|Colin says: Barrow Docks |
James Ramsden was employed in the Engineering Department of the Furness Railway in 1846 at the age of 23. He became heavily involved in the construction of the railway, the development of the Barrow docks, the ironworks and the shipyard. In 1865 he became Managing Director of the Railway Company. James Ramsden became Barrow's first mayor, holding office for five years from 1867. In 1872, Ramsden was knighted by Queen Victoria for his services to the town. In the same year, his statue in Barrow's Ramsden Square was unveiled by the Duke of Devonshire. The bronze statue cost £1,500, and the polished red granite plinth cost a further £400, and all paid for by public donations.
With a water-front capable of launching the largest steam-ships, and the hills behind them full of ore, it is little wonder that, backed by the capital of the Duke of Devonshire and others, the ship-yards of Barrow-in-Furness should soon compete with those of the Clyde for supremacy.
Barrow in Furness's ship building days are for the most part behind them now with only a trickle of nuclear submarines leaving BAE Systems - the successors to the Vickers shipyards. The docks are currently being looked at with a view to redevelopment, with plans to include residential and business space and a small marina.