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River Blyth

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.

January 1757

An Act authorised the navigation.

Spring January 1757

Thomas Manning

He gave evidence for the navigation Bill that the river could easily be made navigable.

10th August 1757

Langley Edwards

He reported the results of his survey to the commissioners, estimating the cost of the work at around 3,000.

Mid January 1759

Langley Edwards

Was asked to resurvey the river and again estimated 3,000 as the cost of improvements.

June 1759

John Grundy

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

Langley Edwards

He sent his regrets at being unable to attend the commissioners meeting. Unforseen circumstances had detained him at Biggleswade.

3rd November 1759

Langley Edwards

He attends a meeting of the commissioners at which they place a contract for earthworks.

July 1760

Samuel Jones

Was assistant engineer to Langley Edwards.

30th July 1760

Langley Edwards

Defects discovered in newly constructed bridges prompt the commissioners to seek his explaination but they find his whereabouts are unknown.

5th August 1760

Langley Edwards

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

Langley Edwards

He writes to the commisioners saying he is sorry he did not attend their meeting on the 20th.

10th September 1760

Langley Edwards

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.

January 1761

Samuel Jones

Was appointed as toll-collector, surveyor of works, lock-keeper and warehouse-keeper at the salary of 45 a year.

13th May 1761

Langley Edwards

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

Langley Edwards

The navigation was completed at a cost of 3,822 compared to his original estimate of 3,000.

January 1764

Samuel Jones

His employment is renewed at a reduced salary of 42 a year.

January 1765

Samuel Jones

He leaves the navigation when the commissioners want to reduce his salary to less than 40 a year.

6th January 1820

John Rennie

He reported on the deterioration of Sothwold Harbour which he attributed to the embanking of the saltings but could not identify a practicable remedy.

January 1840

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.

January 1840

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.

January 1934

The locks were closed, by an order under the 1930 Land Drainage Act.

 

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