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Chairman's Report British Waterways and the new waterways charity Safety Matters and a bird rescue The Construction of Marple Locks and Tramway Letter from Jennifer Thomas Wey and Arun Trust - Press Release Thames and Severn archive photographs Shall Cross, Shallcross Hall, and the Halfpenny Token Standedge Tunnel - 200 years old Tiddy-coms: news items from Ruth and Mark Water Ways by Linda Goulden IWPS volunteers in the 1970s Beyond 35 by the late Albert Parker Jump up on the CART NCA autumn meeting report Haytor Granite Tramway Old Bye-Laws Poster
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Taken by Mark Hatch in June 2011, this superb aerial photo shows Bugsworth at its very best in summer.
Bugsworth Basin Report
By Ian Edgar MBE Chairman & Hon Site manager
A NEW MEMBER FOR THE MANAGEMENT TEAM
I am very pleased to welcome to the team Paul Syms, Honorary Professor, Department of Planning and Landscape, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester. Paul’s credentials are highly suited to achieve our visions for development at Bugsworth Basin. He has had experience of waterside development and regeneration, has his own narrow boat, and has had dealings with British Waterways. Paul has been involved in works at Waterfront Hall, Belfast, development of a former shipbuilding works at Northwich, Cheshire, and the re-development of the closed port at Silloth in Cumbria. One of his major projects was the creation of Piccadilly Village on the Ashton Canal which involved working with over 20 interested parties including British Waterways being engaged in the re-lining and part reconstruction of the Ashton Canal. Paul knows waterways, how they work and the detail of conservation and development.
As a result of my appeal for Management Help I received a number of responses which we will be taking up as the new major projects for the IWPS develop. However, Paul came to us after sitting through two talks Don and I gave at different locations, including Adlington where he is much involved in village activity, then becoming an IWPS Life Member, and only then deciding that the Society had a vision and enthusiasm which he could support. The Bugsworth Project was for him. Paul will be primarily engaged in progressing our new bid for Heritage Lottery Funding, alongside Don, myself and Nick Smith of British Waterways. Between us we are a very experienced team right across the board which, I hope, will bring us a substantial Heritage Lottery Fund Grant.
APPLICATION TO HERITAGE LOTTERY FUND FOR MAJOR WORKS
We have submitted a Heritage Grant Pre-Application to the Heritage Lottery Fund which is for a group of projects essential and/or highly beneficial for the future of Bugsworth Basin. Having lost the East Midlands Development Agency funding for the new Blackbrook House (EMDA was dis-banded) our main thrust for funding is to present proposals to the HLF which will be most important for the enhancement and interpretation of Bugsworth Basin as an important Scheduled Ancient Monument. We have to improve our visitor experience. We believe that, and we are supported by others experienced enough to so state, including our Inspector of Ancient Monuments Jon Humble, that, considering the Industrial Revolution importance of the Basin it is seriously under achieving. We have known this for a long time. Now with so many influential parties behind us, and new expertise in the team by way of Paul Syms, we are proposing a much more ambitious programme for the Heritage Lottery Fund:
A new Blackbrook House Heritage and Visitor Centre which already has full planning consent. We may be making some alterations to these plans if the funding from HLF is forthcoming.
Fitting out the new building.
Rebuild the wash wall in the Middle Basin.
Upgrade the track to Canal House
Complete rebuild Upper Basin Wharf Walls
Construct two Replica Peak Forest Tramway Wagons and mount them on reclaimed original track.
By far the most important project is the Visitor Facility Building (Shop, Exhibition, toilets, welfare facilities for volunteers, plant and tool store etc.) which will mean we can dispose of the ugly shipping containers we presently have to use – we have no option.
There is a lot of competition for Heritage Lottery Funds. If we get Preliminary Approval that is the signal to start a formal detailed application and that is when the real hard work starts. The question asked on the form is ‘What is the heritage that you project will focus on and why is it important?’ This has to be a limited number of words answer. We have summed it up as:
‘Now a monument of international importance the Basin itself draws visitors from all over the world and is becoming renowned for the quality of restoration, outdoor site interpretation, interest and educational value. Our focus is on the preservation of the basin, improvements to further interpretation and knowledge and maintenance to a very high standard.’
Hopefully I will be able to report good news in the next ‘174’.
