Cheshire Headlines
News and events from the 19th and 20th centuries

April 5, 1847
Birkenhead’s Morpeth and Egerton Docks & Warehouses were officially opened by Sir Philip de Malpas Grey Egerton, MP.Later in the day he also opened the 130-acre Birkenhead Park, the first public park to be provided by a local authority in England. It has been laid out by Joseph Paxton (who later designed the Crystal Palace, in London).

January 1, 1863
The latest link in the Cheshire Midland Railway, between Manchester and Chester, has come into service. The six-mile stretch between Knutsford and Northwich opened to passengers following clearance by the Government’s Inspector of Railways, Captain Rich. The journey from Northwich to Manchester will take from 60-80 minutes.

January 9, 1863
Today’s market prices: Beef (per lb) 6s-8d; Pork 7s-7d; Cod fish 4s-6d; Turkey 6s-10d each; Brace of pheasants 7s/7s-6d; Butter (per lb) 1s-4d/1s-8d; Salt (per lb) 1s/1s-2d; Chicken 3s/3s-6d each.

November 11, 1887
Using an ordinary navvy’s spade, Lord Egerton of Tatton has cut the first sod to commence building the Manchester Ship Canal. The ceremony has taken place in the centre of the site of the entrance locks at Eastham.The contractor was Mr T.A.Walker and the twelve directors of the Ship Canal Company included the Mayor of Stockport, Joseph Leigh, and the Mayor of Oldham, S.R.Platt.

July 2, 1971
A school trip to the seaside ended in tragedy today when a train derailed near to Waverton, on the outskirts of Chester. Only two hours before the accident Chester’s temperature was registered at 87 degrees, the highest for many years. The seaside special was carrying teachers and pupils back to Birmingham after a day trip to Rhyl. Two children were killed and scores of others injured when the last coach left the rails and overturned at Tattenhall Junction, shortly before 6.15pm.

June 12, 1976
The official opening took place of the Boat Museum, at Ellesmere Port. The unveiling was carried out by Mrs Sonia Rolt, widow of the author of many canal and engineering books, LTC Rolt. The original idea of establishing a Boat Museum was mooted by Peter Froud, Edward Paget-Tomlinson, Harry Arnold, Tony Lewery and Dr David Owen.