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Waterways Chronology from 1847 to 1856

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Chronology Index

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.

1850

Grand Surrey Canal

William Sowerby

He was engineer for a company proposing use the canal as part of a new navigation from the Thames near Deptford to the Kennet & Avon at Reading. The proposed route was 22 miles compared to the 42 miles by river.

River Lee

James Meadows Rendel

He wrote a report recommending improvements to the river.

River Lee

Promoted under Act.

Montgomeryshire Canal

Joined the Shropshire Union.

River Nene

Robert Stephenson

His iron bridge at Sutton was opened about 100 feet south of the site of the original oak bridge with a moveable iron centre span that it repalced.

River Weaver

W Saxon

As engineer to the trustees he was asked to prepare plans for an additional dock at Weston Point with a separate entrance to the Mersey.

River Lee

Nicholas Beardmore

Appointed engineer.

1851

River Nene

James Meadows Rendel

About this date he surveyed the river made a report to the commiittee on Nene drainage.

Tennant Canal

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

As the railway company engineer he was in favour of a canal and railway junction with the Vale of Neath Railway at Aberdulais.

River Lee

Nicholas Beardmore

Promoted to surveyor.

Monmouthshire Canal

George Parker Bidder

Together with Robert Stephenson he reported the problems of working locomotives on tramroads with sharp curves.

Monmouthshire Canal

Robert Stephenson

Together with G P Bidder he reported the problems of working locomotives on tramroads with sharp curves.

Aberdare Canal

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Was ordered to provide transfer facilities at Aberdare to allow the transfer of coal and other materials between the railway and the canal tramroad.

1852

Aire and Calder Navigation and River Aire

William Hammond Bartholomew

Suggested that a fly-boat be steam powered, propeller driven, and used as a cargo-carrying tug. This experiment proved successful and other similar craft were added to the company fleet.

Droitwich Junction Canal

Authorised by an Act.

Kennet and Avon Canal

Bought by the Great Western Railway.

Llansamlet (Smith's) Canal

Closed about 1852.

Middle Level Navigation

Promoted by Act.

River Nene

James Meadows Rendel

He is appointed engineer and began a major dredging and embanking project costing an estimated 124,800.

River Severn

Captain Beechey

Reported on behalf og the Admiralty. with James Walker, recommending a lock at Lower Parting at Gloucester but not at Tewkesbury.

River Severn

James Walker

Reported on behalf og the Admiralty. with Captain Beechey, recommending a lock at Lower Parting at Gloucester but not at Tewkesbury.

Chesterfield Canal

George, junior Leather

He reported on the line of the Sheffield & Chesterfield Junction Canal which had been surveyed by Mr Burke. In general he approved of the 7.75 mile line but suggested it be lengthen by about a mile to reduce earthworks and estimated the cost at 75,870.

1853

Aire and Calder Navigation and River Aire

Thomas Hammond Bartholomew

Died while still engineer of the company.

Aire and Calder Navigation and River Aire

William Hammond Bartholomew

On the death of his father he was appionted to succeed to the post of engineer.

Barnsley Canal

W T Hall

As Company Engineer he was told to survey and estimate for a railway from the canal near Barugh locks to a proposed new colliery near Mapplewell, northeast of Barugh.

Chard Canal

Peter Bruff

Appointed engineer.

Carlisle Canal

Closed.

Droitwich Junction Canal

Opened.

Oxford Canal (Northern Section)

Frederick Wood

He produced a plan for a 12 chain (264 yard) cut north of Hawksbury Junction which would have cut out the awkward turn and shortened the route through to the northern part of the Coventry Canal by 2 miles.

Tennant Canal

James Abernethy

Produced a plan of Port Tennant

Newcastle-under-Lyme Canal

Charles Trubshaw

He was appointed engineer to build a short Canal Extension Railway from the canal basin to the Sneyd's railway. This line was worked by horses and cost 1,725.

1854

Aberdeenshire Canal

Was closed.

Glastonbury Canal

Abandoned except for a short length at Highbridge.

1855

Netherton Tunnel Branch Canal

The first sod of the Branch was turned by Lord Ward on the last day of 1855.

River Don

Charles Bartholomew

Propossed a single railway line on the banks of the Dutch River from Thorne to Newbridge and then alongside the Aire & Calder to Goole.

Driffield Navigation

Edward Welsh

He was asked to report on how to improve the navigation and found the worst part tp be from Hull bridge to Struncheonhill. He reported that "from the insufficient depths of water in this part. . . the traffic is nearly always interrupted and delayed; and these interruptions are frequently of such duration as to make the passage from Hull to Driffield occupy from four to eight days; whereas" on a spring tide "the passage may be effected in twenty-four hours". He suggested three options: firstly a long cut across the sharp bend near Arram from Eske to a point below the Leven Canal, with a lock on it where the tidal effect was small; secondly a short cut and lock above Eske; and lastly a second lock at Struncheonhill and dredging below it, this being much the most expensive option because of the dredging required.

Forth & Cart Canal

Transferred to the Forth & Clyde company.

River Nene

John Fowler

Around this time he was appointed engineer and built two dams across the river above Wisbech, one at Waldersea and the other at Guyhirne. He also made a submerged weir with a pair of check-gates below the new bridge at Wisbech. This was done as a temporary measure to guard against floods and to reduce bank errosion but the works caused increased silting and much controversy.

1856

Campbeltown Canal

Closed.

River Weaver

Sir Edward Leader Williams

He was appointed engineer, chosen from 110 applicants for the post.

River Don

Charles Bartholomew

Was authorised to buy a steam packet for carrying passengers and parcels between Thorne and Keadby. This was to be a feeder to the Trent packets running between Gainsborough and Hull.

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Chronology Index

 

Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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