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END OF THE LINE FOR SALFORD QUAYS CRANES
 

Star date: 24th January 2013 

ENGLISH HERITAGE REFUSES TO LIST QUAYS CARGO CRANES

It looks like the end of the road for the blue Salford Quays Cargo Cranes as English Heritage has refused to nationally list the iconic reminder of the former docks, despite a last minute appeal.

Salford Council has stated that it will begin demolishing in the spring but campaigners trying to save the Cranes are furious that another piece of Salford's heritage will disappear for the sake of £22,500. Councillors have also expressed their concern.

Full story here…


A last minute appeal for English Heritage to nationally list the iconic Salford Quays Cargo Cranes has been turned down, and the structures will be demolished unless Salford Council has a change of heart.

At the end of December, Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart issued a press statement saying "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…"

This was incredibly misleading. First, the quote from an independent feasibility report which looked at the various costs of saving the Cranes recommended a figure of £648,500 to `disassemble, refurbish and re-erect' the structures. Salford Council had £626,000 ring fenced in its capital budget for the work, leaving a shortfall of only £22,500 plus £8,000 a year maintenance (see here for further details).

Secondly, as Ian Stewart was at pains to point out during his Mayor briefing on the Salford Council cuts last week, when criticised for spending £39,000 on some signs at the Quays, "a council is restricted by what is called capital spending, you can't vire it by law"…(see here) in other words, the money ring fenced for the Cranes cannot be spent on the "people of Salford [who] are struggling to make ends meet…"

Meanwhile, according to Council minutes, councillors at the Sustainable Regeneration Scrutiny meeting in December expressed "concerns relating to the decision taken by the City Mayor on 26 November 2012 in respect of the Cargo Cranes on Ontario Basin at Salford Quays" and at "the development of a heritage strategy for the city". Privately, other councillors have expressed concerns too.

Salfordian, Alice Darlington, had applied for English Heritage to list the Cranes on the grounds that they were unique examples of one legged Stothert & Pitt Cranes. Other four legged cranes designed by the company had been listed in other parts of the country. But English Heritage rejected this argument, amongst others… "we would not consider the fact that they are the only single legged cranes in the country to be an overriding consideration". The rejection was rubber stamped by the Secretary of State.

"I fail to understand English Heritage's reasoning and am bitterly disappointed with their decision" says Alice "As the cranes are the last remaining single-legged DD2's in the UK, that in itself makes them of national importance. The cranes are an integral part of Salford's rich industrial history and should be preserved for future generations."

James Walsh of the newly formed Salford Quays Heritage and Nature Group adds "This is a perplexing and disappointing situation. The people of Salford deserve better."

The only question remaining now is whether Salford Council will backtrack on its decision if £22,500 can be raised from the public and businesses, to make up the refurbishment shortfall – or has £300,000 of the earmarked money already been spent on `growing peas' at the Biospheric Foundation's HQ in Greengate (see here)

* In 2007 Salford Council admitted neglect of the Cranes - and in 2010 stated that moving them from their current site would ruin the view on the new Quays and "increase the sense of clutter" (see here)


See previous Salford Star articles on the Quays Cranes

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

Salford Quays Cargo Cranes To Be Demolished - click here

Lynn Jones wrote
at 15:45:18 on 04 February 2013
I am truly distressed to learn of the proposed demolition of the cranes. Sadly, Salford has very little left to commemorate its industrial history, and in wanting to destroy some of the last vestiges of this, one can only assume that this current crop of local politicians are ashamed of the city's working class heritage. No doubt, the Dock gates and offices will be next to go to make way for a Starbucks, Tesco or some equally money-grabbing corporation. Have Salford MPs made any comments on this issue? The word is spreading and I think that politicians both local and national may be surprised at the strength of feeling. I do not normally get involved in such issues or campaigns, but I feel very strongly about this one! I could be said to represent the "silent majority", so elected representatives beware - there will be a price at the ballot box. Councillors, please don't insult the intelligence of your electorate by bleating on about Health and Safety, or money needed for other services - a close look at Council spending will soon uncover the hypocrisy of those chestnuts. I am a Salfordian by birth and a Labourite by conviction - please give me reason to have pride in both of these.
 
Alice Darlington wrote
at 15:40:39 on 31 January 2013
epetition link, please sign to show your support, http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/45202
 
Alice Darlington wrote
at 22:28:58 on 28 January 2013
Save Our Cranes now has an official campaign team. Anyone interested in helping out please email me at darlingtonalice@hotmail.com or join the Save Our Cranes facebook page run James Walsh. English Heritage can be contacted at their York office 01904601901 Demolition is due in March, please act now to help save these cranes!
 
