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Think the funnels was removed and masts dropped at Eastam, just inside the first set of locks to the canal. I went up there a few times with Ellermans - we also used to part flood No 3 or 4 hold (up to the top of the shaft tunnel casing) to get the trim and draft right. Was a messy job pumping out and cleaning.............
I think you may be correct Tony, the "Crane Berth's" was just inside the canal entrance starboard side in that looked over the QE 11 oil berths.
There used to be numerous funnels "parked" up on the jetty from ships already in the canal.
The pilot and 2 helmsmen would board there for the slow old trip to Manchester.
 
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