Saturday, September 22, 2018
Manchester Miller

In reading the piece by John Goble in the February 2018 issue of Sea Breezes about the Manchester Ship Canal. He mentions the notorious pub just up the road from No 9 dock Salford.

I joined a Lyle Shipping company ship in No 9 dock; the Cape Hawke built Lithgows in 1941. In June 1960, there must have been a seaman strike on at the time as we finally sailed mid September having discharged a full cargo of timber last load port; Port Alberni, Vancouver Island.

The pub not far from No 9 Salford Dock was the Clowes Hotel on Trafford Road and right opposite the Dock gates and full of desperados. As a first trip cadet, impressions are for life and I remember that the beer was Wilsons Ales at 1s4d a pint and that there was a honky-tonk piano played every night by a lady who was remunerated, at least, by some of the Wilsons Ale. On one night, I recall seeing, through a fog of smoke, a fight on the black and white TV screen – no more than a foot. I think it was Brian London and was in August. No 9 dock was a great place for cadets with no money and a thirst for sport as well as beer.

In the time spent there, I saw Manchester United at least four times, City more than once and Everton twice. I think that Liverpool were in the 2nd Division then. Also a day or two at Old Trafford at a test match. Can’t remember who England played but Ken Barrington scored loads.

The Two vessels ahead of us were Afghanistan and Pacific Northwest and the rest of the quay on our side mainly taken up by Manchester Liners including a very fancy new ship with twin funnels named the Manchester Miller. The voyage on Cape Hawke lasted well over one year and I paid off in Aberdeen in December 1961.

Happy days in Salford, however my two sons took me to see Man United last year and sadly no Clowes Hotel, only memories.

CAPTAIN PETER COONEY
75 Schaw Drive
Bearsden, Glasgow
E-Mail: peter@cooneyfamily. co.uk

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