Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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Description: A five and a half mile tidal navigation near Southwold, Suffolk. Runs from the River Mouth to Blythburgh.
History: An Act of 1757 authorised the navigation but the locks were closed in 1934, by an order under the 1930 Land Drainage Act.
See Priestley's Navigable Rivers and Canals for more information.
An Act authorised the navigation.
Spring January 1757
He gave evidence for the navigation Bill that the river could easily be made navigable.
10th August 1757
He reported the results of his survey to the commissioners, estimating the cost of the work at around £3,000.
Mid January 1759
Was asked to resurvey the river and again estimated £3,000 as the cost of improvements.
He was asked to give a second opinion on Langley Edwards survey for the navigation but was too busy to take on the task immediately. He did however set out his terms for the work which proved too expensive for the commissioners to consider.
30th October 1759
He sent his regrets at being unable to attend the commissioners meeting. Unforseen circumstances had detained him at Biggleswade.
3rd November 1759
He attends a meeting of the commissioners at which they place a contract for earthworks.
Was assistant engineer to Langley Edwards.
30th July 1760
Defects discovered in newly constructed bridges prompt the commissioners to seek his explaination but they find his whereabouts are unknown.
5th August 1760
He writes to the commisioners saying that he is detained on business and cannot attend their meeting on the 9th but he "was surprised at the account of the brickwork as I have had many built of the same dimensions of wall and have never yet had one failed".
23rd August 1760
He writes to the commisioners saying he is sorry he did not attend their meeting on the 20th.
10th September 1760
He attended a meeting with the commisioners and appologised for missing the last meeting as he had arrived a day late due to having been taken ill on the road and he had other jobs to complete. He had missed another meeting due to a fall from his horse and a third due to his horse being taken lame on the road.
Was appointed as toll-collector, surveyor of works, lock-keeper and warehouse-keeper at the salary of £45 a year.
13th May 1761
The commissioners very dissatisfied with his non-attendence at meetings advertised the meeting in the press in the hope it would ensure his presence. He arrived late and appologised.
23rd July 1761
The navigation was completed at a cost of £3,822 compared to his original estimate of £3,000.
His employment is renewed at a reduced salary of £42 a year.
He leaves the navigation when the commissioners want to reduce his salary to less than £40 a year.
6th January 1820
He reported on the deterioration of Sothwold Harbour which he attributed to the embanking of the saltings but could not identify a practicable remedy.
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.
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.
The locks were closed, by an order under the 1930 Land Drainage Act.