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Clare's Shipyard Sankey Bridges


Tracey Bennett
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I think they were actually Clare & Ridgeway who in time became a sand & gravel suppliers to the building trade & as i remember were still trading in the 1970's. I believe the company played a part in building the RMS  Tayleur at its Bank Quay shipyard.The Tayleur sank on its maiden voyage after running aground off  Ireland  while taking emigrants from Liverpool to Australia.

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I found a bit of info on a leafley about Sankey Bridges and the canal which says.... 

 

'Commercial industries relating to the canal,housing and social provision for the workers all developed making

the area lively and prosperous

 

Private wharves, a coal yard and a public house called the‘Resolution Sloop’ existed here in 1756.

 

A boat yard and dry dock followed. Originally belonging to the Clare family the yard

starting building ‘Mersey flats’ in 1807 and continued for most of the century.

 

The Sankey Bridges boatyard had a spell of financial difficulties about 1848. However, in 1855 their fortunes

began to improve and the order book was full until at least 1881.

 

Today the boat yard is the site of the builders merchants and the BMX track is on top of the dry dock.'

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One of the three concrete barges built at Fidler's Ferry called the Cretecove is still partially intact in Norway Davy and you will find it's story in one of the Vol 7's of the SCARS Newsletters. They were built to combat a shortage of steel at the end of the First World War and a total of 54 were built along with 12 concrete tugs. Some were surprisingly long lasting and at least one survived in use until post WW2. Several remains exist of hulks around the coast and in the sense of longevity they were a success. However the method of construction was abandoned when steel became freely available again. Could go on for ever if you want me too lol...

 

Peridot

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Tracey, some of this has been mentioned by Dizzy.

 

The Mersey was naturally navigable from Liverpool to Warrington (formerly its lowest

bridging point) and in 1736 the Mersey and Irwell Navigation connected Bank Quay at

Warrington via eight locks with Manchester. Atherton’s Quay was installed at Little Sankey

just below Warrington, probably about the same year.

From 1732 the Weaver Navigation had connected the Cheshire saltworks and their constant

need of coal, with the Mersey. From the Mersey, near Fiddlers Ferry there was a mile-long

navigable section of the Sankey Brook as far as Sankey Bridges, where by 1756 there were

private wharves, a coal-yard and a public house called The Resolution Sloop.

About this time a 60-ton sloopwas operating to this point.

In 1757 England’s first modern canal (the Sankey Brook Navigation) was cut parallel to the

Brook from the Mersey through Sankey Bridges and Winwick Quay to the St Helens coalfields.

It was hugely successful and made possible direct shipments of coal from the pits to the

Cheshire saltworks on the Weaver. A dry-dock and boat-yard were built at Sankey Bridges by

the Clare family, who were coal-merchants and carriers involved in the Anglesey copper ore

trade between Amlwlch and St Helens: they began building flats at Sankey Bridges in 1807.

One of the largest vessels built at the boat yard was the 200 ton Santa Rosa the largest hull

that could negotiate the Widnes Lock into the River mersey.

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The last two flats were the Santa Rosa and the Eustace Carey the burnt out remains of the latter being at Spike Island. They were known as Jigger Flats because of their ketch rigging, although the last vessel built there was I think a lightship called the ??? Jebb in 1906 ish...

 

Peridot

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I don't know about a concrete barge at Ellesmere Port Tracey but if there is the chances are it would be one built during the Second World War which was another story altogether... I'm sure you will find the book of interest and even the concrete boats at Fidler's Ferry get a mention!!...

 

There are a couple of flats at the Ellesmere Port Museum but neither are under sail - I think one of them is called the Mossdale. If you are ever back up this way I'll take you to see the remains of the Eustace Carey - there is a photo of it intact at Spike Island under Harry Arnold's photos on the Scars site.

 

Peridot

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I just checked the website and there is a concrete barge at Ellesmere Port.. Thanks for the offer, I think it was on Harry Wells site I saw a few photos of wrecks of flats at Spike Island, I'd love to see them. Wrecks are more evocative somehow! I've seen the Mossdale, at some point during it's history it was Captained by one of the Leigh family. I'm descended from a line of Leigh Flatman, I haven't been able to locate the Mossdale Leighs on my tree (difficult with a common name like that) but I'd like to think it was occupied by my family at some point!

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Tracey, I'm not sure where this photo came from, it may have been Dizzy, however I'm sure whoever it was they won't object!.

Abandoned concrete barges in the old river behind Wilderspool Causeway, they were eventually sunk and filled in when Gainsborough was created.

The bottom photo is one of three in the old river loop at Statham, we covered this in a topic a couple of years ago.

abandonedconcretebargesintheoldrivercutt

 

 

Image00014_zps83bda6ce.jpg

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