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About Heartland

  • Birthday 06/25/1949

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

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    Industrial Historian and author

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  1. The family business of John Griffiths of Bedworth as a canal carrier was, as has been shown in previous posts, an extensive one which included merchandise carriage, the use of steam powered narrowboats and later motor narrow boats When John Griffiths died in 1914, the business passed to another John Griffiths and during his control the Warwickshire Canal Carrying Company was formed. The Narrowboat articles seem to suggest the first boat for the WCCC was in 1918, which presumably is from Coventry registration data. Yet the local newspapers still record John Griffiths as a carrier with no mention of the WCCC. That title may well have come to encompass the whole fleet from 1936 when the new dock at the Furnaces, Marston Lane was opened, the old dock being Black Bank. A John Griffith continued as manager of the WCCC. Later this firm became WCCC Ltd and this firm lasted until January 1968 when receivership proceedings were commenced. The gap in operations between WCCC and WCCC Ltd, may not have been a gap at all. The take over of some craft by the Erewash Canal Carrying Company could well have been the result of war time government control, where craft were moved around to suit traffic requirements. The Enterprise as show in a post by Laurence Hogg was one such craft that went to the ECCC and back to the the WCCC Ltd. One point to answer is what happened to ENTERPRISE ?
  2. Thank you Pete and Chris for the clarification. It was Hecla from this forum who carried out the reproduction of Birmingham Library Archives when it was located on floor 7 of the now demolished library.
  3. If that is the case, should modern canal carrying craft engaged in selling to the boaters- fuel, coal etc- be registered. Stokie No 1 lacks this registration, I note.
  4. A useful guide to historians are the registers that record the licensing of boats under the acts of parliaments that came about through the persistence of George Smith to look after the welfare of the boating families that had the canal cabin as their home. The Birmingham registers, in Birmingham Library Archives, end with the following 1646 DODONA British Transport Waterways South Eastern Division June 12th, 1959- reregitered because of cabin enlargement 1647 BERKHAMPSTEAD British Transport Waterways South Eastern Division February 8th, 1960- reregitered because of cabin enlargement. After these records ceased, there were further re-registions, the source being NARROWBOAT MAGAZINE 1649 YEOFORD Birmingham & Midland Canal Carrying Company July 9th, 1965 1650 ASH Birmingham & Midland Canal Carrying Company December 18th, 1965 1651 LINDA Birmingham & Midland Canal Carrying Company July 9th, 1965 1652 BARBARA (ARGON) Birmingham & Midland Canal Carrying Company July 9th, 1965 1653 CYPRESS Birmingham & Midland Canal Carrying Company July 15th, 1965 1654 ACHILLES Birmingham & Midland Canal Carrying Company July 15th, 1965 The registation numbering being not in strict date order, raises a question as to how the numbers were allocated. There is also the question as what was Birmingham 1648 ? This is YEOFORD at Farmers Bridge Locks
  5. A useful map is the Ordnance Survey (3rd Edition) which shows both bridges. The filled in canal from here to Dial Lane is now a footpath. The Google Earth image through time c1945 shows both bridges, although now the junction bridge has been removed.
  6. In November, the Birmingham Canal Navigations Society will celebrate 250 years of the original line of the BCN. The route that opened in November 1769 brought coal from coal mines near Goldshill, West Bromwich to a wharf near the home of John Baskerville, publisher and japanner. Whilst parts of the original route is open for navigation, other parts are not open and most of these lengths have been filled in. The original length through West Bromwich into Wednesbury was at one time known as the Wednesbury Canal, but later was known as the Balls Hill Branch as the extension of that canal had been made towards the coal mines of William James there. The canal through Goldshill to Wednesbury was abandoned by British Waterways, but the canal from Ryders Green to meet the Ridgacre Branch remained open to serve the Swan Village Gasworks that had been modernised by the West Midlands Gas Board to include vertical retorts. The canal remained long after the gasworks ceased the carbonisation of coal, but was laid low by the making of a new road that bisected the Ridgacre Canal from the main system, but maintained the water supply. British Waterways chose to let the work go ahead in that form. At the time a case was argued to keep the canal open for boaters, and included such facts that the Ridgacre was constructed under the direction of Thomas Telford, which was his first task as engineer for the BCN. These pleas fell on deaf ears and the road was built. At the same time the Ridgacre Public House was opened. Moorings beside that public house would have provided a new opportunity for boaters using the BCN. By not raising the Black Country Route to pass over the Balls Hill Branch near the junction with the Ridgacre denied boaters the use of what could have been an important stop over, which included access to the new Metro Station (once it was built). was lost and only the construction of a drop lock and tunnel, restore this canal to navigation. A cost that is probably prohibitive. Since then another small part of the isolated canal has been built over for the hotel constructed beside the public house.. This last development has isolated the