate embedded in granite blocks. Sixty-four tapered cast iron rollers sit on top of the race plate, held in position by a spider ring. On top of that an upper race plate supports the aqueduct and its circular gear rack, which was powered by a hydraulic engine manufactured by Sir W. G. Armstrong Mitchell of Newcastle.

Hydraulic power was originally supplied by steam from two Lancashire boilers housed in a pumping station on the Eccles bank of the ship canal; a service culvert beneath the bed of the canal conveyed the water under pressure to the control tower on the island.

In 1939 the original hydraulic engines were replaced by a pair of radial three-cylinder engines manufactured by the Hydraulic Engineering Company of Chester, and the following year a power house was built on the island to house two electrically driven pumps. The old steam pumping station was demolished after the Second World War.

The turning mechanism built into the central island. You can just about make out the Andrew Handyside logo on the left drum.

The central island

Here is a photograph of the original stone Barton Aqueduct built in 1761, This was demolished in 1893 to make way for the one we see today.

Videos of this Barton Swing Aqueduct :

Here is a time-lapse video of me walking along the canal path to Barton Swing Aqueduct Starting at Ashburton Road West (B5214).

Narrow Boat "Victoria" crosses the Barton Swing Aqueduct which allows the Bridgewater Canal to cross the Manchester Ship Canal.

The view from another Narrow boat going through Barton Swing Aqueduct.

The view from a Kayak going through Barton Swing Aqueduct.

Video showing the operation of Barton Swing Aqueduct as a Narrow boat uses it.

Here is a video showing the aqueduct from various angles :
Barton swing aqueduct.

Here is a Google Streetview of the bridge as seen from the road bridge:
Streetview of Barton Swing Aqueduct.

Can you help find more Handyside stuff ?
If anyone out there knows of any other bridges around the world bearing the Handyside badge that I have not mentioned yet then please get in touch with details, location, photographs etc.

My next blog post will be about the next movable bridge which is right next to this one !


Wednesday 29 April 2015

Midland Railway Bridge over River Trent at Thrumpton, Nottinghamshire, UK built by Andrew Handyside in 1894

This railway bridge is on the Long Eaton to Leicester section of the Midland Counties Railway and carries trains over the river Trent (aka Trent Lock) at Thrumpton, Nottinghamshire, UK

Here at Trent Lock the three counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire meet up. This is also where the River Soar and River Trent connect with the Trent and Mersey Canal.
Just down river from this bridge is Thrumpton Weir.

Midland Railway Bridge over River Trent at Thrumpton, Nottinghamshire, UK built by Andrew Handyside in 1894

The engineer for this was Mr J.A. McDonald.

Work on the original bridge (See technical engraving below, Original bridge at back, Handyside one in foreground) started in June 1838, a foundation stone was laid in December 1838 by its designer Charles Vignoles. This original bridge had three spans of 100 foot flanked
by ten twenty-five foot flood arches on the north side and two on the south. The ironwork for the original bridge was supplied by The Butterly company of Derbyshire and was completed in October 1839.

Here is a technical engraving of the new bridge with the orignal Vignoles bridge behind it.
Drawing from The Engineer January 12th 1894 :

Midland Railway Bridge over River Trent at Thrumpton, Nottinghamshire, UK built by Andrew Handyside in 1894

Andrew Handyside were contracted to install the second bridge to cater for the two extra tracks in 1894, you can see Vignoles original bridge in the background behind the new one. It would appear that Andrew Handyside may have replaced the original bridge too at a later date as this is in the same style as the additional 1894 one.

I created a looping Vine video showing this bridge which I took from a train window. you can see the structure :

Here is another view of the Handyside bridge close up

Midland Railway Bridge over River Trent at Thrumpton, Nottinghamshire, UK built by Andrew Handyside in 1894

Red Hill Tunnel into which this railway line passes is 133 yards long, 26 1/2 Foot diameter and was built by the contractor Wm. Mackenzie.
The North end of the tunnel is castellated in Norman Style architecture.