Winston Smith wrote
at 11:31:28 on 28 January 2013
@Life is Loud: You don't actually *need* an actual name or modern clothes, so if Big Government decided that we're all having a boiler suit and a number instead, you'd be happy about that? Or would you think that they're trying to erase your unique identity and family history? This is the same thing, but with a city.
 
life is loud wrote
at 15:26:49 on 27 January 2013
Am I the only person who thinks those cranes are ugly the docks have long gone into the past never to return so we dont need them
 
Just a Thought wrote
at 08:22:41 on 26 January 2013
Its just as they say, you'll only miss it when it's gone. I loved those cranes, I passed them on my way to my (Voluntary) place of work on the Trafford Wharf and felt there was a connection to the past with them being there. However, people's vitriol seems to be aimed at the wrong organisation - Since Peel (Yes, THEM again) took over the ownership of the Quays and its assets (such as the Cranes) theres always been a reluctance to maintain the property they owned...Yes, Things like the lowry, the outlet, the homes and properties are fantastic - Mediacity was another boon for the City (i'll forego the jobs angle) But the promise to protect the past has been lost. "Salford" Quays is now "Manchester's" Waterfront and its took newcomers a little while to understand the docklands heritage. Oh, the Cranes (PEEL own them - they're on PEEL's Land - but get paid a sizable amount from Salford to keep Their lands and developments in order - despite having sizable funds already!) There is a proposal for a replacement structure - Yet Peel Haven't said what it is yet. Maybe it would be a good idea if someone suggested they did. As for Council - Peel's Funding always seems to be hidden away under the commercial angle...i'd just like to know what we're getting for the money we give them. If councillors stopped hiding the figures perhaps that would make us all happier.
 
salford pimpernel wrote
at 08:22:35 on 26 January 2013
@ Winston Smith. well said. @ Robin Glenn, sorry we already have an Alice for mayor, thats... Alice in wonderland, seems to be living in cloud cuckoo-land at the moment. on history. like I have said before labour hates history because it reminds them of how crap they have been with our money in the past, dont forget winston we have crap ugly building designes because Steve Wonder runs the councils planning department and their all in the in the pocket of developers. MAXIMUM PROFITS.
 
Winston Smith wrote
at 17:37:56 on 25 January 2013
The council are redesigning Salford to reflect themselves - characterless, tasteless, uninspired, bland, faceless, disdainful of local heritage, anti-people, pro-corporate. This has nothing to do with government cuts.
 
Liverpool Preservation Trust wrote
at 17:37:42 on 25 January 2013
This is a bad state of affairs Industrial heritage is as important as any. http://liverpoolpreservationtrust.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/langton-dock-pumping-station-amongst.html Though we are not local to Salford but we feel for you in this instance. We hate the homogenisation of areas where big companies neither need to respect the past. Companies like Peel Holdings should be made to combine profit with heritage as standard.
 
Robin Glenn wrote
at 07:25:18 on 25 January 2013
It will be awful if we lose our cranes. We should insist that the Council comes up with the money to keep them safe. Well done Salford Star for bringing this to our attention. Vote Alice Darlington for Mayor of Salford !
 
Lee Craven MBE wrote
at 07:25:13 on 25 January 2013
What History are we going to show the next Generation....Nothing ,seeing what's happening in Salford, it's a shame to see great History go,
 
Pendlebury Pete wrote
at 07:25:02 on 25 January 2013
Salford quays has been pretty successful, this is because it's a bit different from other identikit waterside / office / leisure / apartment developments that can be seen repeated in cities around the country. The cranes are the kind of detail that create that difference and make it more authentic and successful. When the quays first started to be redeveloped twenty odd years ago this was understood and they became an integral part of the overall design. Trouble is the original thinking seems to have been lost and to loose the cranes is a first and significant step in the quays loosing its distinct identity, replaced by the architectural obsession with new 'iconic' buildings that both cost more and, in my opinion try to hard to impress.
 
annette rimmer wrote
at 07:24:46 on 25 January 2013
Shame on you Salford council and Ian. You are decimating our heritage.
 
