Sir Humphrey de Trafford, of Trafford Park, had throughout displayed a very strong antipathy to the Ship Canal. He did not care to have his domestic peace invaded, nor the home of his ancestors (who had lived there from the time of the Conqueror) disturbed. He had done all in his power to keep the canal at arm's length, and though his estate consisted of pasture fields, he had driven the engineer to plan docks on the race-course and on land belonging to Lord Egerton and partially covered with buildings. Sir Humphrey had practically succeeded in keeping the canal out of Stretford.
After his death in 1886, however, negotiations were reopened with his successor.
It had been a very difficult matter to secure agreement between the parties interested. Eventually Salford gave up about 16 acres of dock area, and Stretford, in return for about 1 mile of additional dock frontage, consented that about 40 acres of Stretford would be thrown on the Salford side of the river, and be transferred to that borough.
But Samuel Kelsall, an overseer of Stretford, protested against the transfer of any land to Salford. He urged that the company should leave the boundary question to be fought out between Stretford and Salford, and ended by hoping that Manchester, Salford and Stretford would all be united in one grand municipality, which would solve all difficulties.
At the subsequent Stretford Vestry Meeting, which was very thinly attended, Mr. Kelsall carried a resolution to oppose the Bill, and thus the overseers came in direct conflict with the Stretford Local Board, who had, as they thought, protected the interests of Stretford in the arrangement made. This conflict of authority caused some angry correspondence, and a letter headed "The Porkhampton Burlesque," poked fun at being disturbed at the loss of £10 15s 3d. per annum in rates".
This part of Stretford is rich in underused assets. Chief among these is the train.
Although the station is named Trafford Park, It's very much Stretford's station and provides a 7 minute journey to the centre of Manchester. The problem is there's no Sunday service and the weekday off-peak frequency is every two hours. If we can get more trains to stop it would make a huge difference.
Finally emerging from its industrial past, the canal is beginning to show its vast potential as a leisure resource.
Stretford Marina is well used for moorings and the towpath has been improved to such an extent that's it's become a busy route for cyclists and walkers. It would be great to see Stretfordians take to the water for canoeing and other water pursuits.