Orignally there was just one tunnel here (built 1830's) but in 1895 the line was expanded to four tracks and a second tunnel was was dug adjacent to the original tunnel. The very same castellated entrance was applied to the new one.
The reason that the railway tunnel was castellated was as a concession to the owner of Thrumpton Hall, whose estate this section of railway passes through!

Here is a photograph showing the castellated entrances to the tunnels. The one on the right is the original 1830's tunnel. The one on the left is the younger 1892-93 tunnel to cope with the two extra railway tracks :

The Midland Counties Railway (MCR) was a railway company that existed between 1839 and 1844, connecting Nottingham, Leicester and Derby with Rugby vis a junction with the London and Birmingham Railway.
The MCR system connected with the North Midland Railway and the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway in Derby at what become known as the Tri Junct Station.

Links for further reading :
Charles Blacker Vignoles.
Midland Counties Railway

Map Location:
View my Andrew Handyside World Map to see the exact location of this bridge on the world map. 
My world map is the result of hundreds of hours of research into the company, plotting out each item as I find it. 

Can you help find more Andrew Handyside stuff ?
If anyone out there knows of any other Handyside bridges around the world bearing the Handyside badge that I have not mentioned yet then please get in touch with details, location, photographs etc.


Tuesday 28 April 2015

Night and Morning vase, Restored in 2014. Swiss Gardens, Shuttleworth Collection, Bedfordshire, UK

The restoration team have done an excellent restoration on this vase, so good to see Handyside's work being looked after like this.

This is a Night and Morning Vase by Andrew Handyside, which is based on Bertel Thorvaldsen’s Night and Day plaques.

The Swiss Gardens have had a £2.8 million revamp thanks to the Heritage Lottery fund. There are 13 listed structures on the site and the Handyside vase is one of them.

The Britannia Foundry established a reputation with ornamental work, it was well known for producing elaborate vases. They had great success at the 1851 Great Exhibition.
They also achieved a Gold Medal "Ornamental Fountains and Vases" at Birmingham in 1872, and at the 1871 Cordova Exhibition in Argentina.
Handyside had their own dedicated catalog for fountains and urns which I have a copy of which is very useful in my research of Andrew Handyside work and identifying its products around the world.

For the 1862 International Exhibition in London they provided a cast iron fountain and several vases. One of these vases was the "Night and Morning" vase, this is the model that
you can see wonderfully restored in the Swiss Gardens here.

This is Vase Design No. 23 on Page 60 of my 1879 publication "An Illustrated book of Designs for Fountains and Vases, costing from £1 to £1200 manufactured by Andrew Handyside"

A photograph of the restored vase :

Night and Morning vase by Andrew Handyside, Swiss Gardens, Shuttleworth Collection.

Here is this model of vase in my 1879 publication "An Illustrated book of Designs for Fountains and Vases, costing from £1 to £1200 manufactured by Andrew Handyside" It provides dimentions and good views of the amazing design :

"Night and Morning" vase by Andrew Handyside.

Here is a page from the The Art Journal Catalogue of the International Exhibition 1862 and it shows four items that Andrew Handyside exhibited at the show. Their "Night and Morning Vase" is in the top right of the page.
The Work of Andrew Handyside for the International Exhibition 1862.
The Art Journal Catalogue of the International Exhibition 1862.

Here is a photograph of the very same vase before its restoration:


Here is another photograph of the vase in April 2011 before its restoration :

Map Location:
View my Andrew Handyside World Map to see the exact location of this vase on the world map. 
My world map is the result of hundreds of hours of research into the company, plotting out each item as I find it. 

Can you help find more Andrew Handyside stuff ?
If anyone out there knows of any other vases around the world bearing the Handyside badge that I have not mentioned yet then please get in touch with details, location, photographs etc.


Thursday 9 April 2015

The grave of Andrew Handyside (1805-1887) and Alexander Buchanan (1829-1916) and other family members.

I have finally located the grave of Andrew Handyside and Anastasia Handyside and other relations.

As you can see its a very basic grave indeed, I imagine the headstone has been placed down for "health and safety gone mad" reasons.
This grave is located in Uttoxeter New Road Cemetery, Derby.

The grave of Andrew Handyside and wife Anastasia.
The grave of Andrew Handyside and wife Anastasia.

