Jump on board to ride the waves of Fleetwood shipping nostalgia

Fleetwood Trawlers, June 1980
Fleetwood Trawlers, June 1980
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We are sailing back through the years this week with ship-themed nostalgia in Fleetwood.

Starting with a site no longer seen in the port, a pleasure boat. This undated black-and-white archive shot shows crowds at the dock and on board the pleasure boat in the early 1900s.

Fleetwood dredger in 1989

Fleetwood dredger in 1989

Most of the people pictured on the beach are watching the steamer as it glides through the water.

And a Fleetwood timber ship can be seen at the docks, captured in September 1968.

The logs are pictured being loaded aboard.

A 1982 picture from our library shows the fisheries protection vessel HMS Pollington in the shadow of a Fleetwood Docks crane.

Fleetwood timber ship in 1968

Fleetwood timber ship in 1968

It was snapped on the open day at the port, which was reported as getting off to quite a slow start, but by later afternoon the town had apparently been bustling with people wearing lapel badges proudly sporting “I’ve been to Fleetwood Docks”.

The event set out to explain much of the maritime mystique to those who visited the dock, through a variety of stands and exhibitions, posters and pamphlets.

And another picture shows the Fleetwood dredger, in May 1989.

The on-going battle with mud, mud, ship-stopping mud was causing headaches in Fleetwood in the 80s.

Fisheries protection vessel HMS Pollington in the shadow of a Fleetwood Docks crane, in 1982

Fisheries protection vessel HMS Pollington in the shadow of a Fleetwood Docks crane, in 1982

Fleetwood has been fighting the battle against silt since the port was developed for commercial shipping 150 years ago, although mariners back to the Vikings and probably the Romans knew the River Wyre.

But by the late 80s, hi-tech developments were helping to keep the waterway open and the specialist firm, Westminster Dredging, had been hired to sort out the silt.

Its brief from Associated British Ports, then owners and operators of Fleetwood dockland, was to straighten out and deepen the dock channel and this photograph shows its dredger in action.

Since activity slowed down around the port in general, the dredging has been carried out much less frequently.