Three strange river crossings

Birt 13 sep 2021
Áhorf 1 122 984

Over the Manchester Ship Canal, you'll find the Hulmes Ferry, the Thelwall Ferry, and the Warburton Toll Bridge. They're all strange in their own way, all under the control of one company, and all dating back to old laws and legal documents from a hundred years ago. I was in the area, so I stopped by, and found that things might be changing soon.

Manchester Ship Canal Act (1885)
Rixton and Warburton Bridge Act (1863)
(NOTE: it looks like permission for the toll bridge was set up by the 1863 Act, but that was a different bridge over the River Mersey, and the laws and permissions were transferred over to the Ship Canal when they needed a bigger bridge and it is a complete mess of legal wrangling. As it doesn't affect the final story, I quietly elided that whole section because it was far too dull!)

Other references:

Inflation calculator:

And thanks in particular to Stuart at the Hulmes Ferry for friendly conversation when I arrived!

I'm at
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and on Instagram as tomscottgo

Tom Scott
  • Tom Scott

    Tom Scott

    12 dögum síðan

    As always, the references I used for the video are in the description! I'm worried that I've messed up some minor point of law — and I did gloss over some nuance, you can see that in the description — but I'm as sure as I can be.

    • Mike


      Degi Síðan síðan


    • Sam K

      Sam K

      2 dögum síðan

      @Chris C @Tom Scott I do believe that what Chris said about the bridge across the original course of the river is correct.

    • elbob086


      2 dögum síðan

      Good old warbi Bridge never seen a single bit of maintenance going there

    • Ian Barnett

      Ian Barnett

      3 dögum síðan

      Hi Tom, just a note on the map at the beginning, the MSC starts at Eastham half way up The Wirral and follows the south bank of the river to Runcorn.

    • Cricket England

      Cricket England

      4 dögum síðan

      @:O🍡 then why ask?

  • Martin Danuschewske

    Martin Danuschewske

    3 mínútum síðan

    In Switzerland is a little ferryboat at the river Rhine. The place is called "Buchberg" and you can call out a request to cross the Rhine by banging a piece of Metal against a piece of an old railroad track. Then someone comes from the other side to pick you up. But only if someone is there. I don't remember any workinghours. Quite amusing experience though.

  • Zaru noi

    Zaru noi

    Klukkustund síðan

    Are you sure cyclists use it? It doesn't look very cyclist friendly with it not having an easy way to get your bike on

  • Joshua Collins

    Joshua Collins

    Klukkustund síðan

    People in general would realize that some things are just more easily dealt with than fighting. Day to day, I see people getting worked up & making a fuss over the smallest of inconveniences.

  • MrHuwPowell


    2 klukkustundum síðan

    Too bad you didn’t check out Whitney toll bridge.

  • Zenpai


    3 klukkustundum síðan

    I really enjoy the improvised videos you make!

  • George Grace

    George Grace

    3 klukkustundum síðan

    It will be Thelwall ferry, as in Thelwall Viaduct.



    4 klukkustundum síðan

    Weird Stuff. However. Its more about tourism noe not about ferry service itself.

  • SpartiuS94


    4 klukkustundum síðan

    Company running the bridge: if we go a bit silently about it, we could raise it to 1 pound and make over a million in revenue per year.
    Tom: No, I don't think you will.

  • Dan Horro

    Dan Horro

    5 klukkustundum síðan

    Had to cross that bridge a few months ago was very confused as to why there was a 12p toll, now I know!

  • Hugh Wright

    Hugh Wright

    7 klukkustundum síðan

    Sometimes residents near the Warburton Bridge will give the toll booth feller a few quid and tell him to let the next few cars through to alleviate traffic. Might've beeb what happened to you.

  • Hugh Wright

    Hugh Wright

    7 klukkustundum síðan

    Wahey, the Irlam ferry!

  • Theo's Epic Videos

    Theo's Epic Videos

    8 klukkustundum síðan

    There's this quirky multi-billion dollar company in Texas at Boca Chica... They're buidling these big people transport rockets.

