GREY POINT FORT AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY - Helen’s Bay Crawfordsburn 2008
Early history of the 6 inch Breech Loading Naval Guns Vickers was formed in Sheffield as a steel foundry by the miller Edward Vickers and his father-in-law George Naylor in 1828. Naylor was a partner in the foundry Naylor &  Sanderson and Vickers' brother William owned a steel rolling operation. Edward's investments in the railway industry allowed him to gain control of the company, based at  Millsands and known as Naylor Vickers and Company. It began life making steel castings and quickly became famous for casting church bells. In 1854 Vickers' sons Thomas and  Albert joined the business. In 1863 the company moved to a new site in Sheffield on the River Don in Brightside. The company went public in 1867 as Vickers, Sons & Company  and gradually acquired more businesses, branching out into various sectors. In 1868 Vickers began to manufacture marine shafts, in 1872 they began casting marine propellers  and in 1882 they set up a forging press. Vickers produced their first armour plate in 1888 and their first artillery piece in 1890. It bought out the Barrow in Furness shipbuilder  The Barrow Shipbuilding Company in 1897, acquiring its subsidiary the Maxim Nordenfelt Guns And Ammunitions Company at the same time, to become Vickers, Sons & Maxim.  The yard at Barrow became the "Naval Construction Yard". With these acquisitions, Vickers could now produce a complete selection of products, from ships and marine fittings  to armour plate and a whole suite of ordnance and artillery.  The Breech Loading Mark VII 6-inch naval guns installed at Grey Point Fort were the standard coastal defence guns at the turn of the century, designed by Vickers, Sons & Maxim,  and could fire a 100 pound shell through 15 inches of armoured plate at 1,000 yards. It was an effective weapon introduced in the first decade of the 20th Century –and many  stayed in service until coastal defences was abolished in 1956. 
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