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Pluto last won the day on July 12 2011

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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. After closure, the canal was only navigable up to the first lock which was used for unloading coal for the local mill. The first photo shows the lock in 1955, taken by Gordon Biddle. It had been shortened even more by 1975, when I took the second photo. Could on the Shipley Windhill Station site?
  2. The boatyard was on the left of the picture, with the covered slipway having been infilled to make a more conventional workshop. The photo was taken in 1971, and by this time it was no longer a boatyard. In the 1930s it was owned by G E Ramsey, who built many of the local Shipley boats, and some for the canal company. They also built pleasure boats, not necessarily for canal use. There were certainly boats on the River Aire at Bingley as boathouses are shown on the OS maps of the early 20th century. The sunken boat is probably the Caro, a square-stern dumb boat from the Parkes fleet which carried coal from Wigan to Liverpool. The only L&LC-related Shackleton I know of were those owning a canalside flour mill at Blackburn.
  3. The L&LC Society are opening up Kennet at Gallows Bridge, Shipley, on the 16/17 July, from 11am to 4pm, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the closure of the Bradford Canal on 15 July 1922. The 'Official' commemoration will be at 10am on Saturday 16th July, with several members of the Walls family present. Ben C Walls owned the last boat to use the canal, the steamer Beta, as seen in the newscutting below. His son, Earle, was one of those involved with training boatmen during the Second World War, both the Irishmen he recruited, who served on canals across the country, and the volunteer boatwomen who worked on the L&LC. Subsequently, he was sent to Germany in 1947, where he was in charge of restoring the canals in the British sector, and was first post-war Chairman of the Rhine Commission. B C Walls other son, T Norman Walls, also worked on the L&LC, and was writing a history of the canal in the early 1970s, shortly before he died. He interviewed many canal workers, and the L&LC Society hope to put these on our website, www.leedsandliverpoolcanalsociety.co.uk, in the near future.
  4. The Irish Heritage Boats Association event at Ballinasloe last Sunday. I was there for the launch of Brian Goggin's new book, Waterways and Means, which was completed by his family after his death in 2020.
  5. Perhaps it would be best to go forwards environmentally to horse power, as the grass would be kept down naturally, and rose growers would have something to take home from their boat.
  6. The new bridge was built as it is now, with a narrowed channel. At the time, there were no full-width boats on the canal, just some converted lifeboats at around 9 or 10 feet wide, and no-one, apart from a few enthusiasts, thought it necessary to maintain a full width channel. The towpath could be removed if it were really thought beneficial, and a floating towpath fitted.
  7. I should have a few Bradford Canal photos on display on Kennet at Keighley on the 2/3 June, at Leeds for the Waterway Festival on the 25/26 June, and at Shipley on the 16/17 July. The last is to commemorate the closing of the Bradford Canal, which will be 100 years ago on the 15 July.
  8. That was Kennet making for the Transport Festival at Keighley, 2/3 June, for which a flyer is below. I should be there both days. keighley.pdf
  9. It would seem the L&LC, after taking over the canal, did give two separate locks. The attached papers from the 1880s show that there were two single locks - Union and Prickings. However, the third list from the same period does show Prickings as a two-rise. I suspect it dates from the introduction of back pumping. There was just one pump for the two locks as they were so close together, and subsequently they were treated as a two-rise. Steam pumping was introduced c1880. I should have some more details about the pumps, but cannot trace them at the moment.
  10. The 1888 Canal Returns for the SUC wide section give lock width as 13 ft 10 in for Beeston, with the other locks being a minimum of 14 ft 6 in wide.
  11. With the lever type, you need to open them in one smooth movement. If you stop or slow down halfway, the lever will stick because of the flow of water. There used to be more of them used as ground paddles, and you can see the curved scoring on a number of lock walls when drained where there are now screw cloughs, also called box cloughs whenre encased in a wooden box. Jack cloughs are those which use a rack and gear for raising and lowering the paddle, just like a car or engineer's jack. The lever cloughs may have been called hanging cloughs originally. Each of the L&LC maintenance workshops made slightly different versions of all the types of cloughs. There are several other terms used on the L&LC, and perhaps the other northern wide canals. The waterway between locks were always known as 'pools' rather than 'pounds', and swing bridges were always called 'swive'l bridges, with boats turning at 'whanning' holes.
  12. Height is even more difficult to give advice on than width and length. It depends upon the type of bridge, ie whether it is a round arch or a flat beam, and then on the width of the boat. The maximum height of a narrow boat that can fit through a wide arch is more than for a wide boat, so you need to check the worst bridges before travelling any distance. I always used the old Leigh Bridge as a guide for arched bridges, though that has now been rebuilt, and Shipley for flat beam bridges: it was lower on the Leeds side than the Bingley side, though there may be other lower flat beam bridges today.
  13. The L&LC Company quoted 14 feet 4 inches as the maximum width. I do have various lists of dimensions going back to the 19th century, and the narrowest lock is given at Bingley 3-rise top lock at 14 feet 8 inches. It is always difficult to be precise with lock dimensions as it depends upon how the measurements are taken. The 14 feet 8 inches could well be the chamber width, with the lock gates reducing the available space. L&LC gates used to have wooden protective strips to stop boats from rubbing directly onto the gate structure, and these could have taken a few inches off any overall measurement. The 1890 sketches below of Wigan locks does show how the dimensions varied. They were made when the fall of the locks were being evened out to reduce water usage. Note the depth of the top lock at Aspull. It is now around 11 feet.
  14. Using that definition, where does this lock at Kidsgrove fit. It was completely rebuilt because of subsidence, but using concrete instead of brick. I suspect it was done by local canal labour as it almost exactly replicates what was there before.
  15. Hopefully we will now be able to get Kennet to the Keighley Transport Festival on the 2/3 June. We expect to be moored at Stockbridge by the Granby Swivel Bridge, and there should be a free bus service between the K&WVR at Ingrow, events in the town centre, Cliffe Castle Museum and us at Stockbridge. There is a classic/vintage car display at Cliffe Castle, and vintage motor bikes in the town centre. Unfortunately, the Marquis of Granby seems to have closed.
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