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The Manchester Ship Canal was opened on the 21st May 1894 by Queen Victoria. During the early part of the nineteenth century Manchester a was booming city, a world leader in the industrial revolution and growing in size and prosperity. But in the latter half of the century it started to struggle. In 1882 a group of industrialists and businessmen formed the Manchester Ship Canal Company with the intention to build a canal large enough to let ocean going liners sail directly into Manchester from Liverpool. With costs that had soared from £5.25million to £15million and an army of 16,000 navvies the canal was finally opened. Read more