The ‘Big Ditch’ – building Manchester Ship Canal

On Thursday (30th April) Middleton Archaeology Society hosted a fascinating and entertaining talk by Glen Atkinson about the building of the Manchester Ship Canal,entitled “The Big Ditch”.
Using original Victorian glass slides he highlighted the contrasts between building methods at the end of 19th century and now. There were no strict Health and Safety rules, although provision was made for injured workers because small hospitals were built along the route of the canal. Employment was also provided if they could not return to their previous job.
Four photographers were employed by the building company and their slides make an excellent record of the work undertaken to build docks in Manchester and connect them with the Mersey estuary- a remarkable feat of civil engineering explained in a remarkable lecture!