Williams Tarr’s illustrious heritage in the construction industry dates back to 1918.
Here are just a few milestones in our long standing history.
Concrete Seacraft Co
During the First World War a programme of concrete shipbuilding was undertaken by the Concrete Seacraft Company.
Concrete Seacraft Limited was founded on 26th January 1918. That Summer they set up a yard alongside the River Mersey at Fiddler’s Ferry to build pioneering ferro-concrete ocean going barges for the Admiralty. The ships were constructed on the slipway from precast concrete sections which were connected by insitu concrete, an innovative technique that had been introduced due to the shortage of steel in World War 1.
The first 54m long vessel “Cretecamp” was launched on January 4th 1919. It was owned by the Board Of Trade, and who subsequently sold it to Norway in 1923.
On 6th July 1922, Concrete Seacraft changed its name to Williams, Tarr and Company.
The 1918 photos below show the prefabricated frame of the ship “Cretecamp” being assembled at Fiddlers Ferry.
Stanley Park, Blackpool
Reinforced concrete bridge in Stanley Park built by Williams Tarr using the “Hennebique” technique.
The 260 acre Grade 2* listed park was opened by the 17th Earl of Derby on the 2nd October 1926. The bridge was designed in the “Italianate” style and built in the up and coming French “Hennebique” system of reinforced concrete.
Williams Tarr built a second similar bridge at Stanley Park in 1933, and during that period the firm’s expertise won them a number of contracts for reinforced concrete bridges across the North West.
The photos below show the bridge on completion in 1926, and two current pictures of the bridge now – still in use and looking good after 90 years service!
Joseph Crosfield’s Soap Works Warrington
In the post second World War era Williams Tarr constructed a wide range of industrial facilities for major chemical, pharmaceutical, and engineering companies across the North West.
The portfolio included numerous small and large scale building projects carried out at the Joseph Crosfield works in Warrington. One of the Crosfield jobs built by Williams Tarr in the early ’60s (as pictured below), was at the time a “state-of-the-art” Medical Centre, and looks like a set from “Call the Midwife”. How times have changed…
Tetley Walker, Warrington
Williams Tarr constructed many projects for Walkers – later Tetley Walker during the 1970s, including major works at the Dallam Brewery, and some new public houses.
Another key Client in this period was Greenalls, who employed Williams Tarr on many jobs at their Wilderspool Brewery and for the construction of a number of new pubs.
The Cockhedge Shopping Centre, Warrington
Opened in 1984, The Cockhedge Shopping Centre was constructed by Williams Tarr for Charterhall Properties.
The centre is still busy today, with 32 retailers on site.
Some of the interesting features include cast iron framed colonnades to reflect the architectural style of the Cockhedge Spinning Mill that formerly stood on the site, and an arched timber pedestrian link bridge over Scotland Road.
1 St. Ann Street, Manchester
A landmark office development built on a challenging plot on the junction of Deansgate and St. Ann Street in Manchester city centre. Williams Tarr was both the developer and constructor of the new scheme.
Baxi Factory Bamber Bridge
220,000 sq. ft. new factory built by Williams Tarr alongside Junction 29 of the M6 at Bamber Bridge.
Procter & Gamble, Trafford Park
Williams Tarr carried out a D&B contract for a 30 metre high-bay fully automated finished goods warehouse.
The main warehouse utilised the innovative “Clad-rack” system of storage racking which also acted as the building superstructure. The fully piled floor slab had to be constructed with “zero” settlement and extremely fine level tolerances.
The project also included an adjoining conventional 10 metre high portal framed warehouse and a high level conveyor bridge over Trafford Park Road connecting to the production facility.
Bridgewater House, Runcorn
Following major fire damage Williams Tarr carried out the complete refurbishment of Bridgewater House, a Grade II listed building. Originally built for Duke of Bridgewater in 1771, it was fully restored by us for owners Manchester Ship Canal Company.
Pictured below are some before and after shots: