The Dock was originally known as Birley's Dock after John Birley who built boats on the site before the days of the colliery

http://www.towpathtreks.co.uk/photodisplay.asp?ino=0762 .

Later, once the colliery was established, it became a maintenance dock for the work boats that carried coat from the pit to the Whitebirk Power Station in Blackburn. It was also available to other working boat fleets in the area.

 

Among working boatmen it was widely regarded as the best Dry Dock on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

 

The pit closed in 1971 and in 1973 the whole of the former colliery's land was granted 'change of use' to amenity open space and recreation area, effectively becoming a public park.

From that point, the dock became an unofficial dumping ground for domestic & commercial waste and the structure deteriorated for four decades while a number of planning applications (for renovation) failed to gain approval with the objectors presumably making their case more strongly than the proposers.

Eventually, the present proprietor made a successful planning application to refurbish and reinstate it as a working dock and boatyard.

Many months of hard work went into the clearing and restoration of the dry dock and the photos below, from August 2013, give a hint of what was involved.

 

 

 

When the water level was lowered, the enormity of the task became even more apparent. 60 skip-fulls of muck and rubbish were removed from the dock but eventually, after many months, the plan came together.

     

You can view more pictures HERE