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Everything posted by Joseph

  1. Hello again Well, a good deal of head scratching has drawn up two more answers to my own query; Ulverston Canal, nationalised with LMS but sold to Ulverston UDC. Cromford Canal (upper part) sold to Derbyshire County Council. I think these were lock stock and barrel, but I may be wrong. I think many other transfers conform to Patrick's point - which were more a disposal of the site of the canal, rather than the canal as a possibly-viable entity. And I do take your point, Patrick, about CRT and isolated waterways - perhaps it should control the main network and possible additions. Quite a problem if the EA waterways v=ver come in - and what about the Tees? I shall refer all this to the Department of Very Odd Waterways Queries!! Regards Joseph
  2. Thanks Peter I did wonder about the Ashby - I'm not sure if handing over a filled-in canal quite qualifies, but the Grand Western was partly dry when Devon took it over. Regards Joseph
  3. Thanks for this The Councils took over the Basingstoke from the New Basingstoke Canal Company - the one formed to buy the Canal in 1948 when the IWA sought to a acquire it at auction. I can see a long thread developing from this! Joseph
  4. Many Thanks Ray Definitely one for the list of odd exceptions - I doubt if many records were handed over with the transfer! Joseph
  5. Afternoon everyone It's now just 50 years since the isolated section of the Grand Western Canal was handed over, following a campaign of sorts, by BWB to Devon County Council. With this, as I have been discovering, went quite a few records of the Canal, transferred to Devon Archives. It seems to have been "lock stock and barrel" (LSB!!), unlike other transfers of odd lengths. Now, here is the question - was the Grand Western the only such transfer - a potentially viable waterway handed over to a local authority for possible preservation? Are there other candidates? I would leave out from this the handing over of part of the Shropshire Union Newport branch to Newport council (now Gtelford & Wrekin) as a non-navigable amenity, parts of the St Helens for local mooring (Widnes and Fiddlers Ferry), a bit of the Dudley Canal No 2 to Halesowen, and a lot of waterways sold or given piecemeal for destruction or what-you-will (like the Monmouthshire, to Cwmbran NT and Caerphilly and other local authorities). And, of course the Southern Stratford, for which the freehold was transferred (but not, seemingly, records) in 1965 before being transferred back with a large endowment. Any thoughts, anyone - or was, as I suspect, the Grand Western a unique case? I would be very interested in any speculations! Joseph
  6. Evenin all Can't shed much light on Jasmine, but yes, John Humphries (that spelling, also known as A C Humphries) was IWA Chair in early 1970s and owned Clevanda. Joseph
  7. Morning all Great to see this Ray (and Duncan). It's a good resource, and the more people can look through and add information, the more useful it will become. Take care everyone. Joseph
  8. Thanks Jubbly Actually, in IWA Midlands Branch newsletters he is described as Phillip Hutchings with a G! Good to see this corrected. What are your memories of him? Best wishes Joseph
  9. Hi Jubbly Many thanks. Keith Christie was with the Knights on their trip through the Ashton with Bruce. I've seen reference to Phillip Hutchings - was he related to David H? Many thanks Joseph
  10. Many thanks Jubbly I had seen the film, and Mr and Mrs Knight had featured greatly. They contributed a great deal. And then......?? Do you mean that they parted company? I've found reference to them installing lock gates on the Stratford in February 1964, and at the Stratford Canal reopening, but Mr Knight left the Midlands Branch Committee in December 1964 (along with David Hutchings), and I have not traced any reference to him in the Midlands Branch Navigation in 1965-6. As an aside, I was just wondering whether there are other sound recordings of Robert Aickman and Lionel Munk. RFA had a very mannered, posh accent, but came across as quite mild. Any further thoughts as to the fate of the Knights would be very welcome. Thanks again Joseph
  11. Good morning again! I'm trying to find out a bit of background to Brian and Rosemary Knight of Coventry, who were leading members in the IWA Midlands Branch in the 1960s. They were involved with the Ashton Canal cruise in Bruce, and other protest cruises, and helped out heavily in the Stratford restoration, fitting many lock gates. In many ways, they seem to have been unsung heroes. Does anyone know more about their later involvement with canals, and what happened to them? All information gratefully received! Joseph
  12. Good morning all Oh dear - I suspect this note was penned in haste....!! I volunteer at the Archive - it has only been safe to reopen for volunteers for the last two weeks. We now have an excellent new Archivist, but a smaller number of volunteers able to help. I'm not sure when normal service will be resumed - but, at the moment, fairly heroic efforts are needed. May I encourage everyone to have a look at the online photographic archives - some of the descriptions could do with clarification. I spent a lot of time in lockdown going through some of these - but often one needs an intimate knowledge of a particular place (or person or boat) to be able to comment. It would be great if people could help - it will improve what is a major resource. Best wishes Joseph
