Talk:Manchester Ship Canal/Archive1

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Construction Costs

This section says that labour wages of 4.5d for a 10 hr day then, are equivalent to 70 pounds a day in 2008 values. and various other sites give value for 5d then as about 4 to 9 GB pounds today. Maybe 7 pounds, not 70, was intended? Tiddy (talk) 05:42, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Was Sir John Aird associated with the Ship Canal as a shareholder or member of the board of directors? The association in the article seems to arise from a text dump (I found the same text in a piece in the Bucks Free Press) about a house in Beaconsfield. Aird was a Victoria, London-based contractor and, while his firm would undoubtedly have had the capacity to work on the Ship Canal, my research suggests most of the work was undertaken by contractor Thomas Walker. However, Walker died before the project finished, and it is possible that Aird's firm may have stepped in to complete the scheme. Can anyone confirm whether Aird's firm was involved, and if Aird himself joined the Ship Canal Company's board of directors? Paul W 14:40, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

A bit of progress, but still not sure if he was a board member. I now believe Aird's firm completed the Ship Canal after Walker died.Paul W 13:35, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Question: My mother was born in Ellesmere Port in 1917 and remembers a hill called Manistey's Mount that was reputedly made of the spoil from digging out the canal. Does anyone know if this is true? If so then why 'Manistey's'? (I may have the spelling wrong).

See This says Mount Manisty (note spelling) was "a mound of earth created from extracted soil from the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal. Its name came from the contractor's agent on the Eastham section, Mr Manisty, who was well liked by the navvies due to the entertainments he and his wife provided for the workers." Paul W 13:07, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Big ship sails on the alley alley oh

  • The children's song "The Big ship sails on the alley alley oh" is said to come from the opening of the MSC[1]
-- I removed this, since the website is not a source for this assertion, just the lyrics. Its probably a bit of folk etymology. --mervyn 13:11, 21 May 2006 (UTC)


The big ship sails on the alley-alley-oh, the alley-alley-oh, the alley-alley-oh, Oh, the big ship sails on the alley-alley-oh, on the last day of September.

The captain said it will never, never do, never, never do, never, never do, The captain said it will never, never do, on the last day of September.

The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea, the bottom of the sea, the bottom of the sea, The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea, on the last day of September.

We all dip our heads in the deep blue sea, the deep blue sea, the deep blue sea, We all dip our heads in the deep blue sea, on the last day of September

I can remember this as a child. My dad was a fireman on the Ship Canal railway. I think the song has many versions through out the UK. Ozdaren 16:17, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Big Ditch

Having been born in Warrington, as was my father (Warrington is roughly in the middle of the Ship Canal) and with one set of grandparents from Warrington and the other from Merseyside (one end of the canal), then having moved to Manchester (the other end of the canal), I was surprised at the 'Big Ditch' term. I'd never heard it until I saw it here! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:43, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Table of features

The recent triple-reversion has removed not only coordinates, but links to named features and the distances between them. There is no consensus for this removal, and there have been no other objections to t their inclusion. Andy Mabbett 14:20, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

I do not object to the prescence of the coordinate table. That moves the concensus in favour of Pigsonthewing. Martin Cordon 15:25, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
A large table of coordinates disfigures the article. Ridge Route doesn't need one to be a featured article. Why can't they be put in the prose? Regan123 22:29, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I think it is useful to have the information contained in the table retained in the article. The table could be moved to the bottom of the page to be less intrusive or you can have a go at providing the same information in prose. Also an attempt to combine coordinates with route diagrams is under discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject UK Waterways. If successful this may provide the tabulated information in a more pleasing form to the eye. Martin Cordon 22:39, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
"Ridge Route doesn't need one", but then that's apples, and this is pears. Andy Mabbett 22:48, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
There was no concensus for keep either, and no triple revert. Two in favour, two against. L.J.Skinnerwot|I did 23:17, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
1 (13:00, 17 April 2007), 2 (13:18, 17 April 2007), 3 (14:52, 17 April 2007). As for consensus to keep: [2] Andy Mabbett 23:47, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Are you blind? I alerady told you, the first of those is not a revert. I also fail to see how your link shows concensus to keep. It was merely a user pointing out that what is right for one article may not be right for another. L.J.Skinnerwot|I did 23:54, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
No, I'm not blind; nor do I use rhetorical questions about possible disability as a debating tool; it's uncivil. I know very well what you alerady (sic) told me; and like a lot of the claims you've made over the last few days, it's untrue. Andy Mabbett 00:09, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I just wondered whether you had missed this reply, or you were deliberately ignoring it in an attempt to make others on this page falsely believe I violated 3RR. L.J.Skinnerwot|I did 01:41, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

You have yet again ignored the parts of my reply which you do not like. I say again - I fail to see how your link shows concensus to keep. Please explain for me where the concensus is. L.J.Skinnerwot|I did 00:16, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Would you like me to provide you with a list of all the questions I have put to you, and which you have ignored? Andy Mabbett 00:22, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
We are (I believe) on the Manchester Ship Canal talk page, so would you like to answer my question on the Manchester Ship Canal's talk page? L.J.Skinnerwot|I did 00:33, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Do you have an answer for me Pigsonthewing? L.J.Skinnerwot|I did 01:43, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Export points of interest as KML; see them on Google Maps

Pages marked with {{coord}}, such as this one, can be exported as KML (for use in Google Earth, for example) via Brian Suda's site, in this format:

The same URL can be pasted into Google Maps as a search, and will show the locations, as push-pins on a map

Unfortunately, my addition of these links to the article have been reverted, twice, each time with a spurious reason in the edit summery (the first referred to a single, disputed comment by the reverter, on WP:VPT; the other to a currently impossible scenario). Andy Mabbett | Talk to Andy Mabbett 14:11, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Like I wrote in the edit summary, links to global geographical information services belong to Template:GeoTemplate, not inside articles. The suggestion at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Export_points_of_interest_as_KML.3B_see_them_on_Google_Maps to add the link to GeoHack is not impossible at all; all we have to do is make the coordinate templates pass the name of the article to GeoHack. Coincidentally there's a proposal at Template talk:Coord#Moving_microformat_markup_from_articles_to_coord to do just that. --Para 14:19, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
As I've said to you elsewhere, when you can show how such links might be possible, and understandable, for collections of points-of-interest such as these, you may have a point. Evidence of a proposal is not evidence that something can be done, and understandably so, now. Until what you are suggesting is actually possible, kindly restore the links. Andy Mabbett | Talk to Andy Mabbett 14:42, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

features table redux

Do we really need a list of table of over 15 items long? Can these not go into prose? It also seems unnecessary to link each one to a coordinate, perhaps a map would be better? L.J.Skinnerwot|I did 02:01, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Hey guys, any chance someone can fix the table at the top? It's pushing the text down and looks untidy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:57, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Ah, that seems to have worked whomever did it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:37, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
the page is looking messy again guys. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:05, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 14:18, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Big hill

Near the Thelwall Viaduct M6, theres a huge ruddy great hill that pokes out of the ground. Is this a natural feature, or removed earth from the canal excavation? Here:,-2.485442&spn=0.019217,0.057335&t=h&z=15&om=1 - its not too clear there, but the area between the A57 and the canal is a big hill Parrot of Doom (talk) 01:07, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Taxi service

Apparently a boat taxi service is to be installed along with a few hundred metres of canal, near the Trafford Centre outside Manchester. Anyone know anything about this to add to the article? Parrot of Doom (talk) 18:30, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

It's mentioned in the Trafford Centre article, here, with a link to an MEN report, but I'm not sure if it's still going ahead. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 19:18, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

too many links?

