Mystery of the missing Preston Dock door handles

Posted on - 12th June, 2014 - 11:15am | Author - | Posted in - Ashton-on-Ribble, History, Preston News

dock door handles


A recent Facebook discussion raised concern when it was discovered the ornate brass door handles of a Preston building went missing.

The marvelous gold looking boat shaped handles, seen above, graced the main door of the old Preston Dock Offices on Watery Lane.

Unfortunately, the building has stood empty for several months to let waiting for a new tenant. While empty the handles mysteriously disappeared.

The new Dock Offices were opened in February 1936 by Sir Arthur Watson and Mayor, Ernest Ley. The building was the administration centre for the docks run by Preston Borough Council under the Ribble Navigation and Preston Dock Act. 

Some interior rooms had varnished wooden high desks and panelled walls (supplied by H.H.Martyne and Co.Ltd., Architectural Decorators, Sunningend Works of Cheltenham). The Leyland and Birmingham Rubber Co. Ltd. laid rubber flooring and R.W.Brooke and Co. Ltd. From Liverpool put down wooden block flooring.

preston dock offices

The interior also had marble terrazzo tiling from Carrara Marble Co of Liverpool and Manu Marble Linings from The Bath and Portland Stone Firms Ltd, Gloucester.

The building itself was budgeted to cost £21,617 and was designed in an art-deco style with a clock tower allowing boats in the nearby dock to tell the time.

Over the years the building has seen many businesses come and go including Datel and most recently a call centre run by NCO Europe.

Happily, we can report that the door handles are safe. They were removed for safety and for a good clean. The main doors of the Dock Offices are currently undergoing refurbishment for the new tenants.

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