Solway Shipping    


The news and views of the latest events along the Solway Coast

Ships Expected
Port of Workington     
Port of Silloth     "Eems Sun" 19th Nov.
An occasional  look back at some of the shipping along the west Cumbrian coast from the past.        Pictured is the Moroccan registered chemical tanker "Azzahraoui" built in 1982 with specially coated tanks to allow her to transport phosphoric acid. This was imported into Workington for use in Albright and Wilson's Marchon chemicals plant in nearby Whitehaven and was a regular visitor for many years until the closure of the Marchon plant in 2001. The vessel was eventually broken up in India in 2004.

Pictured is Wagenborg's "IMKE" at  Workington carrying a cargo of pipeline for a United Utilities project to transfer water from Thirlmere reservoir in the Lake District to West Cumbria, this is the third of an expected six shipments. Eventually 60 miles of new pipeline will be laid at a cost of £3000 million. The Environment Agency is to withdraw the companies licence to abstract water from Ennerdale Water, which it uses at present, in 2022 to prevent harming protected species.

"BORR" a water injection dredger has arrived on a lorry from Werkendam in the Netherlands to Workington to commence work trying to clear the build of mud etc in the entrance channel to the port. Pictured here at Maryport working, the dredger blasts the mud on the seabed with a low pressure jet to agitate the mud particles and as the tide goes out the suspended mud goes out with it. Its a simple but highly effective system but quite what effect it has on the gravel etc that has washed down the River Derwent remains to be seen.        It would also be a good opportunity to clear the mudbanks in the inner harbour created when the huge floods in 2009 washed away the walls adjacent to the bridge which offered protection from the river Derwent.
This is the "before and after" pictures when "Borr" had finished at Maryport. Notice where the wall ladders finish at the bottom behind the blue trawler, the results are pretty impressive.
This two hundred and nineteen year old pier at Workington is showing its age as this photo shows. Built in 1798 and named on early maps as the "main pier" "dock quay" or "glebe quay" it was built to allow deeper draughted ships ie bigger ships, to load coal for export.
Built at where the inner harbour, located between the pier and the rock breakwater, meets the river Derwent, seen behind the red buoy, it was very convenient and was easily accessible for the ships to reach.
A close look at the foundations
This postcard view shows the pier with a steam crane loading a ship circa 1910. These days its only use is for the local fishermen to moor their boats alongside, the dredging fleet in the 1980's and pilot boat were its last commercial "customers"

Local film maker Julia Parks has made an amazing short timelapse film of ships in the Solway Firth ports, watch it  here.

                                 To see more photo's of shipping in the Solway Firth don't forget to check   Cumbria Ship Photo's