The inscription in the centre of the cross is MS but I think this is just a generic makers mark.

Andrew Handyside's headstone marking.

Andrew Handyside was the son of Hugh Handyside and Margaret Baird.

In the 1871 Census for Derby shows the people living at "The Cedars" as
Andrew Handyside - Head of house - 65 years old - Civil Engineer - Born in Scotland.
Anastasia Handyside - Wife - 48 years old - Born in Babanka, Poland.
Anastasia Henley - Motherinlaw - 88 years old - Born in Russia, St Petersburg.
Jane Ruddle - Servant Cook - 27 years old

Anastasia Henley was Anastasia Handyside's Mother (Andrew Handyside's Mother in law). She was born in St Petersburg on December 9th 1782 and died of Bronchitison at the age of 92 on February 17th 1875.
Her husband was John Henleywho from St Petersburg born on Bebruary 7th 1767 and died on July 1st 1855.

In the 1881 Census for Derby shows the people living at "The Cedars" as
Andrew Handyside - Head of house - 75 years old - Civil Engineer (Retired) Born in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Anastasia Handyside - Wife - 58 years old - Born in Babanka, Ukraine, Poland.
Eleanor Haverfield - Grand niece - 10 years old - Scholar - Born in Callander, Scotland
Ann Webb - Servant - 29 years old - Cook - Born in Arley, Shropshire
Emma Ault - Servant - 29 - Housemaid - Born in Derby, Derbyshire. 

Anastasia Handyside  Death Certificate
Registration District  Kensington
Sub-district Kensington North in the County of London
When and where died:  16th Nov 1910, 50 St Marks Road, North Kensington
Name and Surname:  Anastasia Handyside
Sex:  Female
Age: 89 years
Occupation: Widow of Andrew Handyside, Civil Engineer
Cause of Death:  Syncope following shock the result of a fracture of the femur caused by a fall Accidental
[Syncope – fainting, loss of consciousness from fall of blood pressure – Concise OED]
Signature,description and residence of informant:  Certificate received from C Luxinoore Drew [?] Coroner for London Inquest this day 19th Nov 1910
When Registered: Twenty First November 1910
I would like to thank Peter Butt for the above information.

Anastasia Henley  Death certificate
Registration District:  Saint Peter, Derby.
When and Where died:  17 February 1875, The Cedars, Ashbourne Road
Name and Surname:  Anastasia Henley
Sex: Female
Age: 92 Years
Occupation: Widow of John Henley a Merchant
Cause of Death: Gradual decay – Bronchitis, certified by HW Baker MRCS
Signature, description and resident of information:
Emily Buchanon, Daughter of dedeased, present at death, 8 Wilson Street, Derby
When registered:  18 Feb 1875

Andrew Handyside - Will
Made in 1877
Andrew left everything to his wife and sole executor Anastasia for her sole use.
In the case of Anastasia dying before him then to his niece Louise for her sole use and as sole executor.

In this plot are....
Andrew Handyside - Age 81 Interment date 13th June 1887
Anastasia Handyside - Age 87 Interment date 21st November 1910

Andrew Handyside died on Thursday 9th June 1887 from bronchitis.

Andrew Handyside was seventeen years older than his wife, Anastasia's mother was also called Anastasia and was born in St Petersburg (now Leningrad) both became British subjects.
According to the register, Andrew Handyside paid for this plot in advance !

While hunting for the gravestone of Andrew Handyside I found the plot for Alexander Buchanan. Alexander was Andrew Handyside's Nephew and also a manager at the Britannia Iron Works in Derby.

The gravestone details:
Alexander Buchanan 1829-1916
Emily Buchanan 1827-1912

This grave is located in Uttoxeter New Road Cemetery, Derby.

The grave of Alexander Buchanan (Nephew of Andrew Handyside)

Uttoxeter New Road Cemetery, Derby
This graveyard is rather large and very heavily populated with plots so it took several visits to locate it. Because the grave stone is on its face I had no choice but to identify it using adjacent plots.

Uttoxeter New Road Cemetery, Derby tilt-view.

