Preston Dock to mark 125 years since it first opened

Posted on - 23rd June, 2017 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Ashton-on-Ribble, History, Nostalgia, Preston Council, Preston News, Riversway
The foundation stone being laid at the opening of the Docks
The foundation stone being laid at the opening of the Docks

This weekend marks 125 years since Preston Dock received its first ship.


Officially called the Albert Edward basin – and the largest single dock in Europe – it has been keeping ships safe for decades.

It was completed and opened in 1892 by Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Victoria’s second son.

To make the Dock the River Ribble was diverted and the dock was dug out and built.

As ships increased in size the channel became too shallow for the newer, larger ships. It became too expensive to keep dredging and the port was closed in 1981 by an Act of Parliament.

Sunset at Preston Marina Pic: Tony Worrall
Sunset at Preston Marina Pic: Tony Worrall

Leader of Preston City Council councillor Peter Rankin said: “This landmark birthday for the Docks is significant for Preston to acknowledge and celebrate.

“The area is just as important as a commercial, residential and leisure operation now as it was to the manufacturing industry as a thriving port. Here’s to another 125 years of continuing success.”

Read more: Watch stunning fireworks at Preston Docks

Part of the Docks was the creation of the railway line – which has now become the Ribble Steam Railway.

Managing director of the Preston Marina Suzanne Cameron said: “Preston Docks is central to our family business and we owe that to the hard work and foresight of our late father, Chris Miller.

“On Sunday 25 June our ‘Beach Hut Coffee Shop’ will be celebrating Preston Docks 125th birthday and looking back on the history and the Miller family’s involvement with the docks since they began.

“Preston Marina has become the hub of Lancashire’s small but vibrant boating community offering a unique facility for everyone to enjoy.”

The No3 gate at construction
The No3 gate at construction

The Dock continues to be maintained by the city council, who by lasw much keep and maintain the lock gates, swing bridge and hazard markers along the dock and river into the estuary.

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