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King George V dry-dock

King George V dry-dock

View this story in pictures

No. 7 Dry Dock. King George V Dry Dock
As ocean liners became larger, Southampton needed new facilities to maintain them. The six existing dry-docks were too small and the floating dock at Town Quay was only a temporary measure. A new dry-dock had to be built.

Docks. Opening Ceremony Of George V Dock
As part of the 1930s Docks Extension Scheme, a new dry-dock was to be built at the western end of the new docks. Capable of housing the largest liners of the day, the King George V dry-dock was built to house the Queen Mary and could accommodate larger ships up to 100,000 tons. Two million tons of earth had to be moved during construction and the dock was finished within two years.

King George V Dry Dock
King George opened the dry dock on 26th July 1933. Also known as the Number 7 Dock, the dock was named after him. The nearby picture shows Queen Mary emptying a cup of Empire wine into the dock as part of the naming ceremony. The couple arrived in Southampton and sailed into the dock on board the royal yacht Victoria and Albert. However, the size of the dock dwarfs her - the dock can hold liners over 1000 feet (300m) long.

George V Dock And 'Queen Elizabeth'
For many years, the dock was the largest in the world. The dock was built with four pumps which could empty the dock of water within four hours. Two travelling cranes were installed, capable of lifting up to 50 tons. To accommodate the workers who overhauled ships in the dock, a workmen's canteen and waiting room was built nearby that could accommodate 1200 men.

King George V Dry Dock And 'Canberra'
King George V is the only dry dock in Southampton that is still in use today.


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