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magpie patrick

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Everything posted by magpie patrick

  1. Charity shop find yesterday - now gracing my coffee table. A lock, with narrow boat and lock side house. The house and the boat lift off. The gates open but unfortunately are back to front. The footboard is on the water side when the gate opens! No idea of its origin, I've never seen anything like it before. If anyone knows anything...! 🤔
  2. But which end of the lock? The top gate is more like 220 feet away. The whole "Wardle Canal is the shortest" strikes me as someone making a claim without checking their facts, and that claim becoming accepted fact. My contention is that the Wardle Canal is not a canal in its own right, and if it is, there are shorter ones using the same definition of "canal".
  3. I think it's the second lock down in the Bath flight, taken from the top lock From memory the bottom lock and then the top four were restored but not used for a few years until the deep one (which merged the two unrestored ones) was opened.
  4. That one looks more like Bath, and Mogg is certainly a name from round here. But I'm not sure the locks were ever empty like that. The gates look in very good condition for a closed canal.
  5. It's always good when you join in @Pluto because you usually have evidence! Interesting to note that the junction on that plan is the east face of the bridge not the line of the bank either side. Using my system of measurement that one is 66 metres long, so we have the Portland branch of the Ashton at 45 metres long, then Dukes lock at 66 metres long, and then the Wardle Branch at 76 metres. The claim for the "Wardle Canal" to be the shortest is beginning to look a bit shaky on both counts
  6. It's unusual to make small gates at Stanley Ferry so that suggests they are trying to speed things up
  7. There is a Milestone almost on the aqueduct on the PF side that is mile zero for the PF. If that really is the start then Portland Basin Marina comes off several yards up the Peak Forest. That milepost is around 150 feet from the nearest point of the Ashton Canal main line (determined by drawing a line connecting the edge of the bank one side of the junction to the edge of the bank the other side Whilst Wikipedia claims that the Wardle Canal is only 145 feet long, VAR in the form of Google Earth gives 76m (250 feet) from the nearest point on the T&M (determined as above) main line to the top gate of Wardle Lock.
  8. Only when I had coffee this morning! Can we leaf the puns alone now? I don't doubt that, and I must get hold of (and read) a copy of your book. But in a way that's why I think it is a branch - it's purpose was to benefit the whole undertaking. There are further questions that come out of this - given that failure to build Wardle Lock would have frustrated the objectives of the rest of the Middlewich branch, was there some compulsion on the T&M to keep their half of the bargain? Similar at Hall Green. It's called an enquiring mind Ray and also a pedantic one . I was enquiring as to why the Wardle Branch could claim to be the shortest canal in the country as this seemed to be using a definition of "canal" that wasn't applied elsewhere, and if it was other records could be claimed. The Churchbridge Branch of the BCN, if counted as a stand-alone canal would be the most densely locked canal on the network with 13 locks in 5 furlongs giving an average of just over 20 locks a mile. The very short arm of the Ashton that connects Portland Basin to the Peak Forest Canal wold be the only canal almost entirely on an aqueduct. And, incidentally, that branch is also quite a bit shorter than the Wardle Branch... (Dons hard hat and retreats....)
