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john howard and company ltd

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concrete
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john howard and company ltd

Post #1 by concrete » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:33 pm

hi does any one know what happened to this company based in chatham in kent. They were are civil and marine eng firm.

Does anyone know where to find any info on the form and photos of there yard and old jobs.

thank you


Wee Heavy
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Re: john howard and company ltd

Post #2 by Wee Heavy » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:28 pm

concrete wrote:hi does any one know what happened to this company based in chatham in kent. They were are civil and marine eng firm.

Does anyone know where to find any info on the form and photos of there yard and old jobs.

thank you



They hit hard times and were taken over by Amec.

The yard on the Medway now has a rice distribution company based on it and the surrounding area was developed by the original Cliffe Construction company.

They built a few of the flood defence structures on the various creeks off of the Thames and Medway rivers.

If you look for details of the Thames Flood defenses that were going on at the same time the Thames Barrier was beeing built, you might come up with some pictures that way

On one of the creek structures, they erected a Tower Crane and reeved it up somehow to be able to use a grab for clearing out the cofferdam.

When the Tower Crane was dismantled apparently it was not good for anything else becuase of the "harsh" work it had been asked to do.

I have some info somewhere and if I find it I will post it on the forum


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concrete
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Re: john howard and company ltd

Post #3 by concrete » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:33 am

hi heavy thats great, they seemed to have vanished. Was there yard very big


Wee Heavy
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Re: john howard and company ltd

Post #4 by Wee Heavy » Sun May 15, 2011 1:10 pm

concrete wrote:hi does any one know what happened to this company based in chatham in kent. They were are civil and marine eng firm.

Does anyone know where to find any info on the form and photos of there yard and old jobs.

thank you




I have now found my copy of the souvenir supplement of the Thames Barrier Contract and associated Thames Flood Defences that was given out in the Construction News back in November 1982.

It confirmed that John Howard carried out 6 contracts including the Fobbing House and Easthaven Barriers near Canvey Island and the Dartford Creek Barrier that was being built at the time I came in to the industry.

I can vaguely remember going twice down to the Medway yard that was next to the river and it was a typical civil engineers plant yard with equipment and form work from previous contracts lying around going rusty and a lot of marine equipment which was the type of civil’s work that Howards had a reputation for. It was a big yard at the end of a dusty road.

In the company that I worked for at the time, my director knew the manager for Howard Plant and the last of our NCK and RB crawler cranes had been sold off and we always passed our enquiries on to John Howards in case they had any in the yard between their own contracts.

If you are familiar with the Plant Hire Guide, it was pretty much the “Bible” for everything to do with the Plant Industry at the time (before the web) and if you had a full page in it – which Howards did have - you were a fair size company.

They also had Coles Cranes in their fleet which was basically what I was brought up on and these included a Coles Speedcrane and Coles Husky’s which I think had been initially purchased for the Howard Doris North Sea Oil Rig Platform’s that were being built in Scotland during the late seventies and early eighties.

I mentioned in my previous blog that Amec had taken them over but as soon as I had pressed the “send” button, I remembered it was in fact the Fairclough Civil Engineering name that appeared on the John Howards contracts that had been taken over and a couple of years later the Fairclough name was “dropped” and everything was rebranded as Amec.

About the only thing left about John Howards in Medway is their old office block in Chatham. It is a good looking brick built building. It may have been the instruction to the architect when it was built but I always thought it was a coincidence that the window frames were colour coded in the same dark Green that was the main colour in John Howard’s livery.

Hope this helps with any connection you have with the John Howard name.


Topic author
concrete
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Re: john howard and company ltd

Post #5 by concrete » Mon May 16, 2011 11:24 pm

hi wee heavy thank you so much for the insight into a great company, i wonder if there are any old photos of their yard. Its a shame no one wrote a book about this firm.


Wee Heavy
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Re: john howard and company ltd

Post #6 by Wee Heavy » Sun May 22, 2011 10:16 am

concrete wrote:hi wee heavy thank you so much for the insight into a great company, i wonder if there are any old photos of their yard. Its a shame no one wrote a book about this firm.



Thanks for the reply,

If you have got the time, I can only suggest you take a visit to the reference library in Rochester.

There is plenty of history about the Medway Towns. Apart from some manufacturing companies that were based in Medway and were well known all around the world, there was once a Naval Dockyard in Chatham.

I am sure that the archives will give you some information and show photographs of the river and perhaps even aerial photo's that would give you the answers or insight you are looking for.

Before I sent my previous reply, I googled Howard Doris and there was some information about the yards where the North Sea Jackets that Howard Doris were involved in were fabricated.

All the best


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concrete
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Re: john howard and company ltd

Post #7 by concrete » Tue May 24, 2011 1:26 am

hi wee heavy thank you once again


bob
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Re: john howard and company ltd

Post #8 by bob » Thu May 26, 2011 8:36 pm

I worked for John Howard about 1972 at Felixstowe dock on a cat 955 they had just finished a job at Liverpool docks and the cofferdams on the humber bridge,they also had a big job in Hong Kong The plant mangers name I think was Jackie Broadbent. I thought that the oil rig building site at lock Kishorn broke them?


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concrete
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Re: john howard and company ltd

Post #9 by concrete » Sat May 28, 2011 7:21 pm

hi bob did where were their plant yards, did you ever get any pictures.

thanks


tim
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Re: john howard and company ltd

Post #10 by tim » Sun May 29, 2011 9:46 am

A Howard NCK 305B rigged as a dragshovel
h305.jpg

:thumbup: Tim
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