I love canals and everything connected with them. I am lucky to live in NW England which has so many. (I’ve found a dozen on the website www.canalboat.co.uk)
The Manchester Ship Canal was opened in 1894 by Queen Victoria.This was a feat of engineering, running from Eastham on the Mersey Estuary to Salford – a length of 35.5 miles. It enabled sea-going vessels of up to 12,500 tonnes to sail right into Greater Manchester and the industrial heartlands of the north-west, and was built at a time of great national confidence when Britain was the workshop of the world.
With its new canalside docks, the city of Salford, a prominent site of the Industrial Revolution in the early 19th century, was destined to grow rapidly.
The growth and subsequent decline of Salford docks can be found on the Quays’ Website here.
By the late 1970s, the loss of trade and jobs in the north of England was alarming and the once-proud docks of inner Salford, by now squalid and polluted, qualified to receive derelict land funding under the British Government’s Urban Programme.
Then a developer called Ted Hagen had a vision of regenerating the area by building a cinema and a hotel. This idea took legs and ran and ran until today Salford Quays today boasts of The Imperial War Museum, The Lowry Arts/Theatre Complex, Media City (BBC and ITV), and a Retail Outlet with shops, restaurants and cinemas.
It’s a great place for a day out.