Cannington Shaw – October 2017

The latest news from The Friends Of Cannington Shaw. Cannington Shaw is a late 19th century tank furnace glass shop, with oval ‘chimney’ and remains of furnace heating system that is situated next to Tesco in St Helens Town Centre. It is classed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument at Risk. It has been derelict since closure of the works in the late 1980s. It is now badly overgrown, with structural deterioration. A local Friends Group have now established themselves as a Building Preservation Trust and are campaigning to save the structure

Victorian Society Report – At risk Buildings

The Victorian Society recently marked 10 years of it’s endangered buildings campaign with a new top 10 list which recognises at-risk Victorian and Edwardian buildings and structures throughout England and Wales. The list includes Cannington Shaw.

“All of the buildings on this year’s list have been neglected for up to fifty years and have now reached a critical point of dereliction: only urgent action to repair and renovate the buildings can save them from being lost forever.”

“Griff Rhys Jones, Victorian Society Vice President, said: “The Victorian Society’s Top 10 Endangered Buildings campaign is now in its tenth year and over the years we have seen what a difference it can make to the future of Victorian and Edwardian buildings in peril. All of the buildings on this year’s list have local, even national, importance in terms of their history and/or architecture. To have let them fall into their current state is deplorable, but there is still time to save them for future generations to enjoy.”

“Many of the buildings have committed community groups rallying behind them, but I know from experience that funding can be difficult to secure. We need local authorities and private investors to recognise the potential of these buildings and take steps to secure and revitalise them before it’s too late.”

“Victorian Society Director, Christopher Costelloe, said: “We’re very proud of the continued success of the Top 10 list over the last decade. Out of the 100 buildings that have appeared on the list since 2007, only four have been completely demolished and over a quarter have been saved by being sensitively redeveloped and are now thriving back in the community. Many others are on their way towards salvation with dedicated community groups banding together to raise money and awareness to keep the buildings they love safe from insensitive redevelopment or dereliction.”

Their list comments on Cannington Shaw as follows
Cannington Shaw no.7 Bottle Shop, St Helens, Merseyside (Grade II, 1886, architect unknown) The Bottle Shop is all that now remains of what was once claimed to be the largest bottle making factory in the country. The abandoned building has gradually been surrounded by a new development and now lies forgotten in the middle of a Tesco carpark. Its plight has been featured on regional television and in the local press, and English Heritage have highlighted its international importance in the field of glass-making, and yet it continues to deteriorate with its survival as an important heritage asset in doubt.

What’s Happening

The Cannington Shaw Trust were successful in securing an information desk at the neighbouring Tesco to Cannington Shaw for Heritage Open Days.. Lots of people stopped to chat and find out a bit more about the site. They hope to take the same desk into libraries this Autumn, and they hope to build this into a larger exhibition next year timed to fit with St Helens 150th anniversary.

They’re building an archive and are about to set up an arts sub group where they can look to develop ideas like oral histories and performance around Cannington Shaw.

Caroline Platt from the Trust is meeting with Siemens Business Development and Strategy team about them hopefully becoming a Patron and to link with the Cannington projects. The Cannington structure is a big part of their company history. Without Siemens furnace technologies we wouldn’t have the glass industry in St.Helens.

How You Can Help

They want to hear from you about your memories or family links with Cannington Shaw or UGB.

You may be a former worker of the factory. Would you be willing to be interviewed as part of a histories project?

They are particularly interested in the role of women and why women worked at this factory more than any other in St. Helens.

They need photographs, memories, film, diaries, records, news articles, any memorabilia that you may have that can contribute towards an Exhibition. Hae a look through those long forgotten boxes at what hidden treasures you might have stored away.

If you find anything e-mail Caroline Platt at or post to the Facebook Page, Friends of Cannington Shaw.

If you are interested in getting involved in this Project, as a volunteer, supporter etc. please email Caroline Platt for more information.



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