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Pluto last won the day on July 12 2011

Pluto had the most liked content!

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    European inland waterway history, including the transfer of technology during the early industrial revolution; wooden boat construction on inland waterways; the history of opening bridges; and the L&LC.

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    industrial historian
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  1. The TWB were formed principally for use as dock labour and in steel works to ensure rapid movement of goods where there were local bottlenecks. Their use was extended to canals and railways directly, though these comprised a minority of the total employed. A report on the effectiveness of the system can be found in the National Archives at LAB101/2. On the canal operations, I have found a little in the various L&LC archives, and a fuller account in the Rochdale Canal archives in Manchester. Their official position seems to have been uncertain as, though they came under military control, they were in effect employed by the company. Two 'soldier boatmen' were drowned working on the L&LC, but their names are not registered in 'Soldiers Who Died' nor are they in the Regimental Diary, which was only kept when abroad.
  2. Just thought I would put this up to remind people what proper boat painting looks like. James just after launching at Riley Green in the early 1950s - a still taken from a short 8mm film.
  3. Pluto

    Brexit 2019

    Partly the result of 'targets' set by Conservative governments, as they have been in control of education for longer than Labour. Actually, both parties can be heavily criticised for their lack of investment in education. I always find it strange that politicians spend so much time and effort on education policy, then never listen to those who have been educated by it. For example, the statisticians of the Office for National Statistics can provide good, reliable estimates about population increase, then politicians fail to act to provide the relevant facilities, be they educational, medicinal or for social care. If we do not take note of experts, what is the use of educating them.
  4. Pluto

    Brexit 2019

    A strange thing to be against if you like canals today. The only reason we still have our canals is that they were nationalised in 1948. Had they not been, the land would certainly have been sold off by the private businesses which operated them, especially those which were derelict and have been restored. Of course our NHS was the result of socialism, so I assume you are dead against that too. Education for everybody is also a result of socialist thinking: private education just ends up with people like David Cameron. Does that make you feel proud to be British, or perhaps I should say English, the Scots always had a much fairer system of education, which is why many of the 18th century canal engineers were Scottish.
  5. I suspect it also depends upon whether both boats are loaded or only one. The light boat should pass on the inside as it is easier for it to sail over the submerged line.
  6. You can get a 72 foot boat into the top lock and close the gates. I managed to stop one trying to descend in the early 1970s, just as the rudder was beginning to sit on the sill.
  7. Rufford branch lock dimensions in 1890. There could be a small variation today, depending upon the angle of the mitre, which here was a bit sharper for Rufford Lock. Taking 6 feet off the shortest chamber length to allow for the mitre, on German's Lock would suggest 64 ft 6 in as the longest boat that could fit, though I am not guaranteeing that!
  8. Pluto

    Brexit 2019

    You obviously don't understand Parliamentary democracy. You do not vote for a party, but for an individual who you THINK will best support your views. That individual does not have to follow directly what he/she has suggested during elections, and can vote in whatever way he/she thinks fit. I doesn't even have to be what is best for the constituency. That is the freedom of Parliamentary democracy. The only time you are free is when you are putting your mark on a voting paper, after that you just have to rely upon whoever is your representative.
  9. This is a link to an animated map showing the development of our waterways from 1600-1835. There is also a short article to go with the map. https://www.geog.cam.ac.uk/research/projects/transport/onlineatlas/waterways.html
  10. The German waterway authority has digitised its collection of photos. They can be accessed at http://medienarchiv.baw.de. They mainly show work on structures, but there are boats as well.
  11. Regarding your suggestion that Europe had larger canals, they were in exactly the same situation as us in the 18th century. Those waterways directly accessing coastal waters did have boats similar to our broad waterways, and on the Rhine they were much bigger, but had much less draft, so did not carry significantly more than English wide boats. Further upstream on their 18th century waterways, the boats were similar in size to narrow boats, and often smaller. Several narrow canals were built on the continent, mainly in the early 19th century post the Napoleonic Wars. However, by that time railways were coming into operation and waterway engineering had developed, so usually wide waterways were built then. The mid-19th century was the main period for canal building in Europe. On investment, people generally only invest in something which will give them a known return. At the time English canals and railways were being built, this was an unknown. For canals in particular, the main London money market was not interested, and it was down to local banks and families to finance canal construction. The investors did this because canals supported the investors industrial investments, and it was those which made money. Transport in itself is totally unproductive and will not produce a profit if it is genuinely run as a service. It took the L&LC, a very successful canal, over 100 years before it had paid off its original cost if you take interest and dividends into account. Most canals made little genuine profit for their investors. On water, the catchment areas supporting English canals are pretty small. The L&LC was always at the limit, and being able to carry over 2 million tons per annum was a major achievement. Many large canals on the continent carry less than 1 million tons annually, their national figures often being obscured by the tonnage carried on the Rhine. Large waterways in England would never be economic, though it would be sensible to upgrade the A&CN and the Trent.
  12. Narrow canals were built where the promoters were trying to keep down costs - it is about a third cheaper to build a narrow canal as opposed to a wide one, the main saving being in the price of land. In the late 18th century, few people knew if canals were going to be a financial success, so many canal promoters in the Midlands looked at narrow canals as the most cost-effective way forward. This may have been because their canals were, to a great extent, isolated from coastal seas. In Lancashire and Yorkshire, they were much closer to the seas, so they had more incentive to build canals suitable for coastal vessels, despite the additional cost. You have to bear in mind that our canals were not built as a system, but as a solution to local or regional transport problems. Only the narrow canals had much in the way of through traffic, with boats passing over several canals when making a single journey.
  13. I have a dozen photos I took of the remains in 1975, if you PM me. This was the most complete boat then.
  14. Pluto

    Brexit 2019

    You need to read Rousseau: Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.
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