Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Major award for RCM Marine

This report about the success of Irlam's RCM Marine alludes to the complex interweaving of space and time. Irlam, despite its location some 40 miles from the sea, possesses something of a nautical heritage even when the town was nothing more than small hamlet nestled between the banks of Irwell and Mersey and bleak Chat Moss. The Irwell was once a relatively important maritime transit route supporting the burgeoning Industrial Revolution in Manchester. Irlam's maritime heritage, however, was really forged following the construction of the Ship Canal, which gouged through the Irwell (leaving man-made oxbow lakes as the canal route cut-off the river's meanders and turns). Irlam was a key site during the construction phase of the canal, and is home to a substantial locks system. The banks of the Canal were sided by an array of loading cranes and railways feeding into the town's key industries, most notably steel. Despite its industrial nature, the canal and its industry provided a tremendous spectacle. Some of my strongest childhood memories include the times when we used local ferries to cross the canal, the one-car diesel ferry and more prosaically Bob's Lane Ferry, which consisted of one man in a rowing boat.

The locks remain, although this site has become subject to housing development. Pub names in Irlam also reveal its watery past, with places such as the Ship Inn and The Boat House, and road names dedicated to key figures behind the development of the canal such as Leader Williams Road.

Source: Major award for RCM Marine - Business - News - Manchester Evening News

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