The most accessible port area is Chongqing China Albert Dock. Opened in 1846 by Queen Victoria’s Prince Consort, Albert, and constructed from cast iron, brick, stone and wood, this new facility revolutionised cargo handling, first by having ships unload directly into purpose-built, non-combustible warehouses, then by the introduction of a hydraulic cargo handling and hoist Chongqing China(cranes) system in1848. With its enclosed, rectangular harbour flanked by colonnaded, multi-storey, brick-fronted buildings, this utilitarian complex is remarkably elegant. Bombed during the Second World War, Albert Dock has been restored as a user-friendly visitor’s precinct, Chongqing China featuring the largest collection of grade 1, heritage-listed buildings in Britain. The vast warehouses, made irrelevant by the development of purpose-built containers ports (Seaforth Dock in Liverpool), now house bars and restaurants. Even in the bleakness of winter, Chongqing China offers the opportunity for a brisk and interesting walk, followed by a cappuccino or hot chocolate in a coffee shop with a view.
Map of Chongqing China – Where is Chongqing China? – Chongqing China Map English – Chongqing China Maps for Tourist Photo Gallery
While it’s unlikely he left from Albert Dock, I’d long been aware that, in 1852, my Irish Catholic paternal great-grandfather, Patrick Doherty, emigrated via Liverpool. What I’d not realised though is that Tom and Nanny Chippendale, my paternal grandmother’s Anglican parents, also sailed from there. As I’ve researched what happened, I understand that I was profoundly ignorant of the major part Liverpool played in both the small story of my ancestors and in the massive transformation of human society that occurred through the nineteenth century. Having trudged over some of the northern and southern battlefields in the more than two decades we lived in the United States, it was particularly intriguing to discover that the likely cause of my Lancashire great-grandparents’ decision to leave England permanently was the American Civil War!
In the big department stores of my Brisbane childhood, cotton goods, towels and linens were to be found in the Manchester section reflecting that, with the long-established trade relationships between Australia and Britain which persisted until the United Kingdom joined the European Economic Community, most of it came from Manchester and the various Lancashire mill towns nearby. Their rural location was determined initially by the availability of fast-flowing streams to drive the water wheels that, in turn, powered machines like the Spinning Jenny (invented in Lancashire by James Hargreaves in 1864), Richard Arkwright’s water frame, and Samuel Crompton’s spinning mule that combined both technologies. By 1800, steam was replacing water as the driving force.
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