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Everything posted by Pluto

  1. This is A39, probably when under test on the Weaver. The photo is from the collection in the archive at Ellesmere Port.
  2. This pre-war dam on the Vlatava is pretty impressive as well, with conventional mitre gates at the lower end.
  3. This photo shows a wooden culvert near New Lane after it had been exposed for replacement. in 1975. At the time, one of the older men in the maintenance gang told me that they had few failures, and it was usually a single plank which could be replaced fairly easily and quickly with the methods then employed. Modern H&S restricts the use of the temporary piling which was used to get access to the canal bed and the culvert, resulting in major works needing to be undertaken when there is a collapse today. The text is from the L&LC correspondence files, and is from 1923 when they were looking at how to replace unreliable culverts.
  4. This is a 1913 plan of the Rochdale reservoirs. The water rights to most of them were sold off after the First World War, with just one being retained to supply various water users between the summit and Manchester. The water supply to the Rochdale will probably always be a problem without additional supplies. I am not sure how many old reservoir dams CRT would want to take on.
  5. This is the inclined plane built in the 1960s as part of the Orlik dam, slightly higher up the Vlatava, in 1995. The incline for 300 ton boats was not put into operation, but there is one for small pleasure boats alongside. The Czechs have long had the idea of a north-south link from the Danube, and this is ne scheme. The best known is the Oder-Elbe-Danube scheme, for which there was a competition around 1900 to design boat lifts, one being very similar to that now built at Falkirk, though theirs would have been for 1000 ton standard boats.
  6. United Utilities have nothing to do with the control of water to the summit of the L&LC, though they do supply some water to the Rochdale from the old canal reservoirs which were sold off to local authorities after the First World War. They also restrict to flow from the Douglas at Wigan after having obtained water rights from the Canal Company when Liverpool Corporation built the Rivington Reservoir near Chorley. The Canal Company owned the rights to that water as a result of their purchase of the Douglas Navigation. The agreement there was for ten locks per day, using the standard L&LC lock measurement of 80,000 gallons. The Environment Agency do have some rights over the water from Winterburn, where compensation water is required under the 1891 Act which gave consent for the reservoir's construction. The culvert which has collapsed is one of the easiest to inspect, and the 1826 survey of the canal shows it as being accompanied by an overflow. The basin nearby was for a coal mine, and the area has suffered from subsidence, though not to the extent of other sections of the canal near former coal mines. The photo shows the overflow on the off side, with the culvert on the right. The narrows were removed many years ago.
  7. My 1913 copy of Roget's Thesaurus puts furlough together with permit, warrant, authority and pass, while my 1943 Funk & Wagnell's Dictionary gives : Leave of absence granted to a soldier or sailor.
  8. Could it have something to do with a right of access to the Hereford & Gloucester? Different routes could have been taken at different stages of the tide. Here is another railway bridge which is reputed, probably correctly, to only have swung once.
  9. Looking at the 1826 canal survey and the land purchase book, compiled at the same time, it looks like the canal followed a boundary between two land owners, so there was no need for a full accommodation bridge. The main roads at the time did have stone overbridges by that time, while the roads to either side of Gallows bridge were only of a local nature.
  10. Two of the footbridges on the L&LC were called Gallows Bridge, possibly because they were wooden framed, like a gallows. The one in the photo at Skipton was called Tonnage Bridge on a map of 1832, probably because there was a toll office next to the bridge, shown just below it on the map. The stream which now passes underneath the bus station seems to have supplied the canal.
  11. But what is 'on the coast line'? For instance, is Howley Quay on the Mersey & Irwell Navigation a port? The river is tidal there, but the location is well inland. It is almost impossible to be specific using a general term like 'port'. On sailing boats using the L&LC, they were just suitably sized local sailing boats, so keels, and perhaps sloops later, in Yorkshire, and flats in Lancashire, though, apart from dimensions suitable for the locks, it is difficult to describe them exactly. Some would be decked, others open, depending upon their usage. It is likely that they were often de-rigged when on the canal, leaving their sailing tackle at a suitable location.
  12. The idea of a place being a port can change over time, and the attached notice from the Blackburn Mail in 1810, after the L&LC had opened to Blackburn, does suggest that the publishers thought Blackburn was now a port, and they recorded arrivals in much the same way as the papers in Liverpool did with arrivals there. The problem is that any discussion over historical identity must consider change over time. On another tack, should a port just be for international shipping, or is coastal shipping important? It the latter is the case, does that include the Cuckoo boats off the Chesterfield, which worked regularly onto tidal waters.