Is it really necessary to offer a link to the reader that informs them of what things like 'wind' and 'water' are? Methinks there are far too many hyperlinks in this article, they detract from the more important terminology of shipping and canals. Parrot of Doom (talk) 11:07, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Add to that businessmen, town, politician, west and drought. Yes, there are not only too many links, but many that are irrelevant to this article. Does someone want to take the baton so that we don't get too many cooks. Also there are many redlinks. Could someone with some specific knowledge please list those links that are not notable and are unlikely to have article written for them. List them here and get some consensus on unlinking. Bleakcomb (talk) 11:45, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I've already been through and removed all of those absurd links. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 12:16, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Good job chap Parrot of Doom (talk) 17:05, 21 May 2008 (UTC)


Can someone give a proper citation for the "Owen" book we cite in this article? --Doradus (talk) 17:54, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

It is properly cited, in the Bibliography section. Or am I misunderstanding your question? --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 18:32, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Canal was an expensive White Elephant

As a means of cheaply transporting goods to Manchester cheaply the canal was an expensive white elephant. All Manchester had to do was have docks docks at Eastham and railways to take goods to a railways(s) terminal in Manchester, which was far more flexible and a fraction of the price.

The canal was perceived as an attempt to make the city an important city as large ports usually are.

The full canal only lasted 85 years, with Manchester Docks closing completely, which is a rather short time for such an expensive undertaking.

Recent reversions

With regard to this diff, before this gets sillier I'd like to put forth the notion that asking for a citation/proof with regard to text that appears to be already cited is somewhat silly.

If the anonymous IP users who have been making these edits would like to offer their own sources, perhaps the matter will be resolved; but until they do so, my personal opinion is that the line as I have reverted it should stand. Parrot of Doom (talk) 22:46, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

I think I probably added the material about the Port of Liverpool's charges which seems to be being disputed, but I am quite certain that the citaton provided supports what the article is saying. --Malleus Fatuorum 22:51, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Some more sources

That was 5 minutes of googling. I'm sure if I were more thorough I could present a stronger case for the present version of this article. Parrot of Doom (talk) 22:53, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

None of those says that the Port of Liverpool fees were excessive or extortionate to the point the port needed by-passing. As I have pointed out, Garston was always available, which is separate and in not the port of Liverpool - even to this day. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shipping-boy (talkcontribs) 23:25, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
This does, and this, and this hints at it, this mentions the port charges and suffering...
Its really quite simple. The present paragraph is referenced. The reversions are not. Unless you provide a source for your opinion, it won't change. Parrot of Doom (talk) 00:29, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
None backup your claims. Only one mentions port charges and does not go into any detail using a one liner. Liverpool did not have a separate charge for Manchester bound goods, all ships that berthed paid the same rates. If a shipping line used the port frequently they could negotiate lower rates with the port. Manchester was the only town/city griping. The rail companies were overcharging as Liverpool emphasised at the time. Liverpool also stressed that their security and very fast movement of cargo in and out the port was beyond equal, which was so. Liverpool has quality of service and a one-stop shop of port, rail, shipping agents, insurance companies. Cargo may be hanging around in Hull for a long time while in Liverpool it was on its way out of the port immediately, or in a day or so - you got what you paid for.
Independent Garston also could shift cargoes in and out fast and competed with Liverpool on price - Garston was also served by rail, being built by a rail company. The real reason for the canal was to attempt to establish Manchester as an international city and be the centre of east Lancashire and beyond. Economics was clearly against it.
The canal was a white elephant, as history proved - fast rail and terminals could do just the same, better, and more flexible. Even the expensive to build Queen Elizabeth Dock (not a part of the canal) was outdated in 6 years when the Tranmere oil terminal, taking the world's largest tankers at the time, was opened. The canal was not the cheapest and fasted way to get cargoes to Manchester at the time. The price of construction was colossal for such a small port at the time, when building their own far cheaper to build fast railways, it would have been cheaper to run and did the same - a Canal railway was built but not a through fast service from dedicated estuary docks, more a service railway.
Currently it is undersold and if widened and deepened at the Mersey Estuary section, could increase business further. If the Mersey barrage goes ahead and channels deepened to Eastham and the canal deepened to Runcorn, it may even do more business - no restricting locks would be needed at Eastham and both sides of the canal wall used as quays.
The deepened channel to Eastham caused silting at Liverpool's south end docks requiring more dredging, as the strong current moved from the Liverpool side to the Wirral side - only so much water moves through the Mersey narrows. Liverpool protested that this would happen, and it did. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:28, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
This entire post is irrelevant unless you present a wp:reliable source to verify your claims. Do not modify the page again. Admin assistance has been requested to deal with this issue. Parrot of Doom (talk) 10:02, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Reported here Parrot of Doom (talk) 10:29, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Once gain!!!! The onus is on you to back up your claims. You have not. Unless you can give reliable informative cites (not one liners) then do not enter misinformation. Admin should remove your misinformation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:49, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
The claims are backed up with the reference provided in the article. You must be blind if you cannot see them. My links above are not part of those citations, they are merely examples. Stop what you are doing - you are wasting everybody's time. Do not edit this article again without providing a reference for your claims, or by proving the inaccuracy of the references already used - they will be reverted until you are prevented from participating in this project. Parrot of Doom (talk) 12:13, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

I offer this, from W H Chaloner, "The birth of modern Manchester", in Carter, Charles Frederick, ed. (1962). Manchester and its region : a survey prepared for the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held in Manchester August 29 to September 5 1962. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 143. .
"... Manchester's existence as one of the economic capitals of the world depended primnarily on the cheap transport of cotton and cotton goods in and out of South-East Lancashire. As the 'Great Depression' deepened the neccesity to cheapen transport costs became ever more urgent. Liverpool men dominated the Mersey, and Liverpool interests levied what Manchester men considered to be excessive charges in organizing the import trade in raw cotton. In addition, the railway companies serving the Lancashire cotton towns seem to have take advantage of their quasi-monoplistic posistion to charge high rates on goods traffic, particularly as they controlled the old canal system. The answer to this was ..."
From that, it would appear to be an argument on the exact meaning of "port costs". Mr Stephen (talk) 14:13, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

The links given were poor and no more than said Liverpool port cost were high, with no substantiation. The misinformation must be removed. I could knock-up a web site with misinformation and link to it and it appears people would believe that. The writer must substantiate claims - it has not been done. It must be removed.

argument on the exact meaning of "port costs". Exactly it appears Manchester was the only one griping. Blackburn, Burnley, Birmingham, etc never griped. Ports costs were not the problem. Two porst were on the Mersey competing. The problem was rail costs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:47, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

For the final time - the links above were examples and not included in the article body. The information in the article is referenced. End of. Either provide a reference for your claims or stop. This is my final comment on the matter. Your new IP has been reported here. Parrot of Doom (talk) 21:26, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Dimensions of the canal

Websites vary in giving the dimensions of the canal. Is there an authoritative source that should be quoted? Michael Glass (talk) 01:13, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

I think Farnie (1980) would probably be considered the most reliable source for information on the canal. --Malleus Fatuorum 14:02, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Speculation on nursery rhyme

I've moved this recent addition to here from the lead because it seems to me to be the flmsiest of speculation:

It is reputed to be the origin of the nursery rhyme song The Big Ship Sails On The Ally Ally-Oh.[1]

