Star date: 20th June 2013


A last ditch application by the Salford Quays Heritage And Nature Group to save the iconic Salford Quays cargo cranes by having them put on the list of Salford Council's `community assets' has been turned down. 

Despite agreeing with the Heritage Group that the cranes `further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community' the Council adds that "in the not so distant future" they will not further these interests "because the cranes have been dismantled and removed from the site"

Full wacko details here…

The long running saga to try and save the iconic blue Salford Quays cargo cranes has finally run into a dead end, as a last minute plea by the Salford Quays Heritage And Nature Group to have the structures included on Salford Council's list of `community assets' has been turned down.

The cranes were previously included in the Council's Local List of heritage assets, but were recently omitted when a new list was drawn up. Under new legislation which allows the community to identify Assets of Community Value - Part 5, Chapter 3 of the Localism Act, and Assets of Community Value Regulations - the Heritage Group submitted an application to the Council to give the cranes some protection.

The Group claimed that the cranes have `industrial heritage value as they represent internationally important representations of the original use of the docks and stand as a testament to the dockers who grafted to make Salford the largest inland port in the world'.

Its application added that `the cranes are the last survivors of those which once served the docks of the port of Manchester and that they are iconic, well loved assets of the community who view the cranes with Salfordian pride and that saving the cranes has universal support within the Salford community'.

On the financial front the Group - taking its cue from Spain where similar style cranes are a cherished heritage centrepiece (see here) - reckoned that, with a bit of vision and imagination, there could be jobs created refurbishing the structures, and more jobs created as increased numbers of tourists were attracted to the Quays, especially as 120th anniversary celebrations of the Docks are due to take place in 2014.

While Salford Council "accepted that currently the siting/presence of the cranes has furthered the social wellbeing and interests of the local community as required by Section 88 (1) (a) of the Localism Act and therefore is of community value", it uses bizarre logic to turn down the Heritage Group's application, stating that "in the not so distant future, the cranes will not continue to further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local communityWhether this is because the cranes have been dismantled and removed from the site or whether they have fallen into such a state of disrepair that they can no longer be considered to be of value to the community."

In other words, `the cranes won't be of any community value because we're not going to refurbish them and we're going to bulldoze them instead'.

Thus, the Council concludes "the cranes do therefore not meet the requirements of Section 88 (1) (b) of the Localism Act and therefore it is recommended that the cranes are not added to the list of assets of community value".

Bizarre or what? And thus ends the six year old fight to save the blue Salford Quays cargo cranes – which will be demolished this summer.

PS: The Council report recommending that the cranes were not listed as community assets was circulated to every councillor in Salford - not even one single councillor bothered to respond.


For the whole Salford Star history of the trashing of the cranes see these articles…

* Cranes to move to M602 roundabout - click here

* Cranes to be moved or scrapped as they `ruin the view' - click here

* Cranes removed from Local Listing - click here

* Cranes to be demolished - click here

* Cranes Hope as English Heritage gets involved - click here 

* Cranes Doomed as English Heritage refuse to list cranes - click here

* Council omits cranes from new heritage list - click here

* Did cranes refurbishment funding get swallowed by £300,000 Biospheric `Pea Farm'? - click here