  9. That is true, but leaving heritage considerations aside there is a lot more to it than just life span. Steel transmits much more force back into the lock wall if the gate is hit, which takes it's toll on the structure, and whilst the gate will withstand being hit eventually it will bend and not return to shape. The current cost of steel gates is around twice that of oak (I'm involved in tendering for some on a restoration project) - it will be 25 years before the savings become apparent and in the meantime the cost of gates is doubled, a difficult call on already overstretched budgets. There is a design for steel gates that got heritage lottery approval on the Monmouth Canal at Ty Coch - pictured. They use square section tubes to mimic the appearance of the large timbers. It's possible that these are the way forward especially if suitable timber becomes more difficult to get hold of
  10. More likely CRT don't immediately know whether they have the right timber for that particular gate. They order timber from a yard in Pontrilas, when they place the order they know what gates are going to be built with that batch and it is roughly cut to size for them to finish. This also works on a system approaching "just in time" - they don't have six months worth of gate timber in the yard. I would reckon that if, for example, they'd ordered wood for a pair of bottom gates at Marple (13 foot drop), and then a pair of bottom gates at Bosley (approx 9 foot drop) failed they could switch the timber over, but they can't do it the other way round. The locks at Lowsonford have single bottom gates, and would need a different timber kit to a mitre pair or a single top gate, and there aren't that many single bottom gates on the system. My guess would be that the guys at Bradley (who know their stuff) will be in the process of working out whether they have timber on order already that will fit, but until they know this they will issue a standard "timber needs to be ordered" - in any event the ordered timber will go straight to the top of the queue, but the new gates can't leapfrog gates the construction of which has started. Delivery times - again I guess that's a stock answer as deliver slots for all gates "in process" have already been booked and the next free slot is several weeks off, and they'll have to negotiate that a delivery trip to, say, Huddersfield is now going to go to Lowsonford.
  11. This looks like the Old Bush, it's certainly a Banks's pub This looks rather the bend at the top of the old Tipton Green flight These are Factory Locks I've no idea what series or programme it's from, so it may be from a drama set in Yorkshire. Another drama, Frost is set in Wiltshire but the canal scenes come from Wakefield and Sowerby Bridge
  12. At about the waking hour as i was preparing my first cup of coffee a similar thought came into my head - who's enabling legislation was used? This did in turn lead me to wonder who's enabling legislation was used for the Hall Green branch of the T&M which served a similar purpose.
  13. Perhaps - but if the "shortest canal" is a branch canal, is there something shorter? The old side lock to the river at Figure of Three is probably shorter, but not counted as a canal. This is often a problem, to establish this record, a particular definition of canal has been used, but not consistently applied Can you justify that? My reasoning is that a branch canal is subservient to the main line and was built by the company that owned the main line. Their interests were for the main line in the first instance and the branch line served this bigger purpose. This was particularly true of the Wardle Branch, which was basically a protectionist measure by the T&M. For an example of the opposite logic, the Newport Pagnell canal looks at first site like a branch off the Grand Junction, but the Grand Junction couldn't see enough benefit in building a branch to the town - the benefit was to Newport Pagnell, but that wasn't the GJCs problem, so a separate company built the canal.
  14. Neither of which really cut the mustard for a place in the Guinness book of records or any definitive source - "someone" decided this branch was a canal in itself - clearly that someone wasn't the T&M or the North Staffordshire Railway, who were the owners and managers of it.
  15. Having read yet another claim that the "Wardle Canal" is the shortest canal in the kingdom, if not the universe, I'm questioning this on the basis of the definition of "Canal". I know it's always difficult to pin things down and nomenclature varies (more on that later) - what, for example, is the Llangollen Canal? It exists only as a modern name. However, to my way of thinking as a historian a canal, as distinct from a branch off a canal, was built BY a separate entity, sometimes these merged so that the many became one (Shropshire Union, Grand Union) but never the reverse. I may refer to the Caldon Canal but most historians know it is shorthand for the Caldon Branch of the Trent and Mersey Canal. I note that Bradshaw (1904 but I think all of them) refers to canals as separate entities even when they were later owned by the same company - e.g. the Ashton, Peak Forest and Macclesfield are identified as separate canals within the ownership of the Great Central Railway. Bradshaw identifies the Wardle Branch as a branch of the T&M, in turn owned by the North Staffs Railway. In addition to this, I suspect that most modern boaters, those who only know of the Llangollen Canal and not the Ellesmere Canal, think of Wardle Lock as being on the Middlewich Branch (and may not even be sure which canal the Middlewich Branch is a branch of) So how did the Wardle Branch become a canal? And if we're going to count a branch of the T&M as a separate canal, is there anything shorter? Some basin on the BCN perhaps? After all, a basin on the BCN may actually have been built by a separate company!
  16. Which navigation is this? @Pluto is the authority on these things, but if we know which navigation there may be someone with local knowledge.
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