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This is the transhipment port of Top Locks. Waterloo Bridge marks the end of the Bridgewater Canal and, from this point, two lines of locks lead to Runcorn Docks. Goods coming off ships are transferred to narrow boats and barges at the docks and then make there way to Manchester, and points on route, via the Duke of Bridgewater's Canal. Under the centre arch of Waterloo Bridge is the Packet Dry Dock: A small, smooth-sided (rather than stepped) graving dock for the Duke's "packet" boats. It was also used by private firms of shipwrights and was one of many boatyards in the town (which had a number of such facilities and also some shipyards).
I built this because many of my family members worked at the yards and on these boats. Others worked on the ships that traded into Runcorn, and elsewhere, and this diorama is in tribute to them.
I believe that sets like this, that tell a little story about local landmarks and their use through history, are an excellent way of teaching our children about how things work and what they see all around them.