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Heartland

The Gorton Tank

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The website http://www.brocross.com/canal/boats.htm has some useful canal images including pictures from the Jack Lane Collection. One shows a boat in the maintenance dock, called the Gorton Tank, on the Stockport Branch of the Ashton It is suggested that it may be PRESIDENT.

 

 

Motor Boat at Gorton Dock 1950.jpg

 

The basin that served the Tank is also shown in another Jack Lane Image.

 

 

Gorton Dock 1950.jpg

Edited by Heartland
  • Greenie 2

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Great photos!

When you say " ...that it may be PRESIDENT" 

Do you mean the boat that was built as President?

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It is suggested that the former FMC steamer, later converted to a motor, is that boat in the Dock. PRESIDENT did work in the North West, whether Gorton Dock had that craft, is an issue that needs to be discussed.

 

Another part of the article mentions the fleet of MSLR/GC craft listing them as maintenance boats or used in the merchandise carrying trade.

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It is President. One of 3 boats acquired from George & Matthews  of Wolverhampton by BW in the early fifties. The other two were Wanderer and Craftsman, discussed here a couple of years ago. All three came to Gorton for re-furbishing. The Gorton "Tank" actually refers to the railway works  which was across Cornwall St  not the canal depot though both were in the ownership of the MS & LR , GCR and LNER. The whole of the works was actually in Openshaw, not Gorton! The staff at the canal depot were skilled wooden boat repairers not familiar with iron or steel boats, boiler smiths  from the railway works were usually called on for riveting and such for the iron icebreakers etc.

I have a press cutting from a local paper that shows President being painted and sign written at Gorton, dated IIRC 1955.

Here is a link to another Gorton dock picture:

http://collections.canalrivertrust.org.uk/bw192.3.1.31.1.11

  • Greenie 1

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That is very informative. For Joel to be in the railway works dock suggests it was LNER owned- was that the case?

 

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56 minutes ago, Heartland said:

That is very informative. For Joel to be in the railway works dock suggests it was LNER owned- was that the case?

 

@Heartland

25299417_921511671335476_4712213257046103007_n.jpg

Edited by Ray T
  • Greenie 1

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Another nice image

 

According to the web site originally quoted No 9 was Emma a bank boat that was scrapped in 1937.

 

The 3rd Ordnance Survey shows the GCR Canal depot, north of the aqueduct and the workshops west of that. It is that basin where the images of the "Tank" seem to be taken.

 

 

Gorton10.jpg

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I've got my large scale plan of the "Tank" to refer to now, it's 5ftx3ft and labels the purpose and size of every room and workshop in the railway works. The plan dates from 1950's in BR ownership . There is fair detail of the canal depot as well. 

Next to the dry dock is shown a pump house, I don't think this was for the dry dock as I remember reading that the steam pump was available 24/7 to supply loco water for the engine sheds and works. It would be canal water pumped via the reservoir  and filter beds, south of the canal depot. 

There was also a gas works next to the depot for lighting and specialist heating though this had disappeared by the time and  is not shown on the plan. There was a 3ton travelling crane for the depot , to the right of your yard picture.The small building next to the filter beds is a "petrol store" this may have been for canal maintenance plant and NB Joel which had a Kelvin petrol  engine in the 1950's.

The building on the corner of Ogden Lane and Cornwall St was the "enginemans' barracks" where  visiting drivers and firemen could stay when in Manchester between "turns".This was the last remaining building of the works and was demolished about 12years ago.Houses are now on the site of the canal depot, curiously not built over the dry dock area. The towpath bridge in the above picture still exists. 

The Canal Depot  opened in 1862 at the same time as the railway works and replaced a much older depot at Stockport Branch junction in Clayton, though this latter continued as a lock gate builders and stone mason's yard well into the C20th. The Depot closed in 1962  and the railway works finally closed in 1965.The site is now the New Smithfield vegetable market and Greater Manchester Police garage.

Bill

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Joel- seems to be the only motor boat and the image in the Ellesmere Port Collection may well be the boat being fitted with the engine

 

v0_web.jpg

 

The Hugh Compton (RCHS) has three images of LNER boats on the Ashton

 

This one of Violet is undated and was taken by J A Hall

 

 

64045.jpg

Edited by Heartland
  • Greenie 1

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Hi

 

A related query - what happened to George & Matthews? Carrying coal on the Staffs & Worcs, I think, until this ended? And why did BW acquire these boats? 

 

Hope someone has some thoughts.

 

Joseph

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11 minutes ago, Joseph said:

Hi

 

A related query - what happened to George & Matthews? Carrying coal on the Staffs & Worcs, I think, until this ended? And why did BW acquire these boats? 

 

Hope someone has some thoughts.

