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#1069148 3rd Jun 2019 9:34am
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The second of the two cranes that used to be at the end of the disused oil jetty in Rock Ferry collapsed yesterday at about 5 PM. The first one went years ago. This second collapse seems to have damaged the remaining infrastructure of the rusting structure which will over the years follow it. The deck near the crane is now sagging dangerously.

The whole decaying structure is dangerous, and from time to time one sees kids playing on it. At least one young man died on it, and it should be demolished immediately in my opinion.

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Why they never chopped a section out I'll never understand, looking at it yesterday there was virtually no barbed wire blocking it off yet again, I could have climbed on very easily.

https://www.wikiwirral.co.uk/forums.../the-old-shore-crane-just-fell-down.html


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i gather its owned by peel holdings or the oil terminal and would require either of them to spend money so it will be like that until they decide to build the proposed marina thats been on hold for 20 odd years .and they cant burn the thing down

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It is owned by Peel. There is some weird talk of refurbishing it, admittedly most if not all of the stanchions seem to be in fair condition but all the steel bed is beyond reclamation.


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I don't believe it was ever part of Peel's holdings. It recently changed hands and is now owned by a consortium - members of the Royal Mersey Yacht club.

What use it is to anyone is baffling. Removing it will cost a fortune and it's well beyond being refurbished. Much of the steelwork is corroded through. The web in many of the girders (the vertical bit of the 'I' section) resembling lace in places or completely absent. As this supplies most of the girder's ability to bear loads, It is now unbelievably weak. You'd have to do some ultrasonic measurements of the steel thickness in the stanchions to establish how much metal has been lost to rust and how strong the remaining tube is.

The land where the tanks and buildings were originally has been partly cleared, but remains heavily polluted. There is still a large concrete cistern full of water with heavy crude oil sludge and tar floating on it.

It seems to me to be a liability not an asset, but who knows what a few hundred million might make of it?

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The new 1960 oil terminal was owned by the MDHB so I presume the old one was, if so it would have transferred to MDHC/Peel. Both terminals were in operation in the early 1970's.

I'm not sure if the RMYC took over the slipway, the pier or both, its all very unclear. To take over the pier is totally beyond credibility.


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So does everything go up the pipeline now so all of that land could possibly be released if the pollution can be dealt with?

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The main tanks are still in use, its only the very small plot that was beside the pier and in front of the tea rooms that has been cleared. They need the tanks so they can pump the ships faster than the pipeline can handle. It may also be a strategic asset for storage.


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Just found this thread. I've been fascinated by this crane for decades. I used to be able to see it out of my bedroom window when I was a small boy. I remember it used to be a sky blue colour in the 80's. One time in the 90's the gates had been opened and there was absolutely nothing stopping anyone walking to the crane, so I did and wish I would have taken a camera.

There was a building next to the refreshment rooms with what looked like laboratories and offices, a big warehouse with a furnace with 'Caution Asbestos' printed on it. Then three tanks with a swinging arm I assume was used to pump oil into trucks. Back then the jetty seemed in good condition with no planks missing. There was a crane arm behind the main crane and a wooden/metal gangway for boarding ships. Rumour had it that it closed because it got hit by lightning and a drunken captain crashed into the pier, though there was no visible damage, though the cab of the crane was missing.

The history of this place still interests me, though I've never been able to find anything about it on the internet. If anyone has any information on this place I'd love to know.

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Mersey mammoth was there this morning about 7am.

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The function of the Tranmere oil terminal is to allow large tankers - too big to get to the oil dock in Ellesmere port or the wharf in Stanlow to be discharged there.

