The Mysterious Case of The Kochi Boilers…

We at Abbotts (aka Newark Boiler Works!!) can appreciate a good steam boiler as much as anyone – after all, they’re how we made a name for ourselves way back in 1870. We’ve since switched our focus to pressure vessels but remain very proud of our history, indeed steam process vessels are one of our best-sellers with our BG03 blowdown and flash vessel ranges. That’s why when our MD Henry stumbled across these boilers on holiday in India, we just had to find out more…

The boilers sit proudly on the beachfront of Fort Kochi, a neighbourhood of Kochi city in Kerala, India. The plaque underneath them reads:

Steam boilers of the cranes used in Cochin dry dock for 20 years from 1956. It used coke, coal, and firewood as fuels. Notable use of these cranes included attending annual repairs of dredger Lord Willingdon and Lady Willingdon”

A quick google search told us that the Lord Willingdon ship was predominantly a passenger and cargo ship, although it was sometimes requisitioned for military purposes during periods of conflict. It was named after Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon, and operated in and around Kochi from 1926 until 1979 when it sadly sank. We had no such luck when researching the boilers unfortunately, they appear to be a mystery – nobody knows where they came from or who made them! And whilst we would be more than happy to take the credit – after all, they’re not too different to the boiler we sent to Africa to power the Chauncy Maples steamship in 1899 – we really would love to learn the history of these beautiful pieces of engineering. If you know anything please get in touch and let us know!!

To get in touch, please ring us on +44 1636260438 or drop us an email at We’re always happy to talk.

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