Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Canada Works

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Canada Works of Birkenhead

1853 After the Birkenhead Dock Company had completed the Wharf Wall on Wallasey Pool, it disposed of the land for factories. The first to come into operation was the engineering factory of Messrs. Peto, Betts, Brassey and Jackson, the contractors for the Grand Canadian Trunk Railway[1]. These were known as the Canada Works. The works constructed the Victoria Bridge for the St. Lawrence, Canada, and the locomotives, excavating machinery, and other components required for the railway in Canada.

1855 William Evans was appointed manager of the Bridge Department

1856 Evans' assistant, William Heap, was appointed manager of the Bridge Department. George Harrison, Brassey's brother-in-law, was another member of the management.

1863 to 1868 William Lawrence Williams served an apprenticeship at Canada Works; for three years afterwards he was employed in the works.

c.1864 John D. Napier became manager of the Canada Works in Birkenhead

1867 Napier left the works

By 1870 the works were referred to as Thomas Brassey and Co[2].

1878 A lease for three years was agreed "for the purpose of carrying on the business of a Foundry, Locomotive Shop, Iron Shipbuilding, Tubular Bridge Building and the manufacture of materials for Railways...".

1881 Brassey & Co sold their interests in Canada Works; the lease was transferred to Mr Warwick Stevens, who laid down ships and undertook repair work

1885 the lease was transferred to Mr Joseph Brown, a coal merchant, who formed the Canada Works Engineering and Shipbuilding Co Ltd.

1888 the company went into liquidation.

1889 the machinery was sold off.

In later years the buildings were gradually destroyed.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Canada Works [1]
  2. Canada Works [2]