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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 GMAU report gives Ribble as being registered in Manchester, No. 578, in 1936, and the owner being Manchester Collieries.
  2. I did a fairly extensive photographic record, with Greater Manchester Archaeological Unit also surveying the site and producing a report. A couple of boat sections were removed to Ellesmere Port. I have a copy of the initial list of 23 boats which GMAU produced, though the list was refined subsequently. I wrote the following shortly after the excavation: Booths Hall Basin was built towards the end of the last century and was subject to subsidence so became deeper over the years. Besides pit shale, the basin became a dumping ground for old boats which were costly to dismantle. It has been suggested that there are four layers of boats sunk here which would mean that the canal has subsided about twenty five feet, a not impossible amount. Certainly two layers of boat are visible, any more are covered by pit shale. Among the lower layer can be seen several box boats, an early form of containerisation and used to carry coal on the Bridgewater. One at least is complete with its boxes which it is hoped will be removed for preservation. There is also one of the Anderton narrow boats together with several wide boats. An iron boat, possibly one of the Bridgewater steam tugs is also reputed to be here. The upper layer consists of the two unsold NCB box boats and ten wide boats. These are both round and square sterned, three being similar to the GEORGE at Ellesmere Port. Most probably date from early this century, though the KITTY could be earlier. Her fine lines and sloping stern post would reduce carrying capacity but make it easier for towing by horse. The wide boats are a typical cross section of the various types used for coal carrying on the Bridgewater and Leeds and Liverpool, comprising horse boats, dumb boats (towed by tugs) and two motor boats, the TOM built in the 1920s and FRANK built in 1948.
  3. Pluto

    Anybody Recognise This Lock?

    The government 1888 returns show the River Bure as having no locks, though with an annual return of just £213 for the whole river, they probably were not to worried about exact details. There was a wherry builder at Coltishall called Allen who built the 'Gleaner', for which the lines survive. Re the gates, many East Anglian locks show similarities with some those built in Holland, and could lack balance beams, as in this photo of Oulton Lock. The lack of clearance over the top of the gate in the original photo may be a result of the mill being alongside, where the weir would provide sufficient capacity for flood waters.
  4. Pluto

    Middle levels, New Parliamentary Bill

    It could be the oldest, though, with an Act of 1465 allowing York to control navigation on the Ouse.
  5. Pluto

    Brexit 2019

    But to have faith, you have to have belief, and no one believes in politicians any more, either those for or those against.
  6. Pluto

    Thread Contamination

    My Lancia Lambda of 1927 had bolts with metric shank sizes, but Whitworth (Imperial) thread form. It does depend upon the material used, and the use, with thread angle and tpi varying accordingly. I am never too sure about metric, as the base 10 is pretty inconvenient, and the base 8 would have been much easier. I do find historical sizes easier to visualise, with feet and inches being pretty universal across 18th century Europe, though their exact dimensions varied from state to state.
  7. Pluto

    Canal Boat or Narrowboat

    Tenter frames were erected in tenter fields where woollen cloth was stretched after fulling. This had to be regulated as too much tenter and the cloth would shrink more than was justifiable. The tenter was a vertical wooden frame with tenter hooks along the top horizontal rail. The cloth was fixed to these along one side, and then to tenter hooks along a movable wooden rail at the lower end of the frame. This rail was then forced downwards to stretch the cloth. It took some time for the cloth to dry outside, so machines were developed which did the same thing, though with the cloth horizontal, and it was on one of these machines that a Speed Tenter probably worked. I have not heard of a textile-related Mariner, though job descriptions in any 19th century census would have been based on what the census enumerator thought they heard being said, so there are anomalies. A dictionary of Occupation Terms, based on the 1921 Census, was published by HMSO in 1927, and the only mariners listed are related to marine occupations.
  8. Pluto

    Canal Boat or Narrowboat

    Narrow boat is also used in the Wakefield Boat Registers in 1878.
  9. Pluto

    Canal Boat or Narrowboat

    In 1793, the C&HN minutes recorded: Narrow boats off the Rochdale Canal not to pass Salterhebble singly, nor unless they belong to the Rochdale Canal Company. I have also attached one 1823 image from the C&HN boat register.
  10. Pluto

    Canal Boat or Narrowboat

    The C&HN Boat Register shows several 'A N. Boat' when listing boats off the Huddersfield Narrow and Rochdale Canals as early as 1818 and 1819, and there is 'A narrow Boat' listed in 1823.
  11. Pluto

    Where's this?