Malleus Fatuorum 19:42, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Yes, most of the Google hits seem to be to blogs, chat forums and Parish Magazines. But any more palusible competing pre-1894 origins? The other main contender seems to be "the Atlantic Ocean", with or without one particular Big Ship. The significance of the last day of September, however, remains a bit of a mystery for either theory. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:59, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
I can confirm it was a skipping song in Heaton Chapel in 1960. It is the first time I have heard this theory- and the fact that I haven't probably means that it was not a theory current in 1960- it is the sort of detail my grandmother would have delighted in. --ClemRutter (talk) 21:19, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
It seems very dubious to me, and the edit summary when it was added to the article leads me to believe that it might have been some bollocks that Simon Mayo broadcast recently on his radio show. Malleus Fatuorum 22:09, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Um, just because somebody's granny in Heaton Chapel didn't explain this derivation to somebody skipping in 1960, doesn't actually prove it's false, does it? The Primary School Teacher, from Lighthorne in Warwickshire, who was chosen to answer the "Homework Sucks" feature on Mayo's show, on the last day of September 2010, said that she had "a very very good book about the origins of children's nursery rhymes and songs" which offered the following explanations:
  • the "ally ally-oh" refers to the building of the Manchester Ship Canal in the 1890s;
  • the captain said it would "never never do" to see large ships near the centre of Manchester;
  • the "last Day of September" marks the last good day of good sailing weather;
  • storms after this day might well cause big ship to sink "to the bottom of the sea";
  • the dipping of heads "in the deep blue sea" is a collective spiritual reaction to the drowning of the sailors of such ships (and in some cultures the heads of holy statues are bathed in water to try and ward off forthcoming dangers to fishermen and sailors).
So "the big ship" represents ships in general, which might, of course, include RMS Titanic, although that sank on 15 April. So, perhaps some dubious pollocks are involved, but quite intelligently well-argued pollocks. I wonder which was the "very very good book"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:53, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I am sure if my granny had seen, the 882 ft RMS Titanic come through the 600ft Barton Locks she would have told me.--ClemRutter (talk) 20:42, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
False or not, is this sort of thing worthy material for an encyclopedia? Wikipedia is not a collection of trivia, stories and speculations, but rather a place for recording verifiable and notable facts. Describing a book as "very very good" does not make it a reliable source for Wikipedia, nor does its content necessarily make suitable material for a subject such as this article.--Peter I. Vardy (talk) 20:47, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
No, of course not. It is a distraction, the only value seems to be that I checked the article for the length of ships and no where does it discuss, or list the capacity of each of the locks. But we are not the only ones to be attempting to verify the ally ally oh myth. In 1999, Mudcats had an interesting thread. One poster, suggested that the Opies should be consulted, and in the response the MSC connection was dismissed as there is a record of this being sung in the 1870s in NZ.

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails ^^

From: Peter T.
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 02:20 PM
Yes, the Opies on the trail..... In "The Singing Game" (Iona and Peter Opie, OUP, 1985) they call it the only survivor of the ancient "Thread The Needle" game, of which visual record goes back to the Lorenzetti frescos in Siena in 1350! Variations are found in Appalachian dance ("Killiecrankie, Winding Up the Maple Leaf, etc.) and in England under "Dan, Dan, Thread the Needle."
They note that the problem with the Manchester Ship Canal origin is that there is an 1870 recollection from New Zealand; and that it has some obscure connection to the Christmas ships sailing, and various "through and throught the salley go" threading the needle songs. They give an extensive description of how to play the game, as well as a picture, which I am puzzling out. Boy, I can hardly wait to try this one out.....
So on the Opies authority, I think we can close the discussion and move on. --ClemRutter (talk) 21:18, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
We certainly can move on. This was already discussed in 2006 (see above). But I'd disagree it's necessarily "trivia, stories and speculations" - we still have this and this and of course this. Probably many more. So am eagerly awaiting the Big Ship article. But in the mean time, given the undisputed authority of the Opies, we'd be doing everyone a favour by including the "popular fallacy" that the rhyme originates from the opening of the canal - Mayo, and all good book homeworkers, included (?)Martinevans123 (talk) 21:32, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Music Hall Song

Actually though there was a song about about the canal written some years before it was constructed see here. It would be interesting to know when that first appeared. I doubt if it was seventy years before as suggested in the book. Richerman (talk) 23:21, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

That's a very interesting find Richerman, but the "seventy years before" the canal was built claim is obviously nonsense. Malleus Fatuorum 23:59, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I suspect it's taken from the reference to 1825 in the song, which actually makes it 69 years, but that's obviously a reference to a time in the past. It's interesting that it mentions the pond at Ardwick as I recently bought a superb copy of William Green's 1794 plan of Manchester and Salford - on 18 A3 sheets, no less! The pond in Ardwick, which is about 400 yards long, is marked as a 'canal' - as is a long, narrow, obviously artificial pond on the side of Lever Street, then called 'Levers Row'. Richerman (talk) 00:19, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I see that source also says ".. as recorded by the Manchester City News, Notes and Queries No. 11, March 12, 1881 (Manchester Library) at the Theatre Royal. Manchester" So that performance by Mr Hammond seems more likely to have been a popular Music Hall turn also in 1881, before the Act of Parliament, but probably alreday topical in Manchester by then? (and if there was any link with the Nursery Rhyme, I think it's very likely to have appeared in the MCN at some stage?) Martinevans123 (talk) 15:38, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I've since found that there was a much earlier proposal to build a Ship canal from the River Dee to Manchester (which I've added to the article) and there was an Act of Parliament for it applied for in 1825, so the song I found appears to be about the earlier attempt rather than the one that was successful. Richerman (talk) 22:58, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Remarkable. I'd still like to see that original page from the 1881 MCN! Martinevans123 (talk) 23:05, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Anyone know the tune?--ClemRutter (talk) 08:47, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
'Fraid not. There may be a copy of the paper in Manchester Central Library. I'll have to see if I can find it online at the British library using my daughter's Athens account. They do have copies of the Manchester Times from then but I can't recall seeing the Manchester City News. Richerman (talk) 10:17, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
It seems that the Manchester Local Studies Library had "Manchester City News 1864-1953" available on microfilm as recently as 26 Sept 2010. But looking at the lastest list of Our Collections - Newspapers they seem to have now disappeared! Some cruel coincidence? Martinevans123 (talk) 16:14, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Infobox missing

The Bridgewater Canal has a nice infobox- and is a GA.--ClemRutter (talk) 21:27, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Some people like infoboxes, others don't, but I've certainly got no objection if anyone wants to add one. Malleus Fatuorum 21:40, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
 Done--ClemRutter (talk) 13:00, 2 October 2010 (UTC)


There are some nice images here (click on 'go' when you get there), particularly the two engravings from the London Illustrated News. As usual, the museum is claiming copyright on them but those two are certainly well out of copyright as they were published in 1894 (although the one of the docks says 1883 which is impossible) - should we use them?

Images are a nightmare at FAC, but I think we could get away with the engravings from the London Illustrated News as they're well out of copyright, as you say. Malleus Fatuorum 23:27, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
PS. Before we go anywhere near FAC I think we need to look very carefully at the licensing for all the images in this article. Malleus Fatuorum 23:28, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

I have put some new images on commons commons:Category:Pomona Docksand geotagged others, more to come on Salford Quays. --ClemRutter (talk) 10:29, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

there are some interesting images on Geograph. [6] No probs with licences either.--J3Mrs (talk) 19:51, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
At some point pre-review we're going to have to look very carefully at the images in this article. I'm inclined as well to think that it's right on the edge of having too many. Malleus Fatuorum 20:39, 4 October 2010 (UTC)


I am sure you guys are the experts at getting an article to FAC- I am hanging around to learn the techniques but can I float a couple of ideas.

