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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. There are times when in early images of the canal, the boatmen are shown to wear a smock. For example the Middlewich Branch in 1839. It would the horse was annoyed by the steam locomotive !
  2. The remarkable thing about Stenson, on the Trent & Mersey, is that it was made 250 years ago. It is on the section that opened first. That would make Hugh Henshall responsible for the original construction.
  3. Perhaps some body can explain the regulations for the double deck "homes" that are on the Erewash Canal near Trent Lock.
  4. From the posts, I gather the gravel boats are back at Stourton, even if the dredging of the river needs drastic improvement. Is this the case?
  5. Returning to the topic of by traders, I note Joseph Sandars used the term bye carriers in a pamphlet dated 1825 when he was organising support for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. Sandars was concerned about the exorbitant profits, the Duke of Bridgewaters Trustees made on carriage, Being a corn merchant it is easy to see how his trade was affected by such charges and the reasons whilst he first promoted the Liverpool & Manchester Railway aided by West Midlands industrialist William James. James bankruptcy brought George Stephenson into the frame and by 1825 Sandars was actively promoting this railway against strong canal company opposition
  6. Ah well Mike. Names or nomenclature is a fascinating subject and you may well have come across a reason for the naming of the irish boats. Looking at names, it is no doubt now well known that Pluto was a planet, but has been downgraded now and there was also a railway locomotive called Pluto.
  7. What was it that the Kidergarden teacher specialised in ? was it aeolian or glacial, I wonder. Hurleston was a canal reservoir commenced by a contractor to the Ellesmere & Chester Canal, but finished by the canal company.
  8. I recall Macolm Braine having pictures of riveting at Harris Brothers and showing them at a BCNS talk. I suspect that this is a skill now lost, but it would be of interest to know if it is still practiced.
  9. The term by trader referred, in canal terms, referred to the private carriers on the canal network. But for most canals this group would be the only carriers on the waterway. There were a few exceptions and this was the Duke of Bridgewater's carrying operation on the Bridgewater Canal and Hugh Henshall & Co who operated along the Trent & Mersey Canal and connecting waterways. Henshall was effectively the carrying department of the T & M. The Act of 1846 and enabled canal company's to become canal carriers. The origin of the term Bye, or By, Trader is something that probably deserves comment. A meaning of "By" can be accessory as in By- Law and it is reasonable to assume that a by trader was an "additional" trader in respect to the company boats. If this was the case then the term By Trader would appear to originate from a time post 1846, but with the Bridgewater may have been used earlier. It was generally the case that the company name was enough on each boat for identification. On the Grand Canal in Ireland, a number and prefix B came to identify the By Trader Craft. The naming may have been a railway rule, created after the C I E took over the Grand Canal. These Irish by trader also had another term assigned and that was "Hack". This is another term, which deserves explanation.
  10. The Marston Deviation, I was working on a sketch map for the Trent & Mersey Book, but space precluded inclusion. This was not the place of the earlier subsidence where the North Staffordshire Railway was involved in.
  11. I did mention the Upper Avon Navigation in my book SILENT HIGHWAYS and the ongoing work for the Droitwich Junction Canal. Apart the Salwarpe it needs to be mentioned that the Body Brook was used for the navigation under the motorway. The Ribble Link is also a navigation, in the sense it uses the river navigation from Tarleton, the Douglas and the Ribble, that is. But such a navigation has been possible for craft to travel from the Leeds & Liverpool to Preston Docks before the link was made, and was always I believe a navigation In 1999, Steve and me took a hire boat from Skipton to Tarleton and we were passed by boats coming from a Rally at Preston. With the making of the new Docks at Preston, the Ribble Navigation was altered to end there. There was a time when there were bigger shops that went into Preston Docks and the six coupled Bagnall tank engines were busy there in the 1960's, shunting the Dock sidings. With the Caldon the disuse of the Caldon Canal and restoration must be considered as a restoration of the river section. As there are plans to restore the Uttoxeter Canal another river section might be reached.
  12. Some modern canal diversions, such as Stoke on Trent, have been discussed recently, but there are others which are not so obvious. On the BCN at Broad Street, in Wolverhampton, the canal was made in a new semi circular channel to pass under a wide road junction in previous times the canal had gone straight on past Hay Basin to the top lock. The view from the Waterways Archive shows a straight canal and a heritage bridge, now at the Black Country Museum-
  13. When the photo of North Lock on the Leicester Navigation is looked at, my personal view is that it is unsightly. From a historical standpoint, North Lock is on the canal section which once served the major carriers depots and had Limekiln Lock made as part of a subsequent flood relief program. It can be described as graffiti. I think it is vandalism and indeed can go further to call it historical desecration.
  14. Recent posts about graffiti have had mixed response and ranges from vandalism to art. There has been a particular concern as to graffiti on walls and other structures, as this can be seen as unsafe area, where boaters should not moor and walkers speed through as fast as possible. There seems, sadly, to be an increase in this practice, which must be more worrying. Those that paint, and paint over, with writings and names remains unsightly particularly with heritage structures. This view is at Wolverhampton with the new Station buildings in the background and has a mixture of "artwork" and the building behind has not escaped. This was a section of the BCN completed in 1849 following a diversion of the canal required for the making of the station behind. It is a view that some might consider spoilt by graffiti and others might approve especially with the building behind. Yet this building dates from 1959 and a time when British Transport Waterways was looking to keep canal traffic. Made from aluminium, this structure was part a new vision for constructing such types of buildings. The Waterways Archive has a view of this building in place in 1959. This was a time when boating families still lived (and washed their clothes) on working boats!
  15. In Gas Street Birmingham there is a short length of restored basin, in the 1990's, that is. In a way it fits the criteria as a detached canal. It is also perhaps unique in that it was built for the Dudley Canal Company acting under the guise as the Netherton Coal Company. and was maintained by the Dudley Canal Company, It served the gas works and also carriers houses when it was at its full length. This basin extended from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal under Gas Street and Berkeley Street and as far as Granville Street.
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