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Canal Archive: Bridging the Years

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A Ship Canal Champion Emerges

Supporters of a Manchester Ship Canal needed a leader. One emerged in the form of Daniel Adamson, the owner of an engineering business in Dukinfield.

Described by Sir Bosdin Leech as a 'man of fine presence, full of enthusiasm which he had the faculty of imparting to others', Adamson had been approached early on by George Hicks, who had talked to him about the venture. Adamson eventually took the lead, and it was he who called the meeting at his home, The Towers, in Didsbury, on 27th June 1882, an event which is seen as the true start of the Manchester Ship Canal Project. Those invited on that day included representatives of the large Lancashire towns, merchants, manufacturers and mayors. Engineers, Hamilton Fulton and Edward Leader Williams also attended, along with George Hicks, who followed Adamson's address to those present with information on the commercial and financial considerations of the Ship Canal scheme.

As a result of the historic meeting, a Provisional Committee was established, and it was agreed that a survey should be carried out to investigate the matter further. Fulton and Leader Williams were both asked to produce reports on the proposed waterway. They came back to the Committee with different views on the best way forward. Leader Williams' scheme was chosen, his past experience on the Weaver Navigation probably encouraging this decision. With a firm plan in place, the Project was ready to move forward. The Committee set about raising funds to put a Bill for the Manchester Ship Canal through Parliament - the Project was a step closer to becoming reality.

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This is page 3 of Bringing the Sea to Manchester - The Need for a 'Big Ditch'.
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Daniel Adamson - First Chairman of the Manchester Ship Canal Company

Daniel Adamson - First Chairman of the Manchester Ship Canal Company
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Sir Edward Leader Williams - Engineer for the Manchester Ship Canal

Sir Edward Leader Williams - Engineer for the Manchester Ship Canal
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