Mersey Docks and Harbour Company
The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company (MDHC), formerly the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board (MDHB), owns and administers the dock facilities of the Port of Liverpool, on the River Mersey, England. These include the operation of the enclosed northern dock system that runs from Prince's Dock to Seaforth Dock, in the city of Liverpool and the dock facilities built around the Great Float of the Wirral Peninsula, located on the west side of the river.
Liverpool Common Council's Dock Committee was the original port authority. In 1709 it had been authorised to construct Liverpool's first enclosed ship basin, the Old Dock, which was the world's first commercial wet dock. By 1750 the old Dock Committee was replaced by the Liverpool Dock Trustees.
The Mersey Docks and Harbour Board took over running of Liverpool's docks from the trustees in 1858. The need for Liverpool Corporation to divest its dock interests to a new public body was as a result of pressure from Parliament, dock merchants and some rival port operators.
At one point the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board railway totalled 104 miles (166 km) of line, with connections to many other railways. A section of the line ran, unsegregated from other road traffic, along the dock road. Today only the Canada Dock Branch is used.
In 1972 the Board was reconstituted as a company to allow it to raise money for new building initiatives and projects, including the new container dock at Seaforth. Four lightvessels in the approaches to the River Mersey were maintained by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board until 1973.
The company operated a private lifeboat station that was involved in a number of incidents over the years.
Following the closure of the original Cammell Laird shipyard in 1993, the dock and the four remaining dry docks at the site are owned by the MDHC. All were subsequently leased, firstly to the A&P Group and then to Northwestern Shiprepairers & Shipbuilders, which officially renamed itself Cammell Laird Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders Ltd on 17 November 2008.
Other port operators in the UK include:
- Port of Liverpool (official map) (pdf), Peel Ports, retrieved 18 December 2008
- Port of Liverpool & Manchester Ship Canal, Peel Ports, retrieved 18 December 2008
- Mersey Docks & Harbour Board: the Board is formed, Port Cities/E. Chambré Hardman Archive, archived from the original on 27 September 2006, retrieved 18 December 2008
- Mersey Docks and Harbour Board collection, National Museums Liverpool, archived from the original on 3 February 2009, retrieved 18 December 2008
- "Trading Places: Old Dock History", National Museums Liverpool, archived from the original on 24 March 2008, retrieved 18 December 2008
- Storrie, Robert, Embryo of a Port 1715, Mike Royden's Local History Pages, archived from the original on 11 October 2012, retrieved 18 December 2008
- Creetown, Scotland: The Kirkmabreck Quarries, retrieved 29 May 2006
- Maund, T.B. (November 1991), Mersey Ferries - Volume 1, Transport Publishing Co. Ltd., pp. 52–53, ISBN 0-86317-166-4
- Hodgson, Neil (17 November 2008), Cammell Laird name returns on River Mersey, Liverpool Echo, retrieved 18 December 2008
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