A STAFF member at Shoreham Port has discovered that a piece of machinery has been in use since 1850.
Keith Wadey, assistant port engineer, found a pamphlet from the Shoreham Harbour Trustees that dates back to 1934.
In the pamphlet it stated that the balance arms in the Dry Dock had been reused for the new lock gates. This suggested that the balance arms had already been in place for quite some time.
After further research Keith found out that the balance arms were installed back in 1850 and have never been replaced.
He said: “This was an incredible discovery and a tribute to British engineering. The balance arms were made to last and this is exactly what they have done.”
The balance arms were constructed in 1850 when Queen Victoria was just 31 years old.
This was an incredible discovery and a tribute to British engineeringKeith Wadey
The lock gates, timbers and winches surrounding the balance arms have all been changed over the years but the balance arms have stayed in place.
Weighing in at four tons and made out of cast iron, the balance arms have remained through two world wars.
They run off of a wheel underwater to counter balance the weight of the lock gates.
Keith said: “I knew the balance arms were old, but not this old.
“Understanding the Port’s history helps us to maintain the Port today and keep it in fantastic working order.”