Thursday, 6 October 2022

S/S Baygeorge Collides with Causeway

Early on the Sunday morning of October 15, 1967 the 350 foot-long coal carrier S/S Baygeorge collided with the Lasalle Causeway bridge. She'd just returned from Rochester, NY with 4,000 tons of coal in her holds. (More on the Baygeorge here.)

Having dropped anchor in the area of the former frigate HMCS Inch Arran after passing under the causeway bridge lift span, she was nosing over to the Anglin coal dock when winds caused her to slip her anchor, hit some pilings and then 'bounce into' and collide with the bridge span. The bridge was out of commission for the rest of Sunday. Workers from the Kingston Shipyards repaired damage, including a large dent, to get the bridge back into action for Tuesday. Damage was pegged at $20,000. 

Bayswater Shipping launched a 'master's protest' against the presence of the Inch Arran with Department of Transport marine officials. The Baygeorge's captain had expected to use the mud bar the Inch was sitting on to slow his vessel's progress. As a result of the collision and potential ongoing risk, the shipping company gave notice that Anglin's freight rates for coal were to be raised! This in turn could affect Anglin's commercial viability i.e. its balance sheet. 

At the time, the Baygeorge was the only vessel capable of manoeuvring into the Anglin dock, especially with only 900 feet of space due to the position of the Inch. This, after an earlier incident in which the coal-carrier also dropped anchor to avoid the old frigate and sustained a hole in her hull requiring $15,000 in repairs. Four more trips to Kingston were planned before the end of the 1967 shipping season. Without using her self-unloading boom, stevedores would have to be hired.

(Top photo from Queen's University Archives, photo above from shiphotos)

I'm saving up energy to publish an exhaustive post on the Inch Arran's checkered stay in Kingston. Until that gets written, this is just one more data point in the problems that the former warship is thought to have caused, being an Inner Harbour navigational hazard!

Sunday, 2 October 2022

On The Buses

I occasionally come across city bus photos. There are not many such photos, so it's always a neat find to come across one. With the demise of the Kingston electric railway, Kingston City Coach, a subsidiary of Colonial Bus Lines, operated city bus service from 1930 until July 1, 1962. Thereafter, buses were operated by the Kingston Public Transit System (KPTS). The KPTS moniker was chosen in May, 1962 and the system transferred to the the Public Utilities Commission at the end of 1962. The system was later renamed Kingston Transit (KT). Bus 5609 (a 1952 Canadian Car & Foundry product, originally owned by Kingston City Coach) operating as a school bus at Lasalle Causeway, with Orefax tied up in background on January 15, 1968 (top photo).
Though not evident in the black & white archival photos, the Kingston buses wore an attractive white and light-blue paint scheme, still reflected in today's fleet. This online auction site photo shows bus 6223 operating on the Montreal route (note green flag) and passing St Andrew's Presbyterian Church at Princess and Barrie Streets:
Buses 6216-6230 were the first new buses ordered by KPTS, entering service in October, 1962. Four of the buses were parked at the Cricket Field, in front of the Frontenac Country Court House for their publicity photos by George Lilley, one of which was included in a Whig ad on October 3, 1962 advertising free rides!
The new General Motors buses cost just under $15,000 each. 
6222 on Princess Street, 1966 (below)
Waiting buses at Brock & King Streets, 1965:
New bus orders continued, all from General Motors for their 35-foot 'New Look' models, totalling ten orders over the next 14 years, before orders were placed for higher capacity, 40-foot GM models. 6434 at Brock and King in 1966:
New GM 'fishbowls', 1968:
Interior and exterior views during an industrial site tour, 1967:

Exterior and interior views of the downtown bus barns, 1968:

6532 outside the bus barns, 1965
6222 fights snowy road conditions on Brock Street near City Hall in December, 1968

Through slush at the Traffic Circle, KT 6737 in January, 1969:
KT 6635 at Pine and Division tussle with truck, April 1969:
Sharin' the road - 6333 with a snowmobile during snowy April, 1969:

(All photos in this post from Queen's University Archives)

Four Boxcars For Fall

Online shopping has been a boon to many but not to me, during the pandemic and after. However, I recently found an online marketplace listing for four boxcars that seemed to be just what my layout and I needed. The four were Accurail and Athearn products, reasonably priced, with metal wheels.