  13. The boat is New Era, owned by Canal Carriers of Shipley, a coal and carrying company formed by Jonathan Rennard in 1922, after the L&LC gave up carrying. The photo was taken at Buck Wood, just below Shipley. The boat is carrying coal, and heading up Aire Valley on the western side. The canal changes to the eastern side at Dowley Gap. David Joy set up the Dalesman magazine many years ago, and has had a long interest in the history of local industry and transport.
  14. But what is 'The Port of Manchester'? It developed from the terminus of the Mersey & Irwell Navigation, opened circa 1734, and which was used by coastal trading craft. At that time all the goods handled would have been carried by waterway.
  15. It would be hard to define on the L&LC, where goods were once advertised as being delivered between Hull and Skipton 'in one bottom', ie by one boat. Coastal flats also operated between Manchester and Wigan carrying coal for Liverpool Docks prior to Stanley Locks opening. The same would have happened on other northern waterways, where the distinction between coastal and canal craft was vague. The provision of warehousing is also problematic, as I can think of at least forty canal warehouses on the L&LC alone, a few served regularly by coastal craft into the 20th century.
  16. Here's a pattern for it, so you can knit one yourself. The pattern was taken from a gansey knitted in the 1930s by a L&LC boatwoman. L&LC Gansey.pdf
  17. Although records no longer survive for much of the infrastructure, much can be deduced from what survives. This is one of the locks at Wigan, and you can see from the vertical 'join' in the stonework that the curved wall which guides boats into the lock was a later addition. L&LC locks often had right-angle corners at their entrance, particularly on those built in the early phase of construction. The photo also shows how the stonework has been raised to compensate for mining subsidence. Wigan locks were 'equalised' at least twice to even up lock falls and thus control excessive water usage. The type of stone dressing also varies according to date, with later reconstruction often having stonework with detailed edges, rather than the simple stone dressing of the earlier locks. Even without the written records, there is much to be discovered about the history of canals.
  18. This is a Macclesfield Canal drawing which shows the upper ground paddle feeding into the centre of the forebay, with the lower gate recesses being cut away where the gate paddles would fit against the chamber wall.
  19. There is not a definitive answer, as paddle gear does depend, to some extent, on local circumstances. However, from the archive material I have seen, in general there were ground paddles for upper gates, and gate paddles for lower gates. Gate paddles were fitted to upper gates on some canals, possibly those which were more successful, after railway competition began, as a way of speeding up traffic. Ground paddles allowed locks to be built deeper than those with just gate paddles as they overcame the problem of water falling onto boats rising in the lock when only gate paddles were used. They were first used Jean de Locquenghien on the Willebroeck Canal which opened in 1561. The first ground paddles in the UK were on the Newry Canal. and were built by Thomas Steers, who had served in William of Orange's army in the Low Countries in the 1690s, where he could have seen those on the Willebroeck Canal. By increasing the depth of locks, they would have probably reduced the cost of construction, making the building of canals more economic, and thus a major factor in the success of English canal development.
  20. His family are hoping to keep the website active, but it has also been archived by the National Library in Dublin.
  21. Saturday at the Saltaire Arts Festival, the first time we have been able to open Kennet for the public since the end of 2019. Not everyone was overjoyed to be photographed with Dicky Billy.
  22. In 1981, some locks up to Naas had been restored, though this one was still in poor condition. The warehouse at Naas was also in poor condition.
  23. I did most of my boating when I was in my twenties, which was fortunate in that I had to have a hip replacement when I was thirty-two. Since then I have spent much time researching the history of waterways, particularly looking at those in the former communist countries of Europe, though I did get to see the Grand Canal in China on several occasions. I don't regret giving up my old wooden short boat, though I do miss meeting the declining number of old canal men and women who were still around in the 1970s. Canals had to develop into leisure to survive, but I am glad I was able to see them when they were still comparatively unchanged. The photo shows Charlie Atkins keeping an eye on my boat at Preston Brook.
  24. Another, more recent, report about puddle comes from G R Jebb's paper on Maintenance of Canals, with special reference to the Mining Districts, for the 1888 Royal Society Conference on Canals. Describing maintaining canals where there is subsidence, he says (about images which I do not have): The cross-section shows how the canal has been maintained. When the first swagging (subsidence) began, a puddle wall, 3 feet in thickness, was constructed on either side of canal, with a slope of puddle on the canal side, and these puddle walls were raised from time to time as required, the space between the slopes being filled up with mud dredged out of other parts of the canal, or with marl. Either of these materials is better than clay, as they seal up more readily any incipient cracks in the puddle walls. Of course, embankments have to be formed outside the puddle, and raised and strengthened as the ground goes down. Again, another confirmation that clay was not the best material for making a canal water-tight, and that locally-sourced materials could be better. I suspect that clay was used where it could be dumped directly over a problem area of the canal bed. This would ensure that it was kept wet, and was probably easier to work underwater than other materials because it kept compact.
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