  • vp 787

    vp 787

    9 klukkustundum síðan

    Could you please talk about the Australian Identify and Disrupt Bill. It allows police unparalleled power over Australians online accounts. Allowing them to access an account on "suspected criminal activities", They can look at, edit, delete, and post things from this account.

  • happy little clam feet

    happy little clam feet

    10 klukkustundum síðan

    A couple of curious canal crossings

  • willie Thomson

    willie Thomson

    14 klukkustundum síðan

    My fave bridge

  • NotPenguinFrog


    14 klukkustundum síðan

    I lived around there and that small boat has never been open I've been down there many times and it's never open and I never knew about that motor boat crossing

  • Gallaelwyd -

    Gallaelwyd -

    15 klukkustundum síðan

    Peel Holdings are scarily huge. They sometimes build without a buyer on the other end for what seems like a "cause we can" scenario (or maybe there's more to it). But they're also responsible for buying up almost every piece of green land and open space protected in some way or not to build shoddily made and overpriced houses (which the government calls 'affordable') on land not fit for purpose (huge mining culture and subsequently marshy land). It's a shame they can finance a ferry and pay a bloke to run it (presumably) but can't spare one employee for an interview...

  • Michael Ding

    Michael Ding

    15 klukkustundum síðan

    Bridge crossing is free if you show up in a horse carriage? How about a bicycle?

  • Zach Brown

    Zach Brown

    16 klukkustundum síðan

    these are my favorite kind of videos. i’ve been fascinated with weird infrastructure my whole life idk why

  • Jim


    17 klukkustundum síðan

    Meetings near Manchester? Ur hard

  • Steven Booth

    Steven Booth

    17 klukkustundum síðan

    The big iron bridge you showed is not Warbuton Toll Bridge. The Toll Bridge is the small stone affair near the toll booth. The canal is the old course of the River Mersey and you had to cross the old stone bridge to get access to cross the Mersey. They built the iron bridge to keep access open but they cannot by law levy a toll on that bridge nor can the money from the existing toll, by law, be used to maintain the iron bridge. Peel, as always agree things at the time for expediency, then set about changing things to suit themselves and their shareholders and stick two fingers up to the public. They are currently doing their best to obliterate Irlam and Cadisheads Greenbelt.

  • Deanosaur


    17 klukkustundum síðan

    I want tom to teach me his god-level research skills

  • Steven Booth

    Steven Booth

    17 klukkustundum síðan

    Peel Holdings don't like interviews or anyone asking questions. Too many skeletons in too many closets. Awful organisation.

  • Michael Green

    Michael Green

    17 klukkustundum síðan

    Very good and you should campaign to "use it or loose it" but the company has a reputation of being a bit nasty and you should have said "Canal crossings" we should be proud of the Liverpool & Manchester Ship Canal.

  • james earljohns

    james earljohns

    17 klukkustundum síðan

    The dude with the bucket probably didn’t even work there hahah just seen an opportunity haha

  • Patrick Ormerod

    Patrick Ormerod

    18 klukkustundum síðan

    As a member of the Maritime Legal Society, there are a lot of inaccuracies in this video. When laws are involved you should do more research before publishing a video.

  • CMDR unematti

    CMDR unematti

    19 klukkustundum síðan

    ive never seen an actual toll bridge :o

  • Dalton McVay

    Dalton McVay

    19 klukkustundum síðan

    I really hate how much you vary the speed of your talking

  • Jack Jones

    Jack Jones

    19 klukkustundum síðan

    No way is warbi bride on here 😂

  • Shadeem


    20 klukkustundum síðan

    was that an american flag?!



    20 klukkustundum síðan

    Manchester United!!!

  • Jon Ray

    Jon Ray

    20 klukkustundum síðan

    You're a preserver of history, in many senses. England, and the world, owe you a debt of gratitude. Thanks for the content, Tom :)

  • Ben Southall

    Ben Southall

    20 klukkustundum síðan

    Most importantly, is that a velvet t-shirt‽

  • Jacksirrom


    21 klukkustund síðan

    Companies with such a large public impact/footprint should be mandated to talk to random inquiries. I don't think it's fair at all.

