OUTSIDE THE HOUSES WESTMINSTER

OUTSIDE THE HOUSES WESTMINSTER

A statue of Oliver Cromwell stands in front of the midpoint of the complex, Westminster Hall, the only statue to survive the 1834 fire. During its centuries as a court of law, famous defendants included Saint Thomas More and Charles I. The Clock Tower is universally miscalled Big Ben, which actually refers only to the bell within; it’s named after the robustly proportioned Sir Benjamin Hall, who served as Commissioner of Works when the bell was cast in 1858.

OUTSIDE THE HOUSES WESTMINSTER Photo Gallery




Left: Painting of Nidelven Right: Norwegian steamer Nidelven, circa 1912 The Nidelven was a steel-hulled 1,262-ton Norwegian steam passenger/cargo ship measuring 70.43 m in length, with a 10.13-m beam and a 4.11-m draught. Trondhjems Mekaniske Verksteder at Trondheim built and completed her as Yard No.134 in November 1908; she was launched on 23 September 1908 for Det Nordenfjeldske Dampskibsselskap, Trondheim, who was the owner at the time of loss. The single screw was powered by a 132-nhp, three-cylinder triple expansion steam engine that used one boiler. The cylinders measured 43.18 cm, 72.39 cm and 121. 92 cm with an 83.82-cm stroke (17 in. 282 in. and 48 in. with a 33-in. stroke). Trondhjems Mekaniske Verksteder, Trondheim manufactured the engine and ancillary machinery. She had one deck, an 84-ton (237.86-cubic m) quarterdeck, a 41-ton (116.09-cubic m) deckhouse and a 29-ton (82. 11-cubic m) forecastle. Her designated code recognition signal letters were: MFKR. The wreck is very substantial, sitting upright in a general depth of 39 m (LAT). The hull and outline is quite distinguishable all around and is intact up to about half way, to just below the deck, where it has collapsed down along with the superstructure and decking. These have collapsed down onto the boiler and engine, making access to anything rather difficult, but portholes and other artefacts are still recovered from time to time. Cod and other species of fish can sometimes be observed around the wreck, which should make an interesting boat-angling venue. The wreck, which is now believed to be the Hesvik, is orientated in a SSE to NNW direction. It lies on a seabed of dark sand, gravel and rocks, in a general depth of 34 m (LAT). The hull is made from riveted iron and the remains are well and truly collapsed and broken up. Beginning at the iron screw, it is possible to swim along the prop shaft tunnel leading to the engine, which is still intact.

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