Frank Grant, local historian, presented an inspiring talk on the proud history of Carlisle’s once world famous crane makers, Cowans and Sheldon Company Limited, to an appreciative audience of members and guests of the Carlisle and District Civic Trust on Tuesday 19th February.
Originally founded in 1846 by four partners, John Cowans, Edward Pattinson Sheldon, Thomas and William Bouch, Cowans Sheldon was responsible for constructing rail and dock cranes, together with steam powered railway turn tables, throughout the globe.
The firm’s reputation and accomplishments were second to none. As well as producing the largest dockside crane in the UK and the largest floating crane on the planet for the Japanese Navy which, co-incidentally, helped build ships that fought in the Second World War, the firm also constructed that distinctive roof for Carlisle Market Hall. Sadly the St Nicholas works closed in 1987.