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Waterways Chronology from 1943 to 1952

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Chronology Index


River Don

The river at Fishlake was diverted.

River Weaver

C M Marsh

As the navigations engineer he was asked by the Ministry of War Transport to report on the possibility of a navigation for 100-ton vessels to Wolverhampton. He recconded the use of the upper Weaver to Audlem and the upgrading of the Shropshire Union.


Narrow Boat

By L T C Rolt , Published by Eyre & Spottiswoode, but written early April 1940 This classic book which led directly to the founding of the Inland Waterways Association, and the revival of interest in canals.

Cromford Canal

The whole of the canal, except for half a mile, was abandoned.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Closed by the LMS Railway Act.

Shrewsbury Canal

Newport Branch (then part of the Shropshire Union) officially closed.

River Thames

The Tideless Thames in Future London by J H O Bunge, Published by Frederick Muller.

River Welland

E G Taverner

He produced a 723,000 scheme for the improvement of the river which included the diversion of some of the River Glen waters to the Welland by means of the Greatford Cut, and a by-pass channel around Spalding to reduce the risk of flooding.


Ulverston Canal



The Inland Waterways Association founded.

River Thames

Sweet Thames Run Softly by Robert Gibbings, Published by J M Dent - A voyage from Lechlade to London with wood engravings and many anedotes.


Idle Women

By Susan Woolfitt, Published by Ernest Benn Illustrated account of the work of "trainee" boatwomen during the Second World War.


Fellows, Morton & Clayton

Sold its fleet to the British Transport Commission.

Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal

The lift bridge at Talybont was replaced by a very low fixed bridge in about 1948.

Thames & Medway Canal

Spritsail Barges of the Thames & Medway by Edgar March, published.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Robert Aickman and Tom Rolt (both co-founders of The Inland Waterways Association) made what was probably the last transit of the whole length of the canal, including the three miles through the tunnel.

Maiden's Trip

By Emma Smith, Published by Putnam & Co. Ltd. A novel based on author's experiences as a trainee boat woman during the second world war.


Many waterways nationalised and the British Transport Commision formed to run railways, waterways and docks.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Robert Davidson

The canal was nationalised and he became a member of the Docks & Inland Waterways Executive.


Green and Silver

By L T C Rolt. The story of voyages on Irish Waterways published.

Lower Avon Navigation

It was transferred from John Whitehouse of Evesham, to C D Barwell.

Monmouthshire Canal

The Crumlin branch was closed.

Nutbrook Canal

No traffic after 1949 and much of the canal filled in now.


British Canals

By Charles Hadfield , the standard book first published by Pheonix.

Grand Union Market Harborough Branch

IWA National Rally at Market Harborough.

Kennet and Avon Canal

In May a stoppage at Burghfield, near Reading, made the canal impassable. This was the last year that the whole canal was navigable before its restoration in 1990.

Lower Avon Navigation

On 1 August the Lower Avon Navigation Trust Ltd was formed to restore the river.

Monkland Canal


Pensnett Canal


The Canals of England

An early canal book with classic monochrome photographs by the author. Written by Eric de Mare.

The Inland Waterways of England

By L T C Rolt, first edition published.

River Great Ouse

Prior to the 1950s the river below Denver was kept clear by the flow from the Great Ouse but since then the relief channel has been built to divert these waters and the bed of the river has risen by about a metre.


River Great Ouse

The Great Ouse Restoration Society formed.

Norfolk and Suffolk Broads

Portrait of the Broads by J Wentworth-Day, Published by Country Life.

River Thames

The Thames from Mouth to Source by L T C Rolt, Published by Batsford.

River Weaver

The Navigation of the River Weaver in the 18th Century by T S Willan, Published by The Chetham Society.


Fletcher's Canal

Completely closed by 1952.

Kennet and Avon Canal

Caen Hill Locks at Devizes were impassable.

Lower Avon Navigation

Avon Lock at Tewksbury had two new gates fitted and repairs were done to the lock chamber..

Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal

The Inland Waterways Association held a rally at Brecon.

Norfolk and Suffolk Broads

Norfolk Broads Holiday Book by John May, Published by Hulton.

Rochdale Canal

Closed to navigation.

River Thames

Time on the Thames by Eric de Mare, Published by The Architectural Press - A guide to the river by this well known waterways writer and photographer.

Norfolk and Suffolk Broads

The Broads by R H Mottram , Published by Robert Hale.

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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