Today service industries predominate in Chester such as tourism, retail, public administration and financial services. This was not always the case, given the city's location on the River Dee and its strategic military position.
Chester was a port with ancillary industries from Roman times. In the mid-eighteenth century the port declined due to silting of the Dee and the rise of Liverpool. However, some port-related industries remained and a reduced amount of shipping continued into the twentieth century. The 1770s saw the opening of the Chester Canal and, in 1799, the lead works was developed.
The arrival of the railways saw Chester become a transport hub with three locomotive deports and an LNWR wagon works. Other industries that subsequently developed included the Hydraulic Engineering Company, the Westminister Coach and Motor Works, the aluminium manufacturer Williams & Williams and Brookhurst Switchgear Ltd.
In Chester at Work Stanley Jenkins and Stewart Shuttleworth trace the changes in the city's working life from its pre-industrial beginnings, through the Industrial Revolution and right up to the present day. This book will be of interest to those who know the city and want to discover more about its rich heritage from an industrial and social perspective.
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