Follow me on Twitter for latest info on Andrew Handyside and Friar Gate Bridge:

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Reading Town Hall, Berkshire, UK. Horseshoe gallery Ironwork made by Andrew Handyside in 1880.

Reading Town Hall was officially opened on 31st May 1882, it was Grade II listed in 1976. Refurbishment started in 1986 and was completed in 2000.

Today this building is used as the Museum of Reading and has a large concert hall with conference rooms.The ironwork made by Handyside is located in the Main Hall. They made the Horseshoe shaped gallery in the hall. You can't really see the ironwork as its hidden but you will see in the technical design drawings below how important the ironwork is in this building.

Google streetview outside this building.

Here is a photograph taken in the hall viewed from directly under the gallery, as you can see the ironwork is enclosed in decorative wood.

Reading Town Hall is 98 foot long by 60 Foot wide. Three sides of the hall are furnished with a horseshoe shaped gallery projecting out by without any support columns!
The gallery projects out by 10 foot down two sides and by 16 foot at the end, the whole structure stands 11 foot from the floor.
It covers an area of 2140 square foot and weighs 80.892 tons.

The iron structure utilises a clever branch-and-root construction method, it was designed to be able to stand on its own but also cope when full of people.

Tests were performed at The Britannia Iron Works in Derby to ensure that it could cope with the stress, they loaded it with 50,000 bricks, weighing 9lbs each!

Max am Ende was the civil engineer for this job, He specialised in Ironwork structures.
The ironwork was manufactured in Derby at the Britania Ironworks by Andrew Handyside & Co under the direction of Ewing Matheson.

Here are the technical design drawings for the gallery in Reading Town Hall. They show how the gallery balcony is constructed :

My Reference : Page 2-4 of The Engineer journal from July 1st 1881.

I would like to thank Michael Thomas of adp-architecture who was involved in the restoration of Reading Hall, this took 20 years and started in May 1981.

Michael says "I can tell you that I saw practically everything that was done in that hall and my recollection is that the steelwork was almost certainly installed as shown on your drawings. 

This is what triggered my interest.  I don’t know if you have any engineering knowledge, if so you would be surprised by the slenderness of the steels below the floor as shown in your figure 9.
The reason is simply that they sat on hefty brick cross-walls in the lower ground floor; this is in marked contrast with the uprights built into the hall walls. It was a clever solution and I have attached a diagrammatic cross-section which should help. In short the steelwork was continuous and consisted of:

· The beams under the concert hall floor sitting on brick walls. These went across the whole hall and thus reduced the bending moment hugely and acted as a tie.
· There would have been huge rotation when these floor beams met the uprights, hence you see massive steelwork at lower left junction. And you will have noticed the very deep steels embedded in the 3’ thick walls.
·  Thus the structure was very rigid when it reached the point of cantilevering the balcony. The fact that the balcony is stepped also gives room for added stiffness.

This is a Grade II Listed Building and there is little scope for alteration this part of the structure. Neither was there any need. The steel was in good condition too. However there was minimal ventilation and when full the hall would have been stifling.

When we came on the scene the balcony was out use as the fire escape arrangements were inadequate. We had to be quite cunning and introduce two new exits and now one would be hard pressed to distinguish new from old. Also we had to introduce some form of ducting for fresh air.

In the event we put new ducts for blown air in the void within the balcony and intermittent outlets at the step risers. This was very challenging as it had to be blown almost noiselessly!

My recollection is that some modifications were made to the steels in two larger voids to accommodate the ducts and give access for maintenance; there are also a few trap doors in the floor at the highest level for access only. Of course the steel is covered up now as it was never intended to be exposed.

My firm will be 50 years old this year and is running a blog featuring 50 projects highlighting its history.
They are quite short and here is the one for Reading Town Hall:

You may find this interesting as there is a different view of the concert hall.

I have given you a pretty full reply and I think you can be certain that the steelwork was installed as Handyside’s drawings and has stood the test of time very well.
You may not know that there was a strong move to sell the site around 1974 after Local Government reorganisation and permit demolition for a new commercial development!
The whole complex was listed as late as 1976.

