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Proposed Canals

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30 minutes ago, Athy said:

Why, then, is the stop lock at Marston junction narrow? Was it a later addition?

The Ashby was planned to reach the Trent at Burton, which would have enabled larger boats to enter from that end, and it has been conjectured (by me if no one else) that if the Ashby had ever reached the Trent then the Oxford Canal company might have been persuaded to widen the North Oxford as well as straighten it when the 1830's improvements were made 

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24 minutes ago, magpie patrick said:

The Ashby was planned to reach the Trent at Burton, which would have enabled larger boats to enter from that end, and it has been conjectured (by me if no one else) that if the Ashby had ever reached the Trent then the Oxford Canal company might have been persuaded to widen the North Oxford as well as straighten it when the 1830's improvements were made 

I do remember reading that the canal was supposed to go further, yes; but that doesn't explain the narrow stop lock!

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1 hour ago, Heartland said:

Cost of construction was an important factor in the narrow boat network. The Worcester & Birmingham tried to build a 14ft barge canal and did so from Birmingham to Tardebigge and the Stratford upon Avon also did so from Kings Norton to Hockley Heath and the Ashby Canal was also made wide. The main factor for the first two converting to  narrow boat use was cost of completion for these two waterways. In the third the developing narrow boat network where such craft proved the best form to move goods appears to be the main factor why narrow boats were used on that waterway. Whilst bulk transit did not compare with the wide waterways of the North, the types of goods conveyed was a factor that also needs to be considered. Wool and Cotton were bulky items and their transport was more suited to the wider craft. It is true that Manchester Packs were moved by narrow boat, but this trade was less than from the coast. The Midlands still had barge traffic to Worcester, Stourport and Shrewsbury along the Severn and Evesham/ Straford upon Avon along the Avon. The Trent and Soar served the East Midlands and so bulk transport was enabled to the Midland perimeter from different directions and for the narrow boat to move on further. Also the practice of working narrowboats in pairs, created a state of volume traffic that was comparable with the capacity of a barge hold.

 

With regards to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, this waterway was itself a mix of waterways, with the Douglas Navigation being shown on Bradshaws Map (1832) as separate. As was the Lancaster Canal from Wigan to Johnson's Hillock. Bradshaw mentions Johnsons Hillock Locks as part of the LLC but I understand were also built by the Lancaster. Charging of tolls must have made transit from Wigan to Blackburn complicated, at least until the time when both waterways were united under the single LLC.

Although bulk cargoes were important on wide waterways, small part loads were the norm for general cargo. For six months after the canal opened to Blackburn in 1810, the local newspaper reported arrivals as if Blackburn had become a major port. Such specific information for goods carried in the early days of canals is quite rare. The figures for one week are below:

Coal                     370 tons (13 boats)

Limestone            74 tons (2 boats)

 

Beans                   20 quarters

Bran                     80 packs

Brandy                 2 pieces

Copperas             2 hogsheads

Flags                    28 tons, 15 tons, 40 yards

Hops                    29 bags and packets

Linen yarn           8 bales, 5 bales, 13 bales

Malt                     38 loads, 319 loads

Oil of Vitriol        20 bottles

Sundries              7 packages

Tallow                  1 hogshead

Timber                 15 pieces

Weft                    4 skips

Woollen cloth      5 bales

4 boats delivered, and 6 boats sailed with cargo.

 

Interestingly, there is not that much textile-related material, as the cotton industry only really developed after the canal had opened, and wool, at this time, tended to come from Hull. The weft could be from Keighley, where there were several factories with Arkwright water frames producing cotton yarn until around 1815, though there were also major imports from Saxony and other European countries. The hops were probably for one of the Blackburn brewers, one of which being prosecuted by the canal company for using canal water a year or so later.

Regarding tolls on the Lancaster Canal section of the Liverpool-Blackburn trade, these were specifically defined in an agreement between the two companies, and did not cause too many difficulties, though the LNWR did complicate things when it was responsible for the Lancaster.

I did once work out figures for ton miles per mile of waterway for circa 1907 to see which was the busiest, with the Weaver coming out as the most heavily used. The L&LC and the BCN were very similar, though average distances carried were very different - circa 30 miles for the L&LC and 4 miles for the BCN.

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This reminds me of a book "You have been warned" I inherited from my grandfather, written about motoring in the 1930s.

 

I can't remember all the details, but the average composition of one mile of British roads was something like:

 

Garages ... ... ... 2 gallons

Rivers... ... ... 4 rods

Public houses ... ... ... 3 pints

Advertisement hoardings ... ... ... 120 decibels

Open country ...  ...  ... a trace

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7 minutes ago, Machpoint005 said:

This reminds me of a book "You have been warned" I inherited from my grandfather, written about motoring in the 1930s.

 

I can't remember all the details, but the average composition of one mile of British roads was something like:

 

Garages ... ... ... 2 gallons

Rivers... ... ... 4 rods

Public houses ... ... ... 3 pints

Advertisement hoardings ... ... ... 120 decibels

Open country ...  ...  ... a trace

A wonderful little book: written by McCulloch, illustrated by the marvellous Fougasse (later famed for his WW2 posters, notably the "Careless Talk Costs Lives" series) inna thumbnail stylee. I still have Dad's old copy.

I have sometimes wondered what motivated a cartoonist to name himself after a type of French loaf.

Edited by Athy

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Waterways like the BCN was heavily used by short distance traffic where commodities like pig iron, coal, ironstone and limestone were moved between works on the same navigation. Congestion in the narrow cramped waterway became an issue which Telford was able to resolve through the creation on the New Main Line. Yet it was James Walker who also deserves credit for the routes he caused to be built: Tame Valley, Rushall, Cannock Extension and Netherton Tunnel. Such waterways whilst serving local needs also served for the longer distance trade. The Tame Valley was a useful conduit south for Staffordshire Bar Iron and Finished iron goods from the heart of the iron manufacturing district. 

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