SALVAGED VALVES FROM TODDBROOK RESERVOIR
We now have Scheduled Monument Consent for the erection of the valves at Bugsworth'. We shall prepare the concrete footings probably next month and will plan to place these very heavy valves, together with interpretation in the spring. The blast cleaning must be done in dry clear weather so a special paint can be applied before immediate rusting starts. We plan to blast clean, primer paint and erect the valves to the concrete base all in one day using donated transport and crane. The actual blast cleaning and primer painting will be done by a professional volunteer with the IWPS hiring the equipment and buying the materials. We have a donor offer for this cost which will be announced when the work is completed unless the donor wishes to remain anonymous.
REBUILD OF 125 METRES OF WASH WALL
Further to my report in the last ‘174’ the Application for Ancient Monument Consent has been completed and is now with British Waterways for checking. It will then be sent to English Heritage. Hopefully funding will come as a successful conclusion to our Heritage Lottery Application. Work cannot possibly start until October next year. As soon as we have SMC and the funding in place then British Waterways will issue a Stoppage Notice for eight weeks for the contractor to complete.
There was considerable discussion within several departments of English Heritage about the use of lime mortar on this wall rebuild. Lime Mortar would normally be the norm but now we have so much concrete in the bed of the Basin it seemed now to insist on lime mortar was a bit questionable. The main issue was how would lime mortar be affected by contact with the concrete footings which English Heritage had agreed was the only way we could ensure stability of the wall? It would be abused by moored boats or boats in the charge of inexperienced steerers causing boat strikes. This activity had contributed to the damage since re-opening The exchange of e-mails suggested this issue must have gone around all the English Heritage advisors! In the end it was agreed we would use lime mortar (and French lime mortar at that) which is more expensive and as a consequence of this maybe the contractor will need to re-quote due to the extra time required.
The supplier of this specialist material is based in Devon so I took the opportunity to visit him after the IWPS Walking Week-end Away on the Stover and Exeter Canals (not to mention the Haytor Tramway). Very interesting and very helpful. It turned out in conversation that their lime products were made from the best Buxton lime!!
REPLACING STOLEN PAVING AROUND BLACKBROOK HOUSE
Following discussion with the English Heritage Inspector he agreed we could make good the damage without further ado. Just get on with it. I reported last time that the need for this repair was due to the theft of York stone paving. The paving made up of surplus platform edgings was not taken. It follows therefore that using York paving at a cost of over £1000 just for the stone would leave us open to have the paving stolen again. We have agreed therefore that we will cut back and make good what edging stone the thieves left to make a rectangular area which we will pave with Indian stone which is as good if not the best solution. Our volunteers have now excavated the site ready for the paving contractor to come and actually lay the stone. We do not have good enough skills for such a prominent spot. The cost for a contractor to do the job using Indian stone is about the same as just buying reclaimed stone paving. This work should be completed before Christmas. British Waterways have kindly agreed to cover the contractor cost if we manage the job, prepare, cover H&S issues, clear up etc.
IWPS working party preparing the ground for the replacement of the stolen paving slabs - photo: Don Baines
TREE CLEARING ON THE APPROACH CANAL
Overhanging and some dead trees have been a problem for us and for boaters for the past couple of years. This October/November we have felled and cut back trees (mostly willow) to give a more open view for everybody and, as suspected, some trees felled were in a very dangerous state. At the time of writing 22nd November we still have a few more to fell and then clear up. We should not need to go to that side of the canal again for a few years and boaters will have a clear view. It is hard work as most trees had to be felled across the canal and then recovered at the towpath side and then cut up there. All this watching out for towpath walkers and boats.
GOOD NEWS FOR THE RESTORATION OF RUNCORN LOCKS
The Government have recently announced that the new Mersey Gateway Bridge will go ahead with a start in 2013 and finish 2016. The present Runcorn Bridge has been a traffic bottleneck. Originally constructed as two lanes it was extended at great expense in to four lanes but has been totally ‘unfit for purpose’ for many years. Once the new bridge is constructed then the present bridge will revert to being little more than a ‘local’ bridge. The bigger issue for canal enthusiasts is that the road configuration around the old bridge will be changed so that the top lock of the old Runcorn Flight of the Bridgewater Canal will once again be uncovered and the flight can be restored. Although filled in and without gates the chambers are intact and the Borough Council are protecting the route. Once the locks are opened that will provide another ‘ring’ via the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Weaver and up the Anderton Lift. Obviously there is a lot of work still to do and there is a small Runcorn Locks Restoration Society working away to make sure nothing gets in the way of complete restoration. I for one, being reasonably local at one time felt that restoration of either of the Runcorn Lock Flights (there were two but the second has been partly built on) was a lost cause but it seems not. Thank goodness there were a small group of people who cared. Good luck to them. They have a super website – have a look.
