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Friday, 13 April 2018

Down to the docks.

We started down the Stanley fight of four locks along with a share boat 'Kingfisher'. The voluntary lock keepers helped us down, and then begged a lift to the Pier Head too.  As we went down the locks we entered Staley Dock that has fantastic buildings one either side. To the right is the new Titanic Hotel. The dock was opened in 1848 as was the canal link. Previously there was no connection with the dock system but a system of basins beyond Eldonian village. Jessie Hartley was the builder of the dock and the warehouses. Stanley is the only existing  dock that is built on the land, rather than on reclaimed land from the Mersey. To the north the warehouse has been converted in to the Titanic Hotel.

To the south the original warehouses, that were similar to the now Titanic Hotel were demolished and between 1897 and 1901 the Tobbacco Warehosue was built. The date on the building is 1900, but at this time it was the worlds largest brick warehouse with approx. with 27 million bricks. It fell out of use in the 1980's and it is only recently that a proper use has been found for it. The middle of the building is to be hollowed out to supply a light atrium for the proposed 930 apartments shops and offices.

 On the right is the Titanic Hotel and the left the tobacco warehouse. In the front is the bascule bridge that is a lifting bridge that allows access to Collingwood Dock. This dock was opened at the same time as Stanley Dock.

The Victoria Tower on the riverside of Salisbury Dock was designed to act as an accurate time piece for ships in the river to set their chronometers for accurate navigation. It also had a bell to sound the time of high water and fog etc. At its base it was also a house for the Pier Master of The Salisbury Locks. It was also known as the 'Dockers Clock' as all over the dock system they could see the time.

The 90deg turn into Sid's ditch. It was carved out of the old Clarence Dock that was built in 1830 and was designated just for steamships to keep them seperate from the sailing ships, and the possibility of fire. It was where the Irish Ferries berthed and 1.3 million Irsh passed through escaping the potato famine of the 1840's. In 1928 the dock closed and was filled in so that the Clarence Dock Power Station could be built. In turn that was redundant in 1994 and demolished, still waiting for a new use.

The isolation of the island of Sid's Ditch has meant that ringed plovers and lapwings can be seen nesting there. You can just see a female ringed plover on the nest in the photo above.

The Kingsway Tunnel ventilation shaft is modern was erected in 1971.

Waterloo Dock was built in 1834. It was split in into East and West in 1868. I just loved these steps that look like they are falling down but rather than being laid horizontally they are angled and the step cut at an angle.

We are in Princes Dock, named after the Prince Regent who went on to be George IV. The dock was opened on the day of his coronation in 1821, despite it not being completed. It has partly been filled in and you get a great view of the Liver Buildings. There was a railway station on the river side from 1895 and the building of the Pier Head.

The Museum of Liverpool was built in 2011 and is the second tunnel after a lock at Princes Lock. The first tunnel has a bend in it and is long enough to need your bow light on when transiting. This tunnel leads on to the second lock at Mann  Island that gives access to Canning Dock. Mann Island was the site of the Board of Trade sea school,in the 1970's and I had to attend here to take my Lifeboatman certificate that meant sailing, rowing and steaming round the dock and also I sat my Efficient Deck Hand cert. too, which I was more nervous about than sitting my Master's Certificate of Competency.

As you pass through Canning Dock you can look back this building is quite spectacular.

'Brocklebank' was built by Yarwoods in Northwich and was launched in 1964 and completed in 1965. She helped ships in and out of the Merseyside Dock system Just ahead of the blue vessel was the entrance into the Albert Dock, that is the resurgent dock area with loads of visitors all the time.

It was started in 1841 and was completed in 1846. The brick warehouses with stone columns are Grade I listed. They fell out of use for their original purpose after only 50 years but it was only in 1972 that it finally closed. It was revitalised in its present form from 1982. Just to  ahead of the launch is the cut through to the Salthouse Dock.

In the corner of Albert Dock is this corner where the buildings show through.

Once through into Salthouse Dock we had to find our berth which was S7 on the north wall of the dock. We were lucky that there was little wind and we were soon moored up, and plugged in to the free electricity too.

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