On this day: Victorian Engineering in Wales

Barry Docks, a port in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan in Wales, opened in 1889. A massive project undertaken by Victorian engineers John Wolfe Barry, Thomas Forster Brown and Henry Marc Brunel, son of the iconic Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the docks went on to employ thousands of men and women.

By 1913 it was the biggest coal port in the world.

The image below is of the area ready for the official opening on the 18th of July, 1889.

Barry_Docks4 Dock No.1 of Barry Docks ready for opening on 18th July 1889, Walkertown in centre distance named, after engineer Thomas Andrew Walker (1828-1889) and subsequently named Bar

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On this day: the world’s first passenger railway

Tram on the Swansea and Mumbles Railway in Wales 1897.

Photographed in 1897

On the 25th of March, 1807, the world’s first passenger railway opened in Britain.

Horsetrain_1870Horse-powered train on the Swansea and Mumbles Railway, Wales.

1870

The Swansea and Mumbles Railway operated in Wales until 1960. The passenger cars were originally pulled by horses before being changed to steam locomotives, and then finally to electric trams.

On this day: Great Storm of 1703

Great_Storm_1703_Goodwin_Sands_engravingGreat Storm of 1703

The Great Storm of 1703 was windstorm that swept across Britain on the 26th of November (the 7th of December in today’s calendar). Ships were blown hundreds of miles off course, and just on the Goodwin Sands over 1000 seamen lost their lives.

Map showing the location of the Goodwin Sands

Map showing the location of the Goodwin Sands

Thousands of chimney stacks in London collapsed, sending even Queen Anne into hiding in a cellar. The bishop in Wells was killed by a falling chimney stack, while flooding caused hundreds of deaths in other parts of the country. The destruction continued into Wales.

It was claimed the storm was a punishment from God.