HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US   LINKS      
 

 
SALFORD QUAYS CRANES ENGLISH HERITAGE DECISION EXPECTED
 

Star date: 29th December 2012

GOVERNMENT TO MAKE DECISION ON CARGO CRANES WITHIN THE WEEK

A report by English Heritage on whether to nationally list the blue Salford Quays Cargo Cranes and save them from demolition is now with the Government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport and a decision is expected within the next week.

Here Alice Darlington gives a bit of a history on the Docks and explains why the one legged Cranes are so unique.

Full details here…


Salford Docks
click image to enlarge

Last month, Salford City Mayor, Ian Stewart, made a decision to demolish the iconic blue Cargo Cranes at Salford Quays, arguing that while he has "a huge emotional attachment to them as a reminder of the dock workers who built our city…the current economic climate of coalition cuts, means we just haven't got the money to save them. It would be wrong to spend £1million on preserving two rusting and dangerous cranes, when the people of Salford are struggling to make ends meet…"

The figure of £1million is misleading and comes from an independent feasibility report by Stuart Molyneux B.Eng(Hons), C.Eng, M.I.C.E., which looked at the various costs of saving the Cranes - between £648,500 and £982,990. Molyneux recommended the scheme with the lower figure of £648,500 to `disassemble, refurbish and re-erect'.

To the £648,500 figure can be added the Council estimate of £100,000 maintenance every twelve years, or £8,333 per year.

Salford Council has £626,000 ring fenced in its capital budget to pay for the refurbishment (in the same way that it has £2million a year ring fenced for spending on Media City), so the actual shortfall is £22,000 plus just over £8,000 a year from after the Cranes have been refurbished.

What is incredible is that the Cargo Cranes have never been assessed by English Heritage throughout the ten year saga of their destiny. Following an application last month to English Heritage by Alice Darlington, who has an interest in community heritage, a report has now been compiled on whether to nationally list the Cranes and save them from demolition. A decision based on the English Heritage report is expected by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport this week.

In the meantime, we asked Alice to write a bit of a short history about the Docks and the Cranes, and to explain why they are so unique and should be saved. It's their one leg…

A Dip Into the Docks – by Alice Darlington

Originally over two hundred cranes were on the docks constantly unloading and reloading goods. Out of these only two remain. These Stothert and Pitt manufactured DD2 cargo cranes were moved from Dock 6 to Dock 8 where they now stand as monuments.

The DD2 received acclaim for its design - four legs allowed for trucks to pass directly underneath. Examples of this innovative structure can be seen at Victoria Dock, Canary Wharf and Bristol. The DD2s at Salford with one single column leg were made specifically for Dock 6 due to the lack of available space. This was a design challenge for makers Stothert and Pitt due to the restricted distribution of weight. A DD2 crane operator at Salford docks described the cabin swaying a foot forwards then a foot back each time it picked up a load.

Now redundant and towering over the surrounding buildings, the DD2 cargo cranes stand iconic, and impressive.

Re-branded in the 1990s as Salford Quays, the Docks are almost unrecognisable today. With modern buildings and clean waters the area seems sterile compared to the times it was operational. At Dock 8, (now Ontario Basin) the art deco dock office and two statuesque cranes are the only original structures. Elsewhere around the Docks new restaurants, a shopping complex and arts centre bring again visitors and much needed revenue. But the Docks past and original purpose has not been forgotten.

Salford Docks in its heyday enveloped the senses. It was a smelly, noisy hub of industry, giving Ordsall a gateway to the world. The Docks provided thousands of local jobs, from casual labour to opportunities on the merchant ships and a chance to travel. The Docks, opened in 1894 by Queen Victoria, as part of the the newly completed Manchester Ship Canal, allowed much larger ships than before to navigate the waterways to Ordsall.

Dock work was casual, at 7.45am workers lined up with their ticket in front of the foreman, those who weren't chosen were sent back home. Work was varied, from unloading cotton or grain to assisting the dock diver. Before the days of cylinders, oxygen would have to be manually pumped down to the diver. Raymond Probert, who trained as a fire stoker on the floating cranes, remembers that constantly pumping oxygen to the divers was a particularly tiring job.