  • Geoffrey Lee

    Geoffrey Lee

    21 klukkustund síðan

    Want a funny one? Toronto Island Airport ferry.

  • Tfin


    21 klukkustund síðan

    At a pound, I'd try very hard to never use that bridge.

  • ethzero


    21 klukkustund síðan

    I think you'd need to contact the Minister for Administrative Affairs.

  • Ben Exley

    Ben Exley

    21 klukkustund síðan

    Didn't expect to see Thelwall in here lmao, knew we had an old ferry crossing but didn't think it was still going.

  • Milkra


    21 klukkustund síðan

    If you looked at the title alone you’d think this was a video for an artsy poem tom wrote

  • sid m

    sid m

    22 klukkustundum síðan

    Hi Tom,
    Have you ever considered getting a proper job and helping people who really need it in your local community?

  • Marc Fuchs

    Marc Fuchs

    22 klukkustundum síðan

    i love such far off places in the countrysides. I would prefer to visit such places over crowded cities any time. I am not the biggest fan of England, but boy would I enjoy a few weeks of a bike tour through the entire country.

  • ArcticElvis


    22 klukkustundum síðan

    A lot of interesting content to digest, but I'm just floored by the silent L in Hulmes.

  • Youtube American Lies

    Youtube American Lies

    23 klukkustundum síðan

    Haha the northerners ripped you off
    Tim your scraping the barrel mate you used to show interesting stuff now its all basic knowledge to anyone that isnt a city idiot
    Its not about law tim its about cost to keep the bridge thats it, gov has f all to do with it thats the bloody point!!
    And fyi the eynsham bridge makes pocket of money every year, drive there at 8.30 am have fun itl take 20mins to get to the toll from the 40

  • aola wili

    aola wili

    Degi Síðan síðan

    I never thought I'd be excited to watch a video about river crossings

  • Fitz


    Degi Síðan síðan

    In Australia, we use Fee unit and penalty unit. The government increase it every finance year according to CPI. I DON'T LIKE IT🙄!

  • Gil Heuss

    Gil Heuss

    Degi Síðan síðan

    One of the things that make England, England is the "quirky things." As a ofttimes visitor to your shores I hope you never change that.

    • aola wili

      aola wili

      Degi Síðan síðan

      rivers are nice

  • Ben Norwood

    Ben Norwood

    Degi Síðan síðan

    How did you do in the election

  • Jonathan Richards

    Jonathan Richards

    Degi Síðan síðan

    1,057,110 views as I write - *NOW* the Peel Group wish they'd responded to a request for interview. If only one in a thousand of us turn up to cross the Canal by these routes, there's certain to be a requirement.
    Also, that Thelwall Ferry provision says (at 2:38) "shall provide and for ever maintain ... a ferry across the Canal suitable for all descriptions of vehicular traffic and for carrying fifteen ton loads ..."
    I don't think you could get even fifteen stone into that little dinghy!

  • Egg


    Degi Síðan síðan


  • Quillo


    Degi Síðan síðan

    Good god i hate the Warburton toll, i've put so many £1s in that pot and thats before the rush hour traffic. Ill take the extra 10 miles on the motorway anyday

  • R Johnson

    R Johnson

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Britain: Turning laws into lawlessness for profit maximisation.

  • tobortine


    Degi Síðan síðan

    This makes me so proud to be British. The mad, quirky, odd, eccentric way we occasionally behave gives me a warm glow inside.

  • zakius


    Degi Síðan síðan

    while the unit price on that bridge stayed the same the scale makes it worth it, if the bridge was barely used it would be a huge cost to keep people there taking the toll, but with cars going on and on and on it's worth it

  • Paul Gray

    Paul Gray

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Why are you using metric measurements for distance?