 

Joseph

The tale I have heard is that George and Matthews (1924) Ltd. were struggling financially and that PRESIDENT, CRAFTSMAN and WANDERER were taken in lieu of unpaid tolls - whether this is true I do not know, but it is plausible :captain:

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President became the motor maintenance boat on the Macclesfield and Upper Peak Forest Canals* possibly replacing the wooden  motor  Scotia which was then abandoned in Whatcroft Flash on the T&M. The later history of President is well known, but what of the other two?

I have two photos of Craftsman  leaving the Gorton Depot, the cabin side is in very shiny new painted condition. " British Waterways, North Western Division" in an unusual  mix of styles. So, what became of Craftsman, went on maintenance somewhere, but where and what happened  to her in the end?

I have seen absolutely nothing of Wanderer after arriving at Gorton, I suspect she was in poor condition and broken up without any work being done. Again I have a photo of the boat at Fairfield Junction in George & Matthews livery on the way to Gorton, also a reference in a log book to her National engine written by the steerer  making that potentially last trip.

Has anyone got any more information?

 

Bill

* this information from "Adventures of the Nippy"  by James Hewitt

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Many thanks Pete

 

I think you're right - BW/DIWE did acquire boats in lieu on unpaid bills, like Bleasdales on the Sheffield and South Yorkshire. incidentally, George & Matthews is still recorded by Companies House, but now dissolved. 

 

Many thanks again

 

Joseph

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3 hours ago, billh said:

Has anyone got any more information?

 

Bill

I have no information on either CRAFTSMAN or WANDERER once they were taken over by 'British Waterways' but I would be very interested in seeing your photographs of them both as I have never seen either :captain:

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On 31/10/2019 at 08:43, Pluto said:

A couple of photos I took in 1971 showing the boats sunk at Dukinfield.

Duckinfield 711.jpg

Duckinfield 709.jpg

The boat nearest the bank is horseboat Maria,re-built Jinks' boatyard Marple  in 1915 and again at Ashton Packet Boat Co in 1977

The nearer boat is ex Anderton Co. boat Medic , dismantled 1982 with drawings made to enable a future re-build.

In the central arch of the warehouse can be seen the back end of Joel No9 built 1948, replacing the "old" Joel pictured up thread.

Out of picture to the left is the boat Dove, sunk at this time but the following year(1972) completely wrecked  when the warehouse was destroyed by fire.

In the right hand arch behind the door is the front half of what was then known as the severner Ash, now shown to be the  renamed  Alder. A few years before this picture, the ex LMS tug Beeston had been brought in to replace Joel, this was a complete failure as the derelict canal proved too shallow  and the tug could not move beyond the basin area.

Finally, I should point out that these pictures  were taken in Ashton-Under-Lyne in Lancashire, not Dukinfield  in Cheshire which is across the  River Tame aqueduct behind the photographer?

 

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Sorry, I'll try to remember where I was in the future, but I do work to 18th century tolerances. A couple more photos of the warehouse after the fire, and of the water wheel before restoration.

1980c Ashton fire  016, BW Wigan photos.jpg

1975 Ashton 857.jpg

  • Greenie 1

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On 31/10/2019 at 00:26, pete harrison said:

I have no information on either CRAFTSMAN or WANDERER once they were taken over by 'British Waterways' but I would be very interested in seeing your photographs of them both as I have never seen either :captain:

Here you go,Craftsman after docking at Gorton , possibly June 1950? The engine room porthole was a trademark of Gorton post WW2, Joel has similar, actually they were spectacle glass windows from scrapped GCR  tank locos, liberated from the railway works. Apart from going astern in the pic, where was she going?

Tansley-022a.jpg

  • Love 1

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On 25/10/2019 at 14:14, Heartland said:

Joel- seems to be the only motor boat and the image in the Ellesmere Port Collection may well be the boat being fitted with the engine

 

v0_web.jpg

 

The Hugh Compton (RCHS) has three images of LNER boats on the Ashton

 

 

Joel was motorized in the late 1920's , I think this might be a later docking.Here is a picture of Joel's engine installation from 1930's. A Kelvin E2 petrol/paraffin engine rated at 9HP,this model later down rated to 7.5HP.Remarkable that this was found to be adequate for towing loaded ex horseboats around on maintenance duties. I think that this and the later replacement Joel of 1948 were the only "working" boats fitted with Kelvins from new/conversion. Unless anyone knows different?Note the engine shares the cabin space with the  tea brewing facilities!

Tansley-024a.jpg

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On 24/10/2019 at 13:37, Ray T said:

Joel on the Hollinwood Branch of the Ashton Canal, date I think 1933. The last boat to come through to here from the main line. This canal suffered badly from mining subsidence, to the extent that it was found necessary to have a pile of ballast kept at Cinderland bridge (near this photo) to be loaded into empty boats to get them through the bridgehole.Apart from maintenence duties Joel was used to deliver coal to the lock keeper at Waterhouses(Daisy Nook) and elsewhere on the LNER canals.The pumping engine at Waterhouses was stopped permanently about this time and the canal became derelict soon after.

  • Greenie 1

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