I was thinking that. However, the theatre is named after the builder of the canal the bridge passes over. Also, could it have been a navigation aid for ships entering the canal? Whatever the reason, it is to be displayed at the theatre and not a museum such as York Railway.
Brian, I know that. What Davel and I can't understand is why? Even further investigation reveals that the canal James Brindley built doesn't connect with the Manchester Ship canal until it reaches Cornbrook. Also, the bridge was Built before the ship canal. All that I can think of is that the bell may have been installed after the ship canal was built to let shipping know that they had reached the entrance to it. The only sense that I can make of this is that the majority of the ship canal as far as Manchester is founded on the Bridgewater canal. The engineer/builder of this canal was James Brindley but he wasn't the man that commissioned it. So, why is this bell being given credit to the engineer and not the person who financed the project. Also, why is credit being given to a man whose canal didn't even connect with the Mersey. Finally, why isn't due credit being given to the engineer and financier of the Manchester Ship Canal, who no doubt where the architects and funders of one of the most ground breaking feats of it's time?
Ste. There is a physical connection of the River and the Canal at Runcorn but as you can see it is silted up and hasn't been used for years. I think it would be only suitable for small craft like tugs and barges. Photo taken from the walkway on the railway bridge. Beemer.
Very plausible but I don't think its anything to do with the ship canal. There is no possibility of any vessel hitting a support of the bridge on the canal but river traffic could have hit one if they were not aware due to fog etc. I still maintain it was definitely for traffic going into the St Helens canal, Widnes docks or navigating up to Warrington. Beemer shows the Old Quay lock which is disused but when operational vessels could enter the river there and then the bell would be useful. I believe there is a clause in the Bill when the Ship Canal was built which gave free passage to river traffic when the tides were not favourable.