Flashback to Preston Docks' industrial past with arrival of 178-tonne ship package

The cargo ship at Preston Docks. Photos courtesy of Donna Clifford.
The cargo ship at Preston Docks. Photos courtesy of Donna Clifford.
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Preston's docks took a trip back in time this week as it welcomed a 178-tonne industrial ship package to its waterways.

On Wednesday afternoon (June 13) a large cargo ship called the River Trader arrived in the marina bay, carrying a 178-tonne electrical transformer made in South Korea that had travelled by sea from Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Sue Cameron from Preston Marina explained: "The ship is bringing a transformer which will go by road to Padiham Power Station.

"With the package being 178 tonnes it will be a big, wide load on the road, so with all these deliveries there is always a need to take the shortest journey and we are the nearest port so we welcomed it to Preston."

Around 30 boats had to be moved in the docks to make way for the cargo ship.

"It's a very special boat", Sue said. "It's a coaster with a shallow draft and just fits neatly in-between our dock edges."

The cargo ship at Preston Docks.

The cargo ship at Preston Docks.

She added: "It's great really to see Preston being used as a commercial port once more.

"Our links to the sea are really important to the city's industrial past."

The dock's foundation stone was laid in 1885 by Queen Victoria’s first son, Albert Edward, The Prince of Wales.

Heavy transport lifting and marine specialists Osprey Ltd are set to build a crane over the next day or so to lift the heavy piece of kit from the boat and on to dry land - with a deadline of Saturday in place before the River Trade has to depart.

The cargo ship at Preston Docks.

The cargo ship at Preston Docks.

Transport specialists Allelys will then drive the transformer more than 20 miles to its final destination in Padiham Power Station.

Sue explained: "We've known about this since last year but we had to wait until spring tide so the water levels were high enough."