  • The structure is wrong Operation details are mixed in with history- they need to be unknitted.
  • The Thomas the tank engine section should be floated as a separate article- and just referred to with a {{main}}
  • The article is too heavily weighted towards history- where are the tables of tonnes carried each year

Looking for a structure comparison Panama Canal made it to FA then lost it on references. It uses this as a structure:

   * 1 History
         o 1.1 Early proposals
         o 1.2 French construction attempt
         o 1.3 U.S. construction
         o 1.4 Later developments
   * 2 Layout
   * 3 Lock size
   * 4 Tolls
   * 5 Current issues
         o 5.1 Efficiency and maintenance
         o 5.2 Capacity
         o 5.3 Competition
         o 5.4 Water issues
   * 6 The future
         o 6.1 Third set of locks project
         o 6.2 Building the new canal
   * 7 Canal Pilots
   * 8 Gatun and Gatun Lake Supplementary Benefits
   * 9 See also
   * 10 References
   * 11 Further reading
   * 12 External links

..which suggests we could- take this

   * 1 Early history
   * 2 Financing
   * 3 Construction
   * 4 Route
         o 4.1 Features
   * 5 Operational history
   * 6 MSC Railway
   * 7 Today
   * 8 Maximum size of ships
   * 9 See also
   * 10 References
   * 11 Further reading
   * 12 External links

and change it to

   * 1 history
      * 1.1 Early history
      * 1.2 Financing
      * 1.3 Construction
      * 1.4     ex 5 Operational history
      *         Tonnage Table
   * 2 Route
         Geography of area
         The Locks
         The Docks and wharfs
         Other Features on the banks
   * 6 MSC Railway
   * 3 Today
   * 4 Locks and Maximum size of ships
   * 5 Current issues
         Culture and media
   * 9 See also
   * 10 References
   * 11 Further reading
   * 12 External links

Some of the existing material will need to be redistributed Just a few ideas-please savage- or amend. I am here to learn --ClemRutter (talk) 14:03, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Seems like a reasonable suggestion to me. At least part of the reason it's weighted towards history is because I spent some time on the first half of the article probably a year or so ago, but never got beyond about half-way through. Quite clearly the article runs out of steam the nearer it gets to the end though. Malleus Fatuorum 14:20, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
 Done--ClemRutter (talk) 01:24, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

New Trafford Park section

I'm not entirely sure about the scale of this section; it seems to contain more about the Park than it does the canal. Certainly there was some kind of symbiotic relationship between the two, but right now that section seems to be suggesting that had the canal not existed, Trafford Park would never have developed quite so much as it did. Parrot of Doom 09:22, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

I think that's exactly the case though. Looking at Farnie's The Manchester Ship Canal and the Rise of the Port of Manchester I see that there's a whole chapter on "The Industrialisation of Trafford Park", 23 pages in all. Malleus Fatuorum 13:51, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
... although having said that and looked through that section again I think that we could easily lose at least the final paragraph. Malleus Fatuorum 13:54, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes I was inspired by need to produce some content, and stop messing around on talk pages. Yes it is all very raw but looking at the focus of the article, it needs to reflect the importance of the canal to Manchester and that it was only because of the canal that Manchester could develop these 20th century industries, we need to tie Ford to a wharf and car import export (don't know yet if there was one) Westinghouse (MetroVic) to export of enormous chunks of steel and copper to the worlds hydroelectric plants( if that happened). We need to explain how there are so many wharfs, and that this is still a live water way. You guys have access to libraries, and have researched Trafford Park, so can tie in the references- that I can't. There is a story out there that Britainś favorite breakfast cereal was made possible solely because of this canal- well I have seen more stupid claims out there surfing the non-Manchester pages!
I want to start sliding seaward, and see what we can do about some of the other wharfs- but not in so much detail--ClemRutter (talk) 15:23, 29 October 2010 (UTC)


There looks to be a vast difference of opinion on tonnages in 1974- it is not in the table but my source states it was 17,369,123 tonnes. However the paragraph above refers to dry goods, so possible needs to be reworded of some further analysis made, I just mention it here so I don't frighten the horses. --ClemRutter (talk) 10:16, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

GA Review

This review is transcluded from Talk:Manchester Ship Canal/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Pyrotec (talk) 14:37, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

A "MF" article, must review it. Pyrotec (talk) 14:37, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Initial comments

This looks like a good article so I don't expect to have to say much in respect of "problems".

  • General -
  • I'm slowly working my way through the article and found a reference in the Lead to 7 million tons (I seem to recall a conversation in Local Hero about million pound(s) - a new kind of pound(s)) and 50-ton boats in History; and gross tons in Operational history (note there is a gross tonnage article). I know a ton and a tonne are almost the same: but the metric police are not going like this and arguments over short tons and long tons could break out at any moment.
  • I may misremembering, so I'll need to check,, but I have a recollection that because metric tonnes and imperial (long) tons (not US short tons) differ by rather an insignificant amount that conversions were considered unnecessary. Malleus Fatuorum 20:05, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes, metric tonnes and imperial tons are quite similar, but the Yanks (woops, I should not make these racist remarks) think that "tonnes" is quaint english and a typo for "ton". The real problems are that: the British ton and the US ton are not the same, so 50-ton boats should be written as 50 long tons (51 t) boat (with or without the link=on) so that any ambiguity over short or long ton is removed; some editors don't understand non-metric units; and, to make things worse it appears that the tonnage of sea-going boats is measured in short tons not long tons. In short, the ambiguity is the type of ton implied by the state "x ton"; plus you go to jail (and your scales are confiscated) in the UK if you sell bananas by the lb., so I'm recomending that the ton is defined as short or long and the metric equivalent is given (the template {{convert}} can be used but I'm not insisting on its use). Pyrotec (talk) 20:35, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
  • OK. I think I've added all the necessary long ton -> short ton conversions, and been explicit elsewhere about what unit is being used. As the long ton and tonne are for all practical purposes equivalent, I've been explicit about long tons and given conversions to short tons. Malleus Fatuorum 02:24, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
  • As for the tonnage of sea-going boats, it's not a unit at all, it's calculated, therefore conversions would be meaningless. Malleus Fatuorum 02:28, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Note: I was working on the basis of WP:Manual of Style, which suggests that in statements the numbers 1 to 9 are written as words and bigger numbers as numbers: hence my edit "five of 15". The clause "five of fifteen" seems to be entirely reasonable, but not perhaps "...5 of 15...". Believe it or not, I used to be quite sane before I started reviewing GAN's. Pyrotec (talk) 20:35, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
  • History -
  • I assume, looking at a 1890 rail atlas, that the three lines between Liverpool & Manchester are: LN&W, CLC & L&Y, but there might to two LN&W routes (a direct one thru Newton le Willows and a less direct one through Warrington) - I'm not especially looking for them to be named, since the statements have citations.
  • YesY Pyrotec (talk) - "The Shirley Institute", I've heard of that - no action required for that ; but I would have expected parliament, as in "submitted to parliament", to have a capital "P".
  • I think you're right about "parliament", now capitalised. Malleus Fatuorum 20:05, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