Jane Wood wrote
at 11:27:55 AM on Saturday, July 6, 2013
I wrote this poem about my opinions of the Cranes and valuing and wanting more people to recognise the hidden gem of a sculpture, Four Corners, just near the cranes on the walkway from the cranes to the Lowrey. This was made from the stories and creativity of dockers as the docks were closing. It is well worth searching it out. We at Ordsall Trust are making a film about the cranes and showing it on 20th July at the Deli Lama Cafe ( Chapel Street) 3-5. Four Corners Thanks to the Blue Cranes Symbols of the affluent Manchester Ship Canal Company now Peel Holdings Thanks to The Manchester Ship Canal Company for providing employment for the Hungry Dockers Thanks to the hungry Dockers For sharing their stories, spirited, companiable, fun and times on the LOW SILVER SCULPTURE near the HIGH ROTTING BLUE CRANES Four Corners
Beryl Hawke wrote
at 12:07:38 AM on Friday, June 28, 2013
After watching a programme about Bristol this evening especially the Dock area I would like to know why the Council are so short sighted. Their cranes have been kept and are a feature of the heritage of the area. A museum with an at least one article of interest from industry. Woodbines were made there, first I'd heard of that one. If at least one member of the Council has catch up on TV I suggest they watch this programme. Its never too late to learn.
not a brain dead labour voter wrote
at 11:53:20 PM on Monday, June 24, 2013
wonder if we can get Salford labour council grade two listed, then we could get rid of them as surplus to requirement, seems to work for listed buildings. on coans totem pole, lets hope the woodpecker population start to flourish, what the f*ck has a totem pole got to do with Salford history that's more important than these cranes, these cranes are historically more important to Salford than a poxy piece of carved wood from north America, I know lets protect every other countries historical pieces and lets destroy our own, the mind boggles.
at 3:08:02 AM on Monday, June 24, 2013
If Jonathan Drake, now employed Salix Homes, and all the SCC staff seconded to the quango that was the URC had done what they were paid to do and secured the funding/business interest in preserving the cranes we wouldnt now be in this position. Historical interest in the Salford docks site never came into it, the only thing left on Trafford Rd that warrents any historical interest now is the lock keepers tower on the old bridge. Even the old totem pole only got saved because Cllr Coen took an interest in it. Lets see whether that gets sited back on the docks where it belongs when it returns to Salford.
mary ferrer wrote
at 12:28:27 PM on Sunday, June 23, 2013
Just been reading John Warmisham's blog."41 Pubs closed, still standing, but for how long" I wonder how many of these buildings are old and of historical interest? I know if any are and this council have anything to do with it, they won't be standing for long. We all need to be vigilante, if you know of a building of historical interest that could become a target for our councils hit squad, speak out before all our heritage is lost forever.
Ivor B wrote
at 12:28:12 PM on Sunday, June 23, 2013
As the price of scrap metal rises you do tend to get undesirable scumbags seeking to steal what metal they can from others in the community for their own gain! Anyway enough about Salford council now. When do you start your new job at Peel Mike?
Alice Darlington wrote
at 8:16:50 AM on Sunday, June 23, 2013
Michael Felse, what an inane and scaremongering comment. Why would you want Salford Council to waste money on unnecessary fencing and deny the enjoyment of local fishers? The cranes are not currently a risk to the public. The council are saying they are dangerous so they can scrap them, don't you get it?
Michael Felse wrote
at 2:15:00 AM on Sunday, June 23, 2013
@Alice raises a valid point. Salford Council must immediately fence off the decking used by fishing enthusiasts and others. This risk has clearly now been highlighted here and Salford Safety Team must protect the public without delay or can be held responsible for any subsequent personal accident incident caused.
Bernard Brough wrote
at 2:14:33 AM on Sunday, June 23, 2013
Mr Felse, in this case the only hazard I can see is Salford Council.
Alice Darlington wrote
at 11:52:57 AM on Saturday, June 22, 2013
@ Michael Felse, haven't you noticed many tram lines have pedestrian access across them? It is common sense to keep an eye out for oncoming trams when walking across or between lines. There is absolutely no evidence that the cranes are currently a danger to the public, if this was the case the decking on the water directly below the cranes would have also been fenced off. The decking has remained accessible to the public during this ongoing saga. If the cranes are not maintained they will become a hazard as they continue to deteriorate but who's fault is that? I am wondering if the cost of the demolition (with overnight teams to prevent any disruption to Metro) will outweigh the cost of maintaining them. SC will have even more questions to answer if they overspend on this disgraceful plan.
at 5:55:48 AM on Saturday, June 22, 2013
@michael felse, that is quite a talent you have got there, you need to get your self on Britain got talent, you know, being able to speak while you've got your tongue up Ian Stewart arse.
Michael Felse wrote
at 10:53:04 AM on Friday, June 21, 2013
Sorry to see the end of these iconic Cranes. Health and Safety would demand that something be done fast as they continue to block the footpath causing local people to walk between the metro tram lines. The sad truth is our Council has decided not to restore and it must now quickly remove what has become a hazard.
deBauch wrote
at 9:45:14 AM on Friday, June 21, 2013
Cultural cleansing...thats the only logical conclusion that you can draw from this. Iconic industrial treasures such as the Salford cranes are jealously guarded by cities all over the World...this is a fact that can be demonstrated time and again. A legal framework was provided in this country for folk to challenge the destruction of things deemed by the people to be for the people. Objections were raised and the heartfelt pleas of the people were passed on to the council to be completely ignored. No consideration was given to any possible rescue attempt by the Community...no stay of execution to provide an opportunity to raise funds, not even a hearing to discuss such a possibility. The thing was a fait a complit from the getgo...we ALL knew that it stunk of that. You have to ask yourself why such determination and the only answer that I can come up with is that they don’t want “your sort” down there and the quicker that they can erase any semblance of evidence that you lot had anything whatsoever to do with the docks the better....and that’s cultural cleansing. There are many disgraceful things about this rape of a peoples culture but I think that one of THE most shocking and disturbing things about it is that it’s all being done by a Labour council. You could kinda understand it if it were the tories but to be turned over by your own kind is unforgivable....shame on everyone involved with the cranes destruction....tell your Grandkids about it one day.......
Gaetano Bresci wrote
at 9:44:58 AM on Friday, June 21, 2013
If the people of Salford gave a damn about their heritage they would be marching in the streets, occupying the site of the cranes, protesting, like people do in the rest of the world. See Istanbul? People didn't want the mall, they wanted the public park to stay and they were prepared to fight to defend their city from speculators. Are Salfordians prepared to actually *do* something to defend their heritage from the appetites of speculators and the corrupt council? They are not. So, this is exactly what they deserve. The city to be destroyed and turned into a faceless, characterless, playground for obtuse yuppies.
Amber Sanchez wrote
at 3:49:20 AM on Friday, June 21, 2013
I cannot even begin to express my bitter disappointment with the council. This is SO terrible for Salford.
Lee Craven MBE wrote
at 1:18:04 AM on Friday, June 21, 2013
Like everything else in this City that have History & Culture behind it..."They Demolish" No Consultation as ever,makes me so Angry,I am one for keeping these, to show children about the History,I remember in the 80s this same council demanded they were to stay,,now they want to Demolish them because they were not bothered to look after them.
mary ferrer wrote
at 1:17:54 AM on Friday, June 21, 2013
Yet another part of our history and heritage going on the scrapheap. The way things are going we won't have much left. Question I keep asking, where is the money that was ring fenced for the Cranes. Wonder whats next on their hit list.
Alice Searle wrote
at 1:17:02 AM on Friday, June 21, 2013
It strikes me that this decision is very short sighted and lacks imagination and awareness of the value of heritage. As a country we have spend millions dredging old ships from the ocean, spent decades preserving ancient long boats, and even here in Salford, millions, or was it billions, on renovating a Tudor farm house. I, and many others, have enjoyed and learned from these examples of former lives. It is these gems of the past that give us insight and appreciation of the struggles that have led to our current prosperity.The cranes are such examples and their value would increase with time. I suspect that those with an agenda for promoting the shiny and glitzy style of Media City could see them as an eyesore. Odd that I read in the 'Cultural Strategy for Salford Quays' that "history shapes the core idea at its heart." Has this been forgotten or were they just empty words?
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