Mersey Dredgers

Jack Coburn Witherop, 1946

WAG 1101

About this object

Due to the narrowing estuary between Birkenhead and Liverpool, the Mersey with its strong tidal currents was prone to silting. The resulting sand bars caused major problems for larger ships, and the channel had to be dredged to increase its navigable depth.

This image shows a dredger ship under repair at the Canning Graving Dock, and the dome-less Custom House can be seen on the far left. This watercolour was included in the second “Recording Merseyside” exhibition at the Bluecoat Chambers in 1946, organised by the City Council to visually record Liverpool's landscape immediately after World War 2.

Object specifics

  • Other title(s)
    Mersey Dredgers Under Repair In Canning Dock
  • Artist(s)
    Jack Coburn Witherop (British: English, born:1906, died:1984)
  • Date
  • Materials
    Paper; Ink; Gouache
  • Measurements
    paper: 43.1 cm x 56.7 cm
  • Physical description
    View of a dredger boat in dry dock slightly to the left of the composition with cathedral visible in the distance on the right.
  • Related people
    Jack Coburn Witherop (Artist/maker, previous owner)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 1101
  • Credit line
    Purchased by the Walker Art Gallery from the artist in 1946.
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections

Explore related


  • Recording Merseyside Exhibition II

    Start date: 1946-10-28
    End date: 1946-10-28
    Description: This 'Recording Merseyside' exhibition held at the Bluecoat Chambers (28 Oct - 30 Nov 1946) was continued from the year before. This exhibition was also recorded as the most popular exhibition in 1946 by the then Director of the Walker Art Gallery Frank Lambert. Drawings to the value of £542.17s were sold chiefly to the Corporation of Liverpool for the permenant collections of the Public Libraries and the Walker Art Gallery who received three watercolours by Eric Peter Gill, AP Tankard and Jack Coburn Witherop.


Previous owners

  • Jack Coburn Witherop

    Owned from: 1946
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1946
    Disposal method: Sold to the Walker Art Gallery at the 'Recording Merseyside' exhibition


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: J. Coburn Witherop 1946
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Front; Lower right
Object view = Fine Art
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