....stopping for now. To be continued. Pyrotec (talk) 11:39, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Route -
    • Docks and wharfs -
      I think this sentence "Pomona Docks have been filled in and to large extent remain derelict, but No. 3 Dock is still intact and has a lock connecting the ship canal to the Bridgewater Canal, which runs parallel to it at this point ...", should read: "Pomona Docks have been mostly/mainly/or suitable words filled in and to large extent remain derelict, but No. 3 Dock is still intact ..."
      Changed to "Pomona Docks have been filled in and remain largely derelict except for the still intact No. 3 Dock, which has a lock connecting it to the nearby Bridgewater Canal at the point where the two canals run in parallel. Malleus Fatuorum 05:25, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Manchester Ship Canal Railway -
      A minor point, and I'm not making this mandatory for GA. Since "the MSC Railway was able to receive and despatch goods trains to and from all the UK's main line railway systems, using connecting junctions at three points in the terminal docks.", its a Standard gauge railway. That could be made explicit by e.g. stating: "To service the freight landed at the canal's docks, the standard gauge Manchester Ship Canal Railway was created ...."
      What I know about railways wouldn't even cover a very small postage stamp, so I'd be quite happy with a change along those lines. Malleus Fatuorum 22:22, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
      Changed to "The standard gauge Manchester Ship Canal Railway was built to service freight to and from the canal's docks ...". Malleus Fatuorum 22:36, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Present-day -
Refs 76 (Peal Holdings) & 77 (Dft) need tweaking. The former comes up with a 404 error (not found) and the later also has a 404 error but it also has a text message detailing the address of an archived version of the page at The National Archives.
I just noticed the problem with ref #76 myself, and have replaced the dead web link with a book. I'll take a look at #77 now. Malleus Fatuorum 22:20, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Ref #77 now fixed as well. Malleus Fatuorum 23:24, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

There are a few minor "problems" that need fixing and some suggestions that are not mandatory for awarding GA-status. I'm therefore going to add my final comments, below, but leave the "pass/fail" as unmarked for now. Pyrotec (talk) 21:31, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks very much. Perhaps I aught to check for copyvios, but its far easier to blame the reviewer for not finding them. Pyrotec (talk) 07:05, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Overall comments

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

An informative, entirely readable, well referenced and well illustrated article on the history of the Manchester Ship Canal.

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    Well referenced.
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    Well referenced.
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    Well illustrated.
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
    Well illustrated.
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:

Congratulations on anither fine article and a GA. Pyrotec (talk) 07:05, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

First bill

The article currently says November 1882, but Harford's book (page 26) says [lodged in Parliament] 22 December 1882. Which is correct? Parrot of Doom 22:13, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Actually for now I've reworded it slightly, to try and integrate the propaganda campaign, bills, and financing. Parrot of Doom 22:19, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Owen definitely says November 1882, but he goes into some detail about the initial Bill not complying with Standing Orders, whatever that means, and so it was necessary to appeal to some kind of "Special Committee of Parliament". Maybe the committee ruled on 22 December 1882? Malleus Fatuorum 22:30, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, Harford says something similar but I didn't add it as I thought (in future) I could just write words to the effect of "legal wrangling". There may be something to be said about the way the ship canal committee went back home and raised a lot of support against the standing orders, but it's late and I'm tired. Also, I went to Waitrose today and spent a load of money, and I've just realised the one thing I went for (Onken vanilla yoghurt with chocolate flakes), I forgot. So I'm annoyed. Parrot of Doom 22:46, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I wonder if the London Gazette or Hansard has anything to say about the first bill. Parrot of Doom 22:46, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Unless we're planning an article on the Bill itself I'm not sure this is particularly important is it? Couldn't we just just fudge it by saying something like "towards the end of 1882"?
I shop in Asda, you know, the store you can't go to because you chased a car driver into the car park on your bike and abused her for cutting you up. :lol: Malleus Fatuorum 22:58, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I think the "stiff opposition" needs a couple more sentences than currently exist, but not a great deal. There's still a bit of animosity even now; mention the ship canal to any canny Liverpudlian and you'll sometimes get a ream of "truth" about how Manchester was somehow underhand in "robbing" Liverpool...
As for supermarkets I switch between Sainsburys, M&S and Waitrose. I don't smoke, or drink much, so I reckon I deserve nice things :) Parrot of Doom 23:04, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Interestingly that issue of the animosity between Liverpool and Manchester came up in a current FAC, Liverpool F.C., but it's a complicated story not easily dealt with in a sentence or two. There's a strong body of opinion that the Manchester Ship Canal never made economic sense, but perhaps with the Peel Group's Atlantic Gateway Project it might one day. I don't smoke either, but I do love a cold pint of lager on a warm summer day ... or any day now I come to think of it. Malleus Fatuorum 23:16, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

pre-FAC discussion

  • I don't think anything at all is said about the land the canal company would have had to purchase to build their canal. That's a bit of a glaring omission I'll try to sort out. Hopefully some grumpy old Lord kicked up a fuss somewhere along the line.
    • The only "grumpy old Lord" involved I'm aware of is Sir Humphrey de Trafford, 2nd Baronet, who insisted that a 9-foot high wall was built to shield the view of the canal from his estate, but I don't think he owned any of the land. Malleus Fatuorum 22:17, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
      • I found a bit more about this, but not a lot. Parrot of Doom 22:05, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Manchester Corporation/City Council - did it retain one of its eleven seats? Also, I wonder if this paragraph, shortened slightly, might not be better placed earlier in the article? It seems a little strange for it to follow technical details about tonnage and vessel size. That would also allow us to move the point about nationalisation down into the Peel Holdings section.
    • Yes, Manchester City Council retained one seat on the board of the Ship Canal Company. I wasn't really sure where to put that stuff; I think I put it where it is now as the result of a suggestion made at the peer review. Malleus Fatuorum 22:17, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
      • I took the liberty of moving it up and copyediting it slightly to fit better. I tried to think of some way of jarring the reader back into the 19th century by the time he reads Thomas Walker...perhaps "The civil engineer Thomas Walker" or something? Something else that'll get pulled up at FAC is the "meaningless" quote, so I tagged that.Parrot of Doom 19:49, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
        • The quotation comes from King (2006), cited at the end of the paragraph. Malleus Fatuorum 20:13, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
  • "The Manchester Ship Canal enabled the Port of Manchester to become Britain's third busiest port, despite its being about 40 miles (64 km) inland" - but the port wouldn't have existed without the canal, surely?
  • I'm not sure the Geography section is necessary in its present form - the new map will accomplish the same thing, and besides, the canal only roughly follows the routes of the Mersey and Irwell - there are many bits of both rivers that are either still in water, or dry. The canal cut right through both.
    • I think we need to keep the geography section for the benefit of those readers who either choose not to or can't see images. Otherwise we'll get into some tedious alt text debate. Malleus Fatuorum 22:23, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
  • There are some rather significant sluice gates here. I wonder if we can't make mention of them somewhere? I'll attempt to find something. Also, several gates into the Mersey are closed, I wonder why.
  • Unless I'm mistaken no mention is made of Trafford Road Swing Bridge, now welded shut, and the new bridge alongside it - both reasons why traffic can progress no further. This is hinted at with "Most ships have to terminate at Salford Quays" but someone might query why.
  • I think the part about Salford City Council buying land should be moved to "Present day". I'm not quite sure if the National Waterways Museum is entirely relevant.
  • I wonder if the section about the Ship Canal Railway might be better used as a natural link between the docks and Trafford Park, without its own section? Parrot of Doom 20:30, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
    • I suppose that might work. Certainly I was a bit puzzled earlier this year to see a very large train travelling down Barton Dock Road towards Kellogs, given that the Trafford Park railway no longer exists. (The line is part of the Ship Canal Railway so far as I'm aware.) Malleus Fatuorum 22:38, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I think there may also be a line or two to be added about the disruption caused to local transport networks, specifically the several railways which cross the canal. The railways through Flixton and Partington had be be diverted. Not by much, but each was raised on an embankment, new bridges constructed, etc. You can see the railway kink just west of Flixton station. The old railway bridge in Irlam is still there. Its a similar story in Partington, the old railway went under the road, the new one over. Also, where old crossings were demolished, the Ship Canal Company was legally obliged to provide ferries. The one near Davyhulme has just been reopened. Parrot of Doom 20:32, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
  • This is an interesting technical document. Parrot of Doom 21:03, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
  • The article says the Port of Manchester was 40 miles inland - but the Port's article says the Port extended along the entire length of the canal? Parrot of Doom 13:59, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
    • Good point. I've changed it to say "despite the city being about 40 miles inland". Malleus Fatuorum 15:01, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Another point, I've read a couple of times now that the canal was partially open, as far as the Weaver Navigation, before it was completely open. Parrot of Doom 19:35, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Railway links

The article says there were three. Liverpool to Manchester Lines names four. Which is correct? --John (talk) 05:41, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Both. There were three railway companies operating direct routes between the two cities. The fourth line was worked by two separate companies, one from Liverpool to Ditton Junction and another from Ditton Junction to Manchester. Malleus Fatuorum 23:55, 21 September 2011 (UTC)


Between Financing and construction. --John (talk) 15:22, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

What overlap are you seeing John? There's a mention of the first sod being cut in the Financing section, but that's necessary to put in context the Ship Canal Company's need to be bailed out financially before the work was completed. Malleus Fatuorum 23:57, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

1987 closure?

There's a few search results in the Times archive that suggest the Ship Canal Company planned to close the canal's upper reaches completely, although this may have been political manoeuvring on their part. I hesitate to add such reports without a more general overview, lest I be accused of OR. Parrot of Doom 20:33, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

A couple of minor points

"it was often cheaper to import goods from Hull than it was from Liverpool." Does this need the relative distances from Hull and Liverpool to Manchester and the fact that they are on opposite coasts of Britain to make it clear to those unfamiliar with the geography how untenable that situation was? Richerman (talk) 22:38, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

I wondered why "Stony Sluice" was capitalised and found that it was a patent design. This could use some explanation but would obviously need a reference. The best I could find was here but I'm not sure how much, if any, needs to be included. Anyone care to take it on as I have to be up early and am off to bed. Richerman (talk) 23:20, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
I added a qualifier to the Hull reference, "on the opposite side of the country". Malleus Fatuorum 14:00, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I see PoD got the bit between his teeth with the Stoney Sluices as well, and even went so far as to create an article about the inventor. The work you two put in to these FACs is incredible. Richerman (talk) 22:54, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
It is; we're unrecognised heroes. :lol: Malleus Fatuorum 22:56, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Canal ownership

I think Peel's ownership of the canal, which the article claims became true in 2007, needs further investigation. In 1992 Peel acquired 68% of "Manchester Ship" (I presume this is the ship canal company). In 1993 it owned 82% of the canal, and this article claims it bought the Ship Canal Company the following year (guess who owned the land the Trafford Centre is on). This article claims that Whittaker fought for ten years to get control of the Ship Canal Company. Parrot of Doom 11:38, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

I think part of the confusion here is who actually bought the shares, Peel or Whittaker himself. So far as I recall it was Whittaker, who subsequently sold them to Peel, but as you say, we ought to check on this again. Malleus Fatuorum 14:04, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
What's clear is that 2007 is bollocks, God knows where that came from. Peel Holdings themselves say they acquired the Ship Canal company in 1987, which seems a lot more probable, as that that was about the time they started trying to get planning permission for the Trafford Centre.[7] Well, what they actually say is that it "entered the portfolio" in 1987, but that may well be when Whittaker bought the 68% of the shares he sold to Peel Holdings in 1992, and as Whitaker owns Peel Holdings ... It seems clear that Peel didn't own the company until they bought out all the minor shareholders in 1993, so I guess that's the year we ought to go with? Malleus Fatuorum 14:25, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
1993 sounds fine. The Independent seems to carry quite a few stories about the canal. I just found this article, which contains a useful figure on duties paid. Parrot of Doom 16:51, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Use of the term "navigation"

The use of the term "navigation" as in: "The Manchester Ship Canal is a river navigation 36 miles (58 km) long in the North West of England" seems to be missing something, eg a word such as "facility" (or other suitable noun) following the word "navigation". I notice that this construct occurs in other similar articles, but can find no support for it in various usage references. Can anyone throw some definitive light on the subject? Downsize43 (talk) 05:42, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

"Navigation" is the correct word for a river that has been turned into a de facto canal by means of dredged channels, weirs, locks etc. I agree it looks odd if you don't know this meaning of the word "navigation", but it's hard to think of an alternative - "The Manchester Ship Canal is a river which is only navigable to shipping because of engineering works, 36 miles (58 km) long in the North West of England" would be extremely jarring. Mogism (talk) 06:04, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Would it be helpful if the word "navigation" was piped to the article on Navigability? It's not a great article, but would give some additional information about a term of which the meaning is not obvious. Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:38, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Probably more sensible to pipe it to Navigation (disambiguation) which explains the use of the term in this context, even though it breaches the "don't link to disambiguation pages" rule. Mogism (talk) 14:16, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
The meaning given on the dab page is OK, but a reference to a dictionary from which it is sourced would be nice. Downsize43 (talk) 06:03, 20 July 2012 (UTC)


I see we have re-acquired a long table of distances. My feeling is that this is overkill. Could it at least be made collapsible? --John (talk) 07:06, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

 Done I agree, it looked a mess - I've collapsed it. Richerman (talk) 07:58, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Hmm. That was a rather short attempt to gain consensus. 52 minutes. FWIW, my preference is that we do not hide information such as this: specifically that we do not collapse the table. --Tagishsimon (talk) 12:04, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Tagishsimon. We don't hide other encyclopedic content; why hide this? Comments like "it looked a mess" are purely subjective. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:18, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
And what consensus was here to change the look of the article like that on the day it's on the front page? If I had removed it completely you may have had a point but the information is still there. Richerman (talk) 13:30, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Do I understand you to mean that because you did not remove the table, we do not "have a point" in disagreeing with the collapse? That we should be grateful for small mercies and know our place? Curious, and not very compelling. --Tagishsimon (talk) 13:45, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
He means that you don't have a leg to stand on when you claim that the information in the table is hidden, as it's still there. Malleus Fatuorum 13:52, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Tosh. Of course collapsing a table hides its contents. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:56, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm with Richerman. I think the table, if it has to be included, is far better where it is and collapsed. Malleus Fatuorum 13:34, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Or just get rid of it? It's not really adding anything.--John (talk) 13:48, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't mind if it's there or not if it's collapsed, so I'm easy. Malleus Fatuorum 13:51, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
That's patently untrue. It's adding coordinates and distances which are not otherwise in the article, as well as emitting the former as metadata, which can be understood by machines, and mapped. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:54, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Again, that's just an expression of a personal, presumably aesthetic, preference, with no substantive argument. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:54, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, for those of us who are not machines, I don't see the encyclopedic value in having such a big wodge of primary data in the article. You can call it an aesthetic preference or you can try to sell us on the benefits of including it. Failing that, it can be removed. --John (talk) 14:11, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Look at the last 500 edits and you will find that Malleus and PoD were the main contributors who got this article up to FA and John and myself also made some contributions along the way. You have made one drive-by edit that changes the whole look of the article on the day it appears on the front page. As far as I'm concerned If Malleus doesn't want to see it there it shouldn't go in unless you can convince him and PoD otherwise. Richerman (talk) 14:20, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I haven't made any drive-by edits; and please go read WP:OWN. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:30, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm not a "machine", and I do find the tonnage information both pertinent and interesting. True, it might be more intuitively -- if less precisely -- represented as a graphic, but... I know form elsewhere that editors who have worked their socks off to get a page up to FA get frustrated by well-intentioned but ultimately unhelpful drive-by edits on the day. It's kind of demoralizing. 2c, —MistyMorn (talk) 14:39, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
But only in much the same way as people who have added content to an article, and who have seen that content stick for 4 years, get a little depressed when it is removed in an edit the comment of which seems deliberately designed to obscure the deletion. Face facts: when an article percolates to the surface, for example by being today's featured article, it then gets attention, and lo, it is discovered that pre-existing content has been trashed, it should come as no surprise that the content is re-added. --Tagishsimon (talk) 14:44, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
No opinion on whether the distances should be there or not, but what's the problem with that edit summary? You can't seriously say that Tesco is a reliable source for the technical specifications of the Manchester Ship Canal. Mogism (talk) 14:55, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
(adding) In fact, the "source" doesn't even work - it just takes you to Tesco's homepage. Mogism (talk) 14:57, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I hadn't noticed that, but it ends the discussion as far as I'm concerned. Anyone who wants to include that table needs to find a better source than Tesco. Malleus Fatuorum 15:12, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
As there have been no drive-bye edits, your (refactored and original) comment appears irrelevant. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:26, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Section Break