BRITISH WATERWAYS AND THE NEW WATERWAYS CHARITY (CRT – CANAL AND RIVER TRUST)
There is great concern within waterway circles that, although we support the new CRT it will have a tremendous burden if it is underfunded. I therefore wrote to Andrew Bingham (MP for High Peak) with a similar letter to Andrew Stunnell (who is my constituent MP for Marple) setting down my and IWPS concerns for the future. It took me some time to get a format with which I was satisfied so rather than go through it all again I wrote:
‘You will see from the letterhead that I am not one of your constituents. I am writing to you as the Chairman of The Inland Waterways Protection Society Ltd. Our volunteers have restored, maintain and manage Bugsworth Canal Basin at the head of the Peak Forest Canal near Whaley Bridge. This is fast becoming a major tourist attraction for High Peak and has already created substantial economic benefits. As development proceeds financial and recreational benefits will substantially increase. It is not specifically Bugsworth Basin I am writing to you about but a national issue which could, if not resolved, seriously affect the wellbeing of the Basin and the national canal system as a whole.
The IWPS supports the transfer of British Waterways to a charity and always has done. It is an imaginative step forward which will, if properly managed and funded, secure the future of the present c2000 mile system as well as embracing the voluntary sector of which I and the IWPS are part. Volunteers could well add at least another 500 miles to the narrow canal system. Canals everywhere bring substantial economic benefits.
However, I am becoming increasingly concerned that the current transfer of British Waterways into the charitable sector may be being mismanaged by Defra. I am writing to urgently draw your attention to the facts. My concerns are that although this venture has cross party support, there is a genuine possibility of losing public support of those with close connections to inland waterways, nourish them, restore them and use them. Lack of adequate funding is the issue.
Government has initially offered to transfer British Waterways (BW) property portfolio to the Canal & River Trust and to provide a 10-year funding contract indicated at cash £39 million per year. There is no index linking for inflation or for rising costs in the construction industry which is particularly vulnerable to cost escalation. £39 million is just not enough.
BW has thoroughly updated its financial projections. It says that for its waterways to be reasonably maintained with an acceptable level of risk, it has an annual funding deficit of £20 million. As it stands now the CRT would inherit this annual deficit. The BW new projections do not appear to embrace the remedy of the repairs deficit which was already significant and has been growing in recent years (in 2007 reported to EFRA Select Committee as being accumulated figure of £107 million). You only have to look at the canals in your area – the Peak Forest for instance at Whaley Bridge where a length of wash wall has collapsed in to the channel, and to a lesser extent sections between Whaley Bridge and Newtown with the same maintenance requirements to realise the problem.
British Waterways also has a pension deficit of £65 million. Nearly three quarters of which I understand in is respect of previous employees. Is it right that this huge state incurred liability be transferred to the new charity? I think not.
The canals system is not only for recreational boating, fishing and leisure pursuits. There are also environmental drainage requirements and liabilities which have to be funded and supported. There has been a chronic underfunding in this section which requires £8-£12 million to stabilise. There is a large dredging backlog.
I am seriously concerned that we don’t allow the proposed transfer of BW assets to become another ‘forestry’ debacle for Defra through underfunding!
Please contact the Waterways Minister Richard Benyon directly to register my concerns and let him know that there needs to be more money put on the table to make this venture sustainable.
On a more amenable note we have had the pleasure of showing your predecessor round the Basin and discuss with him our visions and aspirations for Bugsworth Basin. We would like to invite you to make a visit when convenient so you are really aware of the true potential of Bugsworth Basin as a major heritage and tourist attraction within High Peak and how the IWPS plan to do this. Perhaps you could have your Secretary make an appointment for you to visit on a day convenient to you?
I enclose a leaflet which is freely available in distribution boxes at Bugsworth.
Ian Edgar MBE
Chairman, The Inland Waterways Protection Society Ltd.
Note: I have not had a response to this letter from Andrew Bingham. I have had a response from Andrew Stunell’s caseworker stating that he will respond to my enquiry as soon as possible. I do not consider my letter as an ‘enquiry’ because I am giving him a case situation and asking him to act. Never mind, we will let that pass.
Andrew Stunnell, MP for Marple replied on 23rd November:
Thank you very much for your letter on behalf of The Inland Waterways Protection Society. As you know I am a very strong supporter of the canal system, and the waterways in general, and I would certainly be dismayed if the fears you have expressed were to come to pass.
Whilst I think some of those fears are in fact exaggerated I have taken the opportunity of your letter to write to Caroline Spelman at DEFRA to seek a comprehensive briefing from her and reassurances. I will certainly let you know the response I get as soon as it is available.
I am sure that if, in the meantime, you see any further evidence that needs to come to my attention you won’t hesitate to pass it on to me.
With all best wishes,
Andrew Stunnell M.P
At Bugsworth we are always mindful of the safety of our visitors, especially the elderly and infirm, and to this purpose we have installed hand rails on all the ramps of the Horse Bridges Nos. 58 and 59.
Photo: Don Baines
IWPS Search & Rescue.
During last winter the IWPS Rapid Response Safety Team swiftly moved into action to rescue this ice-bound Greylag goose.
Moments later our intrepid heroes, Phil Dowe, Martin Whalley and Gordon Anderson, had broken the ice and the unfortunate fowl, newly-released, with a beat of powerful wings departed Bugsworth never to be seen again. Photo: Bev Howard
The Construction of Marple Locks and Tramway (1794—1807)
by Anthony J Whitehead
This article was researched and written for the Peak Forest Canal Society and it was first published in that Society’s journal in January 1982, issue No. 80. As 2004 marked the bicentenary of the opening of locks 13, 14, 15 and 16 (the top four locks) it seemed befitting to mark this event by re-publishing Anthony’s article. It is reproduced below with only slight alterations to Anthony’s original text.
Marple Locks and Tramway
The Act for the Peak Forest Canal was passed on the 28 March 1794 and work on cutting began in May of the same year. The Surveyor was Thomas Brown and the Consulting and Resident Engineers were Benjamin Outram and Thomas Brown respectively. The initial contractor for cutting the canal was Messrs Fulton and McNiven, the former partner being Robert Fulton, an American Civil Engineer. At Marple, the canal had to rise 209 feet and Brown's deposited plan of 1793 shows two possible routes for the locks, one to the west of the town and the other to the east, and the Committee chose the latter.
In early 1795 Robert Fulton suggested to the Committee that inclined planes, combined with special ‘small boats’ might be cheaper and more beneficial than locks. This suggestion was predictable from Fulton for he was a leading advocate of tub-boat canals and inclined planes (in June 1794 he had patented an inclined plane of his own design). In April 1795 the Committee sent Outram to Coalbrookdale to observe the working of tub-boat canals and inclined planes. In May he reported back to the Committee and recommended the adoption of an inclined plane at Marple in place of the proposed locks. He advised that this was practicable and would cost £7,000 less. Nevertheless, the Committee decided that locks were to be built but their reasons for this decision are unclear. It is known that in private Outram was not impressed with what he saw at Coalbrookdale, even though he reported that inclined planes were practicable. As the consulting Engineer, his advice to the Committee would have carried far more weight that that of Fulton.
In October 1795 the Committee asked Outram to stake out the line of locks at Marple. By mid-1796 it was clear to them that they had insufficient funds to start their construction. With the upper level of the canal complete and the lower level nearing completion the Committee was faced with the problem of how to temporarily join the two levels together, while funds could be raised to build the locks. In October 1797 they requested Outram to cost the construction of a tramway to join the two levels together. He reported back to them that his own company, Outram & Company (later to become the Butterley Company), could build the complete tramway for £2,720. They agreed to this and work on the locks was suspended.
The tramway was completed by the end of May 1798 and in October a Mr Dixon was put in charge of it. Its exact route from the upper level to the lower level at Marple Aqueduct is unknown, as research has not revealed any plans for it. It is likely that it started just before Brick Change Bridge on the offside of the upper level and then proceeded on a downward gradient over the present Strines Road and Oldknow Road and then onto St Martin’s Road, which it followed for a short distance, before turning to go across the line of the canal at the site of lock 10. After crossing Brabyns Brow it is most likely that the present narrow road on the offside of the canal marks the route of the tramway down to its terminus at Marple Aqueduct.
Details of the tramway construction are available from Outram’s specification. The L-section cast-iron rails were one yard long weighing from 40 to 56 pounds each (the latter weight being the most likely). These were fastened directly onto stone sleeper blocks by wrought iron spikes driven into the octagonal oak plugs, 5 inches in length, set into the blocks. The bed of the tramway for a single track was 4 yards wide and 6 yards wide for a double track, formed of small broken stone to a depth of 6 inches. Between the rails was a layer of gravel also 6 inches thick. Marple Tramway was built single track with a number of passing places.
