Welcome to Ships of the Mersey
The Manchester Ship Canal
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my father William nicholls worked the parcastle barge in the 1960s on the bridgewater canal are there any info and documentation that I can get from anyone.
Yvonne seddon (nicholls)
@ yvonne seddon : Yvonne,This site may be of help, www.heritageboatassociation.iecms there is a page regarding Dukers History.
Your Dad would have been busy in the grain trade to Manchester from Liverpool, Birkenhead and Ellesmere Port. This is in addition to dock work in Manchester.
From my memory the crews of the Bridgewater Department barges (Dept of MSC) were fine seamen. They needed to be as the Mersey can get quite choppy for a loaded barge. Then the long haul to Manchester via the MSC. I don't recall Parcastle and her sister on the Bridgewater Canal at Runcorn, but would access via Hulme Lock in Salford in order to reach Kelloggs (as in corn flakes)at Trafford Park. The Parcastle would have towed a dumb barge.
The Bridgewater fleet was always well painted and ship-shape.
A tough life no doubt but one full of character. The barges always looked "picture book" at night showing their bright lights and lanterns - paraffin lit of course
Hope this helps, Merv Rowlinson reply=2677]yvonne seddon[/reply]
The Parcastle and her sister barges belonged to the Bridgewater Dept of the Manchester Ship Canal Co., and were mostly employed carrying maize from ships in Salford Docks along the Bridgewater Canal, (via Hulme Lock), to the Kelloggs factory in Trafford Park. Sometimes the maize was loaded from ships at Ellesmere Port. They also carried metal goods to Howley Quay, Warrington, from Ellesmere Port or Manchester. There were other occasional traffics. They did not normally go to Liverpool or Birkenhead but stayed within the Ship Canal, Bridgwater Canal and their connected waterways.
The 'Par...' barges, (6 of them), were built in the early 1950s, as were a series of unpowered (dumb) barges which had names ending in '...mere'. The Parcastle was built in 1952. The 'Par...' barges could each carry up to 80 tons of cargo and they often towed the '...mere' barges, which could carry slightly more. The Kelloggs traffic continued until March 1974, following which the barges were sold off or broken up.
The picture shows the Parcastle and another 'Par...' barge at a location known as No. 5 pier, adjacent to the Docks Railway Swing Bridge. The shed in the background is the relatively modern No 6 Dock transit shed. On the right of the picture we can see the stern of the Ship Canal Company's passenger boat 'Silver Arrow', which used to take parties of sight-seers, school children, etc., round the docks.
@ Ken Lowe :Thanks Ken very interesting indeed