Former Grain Silo, Cape Town port area, R.S.A.

Some relics of a bygone era!

Some pictures, dated 09/01/2024, of Fielding & Platt relics, taken at Cape Town Port inside the former silo grain store, where there has been extensive redevelopment of the area, adjacent to The Silo Hotel, which is 5 star accommodation and forms part of the original grain store.

Anybody know their use? I would guess some sort of grain elevator process. Mike Whalen.


Ed: Thanks for your pics, Mike.  I offer an answer to your question. I believe the first two pics are the cast iron frames of two ‘Fielding’ Triple Throw Hydraulic Pumps, each with their gearwheel drive still attached to the crankshafts.  They would each have been driven  by an electric motor, possibly  through a belt drive and spur wheel.  The other key missing items are the connecting rods, crossheads, plungers and valve boxes.  Click on this link to view a smaller pump of similar construction.

I believe the other pics are the remnants of two vertical Weight-Loaded Hydraulic Accumulators. Each pump would have worked in conjunction with one accumulator, as a set (probably one working set and one standby set). The accumulator is a long, vertically mounted hydraulic cylinder (most of it would be below floor level). The pics show  the guidance system comprising  three rollers, each roller guided by a vertical fixed fabrication. This guidance would be necessary when the cylinder was full of fluid and fully extended.  This central energy storage system would be piped around the silo providing pressurised fluid to any pieces of apparatus, cranes, elevators, lifts, etc. The pressure medium used would have been water, and the standard WP would have been either 750psi or 1500 psi.  The pressure was created by the weight acting on the top of the cylinder.  It is probable that some weights have been removed from the central spigots on the top of the cylinders.

All the above is based on my assumption that the equipment was built circa 1930s.

Thank you for the pics and visiting our website John B

If you have visited the area or seen this equipment and can add to the story then  please share your memories at the bottom of the page by clicking on the words Add a comment about this page.


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