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The Clarence Dock

From Picture of Liverpool: Strangers Guide Written in 1834

This dock, which is the last in the north of the town was opened on the 16th of September 1830, and consists of a principal dock, 250 yards long, 135 yards broad at the north end , and 111 yards broad at the south end with a Basin 160 yards by 100 yards, between it and the river, furnished with gates, by means of which vessels may be admitted inwards and outwards at half-tide. The stone of which the walls are formed is of the most durable quality, and the masonry surpasses that of most works of this description. On each side of the passage two beautiful circular offices have been erected supplied with windows on all sides, through which a complete view is obtained of every part of the docks and the quays. A lofty and spacious shed extends the entire length of the eastern side and the whole of these works on the north, east, and south sides, is immured by a strong and high wall. The arrangement and completion of this dock reflects the greatest credit on the surveyor Mr J Hartley
Between this and the Princes Dock Basin are three other intended wet docks, with an extensive Graving dock, which is to be supplied with patent slips. These works are in an advanced state and are expected to be finished within a short period
Each of the pier heads is supplied with flights of broad and commodious steps, desinged for tyhe convenience of persons landing from or embarking on the various vessels which are constantly entering or leaving this port. Since the application of steam to navigation the intercourse between this town and Cheshire, as well as the different harbours of Wales, Ireland and Scotland, has been increased in an extraordinary degree. The perpetual throng occasioned by the influx and efflux of passengers is truly astonishing
The liberal spirit on all occasions manifested by the Corporation and Dock Trustees, in the providing of every accomodation for all those who may frequent this harbour, is deserving of the highest commendation.

To prevent the docks from being choked up by constant accumulation of slime brought in by the tide, it is requisite that they should be regularly cleaned. Formerly this was effected by a great number of men, who removed the sludge by means of spades, on which occasions the water was excluded from the dock: but within a few years past a dredging machine has been used for this purpose, and is found to be much more effectual and expeditious. It is worked by a steam engine of ten-horse power, and possesses this great advantage over the former method, - that it is not necessary to let the water out of the dock during the time of removing the mud.

The consequence of a fire breaking out among the shipping might prove most destructive. For this reason several severe regulations have been adopted, which have hitherto produced the greatest advantage to the community; yet not -withstanding the most inflexible enforcement of the various penalties from the offending parties, scarcely a day passes by without some instances of obstinacy or negligence. To have gunpowder on board subjects the master a penalty of 5, and to have any combustible material, either on the deck or the quay, renders an offender laible to a fine of the same amount. To have a fire on board a vessel, or a lighted candle , except protected by a lantern, and in the presence of a custom-house officer, is punishable by a fine of 10, and to smoke tobacco incurs a penatly of 2

Caryl Williams www.old-liverpool.co.uk Old Liverpool 1998-2008