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of Sutton Bridge, Lincs
1875 The company was incorporated. 
The Sutton Bridge Dock Act was passed in 1875. This authorised the construction of the dock and other necessary works, including connecting the dock to the existing railway. The wet dock was to be some 475 yards (434 m) by 140 yards (130 m) with a lock from the river of 200 feet (61 m) by 50 feet (15 m). The length of the quayside was to be 1,250 yards (1,140 m) with a long timber jetty on the east side. On the west side was to be a coal jetty, equipped with a hydraulic lift to raise coal trucks to tip their loads into ships waiting beneath.
The dock gates weighed 35 tons each and 1.5 million bricks were used in constructing the dock entrance. An area of 13 acres (53,000 m2) was taken up by the dock itself and 600,000 cubic yards (460,000 m3) of soil were excavated. The first sod was cut on 1 January 1878 and 100 men, 50 horses and carts, 1 steam dredger and several barges were involved in the work.
The work was completed and the first ship to enter the dock SS Garland did so on 14 May 1881, carrying 1200 tons of cargo destined for Messrs English of Wisbech. The excitement was spoilt somewhat as the dock entrance hadn't been dredged to a sufficient depth and the ship had to unload some of her cargo before entering the dock. However, towed by the tugs, Pendennis and the Isle of Ely, she floated into the dock. In the following week, four other ships used the dock.