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Page last updated at 10:46 GMT, Friday, 14 January 2011
Falmouth Dock's 150 years celebrations

Eleanor Parkinson looks back on 150 years at the docks

The docks in Falmouth have been a familiar and important part of the town for 150 years.

The Princess Royal had been hoping to tour the town's docks as part of their anniversary celebrations.

Unfortunately the visit had to be cancelled because of bad weather.

The docks have employed thousands of people over the years and as part of the celebrations, some of them have attended a special party to share their memories.

Falmouth Docks today
The docks conitinue to be a big employer in Falmouth

BBC Spotlight's Eleanor Parkinson has been speaking to present and former staff at the docks. Click on the video at the top of this page to watch her film.

The Falmouth Docks Company was founded in 1859, work on the docks started the following year.

As well as ship repairs from the early days onwards, Falmouth Docks were also involved in the export of china clay. This looked set to be a big industry for the docks, however most of the work was diverted eastwards when the mineral railway connected Fowey with the county's main rail line.

The dock area has been featured in movies in the past.

Comic star Will Hay visited Falmouth in the '30s to film "Windbag the Sailor". It features many scenes of the docks.

The famous John Mills film "Scott of the Antarctic" also featured the docks.

Today 1000 people are employed at the docks in various industries from the ship repair to the construction of super-yachts.

Most people in Falmouth have a connection with the docks.

Frank Eva is now retired but five generations of his family have worked there.

He says: "My Great Grandfather helped to construct the wharfs. He was in the Merchant Navy too."

Donald Chambers is among today's workforce at the docks. He was worked there for 18 years.

He says: "You can't stress how important the dockyard is to this town.

"When the dockyard is busy the town is buzzing. There's money spinning around the town."

There's been many changes over the years, but those working at the 150 year old docks say they're confident about its future.

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