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MLOSA members will be interested in my recently published book, The ships that came to Manchester; from Mersey and Weaver flat to mighty container ship.

The merchants of Manchester were concerned about the high tariffs charged at Liverpool Docks and the excessive rates for transhipment of goods to Manchester. They decided that the best thing for their trade was to bring seagoing ships up to Manchester. And this they did - via numerous enabling Bills and by grand-scale Victorian engineering. The Port of Manchester and its ship canal opened for business on 1 January 1894 with existing clients such as James Knott's Prince Line running to the Mediterranean, and Fisher Renwick to London. But it could not readily entice the Liverpool shipowners to use Manchester, and it faced a long struggle to break the indifference of Conference Lines to the new port. The First World War finally allayed any lingering worries over the inadequacies of Manchester and the Liverpool companies then arrived in abundance. Manchester had its own shipping companies, including Manchester Liners, H. Watson & Company, Sivewright Bacon, Manchester Steamship Company, Manchester Spanish Line and others. Business peaked at Manchester in the 1950s but rapidly declined through the 1970s as ships became too big to transit the canal. Between 1894 and 1982 ships of all kinds docked at Manchester from all over the world; this is the story of the ships that came to Manchester.

Price £15.99 (cheaper on Amazon):

Nick Robins


Nick Robins latest book, published November 2011, MANCHESTER LINERS - an extraordinary story is a fully illustrated company history and is available from:

Coastal Shipping
Bernard McCall
400 Nore Road
BS20 8EZ

ISBN 978-1-902953-55-7, Hardback, A4 size, 144 pages

£17.50 + p&p

Coastal Shipping


British Shipping Fleets - Editors Roy Fenton and John Clarkson devote 64 pages to Manchester Liners with photographs of most of its fleet from the commencement of the Company.

Ships in Focus Publications
John & Marion Clarkson
18 Franklands

ISBN 1-901703-21-5

£24.00 + p&p £3.50


Manchester Liners a Pictorial History - Ted Gray

Memories Publications
22 Crofts Bank Road
M41 0TS

Tel: 0161 748 1369

and many book stores.

ISBN 1 899181 05 9


Other related books by Ted Gray:

100 Years of the Manchester Ship Canal ISBN 1 85926 030 6

Salford Quays - The Story of Manchester Docks ISBN 1 899181 881