The Tranmere Ferry

Queen Elizabeth granted John Poole the lease of ferry rights at Tranmere in 1586. For century's this old
crossing made a meagre living ferrying passengers to and fro.  By the start of the nineteenth century the
Tranmere ferry was in heavy use with passengers heading into Chester.  Coaches ran daily from the Ferry
terminal and local businesses began to thrive with the influx of trade.  

The Etna, the first steam-powered ferry on the River Mersey which operated from Tranmere Pool to
Liverpool on 17 April 1817.  At its peak ferry's were running every half an hour from Tranmere to the new
docks at Liverpool.  Unfortunately for the Tranmere Ferry service, the completion of Thomas Brassey's New
Chester Road in 1833 and the opening of the Chester and Birkenhead Railway in 1840 had a profound
affect on the amount of passengers using the service.  Numbers dropped sharply so too did the revenue
generated from the service and the local businesses.  

Further blows to trade came with the commencement of a horse-drawn tramway in 1877 between New
Ferry and Woodside Ferry and the opening of the Mersey Railway between Liverpool and nearby Green
Lane railway station in 1886.  Shortly after, a severe storm destroyed the pier at Tranmere and the
authority could not generate enough funding or interest to repair the once thriving service.  By 1904, the
associated buildings were gone and Tranmere Pool was enclosed as Cammell Laird Dock as part of an
extension of the shipyard.  Nothing now remains of the Tranmere ferry other than photographs and
memoirs of those who used the service.