junction of the Balls Hill Branch from the Ridgacre and it is now hidden behind the hotel in a wooded area.. The roving bridge that carried the towpath from the Balls Hill Branch to the Ridgacre is still in use as a footpath. The towpath bridge today: Interestingly, this section and the associated footpaths have the barriers that prevent motorcycles from using this way. Looking at Google maps and comparing this location with the Ordnance survey, it would appear that the bridge might have been moved to this spot from its previous location, with the junction actually lost in the road works and hotel development. But then looking at my images for the time when the canal closed the bridge seems to be in the same place then! A view from the bridge that looks towards Goldshill shows a section still in water. The 1990's view; This junction bridge was thus it seems the basin bridge for Swan Village Railway Interchange Basin. The route in the last image leading off to the right being that for the coal boats that came down from Goldshill in 1769.
  7. There probably is a case for a marina development at Runcorn, which Peel Holdings might well see as a potential source of revenue. As to the Newport Canal, Wappenshall is seen as a potential destination as the heritage warehouses are to be found there. Several year ago there was a suggestion that the restoration scheme might join the Severn and in that fashion reach Shrewsbury. If by some chance this did actually happen, this scheme would succeed to link with the Severn when all others had failed. The Shrewsbury Canal did not join the Severn even if it skirted the northern bank on the approach to Shrewsbury. The two Ellesmere Canal schemes intended to meet the Severn either side of the town. Once parllament approved the Ellesmere Canal the junction was to be to the west of Shrewsbury. Sadly that authorised route was never built and the Ellesmere Canal only went as far as Weston.. Today Shrewsbury has a trip boat on the Severn that travels between the two bridges on a section of water that is preserved by a weir down stream.
  8. I fear this is a worrying development for the boats that sell on our inland navigation. These are the last of the working boat traders in many ways. They face so many challenges these days.
  9. C R T C = Speed of light in a vacuum R = a programming language T = Written or published text Reverse it Words written in computer gibberish at the speed of light !
  10. If the sale of diesel is from one of the boats that sell bagged coal, fuel and logs, then it follows that the sale of red diesel to a market that requires it needs further clarification. Perhaps somebody on this site can clarify in what manner red diesel might be sold and if such boats should sell it at all. Our European Overlords from the Citadel in Brussels had made certain rules in the past for which red diesel may be used for heating and propulsion. This site has had various posts about the use of red diesel, could more invasive paperwork be another facet of what is happening?
  11. WHY ARE PEOPLE LEAVING THE WATERWAYS- surely this must be a concern to CRT. One answer is that they may not care. Maybe seven years of misrule is a factor? Or are the CRT a wonderful group of people to deal with. It would be an interesting exercise to list all the good points of CRT. (1) Enabling cyclists to take over the towpaths for leisure activities and opening up the towpath to a new role as a race track (2) Tendering out of services and cutting back on staff (3) Enabling canal side developments- such as the one that predatory developers love to do. Ones that destroy heritage and make them vast profits Yes, they say a week in politics is a long time. Seven years for CRT may be seen as eternity!
  12. Restoring Runcorn Locks and the canal link to the Weaver would open up a useful link, if it was possible to make it possible. A new ring would be created that involved the Anderton Lift and the Bridgewater. Putting back the waterway at Runcorn under this bridge would be a memorable event in itself- RCHS Hugh Compton Collection
  13. I did hear of the Runcorn restoration, but perhaps somebody can clarify, which Runcorn Lock flight is planned for restoration, there were two. Certainly there are major obstacles, but the one to the north seems more of a practical option. Restoration of Newport branch could be done towards Newport, I suppose, but would the locks, if restoration proceeds, be done in the original style? Then there is the water loss to consider, or does that not matter? An equal pertinent question is the restoration of the Derby Canal. Putting aside the HS2 tramway link, there was the suggestion of a swinging cradle to carry boats across the Derwent. It was announced at the IWA Festival at Burton and seemed to be a novel concept.
  14. I notice that the Speedwell was on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal for some time, of I recall I took this image in 2001 travelling down to Sharpness. It was moored near to the dredger.
  15. I was curious as to why the Staffordshire & Worcestershire canal is shown as the River Stour in the google map that accompanies the estate agent notice. Standards appear to have slipped. As to the cottage/house at Cookley, the location is of interest and also raises a question as to age and if it was used used as a home for canal workers. The Stour at this point had beea navigation once, during the eighteen century. The nearby Cookley Ironworks had a basin that linked with the canal, and which had been a water powered corn mill and later converted into a charcoal ironworks, once owned by the Knight Family. This map shows the area at the time of the 2nd Ordnance Survey. The house up for sale is shown as opposite to the Rock House.
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