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Dolos Breakwater Block Memorial, East London Harbour
East London, Eastern Cape

Date:n.d.
Type:Memorial
Status:Extant

 


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Coordinates:
-33.023925,27.909483
33°01'26.13" S 27°54'34.13" E

Transcript of bronze plaque:

DIE DOLOS GOLFBREKERBLOK
IS IN 1963 IN OOS-LONDEN
ONTWERP DEUR
MNR. E. M. MERRIFIELD HAWE-INGENIEUR.
----- ----- -----
THE DOLOS BREAKWATER BLOCK
WAS DESIGNED
IN EAST LONDON IN 1963 BY
MR. E. M. MERRIFIELD HARBOUR ENGINEER.

The context of the memorial in relation to the Harbour entrance, has recently been negatively affected by the construction of a large canopy (over the adjacent Guard House). One of the steel support columns of the canopy was insensitively placed so as to block a direct view of the memorial.

(MARTINSON)

A dolos is a concrete block in a complex geometric shape weighing up to 20 tons, used in great numbers to protect harbour walls from the erosive force of ocean waves. They were developed in East London in 1963 by EM MERRIFIELD and are found in millions around the world.

(Wikipedia)

East London harbour engineer Eric Merrifield is usually credited with the invention of the dolos, one of South Africa's best-known inventions; in fact, it was initially called "the Merrifield block". However, research has revealed that it was Merrifield's young draughtsman, Aubrey Krüger, who came up with the original design and made the first dolos.

In 1966, Merrifield instructed Krüger to design a concrete structure that could protect the East London harbour breakwater. After brainstorming some ideas with colleagues, Krüger went home and assembled a temporary structure using broom handles and string. His prototype dolos looked like an H with one leg turned through 90 degrees. It was named after the knuckles of a sheep, which it resembled. Merrifield liked Krüger's idea and asked him to develop the design further. Soon, full-sized dolosse were cast in concrete and successfully placed along the seaward edge of the breakwater in East London, where they dissipated the power of the waves with signal success.

See more at: Popular Mechanics

(Roger C FISHER)

See also the Dolos Casting Yard