Pauline Griffiths, one of the members of Audlem History Society, gave us an excellent and highly informative insight into the history of Liverpool's docks over a 300 year period, from the construction of Liverpool's Old Dock in 1715 right through to the present day. Intertwined with the talk was Pauline's own personal story of living down by the docks and her family's history as Welsh immigrants, coming to work on the docks as blacksmiths, shoeing the working horses.
Throughout her talk, she illustrated how important the docks were to Liverpool's prosperity and to the country as a whole. 43 docks, covering 7.5 miles of Liverpool's waterfront made such a significant impact in so many ways, making Liverpool the second city of the British Empire. Important landmark events, such as the transatlantic Slave trade, the Industrial Revolution years, the impact of wars, the port's vital contribution to the war effort in WW2 as the country's main supply and despatch port and mass emigration from Liverpool to North America, Australia and New Zealand were all covered. She looked to the future and established that, despite the very many challenges the docks had faced in the past, the port had been handed the lifeline and investment that it needed in the 21st century, giving it a firm and secure foundation on which to build. Old docks now have new leases of life which are attractive to both locals and tourists and more cruise ships are visiting Liverpool, spilling out their interested cruise passengers onto Liverpool's iconic waterfront. She left us with the message that Liverpool and its docks still have a lot to offer and the future for both is bright.
Our 23/24 programme will commence on September 21st with a talk given by Jeremy Nicholls on 100 years of trains to Audlem – 1863 to1963.