  • Mike Doragh

    Mike Doragh

    Degi Síðan síðan

    You should do a video about the Swinford Toll Bridge in Oxfordshire. Only 5p to cross, but resticts others from building a competing bridge for 3 miles upstream or downstream of the 250 year old bridge. Sure there is a story there!

  • Tashanda Jackson

    Tashanda Jackson

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Sue the Peel group.

  • jamesdriggers2011


    Degi Síðan síðan

    Less work than fixing it? Nope. Less head ache than dealing with govt!

  • Horatio yen

    Horatio yen

    Degi Síðan síðan


  • Knute Rife

    Knute Rife

    Degi Síðan síðan

    One way toll? Welcome to the Tacoma Narrows.

  • Sierra Black

    Sierra Black

    Degi Síðan síðan

    12p is less than Grand Islanders pay for their bridges on I-190 in Erie County, NY. Granted that’s a more suburban thoroughfare on one of the routes to/from Canada so the $1 makes sense there.

  • David Stinnett

    David Stinnett

    Degi Síðan síðan

    rivers are nice

  • Manfists


    Degi Síðan síðan


  • Frogman Toad

    Frogman Toad

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Why the hell is this so interesting? And yet it is

  • Johannes


    Degi Síðan síðan

    Dude, time to start Finasteride brother

  • Casual Henk

    Casual Henk

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Can we have you as the new doctor in doctor who?

  • Colin Gorner

    Colin Gorner

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Hi Tom, I live in Warrington and this is a great video!!! The Ship Canal is one amazing peace of engineering and something that nobody everys documents or gives credit for. I really think you should do a video on the ship canal to highlight this engineering marvel.

  • Pippa robinson

    Pippa robinson

    Degi Síðan síðan

    i hate that god damn bridge, used to turn my 25minute drive home, into over an hour every week

  • Mike


    Degi Síðan síðan


  • SkyOctopus


    Degi Síðan síðan

    There's a toll between Oxford and Eynsham which is 5p/car.

  • Will Willis

    Will Willis

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Anarcho politeness is a good thing.

  • Ian Watson

    Ian Watson

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Hahahaha I knew you would do the Warburton Bridge. It's awful, sat nav took me over a few times and sent me into a panic. 🤣

  • David Thomson

    David Thomson

    Degi Síðan síðan

    That's a bridge for longboarders, bicyclists, children, and a whole community who could live on it in small practical homes and care for it, keeping every inch of it free from rust. Instead, our species thinks it's a bridge for cars and lorries and witless transportation of plastic crap from China and inefficient big-ag food. Well, "food." We think that bridge is for cars and trucks. Seriously? That's only because our species is insane. It'll all come right in the end. There's a storm a-comin. Car bridges? That's the novelty. They'll be gone, and our species will go back to getting across rivers the old-fashioned way.

  • David Thomson

    David Thomson

    Degi Síðan síðan

    You're a good story-teller, mate. Always sad to see the little ferries go. Small hand-powered ferries are the once-and-future vessels of our species. Not the past, not as people usually think of the past with either indulgence or contempt. They'll be back, when we can no longer massively subsidize our addiction to engines in general and automobiles in particular. At the end of my parents' road a lovely three-car ferry got you across the Tennessee most days. Big federal money came in and built a giant bridge so that people could drive faster, have more fatal accidents on the windy roads, and just generally have crappier lives. In my years in England, how I loved walking the canals of London. Good story mate. Keep it up.

  • JC HD

    JC HD

    Degi Síðan síðan

    1,000,000th View!

  • B W

    B W

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Great Video as ever Tom! If you look at another toll bridge episode, can you do this one? "Swinford Toll Bridge" (Oxfordshire)?

  • Chxnk Error

    Chxnk Error

    Degi Síðan síðan

    So sad I missed tom in my home town

  • Peg James

    Peg James

    Degi Síðan síðan

    When a child could buy two chews for a half penny but could not buy one as farthings no longer existed, and the coinage was so large and heavy a pound in loose change felt as if you carried a brickbat in your pocket.

  • Leo Rigby

    Leo Rigby

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Warburton Bridge is now charging both ways, I refuse to go over it due to the traffic caused for locals.

