Although much (welcome) investment has stripped away a lot of the evidence of the industrial era which the Manchester docks typified, there are still a number of reminders dotted about, which sympathetically capture an essence of the dock as they were in their hey day.
I came across two installations which form part of a culture trail. This can be followed and highlights the many aspects of life as it was when the docks were in use.
This panorama at the top is a quayside installation showing the many types of cargo which came to Manchester. In those days, Manchester was an industrial powerhouse, which required constant servicing, both to feed itself and to manufacture or convert raw materials into goods.
The installation shows wood, oil, sacks of grain and raw chemicals, ingots of metal and, of course, bales of cotton for processing in the many Lancashire mills.
Click on it for a larger view.
Below are two details from the same installation. The first picture shows a pair of train wheels from the era and one of the huge hooks used to swing cargo onto shore. The second showcases one of the unloading cages which would have been used to unload small machine parts, ingots of metal or sacks of cotton or grain. Hope the kids appreciate it!
Farther on, there was a much more moving (to me, anyway) installation.
Here set by the quayside was a number of sheets of steel, set to resemble union cards. Each one contained a small ‘port hole’ inset, which contained the details of someone who worked on the docks. What more fitting memorial to an honest working man, to work all his life, providing for his family and then to be immortalised in art? Far better reward than bankers creaming money off society, I suggest!