Category: Docks

Why were Preston’s docks built?

Looking at Preston’s docks nowadays it’s easy to imagine that they were always inevitable. They are such a solid, permanent construction that it’s easy to think that our Victorian forbears happily rubber-stamped the scheme to build a dock, content in

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Why did Preston port close?

It may come as a surprise to some that Preston port didn’t make it to its centenary. The port officially closed on 31 Oct 1981, just over 98 years after it opened. Perhaps it would have added insult to injury

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The two histories of Preston docks

For a minor port in a relatively small city, Preston’s docks were home to some remarkable achievements. For example, when it was built, according to some histories, Preston’s dock basin was the largest in the world. Preston’s dock, also, pioneered

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Preston docks – Victorian ambition

Visitors to Preston are often surprised to see such a huge dock in what is, essentially, an inland city. Only the Victorians could have come up with such an ambitious scheme: to build the world’s biggest single dock basin in

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Preston docks – the transformation begins

One reader sent in a photo of the docks just before their transformation began. The photo, from 1982 shows the docks just after they were closed as a working port (officially on 31 Oct 1981) but before the buildings were

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How to build a dock

To build Preston dock, the River Ribble was diverted, the old river bed was filled in and the dock was dug out in the land between. The following image is a plan of the building of Preston dock. It must

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Old pics of the docks

Anyone visiting the docks today could be forgiven for thinking that there had never been any port industry there at all. An archive of fascinating photos of the docks’ former life can be found on Flickr. Here’s one of the

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