  13. Evening Ray Well, I would need very substantial travelling expenses! There are two copies of Pick's report - one a draft, which is interesting. Regards Joseph
  14. Evenin' all This is a complex question - but Patrick has it absolutely right over the Swansea and Neath; one was railway-owned, the other wasn't. Control of the former railway canals in South Wales (none with any significant traffic) was with the Railway Executive at first, then passed to the control of South Wales Docks until 1958. My understanding is that nationalisation concerned companies that were under wartime control, and one would need to look at the Pick Report for that. The Rochdale had no traffic outside the Manchester area by 1945, and Pick had recommended closure. There were some reconstruction works in wartime, but no traffic resulted. I think that the Ship canal Company was regarded as a dock system, with the Bridgewater something of a feeder, and there was no general nationalisation of dock and ports under the 1947 Act. The railway-owned canals passed to the DIWE because nationalisation was based on the taking over of companies, and that included railway companies that owned all sorts of assets that had very little to do with railway operations! In an alternative world, had there been no existing controls like those of wartime, and had the 1945 Government formed a public corporation that would take over the assets that it felt it could develop (as happened with road haulage to some extent), it is likely that most of the waterways would not have been taken over - certainly Pick saw no future for narrow canals. So there wouldn't be a system at all, just a number or inland navigations based on rivers and ports, and any question for keeping waterways for leisure would not have arisen - the smaller waterways would not have been in public ownership. Luckily for the waterways, the 1945 government was keen to pursue nationalisation, and the easiest and quickest way to achieve this was to continue wartime control and take over almost all waterways-owning companies. My understanding, anyway. Heartland, thanks for a very useful list. There must be some more to add, but bar the Weaver to Frodsham (no authority!), I can't think of any. Hope this is of interest. Stay safe everyone! Joseph
  15. Evenin' all I contributed to the Golden Age film - I did comment on the script, although naturally the film-maker followed his own view! Ignoring my own bit, I did enjoy the film visually without following the whole narrative. There was a two-part Golden Age of Steam follow-up, which seems to have been much less shown. I contributed to the first of these, at Tywyn. Some puzzling comments about the involvement of volunteers, something that we keep hearing about - I tend to agree with Rose and Fanshaft on this, but will resist the temptation to go on and on about this and other points raised! Unless people would like me to...... Barbara Castle was indeed a canal enthusiast in her own way - and she certainly related how the Treasury wanted to save some public money by closing any waterways that would have been more financially viable if they were water channeled or eliminated. She resisted this partly because she was a Blackburn MP, and because she had been on canal holidays! Had someone else been Minister, like her predecessor, the former Scottish mineworker Tom Fraser, it is likely that the Treasury view would have prevailed. Sometimes, just sometimes, it matters exactly who is in the right place at the right time. (Sometimes, it is pretty irrelevant, but not here). A lot of points raised here, but I'll leave it there for now. Stay safe, everyone Joseph
  16. Many thanks Mike Is Alan Snowdon still with us? Regards Joseph
  17. Fascinating I'm no expert, but it was very well filmed, given that the boat was moving all the time and so nothing could be staged. A lot of interesting detail; very glad to see that it has been recorded. Just wondering who is/was Alan, who recorded much of the film? I assume that it is Mr Nicoll at the tiller, but who are the others with him? And who is the commentator? Happy New Year J
  18. Hello everyone Great film - a nice piece of documentary. Just wondering - would "another deceased well know narrow boat historian laid claim to photo’s and films that weren’t theirs in the first place. Anecdotal evidence of course." be a gent who was involved in editing waterways magazines? Happy New Year! J
  19. Good morning! Fascinating stuff - I've never photos of powered boats in the Backs, and Llantysilio was accessed as late as 1975! Anyone know of a more recent visit than 1975? Many thanks Joseph
  20. Thanks David i thought as much about the Backs - never seen anything but punts and rowing bats there. I do wonder if this provides a model over very limited stretches - so that the horse-drawn boats would have possession of the section to Llantysilio, but small powered boats allowed up on special occasions? I do think that, while all this could be very difficult, a free-for-all would not work here (or Cambridge) - it would just drive out the horse-drawn boats and punts respectively. Similarly, with great sensitivity, it might be necessary to limit some towpath uses in some places, in the same way as mooring is not permitted in various places. However, I wouldn't like to be the person who organises change in this sort of direction........! Regards Joseph
