The iron ore unloading cranes at Bidston Dock in 1964
|Location||Birkenhead, United Kingdom|
|Owner||Peel Holdings (site)|
A proposal for the construction of the dock on most of what remained of the tidal inlet of Wallasey Pool was outlined in the 1920s. Consisting of the main basin and four additional branches, only part of the main dock was eventually built.
Bidston dock was opened in March 1933 and originally known as the West Float extension. The dock was first used for laying up ships, such as the Ellerman Lines' City of London and City of York. The dock was significantly altered in the 1950s to allow the transportation of iron ore bound for Shotton. The dock had a trio of large moveable cranes to unload the iron ore, which were dismantled in the late 1990s. The northern quayside of Bidston Dock was the iron ore berth, which was operated by Rea Ltd. The southern quayside was unallocated.
By 1992, the dock was only being used for laying up ships, such as the Isle of Man Steam Packet vessels. Some of the final traffic through the dock involved the transportation of timber. Bidston Dock was subsequently closed and was landfilled by 2003.
The dock was served by the Birkenhead Dock Branch railway line and an iron ore train ran regularly to the John Summers Steelworks in Shotton. Monthly shipments of iron ore arrived at Bidston Dock from 1956. Due to the nature of the train, a high degree of motive power was required. Class 40s and pairs of Class 25 locomotives are known to have operated on this track, during its latter days. In the steam era, the iron ore train was known to have been hauled by Class 9F locomotives. The Class 9F locomotive 92203, later named as Black Prince, worked the final steam-hauled iron ore train in November 1967.
Though the dock itself was filled, the northern quayside, on which the cranes were situated, and the railway sidings are still intact, although disused.
Peel Holdings have expressed an interest to develop the site of the former dock, as part of the Wirral Waters regeneration project. This part of the project would encompass 571,000 square feet (53,000 m2) of leisure facilities and a retail park.
- Booth, Adrian (September 2000). "Rea's of Birkenhead". Railway Bylines. Vol. 5 no. 10. Irwell Press. p. 477. ISSN 1360-2098.
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- Collard 2001, p. 111
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- Birkenhead Docks (photo18), Merseyside Views, retrieved 12 October 2007
- Booth, Adrian (September 2000). "Rea's of Birkenhead". Railway Bylines. Vol. 5 no. 10. Irwell Press. p. 480. ISSN 1360-2098.
- Mitchell & Smith 2013, fig. 101
- Mitchell & Smith 2013, fig. 103
- "The Famous Black Prince". oldsteamers.com. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
- "Memories of Bank Hall, Birkenhead & Beyond, Part Two, as recalled by Mal Pratt, Birkenhead 1966 - 1968". derbysulzers.com. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
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- Peel unveil plans for £4.5 billion 'Wirral Waters' scheme (pdf), Peel Waters, 5 September 2006, retrieved 3 July 2009[permanent dead link]
- Collard, Ian (2001). Mersey Ports, Liverpool and Birkenhead. Tempus Publishing Limited. ISBN 978-0-752421-10-0.
- McCarron, Ken; Jarvis, Adrian (1992). Give a Dock a Good Name?. Birkenhead: Merseyside Port Folios. ISBN 9780951612941. OCLC 27770301.
- Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (2013). Wrexham to New Brighton. West Sussex: Middleton Press. ISBN 9781908174475. OCLC 859543196.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bidston Dock.|
- "Trading Places - A History of Liverpool Docks". Archived from the original on 4 February 2012.
- "Timeline History of Birkenhead Docks". Archived from the original on 25 January 2013.
- Bidston Dock aerial photo
- "Bidston Dock quayside photo". Archived from the original on 4 February 2008.
- Wirral Waters