Mary Ferrer wrote
at 07:24:29 on 25 January 2013
Another part of our history going. Soon there will be nothing left.I wonder what will/has happened to the money that was ring fenced for the cranes 3/4 years ago? Whats next to come under the hammer of the health and safety police. Buile Hill Mansion comes to mind.13 years tinned up and the last 5 years waiting for Wilkinson and Watson to build their dream (bloody nightmare) hotel. Wonder if they, along with their mate Lancaster are waiting for the H&S police to condemn the grade 2 listed building then they can knock it down and save a couple of million not having to build the tunnel from the Mansion to the new build.
 
lem sissay wrote
at 07:20:00 on 25 January 2013
Do you have to be mad to enter a comment here? Or is it just incidental? A million quid on two rusty old cranes when services are being slashed. You must be barking.
 
joe oneill wrote
at 20:07:44 on 24 January 2013
Mr Stewart cares little for the history of this city he is in reality a career politician one of many amongst Salford labours ranks,but lets look on the bright side the scrap value of the cranes should pay his wages, people who voted Labour are today paying the price for more of the same.
 
DEAD CITY INMATE wrote
at 20:06:38 on 24 January 2013
GREEDY BASTARD STEWART ! OUT OUT OUT !
 
Ian OBrien wrote
at 16:10:28 on 24 January 2013
Of course Mr Stewart, having taken what sounds like a quite arbitrary decision, will defend it to the last and use the financial well being of Salfordians as justification. But the fact is without our heritage we have very little left. - Already we see how our most vulnerable citizens will suffer, some of them children and some of them, no doubt, to pay the wage of Mr Stewarts vanity spin doctor Matt Finnegan. - We know times are hard (though not for Matt and Ian) and we will cope. - But until our illustrious mayor listens to us, and accepts quite justified criticism, the people of Salford will see nothing good come from the civic centre. Not when Mr Stewart and the rest of his gang of 'assistant mayors' have the old fall back of blaming London for their own short comings. - Well, we know what they are doing in London. We know that Cameron and Osborne are clueless Tories who will not accept that Freidmans neoliberal economics failed in Pinoche's Chile and they are failing miserably here too. - We accept that because they go under the blue Tory banner, and what else should we expect? - But to be constantly lied to and condescended to by people like Mr Stewart, who proudly claim to be 'labour' through and through and highlight Salfords history and heritage while destroying it to make way for some Conservative/New Labour fantasy, where being in bed with Peel is better than serving the public which employs them, is a betrayal too far. - When will these people stop and listen to us? When will they cease their little ego trips, with 'press officers' and Proms in the Park. - When will they start to behave like Labour men instead of Thatcherite lackeys? - My contempt is boundless for them. Tories we expect to be attacked by. - But this lot of charlatans are a disgrace to the red rosette. - No doubt this will hit the thick skin of Mr Stewart, Merry, and cohorts and make not a dent. - They think that we do not understand the complexities of managing a council budget, but we do. We know that grants come from London, we know that London is anti North, and we know difficult decisions must be made - But what excuse can those who claim to be 'with us' use when destroying our green belts and throwing OUR money at Peel?- None. - There is no excuse. - There is only avarice and ego. - Mr Stewart, listen to the people of Salford. Stop treating us like idiots. You get a few short years in the job and we will not forget. We knwo you rely on the fact that Salford is a labour stronghold and think that your snout will ever luxuriate in the trough, but not so mate. The mayoral elections were a joke. - Almost nobody bothered to vote. - Next time we will drive voters to the polls and we will help them to remember your complicity in all matters concerning our well being. Wise up, before it is too late. You will not be remembered well by history.
 
Amanda Bickerton wrote
at 14:07:15 on 24 January 2013
The funding for the refurbishment of the cranes is ring-fenced. Spend the money, refurbish the cranes and reflect the pride felt in the city's heritage by its people. I wonder what the real reasons are for getting rid of the cranes? I am sure they are every bit as shabby, avaricious and spiteful as I suspect they are. The bottom line is that the people who want the cranes to be saved are those who have respect for the heritage of the working classes. Remember them? You know, the people who built the wealth of the industrial revolution whilst enduring low pay, exploitation, discrimination and poverty under the looming shadow of the workhouse. Let the orchestras and pointless vanity projects go, and save those cranes. Let people be reminded in the sanitised, Lego-land world of Quays-Land what was there before, and let those cranes stand as a reminder, a memorial and a tribute to all those Salford men and women who worked, lived and dreamed in the industrial city. Why wouldn't a 'Labour' mayor want to honour and glorify the history of the working classes and the industrial heritage of the city? Oh, sorry, I forgot. Stupid question. New Labour, One Nation Labour, Tories.....
 
Fed up of Irwell Riverside Ward Councilliors wrote
at 14:07:10 on 24 January 2013
Nothing New with this Clowncil, A council who say they have to come down as they are a Health & Safety issue, It's this Stupid Council who wanted to save these years ago, and it's this Clowncil who never looked after them, Yet the Landscape of Salfords History is disserpearing , Next local elections moto should be, Vote Labour because we don't care about you, but care about our fat cat pensions & expenses.
 
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