I set out one morning with a clear intent, to travel.
To travel to see the Warrington Transporter Bridge – of which I had only just become aware. Ignorance in this instance is not bliss, expectation and fulfilment is.
Guided by the detailed instructions on the Transporter Bridge Website I made my way from Bank Quay Station, mildly imperilled yet not impeded by caged walkways, tunnels, bridges, muddy paths and Giant Hogweed!
Finally catching a glimpse of:
Warrington Transporter Bridge, also known as Bank Quay Transporter Bridge or Crosfield’s Transporter Bridge, across the River Mersey is a structural steel transporter bridge with a span of 200 feet. It is 30 feet wide, and 76 feet above high water level, with an overall length of 339 feet. It was built in 1915 and, although it has been out of use since about 1964, it is still standing. It was designed by William Henry Hunter and built by William Arrol and Co.
The bridge in use 1951.
It is till standing today, and was built to despatch finished product from the cement plant that had been built on the peninsula. It was originally used to carry rail vehicles up to 18 tons in weight, and was converted for road vehicles in 1940. In 1953 it was modified to carry loads of up to 30 tons.
The bridge is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building, and because of its poor condition it is on their Heritage at Risk Register. The bridge is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Following a thread, a tenuous electrical link that brought me back home, to an all too familiar household name.
A name that has illuminated, vibrated, mixed, measured, massaged, warmed and dried our lives for over one hundred years.
But what does it mean, where does this stuff come from, what’s it all about Pifco?
Pifco of Failsworth, also of Pifco House, 87 High Street, Manchester.
1900 Company established by Joseph Webber to sell lighting appliances and accessories.
1902 Public company formed as Provincial Incandescent Fittings Co. Ltd.
1911 The Filani Nigeria Tin Mining Co was incorporated as a public company.
1949 Name changed.
1954 Incorporated Walls Ltd, of River Street Birmingham, as a wholly-owned subsidiary to manufacture medical lamps, kettles and small cookers.
1957 The last of the mining assets were sold.
1957 Filani Nigeria Tin Mining Co changed its name to Pifco Holdings Ltd and acquired all of the issued share capital of Pifco 1961 Manufacturers and distributors of electrical appliances and accessories.
1970 The Regent Cotton Mill, in Failsworth was purchased by Pifco.
1984 Agreed to acquire Swan Housewares from BSR International, but later the deal collapsed.
1987 Acquired House of Carmen, maker of heated hair rollers; the other important brand was Salton.
1991 Purchased Russell Hobbs Tower.
2001 Salton Group, a US company making domestic appliances, acquired Pifco.
So Provincial Incandescent Fittings Co. Ltd.
We salute you, so much joy emanating from Failsworth Manchester, making the world a warmer, drier, brighter, cleaner safer place.
Always at never less than entirely reasonable prices.
A true friend to the nocturnal cyclist.
Christmas cheer for all!
Those little things that lighten the wearisome load of the daily beauty regime.
The minor essentials of our everyday electrical lives.
The seemingly frivolous rendered material.
We can all sleep ever so easily abed at night, in the simple knowledge that Pifco is still out there working just for us/you!
Steven Parissien, director of Compton Verney Museum in Warwickshire, says:
“Coventry is a great station. Its predecessor was pummelled to bits but it really wasn’t particularly marvellous anyway.
“The new station really came into its own. Built in the same month as the cathedral, in a way it was just as emblematic as the cathedral, though not quite so famous.
“It’s a light and airy place with a nice design. You do come out and have the ring road right in front of you which pedestrians have to guess where to go but that’s not really the fault of the station developers.”
The original station was built in 1838 as part of the London and Birmingham Railway and could be entered from Warwick Road, where two flights of stairs took the passengers down to the platform. Within two years it had been replaced, with a new larger station, a few hundred feet nearer to Rugby, this time, accessed via Eaton road. In the late 19th century the Coventry tram network extended to the station at Eaton Road. The original station remained in service as the station masters offices, until the station was redeveloped in the early 1960s by the London Midland Region of British Railways.
Sent to Coventry, under an imperative to explore the post-war redevelopment of a great city, I arrived by train, more than somewhat unsurprisingly at the station.
A fine building of 1962 light and airy, warm wooden ceilings, gently interlocking aluminium, glass and steel volumes, original signage and a lively feeling of calm controlled hustle and bustle.