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About Heartland

  • Birthday 06/25/1949

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Stechford, Birmingham, West Midlands
  • Interests
    Industrial Archeology
    Folk Music

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  • Occupation
    Industrial Historian and author

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  1. Heartland

    Middle levels, New Parliamentary Bill

    With the bill now an Act of Parliament, Has the new order worked out a series of charges for boaters? I understand the Middle Level Commissioners has the distinction of being the fourth largest navigation authority in the country.
  2. Heartland

    Canal Boat or Narrowboat

    There has been some very useful information provided, and it would seem that Narrow Boat may well have become more common after campaigns of George Smith. Yet there is evidence that the origin lies earlier. In the same way the term BLACK COUNTRY became more common after the opening of the South Staffordshire Railway, it was a term that had and earlier origin. And so it may prove to be with Narrowboat. In his booklet Ten Minutes Reading, 1848, George Beadon refers to a narrow canal boat taking coal from Birch Coppice Colliery to London.
  3. Heartland

    Canal Boat or Narrowboat

    A happy new year to all and to begin this years discussion, a question of terminology. A discussion regarding the origin of the term Narrowboat recently appeared on the Birmingham History Website which raises the question of when the term Narrowboat came into being. When old newspapers are consulted the term Canal Boat was commonly used for local sales or discussions. No distinction was made as to type. Although terms such as trow, Trent Boat, Keel, Sloop may also be found documented in the press. Narrow boat as term is mentioned pre 1900 when the text is made outside the narrow canal area. It is a subject that is complicated by local names being applied, such as Monkey Boat, Josher, Cuckoo, Bantock etc. Further complications occur when the term barge or boat should be used. So, is there an accepted date for the origin of the term Narrowboat, or should it be Narrow Boat?
  4. Heartland

    Restoring the Montgomery Canals

    Mr Boughey suggests stone by stone restoration for the Montgomery is perhaps the present way forward, and perhaps that will be the only course. It is the way with some other restoration schemes. Yet there are those that dare to hope for more. The Lapal Trust is raising funds for the canal through Selly Oak. The Lichfield & Hatherton looks for funds for that all important link that will hopefully, and finally, see boats back into Lichfield. Whilst potential funds are limited, especially in the present financial climate, hope still remains. With the Montgomery the restoration to Welshpool opens up so much for the boater. There appears to be funds for further work, but how much is, or has been, wasted for the political correctness demands that seem to accompany such projects. The power of the ecologist and their pay cheques, may well become a historical discussion as to value. It is all more bizarre when it is considered that when the canal was closed, the ecology and habitats changed. Putting the water back again means a change in habitat again. One interpretation is that once canals are closed they cannot be reopened to meet the values of ecology. Is it true or is it false to state that in making provisions for all ecological requirements, such creating newt pools. has delayed the progress on the Montgomery , and with restricted finances and volunteer requirements, could these ecological requirements have been met in a different and cost effective way?
  5. Heartland

    Longford Junction, Oxford / Coventry Canals

    I understand both junctions, that is Longford and Hawkesbury continued to be in existence for a period of time and there are carriers tickets in the collection at the PRO for the Coventry Canal that suggests it was the case up to the 1840's. Longford Junction was a basic junction: Whilst Hawkesbury had the lock and various canalside buildings- note the stop locks on both canals on this map.....
  6. Heartland

    Survey Plans Grand Junction

    If you look on the Discovery Website for the PRO, you will note over 2000 references in different archives relating to the GJC. There are many aspects to the Grand Junction and that includes the original scheme for the canal and altered routes. The records of John Rennie may be of use.
  7. Heartland

    Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

    I though Mis adventure was responsible for boats hanging over a weirs. However, the account of a young man attempting to walk along the outside of the railings at Pontcysyllte is one that I recall I have heard. Still very sad, but people do idiotic things for a dare or nowadays perhaps more for a selfie.
  8. Heartland

    Restoring the Montgomery Canals

    Whatever happened in the 1980's, did at least encourage the gradual restoration of the waterway and this is still on going. The greatest challenge is the completion of the restoration to Welshpool as this will give an aim, and purpose, to the project. One can only hope the remaining obstacles can be overcome.
  9. Heartland

    Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

    This is a matter of concern, and I gather regular checks are made regarding the structure. It appears this accident happened in May 2016, and the claim is that the railing became dislodged. The young man who died was 18.
  10. Heartland

    Cycling on tv ads

    The wonderful fantasy world of the advertisement is a remarkable place, something like Captain Kirk was trying to find. Trouble is they dont tell what happened next. Remember the lad pushing bike up hill with a load of Hovis and then riding down again. What happened then- did he miss the turning and plunge into the cut?
  11. Heartland

    Cyclists and CRT Code

    There appears to be a clarity of vision observed on the Basingstoke Canal, it would be of help if CRT followed their lead.
  12. When built the modern Montgomery actually comprised three waterways and various feeders; the length is the Welsh Frankton- Llanymynech branch of the Ellesmere Canal, the Eastern and Western Branch of the Montgomery are all part of the present make up. Since the Big Dig various lengths have reopened and yet after some 50 years, longer than the enforced closure period, this scenic waterway has still to see the link restored properly between Welshpool and the present limit of navigation. No matter how much the CRT dress up the present situation, a comparison must be made with the successful restoration of the Huddersfield and Rochdale. This view of the Mony was taken in 1992 when the RCHS West Midlands Group was planing the Shrewsbury AGM that year..
  13. Heartland

    Stone traffic...by underground passage??

    There were tunnels that linked quarries by internal tramway, but the underground passage to the canal, I do not believe is correct. However the tramways did exist. Doulton operated the Springfield Fireclay Quarries that used 2ft gauge locomotives between 1922 and 1955. Jones and Fitzmaurice built a narrow gauge double track rope worked incline from the Hailstone Quarry at Rowley Regis to Springfield Basin beside the Dudley no 2 canal, in 1880. their system was later acquired by the Rowley Regis Granite Co Ltd.
  14. Heartland

    Disecting a narrowboat

    I think Blizzard has made a valid point. Heritage Boats are best used for the purpose they were built for and coal carrying for the boatmen or the homes beside the waterway fulfills that role. Next year there will be another Festival on the Lee, it will be of interest to see which heritage boats attend.
  15. Heartland

    Railings for Manchester Canals

    There was a time when canals were for boaters and especially those engaged in commercial carrying. The Rochdale. Bridgewater and Ashton all had massive and busy warehouses built for the trade on the waterways. The reinvention of these historic structures, or their former sites, as homes, public houses, theatres and other forms of social venues ignores the past as well as forgetting the needs of the boaters today. There have been cases of drunken boatmen loosing their lives in the times of the carrying trade, but the problem now appears to be one of education and maybe dont drink and drown is a way forward. Better still advising people that after downing 29 pints of lager following a Manchester City victory tends to dull the senses if a walk along the cut is planned.

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