As I understand it, the pier was nothing to do with the oil terminal which is still in use. It was originally built with a floating ramp to allow large ferries to be used when traffic got too heavy for the stone slipway to be used. It was later modified for use as a tanker cleaning berth. Being next to the oil terminal was obviously a good spec. If memory serves it was owned by Vesta industries and operated until a tanker demolished a large part of it. I don't think it worked after that. But if it did it wasn't for long. I don't think Peel ever got their hands on it, nor of course the oil terminal which went from Shell to Essar

Since Vesta left, the pier and the land where the tanks used to be were owned by a succession of people, none of whom did anything with it until the last one conveyed the tanks and pipework to the local scrap dealer. Although he cleared most of the land it remains horribly polluted and there is a large concrete cistern still there full of watery sludge and filth.

I am given to understand a consortium are currently in the process of buying pier and land. They all happen to be members of the RMYC but it is otherwise nothing to do with the club.It doesn't cover the stone slipway which I doubt is owned by anyone. The RMYC use it and the Tranmere sailing club, but neither have any ownership rights to it.

It's hard to see how anyone could do much with the pier or the land. I've seen a variety of wacco schemes for a hotel at the end of the pier, a marina, and luxury flats, but none of them seem to be more than some developers dream. None have been built.

I would imagine it might be best used as a car part for the Refreshment rooms. This is now a very popular eating place and the roads nearby are often choked with parked cars. Whether this is what is in the consortium's mind, I have no idea.

Ownership of the stone slipway remains a mystery. As the queen owns all the land between high and low water I wouldn't be surprised if it's hers. She's not been seen down there with a bucket of concrete and a trowel pointing it anyway. It is not in a very good state of repair although the RMYC do a bit of patching from time to time.

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Thanks for all that @Ex, I'm still trying to fit everything together.

All of Stanlow's crude oil comes in through Tranmere and is about nine million tonnes from 140 ships per year. Eastham apparently only deals with refined products which perhaps explains why the oil/petrol smells are so high there when ships are transferring.

Tranmere is the main crude storage location for Stanlow.

Rock Ferry ferry closed in 1939

Tranmere Oil Terminal opened in 1960 BUT I remember the existing terminal being built after this, or was it rebuilt, or was it made into two terminals at a later date?

When was the Tranmere/Stanlow pipeline built? It would have made sense if it was built with the various other pipelines during WW2.

Was rock ferry pier hit by a ship? I thought that but can't find any record of it and the pier has no bit missing compared to the early 1970s. Egremont, New Brighton and New Ferry were all clobbered and I'm wondering if New Ferry and Rock Ferry were mixed up?


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From what I gather, the terminal with the jetty and Tranmere oil terminal appear to be two completely seperate entities.

It's interesting that you say have people been confusing the new ferry and rock ferry terminal because whilst trying to research this facility I have come across pictures of both of the new ferry and rock ferry slip ways and I've seen the new ferry one completely collapsed in photograph. However, if you look at the rock ferry one. It's the exact same jetty that still stands today. Albeit, the platform the crane was on all the way back to the 45 degree turn has all been added but the straight run from the shore out is the original pier. Take a look at old photographs and you can see and if you look at the current legs on the pier they have 2 different types of legs.

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I believe some work was done locally on developing the PLUTO pipeline (WW2). You can see bits of it at very low water just off the corner of the reclaimed land (Now the River Park)

Also I think there are two pipelines from Tranmere to Stanlow. I've no idea when the first smaller one was installed, but the second bigger one (24" I think) was laid in the late 1960s early 1970s as far as I can make out. I suspect the smaller one is now disused.

I have an idea that at one point, Stanlow got its crude oil from a mooring point off the North Wales Coast. They used a moored tanker for storage, arriving ones discharged into that and it was subsequently pumped from there across land to Stanlow. I can't recall who told me this, but it seems to have been abandoned now. It strikes me as rather a risky and expensive operation anyway.

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There are signs down the beach at rock ferry saying something like caution submerged pipeline. Which has a shell logo on them. I noticed these about 10 years ago, I'm guessing some refurbishment work was carried out about then as the signs looked new.

With regard to the original terminal with the collapsed crane, I'm sure I have seen the words 'velor' or 'valor' gas somewhere on the original buildings.

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