  • Militaires Sans Frontières

    Militaires Sans Frontières

    Degi Síðan síðan

    I think it's charming to have an olde tyme ferry service

  • seneca983


    Degi Síðan síðan

    Maybe they should get a shallower draft dinghy so that low water wouldn't be a problem.

  • Thomas R Engel

    Thomas R Engel

    Degi Síðan síðan

    When you get to America go to the Millersburg, Pennsylvania ferry on the Susquehanna River. In 1990 it was still using a stern wheel powered by an automobile engine (for many years from a Model A Ford) to push a barge carrying the vehicles across the river. The reason was the shallowness if the wide river with forbade the use of propellers.

  • N A

    N A

    Degi Síðan síðan

    1:57 is that the USA flag?

  • Sam Sephton

    Sam Sephton

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Haha I have been over the 12 pence one. It did seem very strange but I suppose tradition

  • Lucas Battistella

    Lucas Battistella

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Bri'ish bureaucracy at its finest.

  • Sweetdreams 02

    Sweetdreams 02

    Degi Síðan síðan

    POV your here from the Warrington guardian.

  • HappyBeezerStudios - by Lord_Mogul

    HappyBeezerStudios - by Lord_Mogul

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Reminds me of how railways send trains along some lines once a year, because that is cheaper than to convince the government that there is no demand and they can close it. And as long as they serve the line.

  • Chaos show

    Chaos show

    Degi Síðan síðan

    still changing.

  • Appelflap


    Degi Síðan síðan

    The British and logic never seem to work with each other xD

  • Bryndal


    2 dögum síðan

    Love these videos

  • HMSSfrigate12


    2 dögum síðan

    slow down your speech please

  • Luna Rose

    Luna Rose

    2 dögum síðan

    This kind of stuff is some of the reasons I love being english.

  • Ben Coyle

    Ben Coyle

    2 dögum síðan

    Amazing! After purchasing a house in the 50s, my Grandparents were gifted a 3 piece suite from my Grandad's auntie. My grandad managed to get the sofa and 2 arm chairs in a hand cart and used the Hulmes Ferry to cross the canal and take it to their new home.
    I'm shocked you didn't visit the swing aqueduct as it's just down the road from the Hulmes ferry; although I feel like you might have covered that already.

    • Ben Coyle

      Ben Coyle

      2 dögum síðan

      Also local rumours tell that the 12p toll is not actually for the warbuton bridge, but a much smaller bridge between it and the toll booth, that crosses a small section of a farmers land.

  • Rob Fowler

    Rob Fowler

    2 dögum síðan

    Can confirm it's Thelwall as in THree, not Telwall as in Tea! Hope you enjoyed visiting our little area! The whole ship canal itself is definitely worth a deep dive on, so tied up in regional history, economics, mad engineering and all that.. Though you'd have to try to contact Peel again 🤔

  • EdgyShooter


    2 dögum síðan

    "Not when the water is low"
    Also known as the bloke wanted to go to the pub 😉

  • Orcaben1


    2 dögum síðan

    Why every youtuber who talks in or regarding too england or great Britain still says dollars and kilometres nowadays just annoys me ngl, like where i live atm, everyone, british born and raised kept calling secondary school, high school, like, wot...

  • Kaiser Basileus

    Kaiser Basileus

    2 dögum síðan

    "Whenever required" is just as clear as "shall not be infringed", they simply don't care and there's nothing you can reasonably do to hold them accountable.

  • Alison of the Shire

    Alison of the Shire

    2 dögum síðan

    A couple of months ago I went on the cross harbour ferry from Millennium Square over to the SS Great Britain in Bristol. It only takes two minutes to get from one side to the other but saves so much walking.

  • Aiich


    2 dögum síðan

    £1 for crossing is an absolute scam. Hope the locals do their best to stop that from happening.

  • BigPepe


    2 dögum síðan

    $40 to cross the Confederation Bridge in Canada, only one way but still thats a decent amount of cash