Though I usually don't dabble too deeply in rolling stock on this blog, I'm desperately trying to delve back into the layout room, now that the colder weather is upon us. The arrival of these cars and their subsequent pre-layout work seemed to be a worthwhile pursuit now that 'modelling season' is here. All these cars would be plausible visitors to Kingston, so I'm looking forward to seeing them in service.
It didn't hurt that I knew of Will the seller, and that he offered to affordably ship the cars from Quinte West using one of Canada Post's new flat rate boxes. This seemed like a good option with $1.50 per litre gas! Shortly after our transaction was complete, Will shipped the cars and they arrived quickly and in excellent condition. It was 'kid on Christmas morning' time, and I was pleased to find Accurail Southern Railway, Southern Pacific and Canadian National; and Athearn Grand Trunk Western cars ready for coupler conversion and some light weathering. Ready for their closeups:
The trucks and couplers were already blackened, though I added my customary X2F couplers. I was still able to work out in the sunroom in daytime, making these reconfigurations more enjoyable with natural light:
Each of the newer-prototype cars received ACI labels. I took a chance on this CN car with the 8-foot door. These were often used for newsprint service, and indeed I receive such cars of newsprint at my layout's Whig-Standard warehouse. If I had yellow paint in my tool tray, I'd make one side's door yellow. I did, and I did. I thought it looked good, though I decided to leave the other side's door brown, signifying Alcan ingot service, another reason these cars came to Kingston from Arvida, QC.
The Southern Pacific car, being a product of the 1940's, got a heavy dilute hobby-paint weathering, as well as some chalk-marks:
I also gave the SP car a roof treatment, being the side of the car most commonly seen on my layout, even with its 48-inch height.
I then took the cars down to the layout, registered them in the database, and posed them for photos (to send to Will) at the CN freighthouse. Not only are 40-foot cars quite prototypical for my circa 1970 modelled locale and era, but they allow me to handle more, shorter cars on the layout's CN and CP trains, because space in 10x11 feet is always at a premium.
Here are the four cars at the freighthouse, with the city of Kingston behind and the Great Cataraqui River Inner Harbour in the foreground. Workers and equipment are busy at Canadian Dredge & Dock's shipyard:
This project should mark the beginning of [indoor] modelling season, so I expect to share more modelling posts, as well as continuing with archival research and prototype history topics throughout the shorter-daylight months to come!

OCTOBER 3 UPDATE - I just tried to tell Will about this post, and received a response stating that Will has passed away. He died suddenly on September 25. This comes as quite a shock, knowing Will had much to live fore: recently engaged, two growing boys and many interests and friends in his life. These cars will remain a rolling memorial to Will.

Friday, 30 September 2022

Got Piles?

Well, you would want them if you were a CN crew charged with stabilizing a 40-foot segment of CN's waterfront trackage across from City Hall. Dating back to the Grand Trunk era, the line was built to enable  delivery of Kingston-produced locomotives up to the mainline. The Market Battery was still in place, so the GTR built its track 50 feet out into the lake leaving room for boats to pass through. With the departure of the British garrison in 1875, the battery was demolished, the intervening space landfilled with stone and other spoil from the former battery..

The pile driver sits on the CN track, with CP and other boxcars on the adjacent CP tracks (above). The associated work cars sit on the single track into the Canadian Locomotive Company plant, between limestone buildings lining Ontario Street at right and Swift's Coal dock buildings at left:

So here they are on February 18, 1950. The Toronto-based pile driver, idler flat car and tool/boarding car for and its two man crew under D.J. Garrett, have been pushed down the Hanley spur (still named the Kingston Subdivision at this point, technically!). Nominally this was between the foot of Clarence Street and Swift's Coal Dock. Along with the Bridge & Building crew from Belleville under Foreman C. Rushnell, they are going to work on what looks like a bitterly cold day. 
A close-up view shows two men on the ice watching the progress, with buoys lining the Brock Street dock in the distance and plowed snow pushed onto the lake ice.

The condition of the wooden retaining wall at water's edge is not optimal. Ties are spilling downwards towards the icy lake.  The crew's plan was to drive several 25-foot piles inside the current retaining wall, build a new retaining wall within the piles, remove the old wall and backfill up to the new wall. What they're up against - the relentless wave action, flooding and seasonal effects of the lake upon he Swift's Coal dock at the foot of Johnson Street, this view from May, 1952:
The beauty of having access to these original George Lilley negatives is the ability to zoom in to details, making two photos into five. Of course, only one highly-cropped, newsprint-dotted photo made it into the Whig. The top photo is one of two I ordered small square prints of from the Archives a couple of decades ago!

(Photos in this post from the Queen's University Archives)

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

RCNA Reunion Parade, May 1983

The Royal Canadian Naval Association held its 29th reunion in Kingston on May 20-22, 1983. On Saturday the 21st, we went to City Hall to see the parade at which the vets received the key to the city. Over 1,500 delegates attended from all across Canada, with the parade under marshal Bill Schiek.

Form-up time on Ontario Street, two blocks south of the Ramada Inn, was 10 a.m., with the parade taking just a few minutes to reach City Hall at 11 a.m. (above). The salute was taken by Rear-Admiral (Ret'd) A.H.G. Storrs of Victoria, BC. A banquet that evening for 900, with music for a ball provided by a 12-person ensemble from Ottawa's Governor-General's Foot Guards band, was held at the Cataraqui Community Arena.
Photo-bombed by a cane-wielding vet (above). Oh, the stories these fellow could tell - Hearts of Oak.

Inspection underway (above) then ready to step off:
Rounding the corner from Brock Street onto King Street:
A naval warrant officer, likely from HMCS Cataraqui, is here to keep the parade in good order:
Down Johnson Street from St. George's Cathedral, making the turn onto Ontario Street:
Another parade on Sunday saw the veterans form up near the Cricket Field on Barrie Street and parade to the Cross of Sacrifice for laying of 25 wreaths. The Vimy Band (above) provided marching music for both parades. Reunion chairman was noted local naval veteran Art Sleap.

Kingston's diminutive naval division formed in 1939 consisted of 12 members under Lt.(N) W. Rigney, housed in the former feed mill building at the foot of Princess Street. By the end of the war, Canada's navy was the third largest in the world, charged with defending vital convoy sea lanes between Canada and Great Britain.

Ready, Aye, Ready.