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10. Building the Manchester Ship Canal.


algy
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Horse Mill at Ellesmere Port. Although the Manchester Ship Canal used the latest methods in mechanical excavation this did not mean that the horse had been entirely abandoned, as can be seen in this picture.

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A Hospital for Ship Canal workers between the Canal and Barton Lane. Thomas Walker, the contractor employed by the Manchester Ship Canal Company, cared deeply about both the physical and mental well-being of the men in his charge. He set up hospitals along the route of construction to treat navvies injured or sick during work on the Manchester Ship Canal.

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Huts at Marshville, Frodsham Marshes. With such large numbers of men working on the Manchester Ship Canal, there was a great need for suitable temporary accommodation. The contractor, Thomas Walker, had huts like these built for the workers, forming villages along the length of the Canal. A large number of navvies were housed in this village on Frodsham Marshes, which came to be known as 'Marshville'.

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As the cuttings of the Manchester Ship Canal got deeper various methods were introduced to remove soil from the works. Here an inclined ramp is in use. A wooden platform moved up and down the slope, powered by steam, removing full barrows and returning empty ones. This was a later and more sophisticated version of the 'barrow run'.

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This photograph illustrates the huge scale of the Manchester Ship Canal construction. Irlam locks were the third set of locks encountered by users of the Ship Canal. The locks can be seen on the left with the sluice gates on the right.

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Irlam Locks from the South Bank.

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With the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal, sections of the existing railway network had to be rebuilt. Lines which crossed the Canal had to be taken on higher level bridges. Irlam station was on one of these routes and, as a consequence, a new station was constructed, the old station stands on the left of picture.

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Irlam new station.

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Irlam railway viaduct with canal excavation taking place under the main arch.

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steam driven inclined barrow platform a much safer method raising loaded hand barrows from the canal bed than the earlier 'barrow runs'.

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