If we are going to keep the table, does anyone have an objection to replacing the collapsed box, which leaves all of the whitespace with the following? Ryan Vesey Review me! 14:35, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

How about merging some or all of the information into the schematic map which is at {{Manchester Ship Canal map}}? For example, the distances along the canal might be put in parentheses after the place names. Warden (talk) 14:41, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Merging all of the information (i.e. distances andcoordinates) into that table would be OK by me. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:48, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
We still have an issue with the fact that the information is poorly sourced. The source is virtually a dead link right now, how do dead links play out in the Featured Article Criteria? Do we still assume good faith or is the requirement more strict? In any case, it would be better if a new source was found. I think listing the coordinates in the map would be much to bulky and frankly I don't find them particularly useful. Is it possible to map the coordinates on Google and not have the coordinates in the article? This is useful and I would see no reason to oppose having the box linking to here either directly above or below the map. Ryan Vesey Review me! 14:56, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
You raise a good point, so I've removed the table pending someone coming up with a reliable source (i.e. not Tesco) for that data. Malleus Fatuorum 15:16, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Only one column is cited to the dead link, which was not Tesco at the time it was first used. general consensus is that coordinates, which can be verified on any decent map, do not need to be separately cited. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:20, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
It was attributed to Tesco when I just looked at it. Malleus Fatuorum 15:23, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Per WP:DEADLINK: "Do not delete factual information solely because the URL to the source does not work any longer. WP:Verifiability does not require that all information be supported by a working link, nor does it require the source to be published online." (emphasis and link in original). Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:31, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I think there's a reasonable limit on this. First, there is the fact that we are dealing with a featured article. As far as I have seen, FA's are held to more strict standards than a generic article. In addition, this link is not only dead, but provides no information. Aside from the link, the only information given is "A Manchester Ship Canal Distance Table" which doesn't help in fact checking the information at all. Ryan Vesey Review me! 15:35, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
WP:DEADLINK is unequivocal. Can you provide a citation for excepting FAs from it, or excusing MF's recent removal of that citation? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:49, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I have to concede that you may be correct. I found an archived version. Now the problem is whehter or not the source is reliable. This seems to be self-published information from Frank Shackleton. Ryan Vesey Review me! 15:57, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I didn't remove the citation because it was dead, so WP:DEADLINK is irrelevant; I removed it because I do not believe it to be a reliable source. If you think it is, then persuade me why it is. It is not appropriate to have links to sources like this one in an FA, especially while it's on the main page. Malleus Fatuorum 16:09, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Let's remind ourselves of what FAC criterion 1c says: " Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources". In that context I regard some of the "improvements" that have been made today to be veering dangerously close to vandalism. Malleus Fatuorum 16:14, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I felt that the archived citation I provided was better than no citation at all. I feel that it should either be cited in some manner or removed. Isn't leaving it in the article as an uncited piece of information the worst possible solution? Ryan Vesey Review me! 16:24, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
A far as I'm concerned, citing a self-published web page with no indication of the reliability of its author is effectively uncited, and to include a link like that in an FA is unacceptable, especially today. But I understood (Andy's?) argument to be that because the information could be verified simply by looking at a map a citation was unnecessary anyway? Malleus Fatuorum 16:28, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
It wasn't attributed to Tesco, it was hosted by Tesco. Users of the Tesco home broadband service were allocated space within which the user could create personal web pages, and this was one such case. For some reason, Tesco have changed the URL structure, and so URLs beginning have gone dead. Wayback Machine still have an archive copy from 25 May 2011. It would still fail WP:SPS though. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:52, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, good point. I was a little imprecise. The fundamental point remains though, that we have no evidence of that being reliable source. I'm wondering whether simply removing the mileage column might be an acceptable compromise? Malleus Fatuorum 19:29, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Whether or not you find coordinates useful is not the issue; others do. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:20, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
What additional use would listing the coordinates give if we can put the coordinates onto a map? All they do is make it bulky. Ryan Vesey Review me! 15:24, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
And by others, you mean yourself? Whether or not you find coordinates useful is not the issue; others don't. That is why we discuss this on the talk page. Wouldn't your time be better spent finding a source rather than re-adding poorly cited material? Ryan Vesey Review me! 15:26, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
No, by "others" I do not mean (only) myself. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:28, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm not keen on either of those approaches. The first tends towards making the availability of coordinates as obscure and overlookable as possible. The second tends towards junking them altogether. My clear preference is to provide the table as a visible uncollapsed table. For me, merging the cords into the route map doesn't work for lack of space. --Tagishsimon (talk) 14:52, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

So here's my ultimate problem with collapsing the table, as we are doing now. It leaves that awful white space, especially with that image of the locomotive. Moving the image to the left would cause the text to be squeezed between both sides and would still result in some whitespace. We could uncollapse the table or remove it entirely and this issue is solved. My solution above also allows the text to flow naturally. In addition, to the extent of my knowledge, {{Collapse top}} is not used in article pages. {{Hidden}} is used in other featured articles (see The Raven). I'd accept virtually any solution other than what is currently in place. Ryan Vesey Review me! 16:40, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

So now it is included, but unsourced? On a Featured Article that won't do. We were discussing it as a matter of reaching consensus on whether it helped the article or not, when we thought it was sourced. I am terribly loath to slap a {{cn}} tag on this, so I will remove it instead. Please do not replace it unless it is sourced to a reliable source and we have a consensus that it adds to the article. --John (talk) 17:56, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

You have removed the entire table, despite my comments above and in my edit summary, that the list of features is sourced elsewhere in the article; and the list of coordinates, by common consensus (at a recent RfC), does not require separate sourcing. The disputed reference applies only to the mileage column. Please undo this grievous loss of valuable content. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:09, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
So the mileage is unsourced and there still isn't consensus for retaining the coordinates for each item. What reason is there to retain it? If someone can figure out a way to map the coordinates without physically including them in the article (possibly using a hidden comment?), I would have no problem with inclusion of that. Ryan Vesey Review me! 18:18, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Take a look at KML - for roads, which are linear as well, we have used this in place of coordinates. --Rschen7754 22:20, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Am I the only person to notice that this table is incomplete anyway? Other than that, my opinion is that it looks ugly and I'd rather have it hidden by default, or not included. Parrot of Doom 22:39, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

On a Featured Article that won't do, debunked

Wikipedia:Featured article criteria 2c points to 1c which points to Wikipedia:When to cite, which starts off "The list of featured-article criteria calls for inline citations where appropriate. The English Wikipedia's Verifiability policy requires inline citations for quotations, whether using direct or indirect speech, and for material that is challenged or likely to be challenged. Editors are also advised to add in-text attribution whenever a source's words are copied or closely paraphrased.". I don't think coordinates are likely to be challenged. I don't actually think that the mileage table is likely to be challenged. The mileage columns themselves are, per Wikipedia:Featured article criteria "verifiable against high-quality reliable sources", namely any of the maps we link to - such as an OS map - which provides a scale enabling a user to check the distances.