Temporary wharfs or basins were constructed at either end of the tramway, each being provided with two cranes of 30-cwt SWL and 3-ton SWL, respectively. At this time, Marple Aqueduct was unfinished, so just exactly where was the temporary wharf at the lower level of the canal? The most likely explanation is that a temporary trestle bridge was constructed across the river Goyt (then called the river Mersey) and that the tramway was laid across this. It is even possible that this bridge was part of the scaffolding used to construct the aqueduct.
Initially, Outram & Company supplied 20 waggons, these being fitted with detachable wrought-iron bodies or boxes, each capable of carrying 45 cwt of limestone. This meant that 20 waggons were provided specifically for Marple Tramway. The bodies were made detachable to facilitate the movement of limestone. waggons were loaded with limestone at the quarries near Dove Holes, which then conveyed it to Bugsworth Basin on the Peak Forest Tramway. Here the limestone was transferred to boats and taken to Marple. The whole process involved three transfers, that is to say, at Bugsworth, upper Marple and lower Marple. These transfers were achieved by lifting the detachable waggon bodies from waggon to boat and vice versa.
Right away, the steep gradient of the tramway caused problems, as loaded waggons travelling down it were gaining too much momentum to be safe. The Committee ordered that no waggons were to be allowed down the tramway, ‘---- without having a proper slipper or slippers under one or more of the wheels.’
By 1800 the canal was carrying huge quantities of limestone as well as other goods and the Committee saw that the tramway linking the two levels was very hard pressed. In May 1800 another 20 waggons and 10 containers were ordered from Outram & Company as well as a number of waggons for carrying general merchandise. In October of the same year the Committee ordered that the tramway track at Marple should be doubled. In the same month they also decided, because of the increasing demand for stone, that the locks at Marple must be built as soon as possible.
The Committee asked Outram to produce plans and a model of a lock that would be suitable for use at Marple. By mid-1800 the Committee had raised sufficient funds to start building the locks and by July the requested plans and model had been produced by Outram. He advised that 16 locks should be built between the upper and lower levels, each with an average rise of 13 feet 0¾ inch. This was approved and in August the Committee instructed Brown to let the construction of twelve locks (in four lots of three locks each) to contractors, to be completed by autumn 1802. Why the remaining four locks were omitted from these contracts is unknown.
In early 1801 a Mr Lloyd was appointed Superintendent of the tramway. He was asked to provide another 50 waggons and to take on more workers to run the tramway, in order to allow as much limestone and general goods to pass over it as possible. He was also asked to ensure that a stock of limestone was always kept at the aqueduct. In May 1801 the Committee offered Brown £100 if he could move 800 tons of stone down the tramway in 18 hours (this represents 356 waggon movements or one waggon every three minutes). Surprisingly Brown, or more correctly his workers, managed to move 1,170 tons in the set time (this represents 520 waggon movements or one waggon every two minutes) and he was duly presented with a £100 bank note.
Unfortunately, the Canal Company ran into further financial difficulties and by October 1801 it was decided that they should apply for an Act of Parliament to allow them to raise £50,000 to complete the works. Because of opposition from local mill owners the Bill was postponed and in November Brown was told to stop all works and pay off the contractors until the money could be raised.
Another year passed by and the Committee still had not managed to raise enough money and in November 1802 an approach was made to Samuel Oldknow and Richard Arkwright Junior for financial assistance. As it was in their own interest, they agreed to help. The agreement reached was that Oldknow and Arkwright Junior would totally finance the construction of the locks in return for the Canal Company paying them £24,000 (presumably this means £24,000 each) in instalments over four years and giving them rebates on tonnages of their goods passing on the Peak Forest Canal. This agreement required another Act of Parliament, which was granted in 1805. With financial matters finally sorted out work could recommence on the locks. Meanwhile, Outram was asked to confer with William Jessop over the final plans.
Work on the locks proceeded quickly and by the end of 1803 the earthworks were complete. In November of that year an advertisement appeared in the Manchester Mercury for Stone Masons to build locks and all particulars would be given by Mr Brown. By this time the Committee had appointed Thomas Brown to be their Consulting Engineer for the construction of Marple locks, as Benjamin Outram was often away attending to matters at Outram & Company. For their construction around 1,000,000 bricks were purchased and Samuel Oldknow had put at the Contractor’s disposal his wharfs, a lime kiln and a boiler for making mortar. As originally constructed, the lock chambers had sidewalls and inverted arches built of brick, while the remainder, including quoins and tail bridges were built of Ashlar stone. By August 1804 the locks were in an advanced state of completion and the Company was eager to have them completed as soon as possible. So eager, in fact, they asked Oldknow to encourage the work force by, ‘---- liquor or otherwise.’ Oldknow offered the workmen posset (a drink of hot milk curdled with ale) to complete the locks on time and the Stockport – New Mills turnpike bridge over the canal became known as Posset Bridge.
