Manchester Ship Canal

by John Gill



Song Menu



Chorus :
Manchester Ship Canal’s coming – prosperity!
M S C’s coming – at last!

From Ireland imported the navvies were brought
Seven years of hard labour to stand
For a ditch 26 feet by 35 miles
Dug with shovels,picks and bare hands.


Queen Victoria she came along on May the 21st,
A 21 gun salute for to hear,
Mr Marshall the Lord Mayor, and Sir Anthony,
And likewise the Chief Engineer


For an outlay of 56 million pounds we’ll have
Streets so full you can’t move
Health and wealth will come to all as long as it lasts
And likewise to the city we love.


No longer will our children go barefoot about
Walking many a mile,
We’ll go on up to Blackpool and have us a good time
Our first holiday in manys the while


This song was written by John Gill of the folk group Hindle Wakes. The song was included on the lp 'Hindle Walkes - Live at the Cross Keys' which was recorded on 21st August 1978 at the Cross Keys in Uppermill. The lp is hard to find these days but has recently (2018) been released in CD format (details to follow). Apparently John wrote the song after acquiring a Victorian lantern slide apparatus from a church in Disley. With it were a box of slides including some of old Manchester plus a collection of photos of the Manchester Ship Canal being constructed. Hindle Wakes have in the past performed the song to a background of these pictures. I'm indebted to Ian Smith of Hindle Wakes for much of this information.