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Everything posted by Pluto

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. When is opened, possibly around 1990, the local canal manager, David Blackburn, and myself did try to get the brewery to change it to something with more local character, but to no avail.
  10. The attached may be of interest. It seems to have been written in 1945 at the time post-war waterway improvements were being discussed. Standardisation was being considered, and the poem was written by W C Pryce, who I think was Engineer for the S&SYN. I found the text in the Weaver Navigation archive at Ellesmere Port. 1945 Standard Craft.pdf
  11. The three shallow Hulme Locks were converted to a single deep lock circa 1960.
  12. Brian Goggin wrote quite extensively about the proposals, as well as about the canal's history. He was not really in favour of restoration for navigation. You can read his thoughts here https://irishwaterwayshistory.com/rants/the-ulster-canal/. His last book will be launched next month.
  13. They were usually drainage channels as well. This is probably the best preserved, the Blaue Molen, close to the A4 just north east of Leiden. The incline, with winch over, is to the left of the mill.
  14. I came across this in a 1936 National Engine magazine which does show the two wheels used on GUC boats quite well. The original is in the Waterways Archive, old file no. WM/73/54.
  15. This is in in 1997. It replaced an overtoom, two slopes over which boats were dragged from one level to another. On the lift, the boat is raised and then moved sideways to the other level. The earliest of this type of lift, the remains of one illustrated below, was in Saxony, at Halsbrücke, built circa 1789. This was around the time James Watt Junior was studying at the nearby Bergakademie in Freiberg.
  16. The paths around the reservoirs at Foulridge had long been a favourite walk for locals, and it would seem that when the canal company's tenants tried to close them off, a Foulridge Footpaths Defence Committee was formed to keep them open. They were successful as they are still in use by the public. People in general were beginning to demand more respect at this time, and there was much unrest amongst workers, with numerous strikes, including by canal workers. It is possible there could have been some sort of revolution, but the First World War came along instead.
  17. The Kinder Scout mass trespass is generally seen as the first such protest, but there was something similar on the L&LC twenty years earlier, when some 600 people trespassed on the footpath around Foulridge and Slipper Hill reservoirs. Three people were prosecuted, and copies of the court documents relating to their prosecution are attached. 1911 Trespass documents.pdf
  18. The lock was certainly smaller than this when first built, possibly for boats about 55 feet long and 13 feet wide. The A&CN had to be improved in the 1770s to overcome the possibility of a Leeds & Selby Canal, and it was during this rebuilding that the locks were enlarged to L&LC standard. Below are plans showing the lock from a 1777c survey, and from 1826, when a further reconstruction was being arranged.I think the original opening to Wakefield was in 1704, but I was not around at the time.
  19. This page from a c1794 canal engineer's book http://rowingtonrecords.com/Canals/Witton/index.html#img=DSC00976.JPG gives an idea of how much iron was used on early paddle gear, the ironwork being supported by wooden structures. As little iron as possible was usually used due to cost. Full paddle structures using cast iron may have been fitted in the early 19th century as ironwork costs declined.
  20. For the 1968 rally, the boats congregated at the Mersey Motor Boat Club's premises at Lydiate before progressing down into Liverpool. Three years earlier, there had been a narrow boat rally at Wigan, as part of the 1965 National Rally at Blackburn. Was this the most influential of such rallies? Shortly after, local MP, Barbara Castle, was in charge of the Transport Act which ensured the canal system was saved for leisure boating. There was also the 1972 rally at Lymn, where I was working with Charlie Atkins giving public trips on Lapwing. My boat was at the other side of the breach, but I did meet boaters, such as Rose and Joe. Rose had a distinctive laugh, and when I was tied up in Runcorn, was in The Grapes on Halton Road when I heard a very similar laugh. It turned out to be a former Simpson Davies boatwoman who was the pub's cleaner, and had regularly moored outside the pub into the 1960s.
  21. Not a lot of information survives from the pre-1800 period of Irish inland waterways, which is unfortunate as they were ahead of England in building canals. I suspect that much material was lost when the Irish National Archive was destroyed by fire in 1921. Fortunately, the Office of Public Works books have survived, which does give pretty full coverage post 1801, when Ireland came back under Westminster rule. I have copied quite a bit of the early canal-related material, including the outline report into rebuilding the Newry. It is on my list for transcription, but am trying to get my L&LC collection sorted out first.
  22. There are several which have been closed by stonework on the L&LC. The first ground paddles in the UK were on the Newry Canal, and removed about fifty years after it opened because of problems with stability - they seem to have been wood lined. The forces within a culvert can be pretty 'corrosive'.
  23. Most of the 1930s wooden boats built for Canal Transport Ltd had star or planet related names.
  24. If you go to http://rowingtonrecords.com/Canals/Witton/index.html#img=DSC00973.JPG there is a drawing, screen shot below, of a Worcs & Birmingham lock gate from circa 1794 which shows the limited use of ironwork on gates of that period. Later, the ironwork would be the full length of the gate, rather than in several small pieces.
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