  21. Hi tree monkey (and everyone) I wasn't thinking that the restrictions were placed specially to favour the horse-boats, but they do mean that there is less conflict over that section over which they operate. It would be drastic to take a section which is generally available for boating, and to then ban all but horse boats, but at least this length is one in which the horse-boats can operate unobstructed. It's an inadvertent solution, although some might dispute the nature of the problem! Just wondering if people are aware of any other sections (besides Llangollen, Cambridge Backs, isolated bits of the Yorkshire Derwent...?) over which powered navigation is banned? I've found, by coincidence, notes on an oral history interview in which the late Martin Grundy informed me that the Heron went up to the end of the canal when there were just sandbags there (1946), as the Valve house had not been built. It would be very interesting to know when the last boat went up - and when this gravel bank was put in. Stay safe everyone! Joseph
  22. Fascinating, many thanks. I suppose keeping other boats out provides one way of ensuring that the horse-drawn boats can continue unobstructed, although it does seem a shame that the odd (shallow-draught) boat could not be allowed up to Llantysilio on special occasions. I'm not sure if the horse-drawn boats ever go to the Valve House - they did in the twentieth century. Joseph
  23. Indeed, quite so. I can feel another thread coming on - bits of waterway where powered boats are prohibited or inhibited...... I have met people who have navigated through to the end at Llantysilio, by the Valve House - 1960s, I think? Does anyone know when the last such voyage took place? Best wishes Joseph
  24. Hm, I think I should join in! My Top Ten - a very personal list, in rough order of preference: 1. Hatherton branch 2. Sankey (as much as feasible) 3. Lichfield 4. Finish the "Montgomery" 5. Newport and Shrewsbury - will have to find parts of this first! 6. Newry Canal 7. Finish the Chesterfield 8. Swansea, Neath and Tennant (connecting these up) 9. Stroudwater Thames & Severn 10. Lagan Navigation But - realistically, anything which can get funding, plenty of support, and can get completed while I'm still around! And - in all seriousness, conservation of structures ahead of formal restoration of navigation by powered boats, just in case the latter becomes impossible or is never forthcoming. So any conservation, and maybe short navigable lengths is supported in the medium term. Interesting task, making lists! Joseph
  25. Hello everyone I'm coming late to this, and wasn't going to reply, but I have been giving it some thought! I'll avoid the unhelpful language, but I did notice one phrase on the Godalming website - the "overcrowded towpath". I think that this is the key. I'm afraid that there are always capacity issues on any space for any purpose - the IWA talked for years about "multifunctional" use of waterways, but the truth is that a canal or river towpath is almost always a narrow strip of land with a path, and that can't be used on a large scale for ALL of the following: walking, cycling, mooring (temporary and permanent), barbecues, standing and staring, angling and, sadly, horse drawn boats as well. Similarly, the water - canal or river - has limitations, especially moving horse drawn boats past boats moored to towpaths (I've helped out with this a few times, not easy), powered pleasure craft of various sizes, canoes, rowing boats, rubber dinghies, and now paddle boards. All fine on a small scale, but once these get more extensive, there may well be conflicts. I'm not sure what can be done about all this - very careful management sounds good in principle, but it might have to involve prohibitions in some cases, like the Cambridge Backs....I'm not sure where else. I enjoyed horse-boating, and would be very sorry if it disappeared, but it may well have to be confined to specific sections on which some other towpath and waterborne activities are not permitted. I wouldn't like to be the person who introduced prohibitions!!!! Incidentally, I began boating in the 1960, with narrow boat traffic still passing on the Shropshire Union, and we were told not to moor on the towpath side, certainly on the Shropshire Union main line. I'm not sure if others were told this, and when it was that towpath mooring became acceptable to pleasure users. Another memory is one Bank holiday queuing and queuing at the locks on the Middlewich Branch, in the late 1960s or early 1970s, and wondering whether most boating would be like this in the future, and, if so, if much of the pleasure would go out of leisure boating. In the event, the increased traffic and accompanying traffic jams did not seem to come about. Just wondering if others found the same features around the same period. Stay safe everyone! Joseph
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