Historical Review

Clark & Standfield’s (C&S) origins began in the 19th century with the Clark family. By the time Edwin and Latimer Clark formed their partnership with John Standfield, they had already gained an international reputation in the design of hydraulic shiplifts, canal boat lifts and bridge construction, notably the Britannia and Conway bridges. John Standfield, also a notable bridge and railway engineer, became acquainted with the Clarks when he was appointed the resident engineer for the construction of Edwin Clark’s hydraulic shiplift at Hog Island, Bombay (Mumbai). On its completion in 1872, John Standfield returned to England and in 1873, the Clarks entered into partnership with John Standfield to construct floating docks, shiplifts and other marine craft at their Grays Engineering Works on the Thames.

The first C & S dock was built at C&S’s Grays Engineering Works on the Thames in 1877 for the Imperial Russian Navy. It was a depositing type floating dock (C&S patent) with a lifting capacity of 4200 tons..

In addition to C&S’s work in the design and construction of floating docks, the company was also involved in canal boat lifts, designing the lift at Les Fontinettes and the 4 lifts at La Louviere. The latter lifts were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998.

Since C&S was formed, it has prepared designs for more than 200 floating docks, varying in lifting capacity from 100 tons to 100,000 tons. These have been mostly for overseas clients but include more than 60 for the British Admiralty, ranging from the first Admiralty Dock (AFD1) to designs capable of accommodating the current UK submarine classes.

C&S has developed several patents associated with floating docks and specialist equipment. In addition to floating docks, the company has been involved in a variety of other engineering projects, for example Ferris Wheels, Dock Gates, pontoons, ship stability etc.

The company continues to be at the forefront of floating dock design as well as providing marine consultancy services for various ship and civil related projects.