The Liverpool Echo has a fascinating story – see link above.
Stanley Dock used to be the Liverpool end of the Leeds Liverpool Canal until ‘The Link’ was built, by the former British Waterways (now the canal & River Trust) a few years ago, to enable narrow boats and barges to access the Albert Dock area. The northern part of the City is desperately in need of regeneration so let’s hope this plan works out.
Below is a link to a great photo of Stanley Dock by Lydiate photographer Keith Page:-
In 1994 the Leeds Liverpool canal through Maghull/Lydiate breached, houses in Hickson Avenue were flooded and fish were left flapping in the fields on the opposite (western) side of the canal.
I recently found and scanned some photos of the disaster which occurred between Green Lane (Methodist Turn Bridge), Maghull and the Bells Lane swing bridge, Lydiate. The cause was the canal collapsing into a culvert that went under it which carried and indeed still carries Maghull Brook under the canal. Maghull Brook is in fact the boundary between the Civil Parishes of Maghull and Lydiate.
This is looking northwards towards the Bells Lane swing bridge which is out of sight around a bend in the canal. Most of the water had run out of the canal by the time this shot was taken.
This is Bells Lane swing bridge with a makeshift dam in place to try to hold back the water. The houses by the bridge look significantly different now.
This shot looks at the Bells Lane swing bridge from the other side. The breach is a few hundred yards behind the camera.
This is where the breach happened. The flooded houses in Hickson Avenue being on the left of the photo.
Grounded canal boats
The reason so much water escaped is that there are no locks between Stanley Dock in Liverpool and Burscough in West Lancashire, many miles away. In effect all the water between Liverpool and Burscough was trying to leave the canal via the breach which was roughly half way between the two.
I recall watching what was then British Waterways (now the Canal & River Trust) desperately trying to stop the flow by dumping rubble into the canal at Bells Lane and it being washed away by the force of the water.
My good friend Cllr. Bruce Hubbard was Mayor of Maghull back then and he launched a public appeal to help those whose houses were flooded.
Oddly, we now live in a house that backs onto the canal along this very stretch of water.
The photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-