– MANCHESTER –
-> The City of Manchester is situated in the heart of a huge industrial area of Lancashire. For centuries this inland city has been the centre of the cotton trade. Cotton is not grown in Lancashire, of course, but it is made into cloth there, and the finished material is exported all over the world.
All around Manchester are many smaller towns where the cotton industry has developed and where soap, chemicals, dyes, rubber goods and paper goods are manufactured. Manchester itself is now famous not only for the production of machinery of all kinds, but as a great trade
centre of England, second only to London.
It was not always so. Until the building of the Manchester Ship Canal the cotton goods had to be transported to Liverpool, over thirty miles away, and there loaded onto cargo ships which carried them all
over the world. Naturally, this increased the cost of the goods and
reduced the profits of Manchester’s trade.
Why is this no longer necessary? Because this famous canal goes all the way from Liverpool to Manchester, a distance of thirty-five miles. It is wide and deep enough to carry large ships easily and safely. It has transformed Manchester from an inland city into one of Britain’s greatest ports. Huge docks and warehouses, stores and factories have sprung up along its banks (sides) and, every hour of the day. and night,
great ships from all over the world are loading or unloading cargo at the
The Ship Canal was opened to traffic on January 1st, 1894. It is a very good example of engineering skill and perseverance.* Five railway lines crossed the route chosen for the canal and bridges had to be built for them.
Rivers and streams also stood in the way. They could not be allowed to flow into the canal because they would have interfered with the water-level. These were only a few of the problems the engineers had to solve.
The Opening Of Manchester Ship Canal by the Yacht Norseman – 1894
At last, however, the work was finished. On January 1st, 1894, seventy-one ships sailed for the first time from the mouth of the River Mersey where Liverpool stands, right up to the City of Manchester. On
May 21st of the same year Queen Victoria herself sailed up this wonderful waterway to perform the official opening ceremony.
‘perseverance: continuing firmly in spite of difficulties