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Waterways Chronology from 1840 to 1849

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Chronology Index

1840

Aire & Calder Main Line

George, junior Leather

He designed a new dock at Leeds.

Birmingham & Warwick Junction Canal

James Potter

He was appointed engineer for the building of the 2 mile 5 furlong canal with 6 locks.

Birmingham & Warwick Junction Canal

Authorised by an Act.

River Blyth

James Walker

He supervised a survey of Southwold Harbour, carried out by John R Wright. It was found that the scouring effect of the tide had been reduced by no less than 148,296,490 cubic feet of water on each tide due to the reclaimation of 1,504 acres of marsh land.

River Blyth

John R Wright

He did a survey of Southwold Harbour, supervised by James Walker. It was found that the scouring effect of the tide had been reduced by no less than 148,296,490 cubic feet of water on each tide due to the reclaimation of 1,504 acres of marsh land.

Dartford & Crayford Navigation

Promoted by an Act.

Forth & Cart Canal

Completed.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

James Fletcher

He suggests that Foulridge Tunnel should be opened out to ease congestion and estimates the cost at 23,000.

Monmouthshire Canal

E S Barber

Made a report to the canal committee on the use of iron rails to replace the tram plates in use on their various tramroads.

River Nene

Benjamin, junior Bevan

Represented the Nene Commissioners at a meeting to consider John Rennie's report on improvements to the lower river.

Pensnett Canal

Built from 1839 to 1840.

River Parrett

Opened for navigation.

Stourbridge Extension Canal

Opened on 27 June 1840.

River Severn

William Cubitt

Appointed engineer to the Severn Improvement Association with E Leader Williams as sub-engineer.

River Severn

James Walker

He said that in this year there was traffic above Gloucester of 3,328 laden canal boats and 84 empties, 405 partly-laden barges, 296 laden trows and 253 partly-laden craft. Craft from Shorpshire remained aground at Ironbridge during droughts; when the river rose they came down to Gloucester in fleets of 20 or 30, taking 11 to 16 hours on the journey and unloading as quickly as possible so they could return before the water level fell.

Tremadoc Canal

Replaced by a tramroad.

River Don

Charles Bartholomew

Reported to the Don committee on the fast passenger boats used on the Lancaster and Scottish canals,

River Don

Charles Bartholomew

Appointed manager of the Don Navigation, in addition to his post of engineer.

River Don

John Copeland

Resigned as engineer after 68 years service with the company, 45 of them as engineer.

Mersey & Irwell Navigation

H R Palmer

He produces a Report on the Improvement of the Rivers Mersey and Irwell ... for the Navigation of Sea-going Vessels. He proposes an enlarged line to end at Regent Bridge, Manchester, many new cuts with a new canal from below Woolston Lock past Bank Quay, across Cuerdley Marsh to join the river at Runcorn. The whole route was to have six locks big enough to take four flats and a 400-ton steamer.

River Severn

Edward Leader senior Williams

He was appointed sub-engineer to the newly formed Severn Improvement Association.

River Severn

William Cubitt

Reported the the actual river traffic as 380,000 tons.

Pidcock's Canal

Open until the mid-1840s.

Pembrey Canal

Probably closed in the 1840s.

1841

Aire & Calder Main Line

Thomas Hammond Bartholomew

Under his direction work began on the new Goole Dock, which was completed in 1843.

Bridgwater and Taunton Canal

Extension fom Huntworth and Bridgwater Dock opened on 25th March.

Chard Canal

Open to Ilminster.

Caldon Branch - Trent and Mersey Canal

Before 1841 the Caldon branch had a three lock staircase at Hazelhurst, then the course of the canal was changed so that the main line went under the Leek branch, as it does today, and three new separate locks were built.

Aire & Calder Navigation - Wakefield Section

Thomas Hammond Bartholomew

Discussed an interchange point with the Manchester & Leeds Railway, suggesting the rail crossing at Broad Reach as a suitable point. The proposal was not put into action.

Aire and Calder Navigation and River Aire

Thomas Maddicks

The opening of the Bridgwater Dock and mile long canal that he had built as company engineer.

River Ancholme

Sir John Rennie

He attended a meeting of the commissioners to discuss the reconstruction of South Ferriby Sluice and new lock. He thought the work should be done as soon as possible and estimated the cost as 16,533.

1842

Chard Canal

Sydney Hall

He was working on the Chard Common incline.

Chard Canal

Open to Chard.