Some workers endured difficult conditions. James McHugh who unloaded bananas recalls shaking his clothing clean of wivel bugs every evening and seeing them all scuttle over his back yard. Rod Sellers described the smell on the docks as being pungent, fumes pumped out from lorries and trains mingled with waste rotting in the water.

Those working with lamp-black washed well every evening, only to find it reappearing later through the pores of their skin. James Mchugh remembers the dock strikes and the criticism strikers received. He explains, "They don't know how hard it was and the conditions we worked under".

During the war, American sailors would give Juicy Fruit chewing gum to the dockers, and sweets or oranges to the local children. The larger American liners used to hold parties with food in abundance for groups of children. A coach was sent up to Henshaws and blind children were brought to the dock to be entertained and fed. Edith Withington, whose father worked on the docks, remembered food often being scarce and a young neighbour boasting how he'd once eaten a whole egg for breakfast.

Salford docks were an obvious target for the Nazis. James Houghton remembers Ordsall being "pounded with bombs" but says it was amazing to see the amount of goods that still came in. Bomb disposal divers were sent down to find devices and after the war the docks became vibrant and thriving once again.

Eddie Kearney lived in Monmouth Street and grew up seeing the ships come and go from his bedroom window. He described New Years' Eve as a time when everyone came together, at 5 to 12 people would come out onto the street. At the stroke of midnight all the ships in the docks would sound their horns and everyone would wish each other a happy new year. For Eddie, communities are no longer the same, in those days he saw his street as his community and could go into any house after school and would be given a jam butty if his mother wasn't home.

Derrick Howarth began work at Manchester Liners as a deck apprentice, since 1720 every generation of his family has had someone at sea. From the youngest age, Derrick wanted to drive ships on the canal, today his son works on the ferries. He explains, "It's like something in the genes, like deja-vu, that carries down the chain and is passed on". John Baker recalls the rodent catcher, who'd have to bring a sack of dead mice into the dock office before he was paid. Rats living beneath the cabins on 8 and 9 Dock and were caught by whippets. John believes the rat bodies were sent to Salford University for research into diseases.

The Docks closed in 1982, huge container ships too large for the canals had begun to transport greater volumes of goods. These days Ordsall has lost its connection with the rest of world. Former Spillers worker James Houghton feels a sense of isolation; he remembers the "tremendous port" and wishes the canals were commercially in use today. Salford Docks brought not only international goods to the people of Orsdall, pony-tailed sailors wearing strange and exotic clothing became a regular sight as diverse cultures came together for a common purpose.

The two blue Cargo Cranes that remain at Salford Quays are truly magnificent examples of engineering. They watch over the docks as sentinels, a lasting testament to the workers of Salford and a lost industry.

See previous Salford Star articles on the Salford Quays Cranes...

Salford Quays Cranes Hope As English Heritage Gets Involved - click here

Salford Quays Cargo Cranes To Be Demolished - click here


 

Anti- Politician wrote
at 9:44:59 AM on Wednesday, January 02, 2013
That's interesting . If the cretinous clowncil wasters have the money to restore the cranes ring-fenced , then what right do the morons have to squander these funds elsewhere ? Over to Mayor Greedy for comment !
 
mary ferrer wrote
at 1:57:01 AM on Wednesday, January 02, 2013
I hope English Heritage will come on board and save the cranes, yet another part of Salfords history and heritage this council don't want to keep. They have had the money ring fenced for some years. I would like to thank Alice for bringing them to the attention of English Heritage. If they can be saved what a great start to a New year.
 
blueliam wrote
at 4:18:06 PM on Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Mentioned it in the previous article about the cranes, I hope they stay as they are the only free standing one legged DD2 types I have seen. I saw one in Port Blair India too but it was rotten and beyond repair. And they are a nice blue colour. If they go, they shall regret it one day.
 
suzi hoffmann wrote
at 8:58:21 AM on Saturday, December 29, 2012
Really interesting Alice - thanks + let's keep our fingers crossed. happy new year x
 
Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Salford Star T-shirt ad
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
Salford Star photo stories
Cornerstone advert
Mary Burns Publishing
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: HUNDREDS CALL FOR GREATER MANCHESTER DEVOLUTION REFERENDUM AT PROTEST RALLY
It was a good turn out considering the weather and all the speakers did a great job in explaining why they were there and explaini... [more]
article: SALFORD PENSIONERS IN LINE FOR ALMOST £500,000 CUTS
Horrific News - I am sure every SalFord Councillor feels deep despair caused by lack of good options. I would be willing to pay an... [more]
article: HUNDREDS CALL FOR GREATER MANCHESTER DEVOLUTION REFERENDUM AT PROTEST RALLY
Inspirational to take over Manchester like that, some proper speakers, hundreds of people braving the drizzle :) and the march on ... [more]
article: HUNDREDS CALL FOR GREATER MANCHESTER DEVOLUTION REFERENDUM AT PROTEST RALLY
Amazing to see so many beautiful caring people come out in such atrocious conditions and the trams down. The fightback has now ... [more]
article: JENNY ROSS COMEDY INSPIRED BY BARTON MOSS ANTI-FRACKING PROTEST
For any one to suggest that men alone deserve cancer is just disgusting. I lost my Dad to it and nearly my Mum to breast cancer. S... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

SALFORD PENSIONERS IN LINE FOR ALMOST £500,000 CUTS

Star date: 30th March 2015

SALFORD ELDERLY PEOPLE GET HAMMERED BY HUGE CUTS

Did someone say something about protecting pensioners? In two days time, Salford Council is set to push through £495,000 of cuts to supporting older people in sheltered housing schemes run by the likes of City West, Anchor, Irwell Valley and Great Places.

From April, some elderly tenants will be charged up to £25 a month extra, while others will lose support services as wardens are 'rationalised'...

Full details here...

HUNDREDS CALL FOR GREATER MANCHESTER DEVOLUTION REFERENDUM AT PROTEST RALLY

Star date: 29th March 2015

GREATER MANCHESTER PRO-DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT BEGINS WITH PUBLIC RALLY IN PICCADILLY GARDENS

"We don't think the correct level of consultation on this issue is for ten men to sit around a table with a Tory Chancellor..." Annette Wright MTUC

Referendum Man was here; so was a Mayoral gimp on a lead held by axe wielding Chancellor George Osborne...and hundreds of campaigners calling for a proper public discussion and vote on the devolution of health, social care and public service budgets to Greater Manchester.

Trade unions and NHS defence campaigns came together as Penny Hicks, from the People's Assembly told the crowd... "In this city of the suffragettes isn't it ironic that we're here demanding a vote for such a basic change that's happening?"

Full details here...

SALFORD GIRL LOOKS TO TAKE MISS MANCHESTER CROWN

Star date: 28th March 2015

CAN SALFORD TAKE MANCHESTER?

"It would be fab if a Salford girl won!" Sara

As Manchester continues its takeover of Salford, a Salford girl is aiming to turn the tide and take the title of Miss Manchester. 

17 year old Sara Humphreys, a Disney Princess impersonator from Walkden, says that the competition is more than a pageant and involves raising money for good causes. But to win that Manchester title she needs Salford people's help.

Full details here...

SALFORD COUNCIL TO WAIVE ANOTHER £1.6MILLION IN PLANNING FEES

Star date: 27th March 2015

DEVELOPERS IN ORDSALL AND WALKDEN TO BE LET OFF WITH £1.68MILLION AND PROVISION OF OVER 100 AFFORDABLE HOUSES

In the latest round of planning giveaways, Salford Council is set to waive obligations for the provision of 111 affordable houses and £1.68million in planning fees for developers building over five hundred flats and houses in Ordsall and Walkden.

If councillors accept Council officer recommendations, Countryside Properties will avoid over £450,000 in fees for its Walkden development, while Villafont Ltd and Simandhar Swami LLP will avoid a cool £1.2million in fees for building eight blocks of flats and shops, up to fifteen storeys high, by the riverside in Ordsall.

Full details here...

SALFORD COUNCIL PAYING OVER £200,000 FOR GREENGATE SQUARE FOUNTAINS MANAGEMENT

Star date: 26th March 2015

CASH-STRAPPED COUNCIL PAYS OVER £4,000 A WEEK FOR FOUNTAINS MANAGEMENT

As more cuts to the city's vulnerable people begin to bite, over the last twelve months Salford City Council has paid out £219,065 to a company called Capital Properties to manage Greengate Square and its fountains. This works out at over £4,000 a week.

The fountains and the Greengate Square public space originally cost £13million of public money.

Full details here...

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx