Think of shipbuilding on the Mersey and, instantly, Cammell Laird comes to mind. That business, in its various guises over nearly two hundred years, represents the greatest achievement in the industry that the region ever made. But she was by far not alone in this business: at one time there were many industrialists working in the Mersey valley on maritime enterprises ranging from shipbuilding to engine and sail manufacture and the supply of any materials needed to make vessels seaworthy. Many sources tell the history of the Birkenhead and Tranmere shipbuilders, as well as the many that once flourished in Liverpool, Bootle and Garston.The Upper Mersey, to whit, that part of the river upstream of Garston on the north shore and Eastham on the south bank also shared in this great undertaking. Furthermore, the tributary rivers and connected canals were also home to shipyards and related works.This book tells the story of the yards at Runcorn, Frodsham, Widnes (and Fiddler’s Ferry), Ellesmere Port and Warrington (including Sankey). It will tell of the once mighty business empires that existed in these towns and of the maritime work of local figures. Two large appendices list the builders and related traders, and also record all the vessels known to have been built in the Upper Mersey. Sprinkled throughout is some of the author’s family history, which should explain his interest in the subject. The work is complemented by over 60 illustrations, most of them not published in local history books previously.
Shipyards of the Upper Mersey
5 Aug 2015