I hope you find all this of interest.

Best wishes,

More information:
Reading Museum (formally Reading Town Hall)

Hope you enjoyed this new Andrew Handyside discovery.


Tuesday 27 January 2015

Railway Station Roof at La Plata Station in Buenos Aires, South America built by Andrew Handyside in 1906.

The roof of La Plata Railway Station (EstaciĆ³n del Ferrocarril Roca) in Buenos Aires, South America was built at the Britannia Iron Works in Derby in 1906.

The roof has a span of 117 foot and its 500 foot long and weighs 870 tons.

There are some great photographs by Carlos Amato showing the iron work :

Here is an advert from The Engineering Journal in 1909 featuring this roof :

You can see this Railway Station in these Google Street View :

EstaciĆ³n del Ferrocarril Roca..

Video of La Plata Railway Station, Buenos Aires.
I even managed to find this video of the railway station in which you can see the Handyside Iron work. You can see this from about 0:34 in :

Hope you enjoyed this new find of Andrew Handyside's work.


Monday 19 January 2015

Drinking Fountain in Alexandra Park, Whalley Range, Manchester, UK Made Andrew Handyside in 1868. Now Restored.

Alexandra Park is a 60-acre park in the Moss Side/Whalley Range districts of Manchester, England. It was designed by Alexander Hennell, opened in 1868. In 2012 a two year £5.5m restoration project to return the park to its original Victorian glory started. The restored park reopened in August 2014.

Part of the restoration included a Drinking fountain made by Andrew Handyside of Derby. I'm so happy to see this fountain restored, it looked in pretty bad shape but thanks to the hard work of Hargreaves Foundry from Halifax its now looking very good. Andrew Handyside would be proud to see his fountain looking like this 146 years after it was installed in this park.

This very same fountain can be found in the grounds of St Pancras Old Church in London, UK and also one in Geelong, Victoria, Australia called "The Belcher Drinking Fountain"

Here are some photographs of this Handyside drinking fountain after its restoration in 2014 :

This is Fountain Design No. 48 on Page 40 of my 1879 publication "An Illustrated book of Designs for Fountains and Vases, costing from £1 to £1200 manufactured by Andrew Handyside".

Here are some photographs showing the poor state the drinking fountain was in prior to restoration :

I found this rather interesting old photograph of the drinking fountain from 1954. These people are from The Band of Hope, part of the Temperance Movement in Manchester. Click to view a large version.
The fountain as seen in 1954 (Copyright Livesey Collection UCLan)


Useful links :
Friends of Alexandra Park Facebook page.

Blog entry by Hargreaves Foundry about their restoration of the fountain.

Andrew Handyside exported many decorative fountains around the world during the Victorian era.
The Britannia Foundry's work was well known for its fine quality so these fountains can be found all over the globe but where exactly they are located is difficult to find out.

Thankfully because of my research here people are beginning to contact me with details of Handyside work, I am then able to add it to my world map. It really helps my research being able to use Flickr to see these items for myself and share these finds with the world!

Andy Savage

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Fountain in Rochdale Memorial Gardens made by Andrew Handyside. Now restored !

This restored fountain is located at the North end of Rochdale Memorial Gardens.

I was told about this restoration back in 2011 by Bob Bevan a Rochdale Township Greenspace Ranger. I supplied them information to try and help with the restoration and I'm happy to say this fountain is now up and running again.
I made a special trip from Derby to see this fountain and meet up with Bob, he gave me an amazing tour of the local sites and heritage which was very interesting.

In my video you will see just below the large bowl of the fountain are busts of Peel, Nelson, Watt, Wellington, Stephenson, Scott, Shakespeare and Milton.

This particular design of fountain is listed as Design Number 27 on Page 70 of the 1879 publication "An Illustrated book of Designs for Fountains and Vases, costing from £1 to £1200 manufactured by Andrew Handyside".

My video of the restored fountain in Rochdale Memorial Gardens.

I have also created three 360 degree VR photographs of this fountain so you can have a look around the Memorial Gardens:

Here is a photograph taken in 2008 when the fountain was dry and waiting restoration :

Rochdale Memorial Gardens