Active Period - 1834 to 1988
Waterloo Dock opens at a time when the Liverpool docks are growing quickly. It is a basic, rectangular dock for large sailing vessels. There is no cargo specialisation at Waterloo (it deals in general cargo) but the dock does very well anyway [image, new window].
An observatory is built on Waterloo Dock wall. It provides accurate time for ships' chronometers. These are essential for safe navigation. At the time GMT was only used for navigation and differed from local time by about 12 minutes. The chronometer allowed all ships to run on the same time.
With the repeal (withdrawal) of the Corn Laws the cereal trade grows. There is more demand for grain storage space at Liverpool docks and Waterloo Dock begins to develop.
Waterloo Dock is dealing in cotton but the trade will decline as the bigger docks to the north take over.
The chronometer on Waterloo Dock wall is moved. The dock is being redeveloped and pollution makes the stars difficult to see from Liverpool. It is moved to Bidston Hill on the Birkenhead side of the Mersey.
Waterloo Dock is divided into East and West Docks.
Huge grain warehouses are built. They are among the first in the country to use mechanical handling equipment. They move grain from storage to road, rail and water transport. There are teething problems but the equipment is soon working and is quite successful [image, new window].
Part of Waterloo Dock's warehouses become a mill for imported grain.
Waterloo's east warehouses are re-equipped for handling oil seeds. West Waterloo continues as a passage dock between Victoria and Princes docks with some berthing space.
An entrance lock into West Waterloo is planned. Building starts but war delays the finish.
The entrance lock to West Waterloo dock is completed.
Waterloo Dock closes.