Ramsden Dock Station
Ramsden Dock Station opened in 1881. It was served by train from the mainline and tram from the town centre. Incoming passengers could be transported to the heart of the Lake District by tram, train and lake streamer in a matter of hours. The traffic went both ways. Outbound to New York via the Anchor Line ships, Blackpool, Fleetwood and Belfast had regular sailings, In the season a daily service ran to Douglas, Isle of Man. In 1907, the Barrow Steam Navigation Company was taken over by the Midland Railway, and the City of Belfast and Duchess of Devonshire joined the fleet, mainly used as relief and summer extra vessels. The Duchess of Devonshire was a fine vessel built in 1897 by the Naval Construction and Armament Company, Barrow, She was built entirely of steel, and had triple expansion engines of 5,200 indicated horse-power which attained a speed of 21½ knots, so she frequently accomplished the passage between Douglas and Barrow in 2½ hours. Today in 2019 from Heysham, it takes a minimum of four hours. Paddle steamers Lady Evelyn, Lady Margaret & Lady Moyra were extremely popular on the Fleetwood - Blackpool route, so much so that they made the trip dangerously over loaded. Today Health and Safety would shut the operation down but, as far as I know, nobody ever came to any harm. (see picture, (left). The station was closed during World War One in 1915 and was finally demolished in 1936. The track bed, used as a footpath, could traced until the 1970’s.
Ramsden Dock Station viewed from Walney with ships moored at the ‘Belfast Berth’ ready for incoming passengers from the trains.
1885 Duchess of Buccleuch alongside the Belfast Berth next to the station.
Walney Channel
Paddles hard astern to slow the Duchess of Devonshire as she approachs her berth.
Advertising posters of the day, the prices are right!
The lovely Lady Moyra Cavendish
Happy passengers aboard the Lady Moyra
Lady Margaret lies outboard of Lady Evelyn
I think Lady Margaret sits outboard of Lady Evelyn?
Thanks to Jennifer Foote for the picture. It actually shows tug ‘Walney’ carrying a foorball crowd to Fleetwood - But, you get the idea.
Lady Evelyn homeward bound.
An old Furness Railway illustration
Barrow to New York, no problem!
The lovely Lady Moyra Cavendish
Proud Drivers, Firemen & a Station Master stand by their well polished Furness Railway locos
Tram at Ramsden Dock terminus
Station just before demolition in 1936. Photo: Geo Taylor
My photo of all that was left in 1974
A feature of the station that has been almost wholly eradicated is the tunnels that ran from the platform to a point about six meters below the dock wall at the channel side. Walney Channel being tidal these tunnels enabled passengers to embark at low tide. I think the archways can still be made out from the channel, on the surface, nothing remains.
Pier Head, dock entrance and station area 1910
Today, Pier Head Marine Control, the dock gates have moved and the whole area is used for wind farm storage and offices.