William Bain was an Inspector in Salford Police Force and as he was the first policeman assigned to the Manchester Ship Canal, he became known as "Ship Canal" Bain.
He was born on 22nd November 1855 at Olrig, Caithness, Scotland. He was the son of Donald and Robertina (nee Hill) Bain. His parents died young and William was left to bring up his brothers and sisters. William was employed on a farm before migrating to Salford and joining Salford Police Force in December 1876. He was allocated to duties on the Manchester Ship Canal project and witnessed the cutting of the first sod. He was known to his friends as "Ship Canal" Bain.
William rose to the rank of Inspector, and in 1906, at the age of 51, after serving 30 years, he retired from the force. However, this was just a change of career as he took over the management of the Rob Roy Hotel in Arlington Street. Eight years later William retired to Grasmere Road, Blackpool with his wife Eleanor (nee Brindle) who he married in 1886 in Chorlton-on-Medlock. They were to spend 14 years together in retirement as Eleanor died in Blackpool on 21st February 1928, aged 73. The following year, after a short illness, William died on 9th March 1929. He was 73 years old and left two married daughters.
William Bain's funeral took place on Thursday 14th March He was buried in plot 37 of the Dissenters portion of Weaste Cemetery. Rev J. Clayton officiated.