So for me, removal of the table on the grounds of sourcing is as bogus as the "On a Featured Article that won't do" line being taken by John. Neither do I see consensus for the hasty and high-handed removal of the table. --Tagishsimon (talk) 22:14, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

I actually somewhat agree with that, and I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the mileages given, which could of course be verified by looking at a map. But what about the apparent copyright violation? That table appears to have been copied directly from that now dead web site. Malleus Fatuorum 22:29, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't think there's a copyright concern, since facts cannot be copyrighted. Arguably (unarguably?) it's plagiarism, which is normally dealt with on wikipedia by attributing the information to its source. --Tagishsimon (talk) 22:35, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Which is not by any stretch of the imagination a reliable source. Malleus Fatuorum 22:41, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
But that's besides the point. We've established that the mileage can be verified w.r.t. a verifiable source. Now we're talking about attribution of the table. The two are different things. In answer to a comment below, the presentation of a table of features in, err, a table, is not a presentation that would engender copyright, any more than the use of a, n and d to form the word and would be. --Tagishsimon (talk) 22:50, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I don't believe that lists of data containing freely available information can be copyrighted. I can ping Moonriddengirl if you wish. Ryan Vesey Review me! 22:36, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Facts can't be copyrighted, if these are indeed facts, but their presentation can. Is this table anything other than a straight copy of that web site? Malleus Fatuorum 22:39, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I must be misunderstanding you, I see no similarities between the table that was used on this page and the table on the site. The tables present different information and do so in a different manner. The only similarity I see is that both tables list miles before kilometers (which seems like a mistake here because it is a British topic). Ryan Vesey Review me! 23:02, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
What you see and what I see may well be two different things, but I'm afraid that I'm now losing the will to live. All this aggro over a rather inconsequential table? Jeez! What happened to a well done PoD and Malleus for bringing what was a pretty shitty article up to FA? Malleus Fatuorum 23:18, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I had that latter thought as I was reading through it. It's a lovely article, and a good read. I am grateful. The only thing it lacks is a certain table, ideally after the very short geography header. --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:26, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Hopefully there can be some resolution to that impasse, perhaps as simple as dumping the mileage column. Malleus Fatuorum 00:23, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps dump the mileage into the route map, and retain the coordinate table?
FWIW, the rationale underlying my support for tables of coordinates is WP:5P: "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. It incorporates elements of general and specialized encyclopedias, almanacs, and gazetteers." A gazetteer "is a geographical dictionary or directory ... used in conjunction with a map or a full atlas." For me, it's entirely appropriate and at the core of wikipedia to provide coordinates which enable our readers to access pertinent map information which adds to their understanding of the subject. As a user, one of the things I most value about geographic articles is the ability to pull up aerial images of key features given by {{coord}}. --Tagishsimon (talk) 00:31, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. The ability to link coordinates to reliable maps seems to me to meet any reasonable requirement for verifiability by reliable sources. Malleus Fatuorum 00:45, 20 July 2012 (UTC)


Given the above section, why isn't the table back in this article yet? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:46, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Because its poorly sourced bollicks pushed on by vulture like formatting obsessed "because we can we should" guys? Ceoil (talk) 16:05, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
"Poorly sourced" is, I think, by common consent, specious bollocks. Given that a coord for a MSC feature allows one to click through to an OS map which shows the feature tends to give the lie to that. There is clearly demand for coordinates - as well as some who do not want them. I'm minded to say per the discussion above, I will re-add the table of features with coordinates in the next couple of days, unless discussion here suggests an overwhelming consensus against doing so. --Tagishsimon (talk) 17:58, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

largest ships in the Manchester Ship Canal

(my first ever post to Wikipedia)

Among the largest ships in the canal were three tankers of Dutch Shell Tankers: Cinulia, Crania and another one. MV Crania is beautifully portrayed by Dr. Allan Ryszka-Onions. These were built to just fit in the locks, and they had a cabin for the inland pilot, who would be on board for days. The ships would go empty to the refinery at Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles), then return with some grade of heavy oil for lubricants, and discharge at Ellesmere Port, Barton and places in between. They might divert from their loop to Rotterdam (Netherlands) or elsewhere. I was an apprentice ship engineer on MV Crania in the summer of 1976. I must still have a photograph of her just past a railway bridge (the second one on the way in, as I remember it). This third ship had already been sold, and I remember being told that an offshore discharging buoy (or whatever facility) was to replace the canal trip.


Chris Laarman (Amsterdam, NL) — Preceding unsigned comment added by ChrisLaarman (talkcontribs) 16:07, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm glad the article brought back memories Chris. Malleus Fatuorum 16:44, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Yup, that chimes. Welcome aboard Chris! —MistyMorn (talk) 18:20, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Chris, If you can find that photo of her just past the railway bridge it would be much appreciated. Could you upload it? I am guessing it will need scanning first... and then click on "upload file" in the bar on the left. Yaris678 (talk) 12:03, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

River navigation

A river made navigable?

Is it fair to describe the ship canal as a river navigation (i.e. a river made navigable)? This map shows that only on part of its route is it actually the river. For some of the route it is alongside the estuary, for some of the route it is a noticeable distance from the river. Surely a better description would be "canal".

Yaris678 (talk) 18:29, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

The river shown on that map is the Mersey. The other half of the MSC is a canalisation of the Irwell, which isn't shown on that map. Mogism (talk) 18:31, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
If I understand everything correctly, any part of this that is completely manmade is a "canal"; however, the entirety of this is a navigation. I am not positive my interpretation is correct though. Ryan Vesey Review me! 18:35, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I think it is fair, as the MSC joins the Mersey just east of Irlam, before leaving the Mersey and following the course of the Irwell. In other words, the MSC allows sea-going ships to navigate up the rivers Mersey and Irwell into the centre of Manchester. Malleus Fatuorum 19:23, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Good point about the Irwell not being on the map. Maybe it should be.
As I see it, the ship canal has three sections as follows:
  • Salford to Lymm - Canalisation of Irwell and Mersey
  • Lymm to Runcorn - A "new" canal
  • Runcorn to Eastham - A canal down the side of the estuary. There was probably a lot of mud there before the canal but it wouldn't be somewhere you'd take a ship.
Yaris678 (talk) 11:57, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

That's an awesome picture.

Of the Stolt Kittiwake heading down the canal. But am I the only one who thinks the article could do with another shot of a larger vessel on the canal? There awesome shots! --Τασουλα (talk) 19:48, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

There might be space somewhere for this one, if that's the kind of thing you have in mind. Malleus Fatuorum 20:02, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Use of inflation template for capital sums...

I'd removed the recent addition of the Inflation template for a capital sum on this page. The Template:Inflation page notes that "This template is only capable of inflating Consumer Price Index values: staples, workers rent, small service bills (doctor's costs, train tickets). This template is incapable of inflating Capital expenses, government expenses, or the personal wealth and expenditure of the rich. Incorrect use of this template would constitute original research." Essentially the CPI isn't designed for capital project comparison, because the measure doesn't include the cost of big projects like (e.g.) canals. Malleus, I can see you've reverted again, noting "don't talk wet", but I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this (other than I guess you disagree). Hchc2009 (talk) 14:18, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

NB: all sorted. Hchc2009 (talk) 11:54, 23 September 2012 (UTC)