***Another somewhat off-topic blog post!***
Preston Docks shut to commercial shipping in 1981, having only made a profit 17 times in 90 years. One of the biggest problems was dredging – being an inland port, the River Ribble needed constant dredging and in 1975-76, 45% of income was sued to keep the channel clear. With ships getting bigger and bigger, Preston was in the end uneconomic. Part oI the dock is now a marina, while the dock estate is now home to a retail park, offices and housing.
Imagine my surprise then to see this ship, the ‘River Carrier’ in the tidal basin of the dock. It was pure coincidence – I work on the docklands, and as it was such a nice day, I decided to go for a lunchtime walk, something I’ve not done for well over a year. I noticed that there was an unusually large crane at the far end of the docks, and something sticking up above the swing bridge, so I took a wander.
I was most surprised to see this, the biggest vessel in 28 years someone told me, not sure how true that is. It’s certainly the biggest since the Manxman left in 1991. I only had my cameraphone on me, but it’s not come out too badly. It was here to deliver a 228 ton transformer for the Penwortham sub station, it was unloaded onto a giant trailer (which I saw coming into Preston yesterday, and wondered what it was for) which will be dragged up to Penwortham on Sunday morning.
See also my other blog post with photos from the following day here.