On Tuesday afternoon we visited the Manchester Royal Exchange, and from a balcony saw approximately 6,000 brokers buying and selling. The building, which is a magnificent structure, cost 3 million pounds, and the Exchange had a membership of 12,000 at the rate of £8 per member a year.
At 3 p.m. we proceeded to the Pomona Docks, and there boarded a launch for a trip on the Manchester Ship Canal. The Canal, which cost about £20,000,000,. was commenced in 1887, and officially opened by Queen Victoria on May 1st, 1894. It contains five sets of locks at irregular intervals, by means of which ships entering the port are raised approximately 65 feet to the level of the River Irwell, which provides the necessary water to keep the depth in the docks and canal at 28 feet. Experts declare that, in both construction and operation, the Manchester Ship Canal, which constitutes the Port of Manchester, stands out as the most efficient port in Europe. The facilities at the large Docks—their railways, electric cranes, capstans, their sheds for goods in transit with refrigerating chamber for perishables—are most complete. In subways beneath the quay run electrically driven belts, which convey grain in bulk from ships to one of two huge storage elevators situated perhaps half a mile away. These elevators hold up to 40,000 tons each. Exceptionally good warehouses and large timber grounds are in direct railway connexion with the quays. The Canal can be freely navigated by ships of 15,000 tons.
Our tour of the Canal and Docks, which occupied three hours, proved extremely interesting, despite the fact that heavy rain was falling all the time.
From “With the All Blacks in Great Britain, France, Canada and Australia 1924-25” by Read Masters. Pub. 1928 by Christchurch Press Co. Ltd p.50.