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The early years
New machinery had previously been purchased from the German firm Kirchner and at the start of the war a letter came from the London agents regretting their inability to procure further spares from Germany but this was hardly necessary as the machines were so massively constructed that they remained in service until 1984.
Power was provided by a petrol/paraffin Kelvin engine of 9hp, which Edgar Cove’s son John has restored to show condition and still has it in working order, having taken it with him when he emigrated to Norway in 2003. In addition the yard had a small petrol engine which drove a generator to provide light using low voltage carbon filament bulbs.
In the early 1920’s Edgar Cove bought Island House and Island Quay, which in the 19th century had been Harnden’s shipyard where many of the Salcombe trading ships had been built. Island Quay was more spacious than the Shadycombe yard, which was retained for winter storage, and was a better site for running a hire fleet so all the machinery was moved there and it became the main building yard. In the early 1930’s it was extended to give additional space.
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