    Charlie Atkins would tell the story of the foreman at one of the saltworks who always had a boiled egg during his morning break, and who would walk out to one of the mounds of salt with a teaspoon, in which he put a little salt for seasoning.
  12. Pluto

    Sign Posts

    They were not meant for those actually on the canal, rather to provide confirmation regarding tolls charged for legal proceedings. In that case, it is more logical to have the distance on the side to where the measurement is taken, if you get my meaning. Unfortunately, when mileposts have been replaced more recently, those replacing them treated them as distance markers for boaters, where it could be seen as better to have the distance to the end of the canal you are travelling towards visible as you approach, rather than the distance to the end behind you. Confusion can also arise from the fact that there can be two sets of milestones/mileposts. The successful canals were remeasured following the 1893 Rates & Tolls legislation, and cast iron mileposts usually date from this period. The original milestones are usually those installed when the canal was built. In the case of the L&LC, the 1893 mileposts include the distance from Johnsons Hillock to the top of Wigan locks, which was actually built by the Lancaster Canal, so not included in the milestone distance markers originally fitted. A couple of these seem to have survived the 1893 remeasurement, but are not marked with distances.
  13. Pluto

    Early domestic electricity.

    The archive at the Science & Industry Museum in Manchester should have some relevant electrical supply material, and you can arrange a visit from this page https://www.scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk/researchers/research-and-study
  14. Pluto

    Early domestic electricity.

    The following is a chronology I compiled 25 years ago for a booklet about Padiham Power Stations in East Lancashire, which is why there are a couple of mentions of places in that area: 1800 Volta discovers the electric cell using copper and zinc electrodes. 1802 Humphry Davy notes the arc light effect between carbon pieces. c1820 A.M.Ampère establishes the relationship between the strength of a magnetic field and the current produced. 24 Nov 1831, demonstration of electromagnetic induction by Michael Faraday to the Royal Society. He discovers that electricity can be generated by moving a magnet through a coil of wire. 1866 Leclanché cell or dry battery discovered. Principal of the self exciting generator established. 1870’s Armature design evolves to allow continuous electricity generation using steam engines. 1875 From this date the arc light starts being used for illumination in theatres, railway stations, shops etc., particularly in France. 1878 In November a 12HP Siemen’s patent engine was brought for demonstration in Burnley by Mr.Provis of Manchester. It lit three lights of 8000 candle power which illuminated the cricket field where a game of football was played under the lights. Lead acid battery demonstrated and widely adopted during the following ten years. 1879 Edison and Swan independently invent the incandescent light. 1881 First public supply of electricity in Godalming. 1882 Electric Lighting Act, allows local autorities to compulsorily purchase after 21 years. 1883 Grosvenor Gallery, later the London Electricity Supply Corp., starts supplying surplus electricity to customers. 1884 Parsons patents the steam turbine, with a turbo generator operating at 18,000 rpm working in the same year. 1888 Electric Lighting Act, extends period before compusory purchase possible to 42 years. Parsons installs his first turbo-alternator set at the Forth Banks Power Station. Operated at 4,800 rpm, capacity 75kW. One business already light by electricity in Burnley. Hapton streets illuminated by electricity from August. Joseph F. Simpson, a local man, who was an electrician with Edison & Co. in Manchester, installed a dynamo in his family’s Perseverance Mills. It was a modified Kapp machine, driven by a 6HP steam engine which also powered the winding, taping and sizing machinery. The firm already supplied gas to the village, but extending gas lighting in the streets was considered too expensive. Instead seven 50 candle power electric lights were erected. Three were over the centre of Bridge Street where previous gas lights had only been of 18 candle power. Others were proposed for side streets, the Conservative Club and the mill’s warehouse. Swan’s incandescent lights, with enamelled iron reflectors, were used, and they were light from dusk until 9-45. 1889 Deptford Power Station opened. Designed by Ferranti, it was the first AC station, with four 10,000HP steam engines driving alternators working at 10,000 volts. There were also two 1,250 HP engines driving 5,000 volt alternators. 1891 Condensing fitted to steam turbine which dramatically improves efficiency. 1898 Cross Committee recommends the setting up of private power companies. 1899 Parsons makes the first tandem-cylinder turbines - turbo alternators generating 1,000kW each - for the German town of Elberfeld. 1909 Electric Lighting Act, allows compulsory purchase of land for power stations.
  15. I read somewhere that the theoretical maximum attainable speed of a displacement vessel is the square root of the waterline length times one point five. On a shallow canal of course many other factors mostly negative must be considered.

    1. Pluto


      If you are interested in the French experiments of 1777, you should be able to download the published results at http://dx.doi.org/10.3931/e-rara-10974 . They were particularly looking at how large a canal tunnel needed to be as they were about to build the long tunnel at Riqueval on the St. Quentin Canal.


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