The Manchester Ship Canal Company (MSCC) owned and operated the Manchester Ship Canal, a 36-mile waterway connecting the Irish Sea harbour at Liverpool with central Manchester, for over 100 years. Formally opened by Queen Victoria in 1894, the canal is a passage for ships carrying more than 8 million tons of cargo annually.

The archive of the Manchester Ship Canal Company is held by Archives+ at Manchester Central Library. It contains a real variety of records, from minute books to photographs, and provides a fascinating insight into a company which was at the centre of Manchester’s economy for many years.

Susan Aldersley, one of our fantastic Made in Greater Manchester volunteers, has been tirelessly cataloguing the extensive Manchester Ship Canal plan collection over the last few months.


Incredibly, Susan was recently working on the collection when she noticed that one of the items, a contract between Sayce & Randle Engineers and the Manchester Ship Canal Company, was signed 120 years ago today on the 8th February 1897!

The contract, shown in the images below, regards the extension of an occupation road at Runcorn.

Check back soon for more updates from our Made in Greater Manchester volunteers!