River Weaver

William Cubitt

Was consulted about making the river navigable for sea-going vessels. He told the trustees that it was possible but it would be better to use Weston Point as a transhipment harbour and for smaller vessels to take the cargoes up the river.

Thames & Medway Canal

Joseph Locke

His survey for the Maidstone, Rochester & Gravesend Railway proposed a short tunnel crossing over the Higham canal tunnel rather than using the canal tunnel for the railway as had been previously suggested.

Thames & Medway Canal

John Urpeth Rastrick

He met with the canal shareholders to discuss the possible conversion of the canal to a railway at the cost of 120,000.

River Ancholme

Sir John Rennie

Work started on the construction of his South Ferriby Sluice.

Barnsley Canal

W T Hall

As the company manager he reports the effects of the depressed state of trade in the country and on the competition from the railways.

Chard Canal

Sydney Hall

By this time he had left the company.

Cassington Cut

Frederick Wood

He was approached by the Duke of Marlborough's agent over the lack of repairs to the wharf following the Oxford Canal company's decision not to renew their lease on the canal and wharf.

1843

Hackney Canal

Opened.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal

John Raistrick

Left his post as engineer.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Charles Vignoles

He was engaged to examine the plans of the Liverpool & Bury Railway where it proposed to cross the canal in Liverpool.

River Severn

William Cubitt

Appointed chief engineer and carried out 139,850 of improvements under the direction of Grissell & Peto contractors of Lambeth.

Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal

Alexander Easton

Together with the canal superintendent, Samual Skey, he carried out experiments on the canal with steam tugs towing narrowboats. They reported that "the expense of moving trains of boats by steam power is ... likely to be less than horse power".

Ellesmere & Chester Canal

William Cubitt

The completion of improvements to the locks and docks at Ellesmere Port for which he was engineer. These included a sea-lock leading out of the tidal basin into a separate still-water dock, 435 feet by 139 feet behind the warehouses, a second flight of canal locks and other improvements.

1844

Railway Mania was attracting investors attention.

Ancholme - Witham Canal project

Sir John Rennie

He made a survey and proposed two alternative routes.

Birmingham & Warwick Junction Canal

Opened.

Dartford & Crayford Navigation

Completed.

Hackney Canal

Sir John Rennie

He was retained by the Teignmouth Harbour Commissioners to ensure that the embankment proposed by the South Devon Railway did not affect their navigation and that the bridges at Newton over the river and canal were large enough.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Thomas Fletcher

Was first resident engineer on the Yorkshire side of the canal then assistant to Walmsley Stanley when he became engineer.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Walmsley Stanley

He became engineer for the canal following the death of James Fletcher.

Lancaster Canal

Bryan Padgett Gregson

In recognition of his work in negotiating with railway companies his salary was fixed as a minimum of 1,000 a year for the rest of his time with the company.

River Lee

Francis John William Thomas Giles

Assisted by James Griggs, the Lee surveyor, he surveyed the river and recommended that the number of locks be reduced to 17 from the 25 principal locks and 3 half locks. He also recommended line straightening and a 7 feet depth to allow 100-ton barges to use the river.

River Lee

James, junior Griggs

He assists Francis Giles with a survey of the river.

Middle Level Navigation

Promoted by Act.

Middle Level - Old River Nene

James Walker

About this time he built Marmont Priory sluice to enable vessels of 4 feet draught to navigate through Upwell and Outwell.

River Rother (Eastern)

William Cubitt

Together with James Elliot he rebuilt Scots Float Sluice.

River Rother (Eastern)

James Elliott

Was appointed Expenditor of the Rother Levels and together with William Cubitt he rebuilt Scots Float Sluice.

Thames & Medway Canal

John Urpeth Rastrick

As company engineer he approved the contract with Fox, Henderson & Co for the building of a railway alongside the canal and sharing Higham Tunnel with boat traffic.

River Ancholme

Sir John Rennie

His South Ferriby Sluice was formally opened.

Monmouthshire Canal

Thomas E Marsh

As company engineer he surveyed the line of a proposed Pontypool to Newport Railway, having previously surveyed for a Newport Dock to Nant-y-glo railway before he joined the canal company.

1845

River Don

Charles Bartholomew

The Don Navigation agreed to amalgamate with the South Yorkshire Coal Railway, which had Bartholomew as its engineer.

Grand Union Regents Canal

William Radford

While serving as company engineer he suggested building a railway along the canal to link the London northern railway termini with the docks. Sufficient subscriptions for this scheme were not raised.

Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal

The final 18 miles to Hereford was opened.

Lancaster - Morecambe Ship Canal project

Edmund Sharpe

He attacked the plans for a new dock at Thornbush, Lancaster, and pressed for the ship canal scheme on behalf of the North Western Railway.

Montgomeryshire Canal

William Cubitt

Was asked by the company to consider if their canal could be turned into a railway. The survey was never completed as the canal company accepted an offer of 110 per share from the Ellesmere & Chester Canal and had agreed to become part of the Shropshire Union Canal.

Rochdale Canal

James Thomson

He was asked to "survey the line of Canal and ascertain the practicability of converting the whole or any part of it into a Railway". He recommended against conversion instead suggesting a new canal to replace the Calder & Hebble Navigation.

Thames & Medway Canal

Shared Strood Tunnel with the South Eastern Railway from 1845 to 1847 when the tunnel was closed to canal traffic.

Shropshire Union Canal

Robert Stephenson

He hosted a meeting at which the idea of the Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company was agreed. He, together with William Cubitt and William A Provis, were later nominated as engineers of the new company.

Worcester and Birmingham Canal

R Boddington

Began a survey on behalf of the canal company of a railway route between Birmingham and Worcester.

Kennet and Avon Canal

James Walker

He reported to the committee on their proposal to convert the towing path or the canal into a railway. He said that by rough walling the sides of the canal there would be enough room for two broad gauge lines and a better canal than at present. He estimated the cost as 800,000.

1846

Ellesmere & Chester Canal

Taken over by the Shropshire Union.

Leicester Navigation

George Stephenson

He proposed to the company that they, together with the Loughborough company and himself, should jointly build a railway line from Derby to Rugby along the Soar valley.

Loughborough Navigation

George Stephenson

He proposed to the company that they, together with the Leicester company and himself, should jointly build a railway line from Derby to Rugby along the Soar valley.

Oakham Canal

Abandoned.

Shrewsbury Canal

Became part of the Shropshire Union.

Shropshire Union Canal

William Cubitt

Appointed as one of three engineers of the newly amalgumated canals.

Shropshire Union Main Line

The original canal companies were formed into The Shropshire Union.

Monmouthshire Canal

E S Barber

Became engineer of the canal

Grand Union Regents Canal

James Meadows Rendel

He was asked by the company to report on a scheme for converting their canal to a railway. He estimated it would cost 685,000 to build a line from Paddington station to the Regent's Canal Dock, using the line of the canal where ever possible, with a branch to the West India Dock.

Lancaster Canal

Bryan Padgett Gregson

On the death of his father, Samual aged 83, he succeeded to the role of clerk.

River Severn

William Cubitt

He certified that the river had a minimun depth of 6 foot at all seasons. This allowed tolls to be charged from the start of 1847.

1847

Rushall Canal (BCN)

Completed.

River Nene

Robert Stephenson

He ageed that no permanent solution to flooding on the river could be found until the obstructions at Wisbech were removed.

Par Canal

Opened for the carriage of tin, lead ore and china clay transhipped in containers onto boats from a tramway.

Thames & Medway Canal

Strood Tunnel was closed to canal traffic.

Monmouthshire Canal

E S Barber

Ceased to be engineer of the Monmouthshire Canal

River Severn

William Cubitt

He recommends a new lock at Tewkesbury to improve the depths on the river.

River Severn

Edward Leader senior Williams

As engineer for the Commisssion he admitted that the depth of the river was only 4 feet in some parts, blaming the deletion of his proposed lock at Upton from the 1842 Act.

1848

Middle Level Navigation

Promoted by Act.

River Don

Charles Bartholomew

Appointed engineer to the South Yorkshire, Doncaster & Goole Railway in addition to his post of engineer for the River Don.

1849

Lancaster Canal

Robert Stephenson

He acted as arbitrator in a dispute between the company and the Lancaster & Carlisle Railway awarding 55,552 of outstanding tolls to the canal company.

River Severn

Edward Leader senior Williams

He told an enquiry that it was impossible to maintain channel depths by dredging as this made the channels "so many mill-races, down which it was difficult to navigate the vessels" leading to frequent accidents.

Sheffield Canal

Transferred to the Don by an Act.

Previous PageNext Page

Chronology Index

 

Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
Home Introduction Waterways List Waterways Map Links Books DVD Articles Photo Gallery
Features Contact me Glossary Boats Events List History Local Waterways Help Photo List