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Manchester Ship Canal Company
Manchester Ship Canal Company
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Very large archive of a company which was at the centre of Manchester's economy for so long. It has by no means been fully catalogued as yet, but the records listed comprise:Acts of Parliament Legislation of interest to the company's activitiesMinute Books:Prior to 1885 Act of Parliament 1882-1885; Shareholders 1886-1914; Board 1885-1944; Executive Committee 1882-1909; Works Committee 1887-1891 (1st series); 1909-1940 (2nd series); Traffic & Rates Committee 1891-1900; Land & Estates Committee 1893-1934; Labour Executive Committee 1916-1936; Pilotage Committee 1895-1945; Attendance Books of the Pilotage Committee 1895-1955; Tolls, Rates & Charges Committee 1904-1937; Finance Committee 1934-1943; Stores Committee 1939-1943; Bridgewater Committee 1930-1938; Sub-Committee 1904-1934; General Meetings 1893 - 1929Financial Records: Journals 1883-1946; Works Department 1893-1959; Land & Estate (Revenue) 1894-1959; General Charges (Revenue) 1894-1959; Rent, Rates & Taxes 1894-1959; Maintenance 1896-1971; Dredging 1910-1960; Electric Lighting 1909-1956; Ellesmere Port 1922-1959; Dock Office 1944-1959; Bridgewater Department 1945-1959; Bankers 1888-1959; T.A.W. 1887-1892; Traffic Revenue 1891-1958; Stores 1894-1959; Working of Locks 1896-1959; Parliamentary Fund 1882- 1886; Law & Parliamentary Revenue 1874-1959; Law & Parliamentary Charges 1887-1946; Income Tax 1903-1959; Engineering & Surveying 1887-1959; National Insurance 1912-1959; Personal 1946-1958; Purchase of land and Compensation 1912-1931; Tugs & launches 1896- 1958; War measures 1937-1958; 2nd Parliamentary Fund 1884-1885; Pilots Earnings & Fund 1929-1959; Capital Account 1889-1951; Debits 1885-1887; General 1885-1889; Suspense Account 1885-1887; General Charges (Capital) 1925-1959; Superannuation Fund 1927-1957; General Charges 1887-1903; Ship Canal House 1945-1958; Cash Books 1882-1971; Catalogue Available for Minutes and Financial RecordsSecretary's Correspondence Department files 1886-1970 Shareholders Address Books 1908-1963; Registers of Transfers Shares 1919-1962 Accident Registers and Reports: Traffic Department 1897-1950; Bridgewater Department 1942-1951; Engineering Department 1936-1951; Railway Department 1896-1931; Fatal Accident Registers 1898-1952; Accident Books 1945-1968; Accident Registers 1929-1939; Accidents to and by Vessels 1896-1945; Accident Reports 1965-1973; Factory Inspectors Reports 1957-1973 Photographic Archive Bound Albums 1880s-1961; Mounted Prints 1880s-1970s Unmounted Prints Daniel Adamson; Anderton Lift; Associated Octel Whart, Barton Aqueduct; Bridges; Bridgewater Canal; Bridgewater Transport Services; James Brindley; Buildings; Barges; Barton Aqueduct and Bridge; Bridgewater Transport services; Canteens; Cargoes - Cars and vehicles; Cargoes - Coal and Coke; Cargoes - Cocoa; Cargoes - Cotton; Cargoes - Fruit; Cargoes - Grain; Cargoes - Meat; Cargoes - Metal; Cargoes - Tea; Cargoes - Timber; Cargoes - Wool; Cargoes - General; Cargo Handling; Cargo Handling - Heavy Lifts - Railways; Cargo Handling - Heavy Lifts; Container Traffic; Cranes; Dredgers; Eastham; Ellesmere Port; Excavation and Construction; Exhibitions and Pageants; Factories and Works; Films and T.V.; Grain Elevators House Magazine; Ince; Inspections; Irl am Ferry; Irl am Wharf and Steel Works; Irwell Park Wharf; Locks - Barton; Locks - Eastham; Locks - Irlam; Locks - Latchford; Locks - Mode Wheel Locks; Locks - General, Lock Gardens Competitions; Long Service Awards; Lorries; Manchester Dry Docks; Manchester Docks; Motorways; Museums; Naval Visits; Other Ports; Pallet Pool; Partington; Pipelines; Police; Portraits, Personalities; Preston Brook Marina; Pumping Stations; Queen Elizabeth II Oil Dock; Railways; Recreation, Sports, Receptions, Presentations, Retirements, Awards, Conferences; Rochdale Canal; Runcorn Bridge; Runcorn and Runcorn Docks; Salvage; Sheds (Cargo) Interiors; Ships; Silver Arrow I (Launch for Sightseeing Tours); Silver Arrow II; Sluices; Staff and General Inspections; Stanlow; Swing Bridges; Television; Trafford Park; Training; Tugs; Under Water Viewing Cabinet; Vere Street - New Entrance Gates; Visits - General; Weaste; Widnes; Historical (Construction and Early Years); Barges, Ships and Tugs; Manchester Docks - Aerial Views; Cargo and Cargo Handling, Containers and Pallets; Heavy Lifts; Bridgewater Transport Services Vehicles; Cranes; Railways; Miscellaneous; Firefighting, Accidents and Safety; Barton Dock Estate - Salford Quays DevelopmentRelated Material:Some papers of Daniel Adamson are in the custody of the Record Office (ref GB124.BADM). Records of Highams can be found at Oldham Archives. (ref GB758.DHI).Place:/Manchester/Manchester/Lancashire/England/Salford/Manchester/Lancashire/England
