Construction in No.3 Shop at Rochester
.In October 1917, excavations in the chalk of the riverbank were started for a new building that was to become No. 3 Erecting Shop. Some 37 700 cubic yards (29 600 cubic metres) of chalk had been excavated by steam shovel and dumped to the south of the new building, the site of the building cleared and the erection of the steel framework under way. The new Erecting Shop was a nine bay structure, three bays wide by three deep. The frontage to Tower Reach measured 320 feet (97.5 m.). There were two bays of 100 feet (30.0 m.) flanking a centre bay of 120 feet (36.5 m.). The choice of the dimension for the centre bay was no doubt influenced by the span of the F boats 103 ft. 8 ins. (31.6 m.) in the case of the F.5.'boat. The main door fronting on to Tower Reach was just under 120 feet (36.5 m.) wide. The six-part sliding door was boldly painted on the outside with SHORT BROS. AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERS.
On the slipway at Rochester
horizontal distance between the high and low water marks
of the River Medway alongside No. 3 Shop, was about 165
ft. (50 m.).
Control Deck, Radio station & interior of Cabins
Passemger entry hatch at rear of Promenade Cabin. This shows the mock up at the Seaplane Works at Rochester
with some of the trim not completed
The trimming of the passenger cabins was sub-contracted to L.A.Rumbold & Co. Ltd., carried out to the design of Brian O'Rorke ARIBA - architect an innovation for the 1930s. The walls and ceilings of the passenger cabins were finished in Connolly Bros. Vaumol hide. The Science Museum cut-away interior model shows the interior wall colour as grey-green, rather lighter in tone than the traditional bottle, with a dark green finish below the dado line in the Centre Cabin only. The ceilings were described as 'white' for the Forward Cabin, and 'dove grey' or 'very pale lime green' for the other passenger cabins. The corridor between the pantry and the lavatories was finished in white paint for walls and ceiling. The jointing beads of the wall and ceiling finishes in the cabins, the grab rails and the escutcheons for the bunk fixings were in aluminium alloy, finished with a specially developed opalescent anodising by British Anodising Ltd. The trimming of the cabins was completed with the fixing of the 'NO SMOKING' signs over the heads of the appropriate internal cabin doors, the square clock and matching altimeter in the Centre Cabin, the small hold-alls let into the walls, the light luggage racks - light alloy tube frame with netting stretched between and suspended from the ceiling with leather straps - the draw curtains at the windows, the blinds at the ports and the carpets.
on the water & in the air
extreme end of the tail cone of an Empire 'boat, aft of
Frame 51, was modified to take the refuelling cup (Patent
491 953 10 December 1936) with spring-loaded locking
claws around the periphery of the cup. The locking
mechanism was hydraulic, operated by a manual pump
connected through a pressure release unit. The system was
designed to break the locking arrangement if the force on
the hose exceeded a pull of 1 000 lbf. (4.4kN). Fuel
transfers in bumpy or gusty weather could cause the hose
nozzle to momentarily break clear of the receiver cup.
Methyl bromide fire extinguishers were provided. Nitrogen
gas bottles were included in the equipment to flush the
hose through the claw holes in the refuelling cup. The
total weight of the refuelling equipment was about 100
lb. (45 kg.).