Fitters and the Factory

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In the Dockyard there were many different types of fitter. The two main types of fitter were the engine fitters and the ship fitters. Engine fitters dealt with fitting the ship's engines and other mechanical devices on ships. The ship fitters worked on auxiliary machinery which included steering gear, winches, windlasses, valves, gear rods and rudders. Both types of fitter worked in similar environments. They spent their time afloat in cramped machinery spaces.

Ship fitters afloat
Ship fitters afloat (PRDHT)

Their workshops consisted of benches, vices and lathes so that they could machine pieces in order to prepare them for fitting.

Engine fitters in the shop
Engine fitters in the shop (PRDHT)

The admiralty decided to amalgamate the ship fitters and engine fitters into one trade during the 1970s. This was a cost cutting measure in response to cuts in the defence budget. It also meant that the ship fitters, like the engine fitters also came under the engineering department.

The Dockyard factory comprised of different sections. The fitters used one section that contained their benches, vices and lathes. The other parts of the factory made components for ships. This ranged from tiny valves up to the 150 foot lathe used for propeller shafts.

MED Factory
The Factory

Other tasks the people in the factory worked on included balancing propellers and repairing the steam engines from the Dockyard's railway. There was an annex to the factory called the bottle shop. The bottle shop cleaned and refilled gas bottles.

The Bottle Shop
The Bottle Shop (PRDHT)