Manchester Ship Canal Company
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By the second half of the nineteenth century Manchester was a city in decline, with its trade and manufacturing throttled by the crippling transport charges exacted by the railway companies and the Liverpool Dock Board. No less than four-fifths of Manchester's overseas trade had to pass through Liverpool, and the board exploited its monopoly to the full. It was therefore decided to revive a proposal (first suggested in the 17th century) to bring deep sea shipping directly to Manchester. The difficulties were daunting not least the opposition from Liverpool and the railway companies but people in Manchester doubted if the idea would work. In 1882 Daniel Adamson, a Manchester manufacturer, called a meeting of civic leaders and businessmen from Manchester and surrounding areas and by the end of that year a bill was presented to Parliament seeking powers to proceed with building the canal. This was not granted until 1885 when the Ship Canal Bill gained Royal Assent. The project was in trouble from the start as there was a failure in attracting enough capital to finance the scheme. Adamson resigned in February 1887 and was replaced by Lord Egerton and the work finally started in the November of that year after Rothchilds bank underwrote £4 million of share capital. Further financial difficulties were caused by the death of the main contractor, Thomas A. Walker who had died within two years of the start of the work. The project limped along under the direction of the executors of Walker's will but in November 1890 with the construction half built the directors were forced to write off half the capital which Walker was to have put into the project. In 1891 Manchester City Council was approached by the company and agreed to lend £3 million in return for taking 5 seats of the board of the company. Two years later Royal Assent was given to a Bill allowing Manchester Corporation to lend a further £2 million in return for another 6 seats on the board. The canal finally opened to traffic on January 1st 1894 and was formally opened by Queen Victoria In May. It had cost £9,670,000, covered 35½ miles and was to cover 700 acres with quays 5½ miles in length Despite optimism and the fact that ships dues were not charged for 7 years the canal was not an immediate success. Many ship owners continued to use established ports. The first six months saw 630 ships dock at Manchester but it took three years for traffic to build to a reasonable level. During 1894 925,569 tons were handled, this had increased to 3,917,578 tons in 1904 and 5.4 million tons at the beginning of the Great War. In terms of tonnage, 1955 was the busiest year when 18.5 million tonnes were processed. A factor in the sucess of the canal was Trafford Park, the world's first industrial estate, attracting factory owners with the prospect of access to deep water transport. A railway network was expanded to link with main lines; this network grew to be the largest privately owned railway in Britain with 75 locomotives and 2700 wagons using 200 miless of track. In 1901 Manchester Racecourse was purchased to make way for No 9 dock. This half mile construction was opened by King Edward VII 1905. The previous year, assessed by volume of goods, Manchester was rated fifth in the UK behind London, Livepool, Hull and Glasgow. After the Second World War, the company embarked on a plan for improvement and development and spent £11. million during the decade after the war, culminating in the opening of the Queen Elizabeth II dock in 1954. By the 1960s, however, the long-term prospects were looking bleak. Palletisation and containerisation helped to stave off problems up to the mid 1970s but this was only temporary. By 1976 Ellesmere Port was doing more business than Manchester Docks which was handling less than two million tones per annum. The upper reaches from Runcorn to Manchester were in decline and were to close in 1987. The shift of trade to Europe and the east coast, in
Deposited in stages between 1982 and 1986
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Arrangement:These papers are arranged by department and reflect the structure of the companySee 1885 canals map by W.J. Saxon - at BA/80/5 (small map folder). Ship Canal statistics and Ship Canal plan at BA/80/5 (large map folder).
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