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Benjamin Outram 1764 - 1805

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Benjamin Outram 1764 - 1805

Engineer. Was an ironmaster from Alfreton, Derbyshire. Partner in the Butterley Iron Works.

Relationships: supervised Nicholas Brown and assisted by Thomas Brown.

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July 1787Grand Union Erewash CanalWith John Hodgkinson and others he met with the Erewash Canal company to propose an extention of the canal to Pixton but could get no agreement. This being the start of the events that led to the building of the Cromford Canal.
1789Cromford CanalWas appointed full-time assistant engineer to William Jessop.
1791Cromford CanalHe was now receiving a salary of 400 a year.
8 September 1792Derby CanalHis report was considered by a meeting which proposed a Trent -Swarkeston-Derby-Denby canal with a branch to Sandiacre on the Erewash Canal.
1793Nutbrook CanalHe was appointed engineer.
May 1793Derby CanalHe was appointed engineer.
19 August 1793Sheffield CanalHe reported his proposal for a level canal 12¾ miles long from the Eckington-Beighton road via Attercliffe to close behind the Hospital Chapel at Sheffield, with a fair amount of cutting and a 770 yard tunnel. The Attercliffe to Sheffield Section would take river barges as would the branch from Attercliffe to the Don, which made part of the river navigable with 3 lock and was to have 7 canal locks. The rest, including a 5 lock extension to an iron works near Chesterfield would be narrow.He estimated the main line and Tinsley Branch at 45,041.
22 October 1793Huddersfield Narrow CanalHe reports on the proposed canal which he estimates at 178,748 exclusive of plarliamentary expenses.
1794Peak Forest CanalWas appointed engineer. He was later also commissioned to supply 'Cast Metal Railways' from the Butterley iron-works in which he was a partner.
April 1794Huddersfield Narrow CanalHe is appointed engineer.
1795River DonHe surveyed the river.
March 1795Peak Forest CanalHe reports to the committee that 'Messrs. Fulton and McNiven are not proceeding in the cutting that part of the said Canal contracted to be cut by them'. This refers to Robert Fulton and Charles McNiven.
April 1795Peak Forest CanalHe was sent with two others to view the operation of tub-boats and inclined planes at Coalbrook Dale and reported favourably on their use.
After November 1795Huddersfield Narrow CanalHe decides to only work on Standedge Tunnel from the two ends thus saving the expense of sinking the very deep shafts that would be needed to work at more places but extending the completion date.
1796Peak Forest CanalHe was engaged in a scheme for a line from the canal near Marple to run above Macclesfield and past Rudyard to the Caldon Branch about 4 miles from Leek. This proposal also included a reservoir at Rudyard.
Early 1796Manchester, Bolton & Bury CanalFollowing an inspection of the works he reported that 26,924 would be needed to complete the canal with wide locks and bridge-holes.
11 March 1796Macclesfield CanalHe reported to a meeting at Macclesfield the results of his survey. It was agreed that a canal from the Peak Forest by way of Rudyard to the Caldon line at Endon would be advantageous, with a branch canal or railway from Poynton and Norbury to Stockport. He estimates were 90,000 for the project bringing a revenue of 10,175 a year.
September 1797Huddersfield Narrow CanalHe reports that the Standedge tunnel contractor Thomas Lee could not complete his work under his present terms and would be ruined if he was not given some allowance for the unforseen dificulties encountered. The committee increased his rate for the contract and allowed him an extra year.
January 1798Peak Forest CanalHis estimate for a tramroad at Marple, to connect the upper and lower pounds without locks, was accepted.
Summer June 1798Ashby de la Zouch CanalHe was asked to report on the feasibility of building tramroads to Ticknall and Cloud Hill instead of canals. He reported in favour of tramroads.
July 1798Ashton CanalActing as contractor to the company he was building the basin at Piccadilly.
1799Fletcher's CanalHe advised the company that a second lock with a small rise would be needed at the junction with the Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal to avoid taking too much water.
1799Monmouthshire CanalRecommends the conversion of the company's cast-iron edge-rails to plateways.
Mid 1799Worcester and Birmingham CanalAt the request of the company he gave his opinion on a proposal that the line to Worcester should be completed as a tramroad.
1 July 1799Brecknock & Abergavenny CanalRecommends the conversion of the company's cast-iron edge-rails to plateways.
1800Monmouthshire CanalHe produced plans for a tramroad from the canal at Risca to the Tredegar works.
1800Somerset Coal CanalHe advocates the rebuilding of colliery railways as plateways to take 2-ton waggons replacing the 10 -14 hundred-weight trucks using edge-rails. The trucks would then be run on to rafts and horse-towed up two inclined planes.
Summer June 1800Somerset Coal CanalFollowing criticism of his earlier plan he now suggests railways to join the levels, the coal being carried in containers on boats and transferred to and from the railway on cranes.
October 1800Huddersfield Narrow CanalWas asked to report on a tramoad from Woolroad to Marton that had been suggested by the Peak Forest company as a stop gap until Standedge Tunnel was completed. Nothing came of this idea.
Before November 1800Grand Junction CanalThe double-track horse tramroad that he built to connect the two ends of the un-finished Blisworth Tunnel was completed.
1801Peak Forest CanalHe leaves his post as engineer.

 

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