Restoration begins on ‘significant’ building from Whaley Bridge’s industrial past

The Transshipment Shed Whaley Bridge
The Transshipment Shed Whaley Bridge

Last weekend, work began to transform and restore a 200-year-old building that played a significant role in the industrial history of the region.

The Whaley Bridge Canal Group and the Canal and River Trust hope that the renovation to the building will eventually bring it back into daily use for the first time since the 1970s.

The Transshipment Shed Whaley Bridge

The Transshipment Shed Whaley Bridge

The group’s founder, Nev Clarke, said: “I am just thrilled to get started and having so many new faces down there as well was fantastic.

“We had 14 people down on Saturday and 14 different people down on Sunday, clearing the room, cleaning the cobbles and dusting upstairs.

“We think the work will take about 12 months but the windows will be replaced in the next three and four so there will fairly soon be visible signs of progress.

The warehouse, which was used to transfer limestone via a Peak District railway to the Manchester canal system, opened at the foot of the Peak Forest Canal in 1803, and was extended in 1833.

Whaley Bridge Canal Group, project leader Neville Clarke in the Transshipment Shed

Whaley Bridge Canal Group, project leader Neville Clarke in the Transshipment Shed

The current works will also see the woodwork restored and the crane that opens the warehouse to canal traffic re-certificated.

Nev added: “Our aim is to make the basin and the transhipment the hub of our community and a real destination for tourists and locals alike. We want to give something back.”

The group has been operating since 2011 with unofficial litter picks before they approached the Canal and River Trust and formally adopted the canal basin and approximately half a mile of towpath in 2012.

Organisers say the effort has brought people of all ages and from all across the community together to litter pick, paint, prune and plant.

Volunteers starting work on restoring the Transshipment Shed in Whaley Bridge

Volunteers starting work on restoring the Transshipment Shed in Whaley Bridge

Recently they had a work party repair the road, shifting ten tons of gravel into potholes over a two hour period, as well as a team repainting the bridge.

And the warehouse will welcome its first special guest on November 27 when Santa will be arriving by barge with the inside of the warehouse decorated like a grotto in his honour.

Nev says that the group are always looking for new volunteers and those interested can be contact them by phone on 07920 253075 or 01663 735284, email at whaleycanal@gmail.com or their website at www.whaleybridgecanal.org.uk.

The Transshipment Shed Whaley Bridge

The Transshipment Shed Whaley Bridge