Locks 13, 14, 15 and 16 were completed by early October 1804 and the official opening ceremony for the top four locks took place on Saturday, 13 October 1804 when Samuel Oldknow's boat ‘Perseverance’ became the first one to pass down them. Marple locks opened throughout on, or shortly before, the 12 November 1805. Thus it had taken 10 years to open the whole length of the canal, five years of which had been spent on the 16 locks at Marple, whose completion was delayed because of financial difficulties. As for the Marple Tramway, it remained in use for a while after the locks were opened and it closed in February 1807.
However, this was not quite the end of the Marple Tramway. Samuel Oldknow applied for and was granted permission to use the redundant rails and sleeper blocks in order to lay a tramway on his estate at Hyde Bank for the purpose of carrying sand and gravel down to the canal. It is a matter of speculation as to whether anything remains today of this tramway at Hyde Bank.
Many ambiguities remain concerning the construction of Marple locks and in particular the construction and operation of Marple Tramway. The exact route of the tramway is unknown and it is probably inappropriate to refer to it as an inclined plane because its route was not straight, even though it is known that hemp rope was used for waggon haulage. The latter is without doubt as in 1801 a £50 reward was offered to anyone who could give information about a rope being cut.
Initially this tramway was single-track operation and it may be that loaded waggons travelled down it under the action of gravity to be hauled back by horses in exactly the same manner as the operation of the Peak Forest Tramway between the limestone quarries near Dove Holes and Bugsworth Basin. The fact that the Committee ordered ‘slippers’ (brakes) to be fitted to the waggons suggests that this is how it was done. Passing places are mentioned and it may be that these were situated at steeper parts of the track and that horse capstans (gins) were used at these places to haul up returning waggons. Horses would also have been required at the upper and lower levels of the tramway where the track would have been level albeit only for short distances. The doubling of the track after October 1800 would not necessarily have altered this mode of operation, it would have simply speeded it up.
To summarise, it appears that Marple Tramway may have been a composite of the different methods of operation available at that time.
Part gravity operated.
Part horse hauled.
Part windlass-operated short inclined plane or planes, rather than descending full waggons hauling up empty waggons.
This article cannot be concluded without reference to Robert Fulton who was a clever but eccentric engineer whose ideas extended far beyond the technology of the day. It is possible that some of his ideas influenced Outram and Brown, especially in the design of Marple Tramway and in the operation of the lock paddles. It is known that the paddle gear of Marple locks was operated by compressed air when they partly opened in October 1804 and this technology implies that Fulton was behind the use of this innovative method. In the event, this paddle gear was immediately found to be inadequate and Brown was obliged to revert to the long-established rack and pinion method.
Letter from Jennifer Thomas
I've been coming to Buggie since 1990 and in my 21st year of IWPS membership I managed to achieve a first - thanks to my understanding daughters and grandson. (beeches and a maple to you!) Buggie definitely gets into your system and at 69 I still wanted to get on a working party and on July 24th I did just that!
So, thank you Gordon for finding something worthwhile for an arthritic volunteer to do. Thank you Don for cutting up a board for 2 wet paint signs (but I wonder how soon they found their way into the Basin). Thank you Martin for the conducted tree tour and 'setting' (the message from the girls is cobblers).
Just so you all know, there are old toothbrushes in the mess cabin for those tricky cleaning bits on the model. - "There always were" said Ian but nobody knew that day - but you do now!
I was amazed and delighted that so many folk turned out "to work"; shame the picnickers in the red sports car take Buggie for granted.......and yes I did have withdrawal symptoms on Aug 7th.
Long may the spirit of Bugsworth continue to inspire you all.
thank you all
Jennifer (aka IWAPS down south)
Wey & Arun Canal Trust
Works starts on new Canal Centre
The Wey & Arun Canal Trust has begun work on a visitor centre beside the canal at Loxwood, West Sussex. The centre will provide information about the canal restoration project, the history of the canal and local village information. A disabled toilet will be provided within the building.
“A dedicated amenity such as this has been long awaited and has been a long time in preparation,” said WACT Chairman Sally Schupke. “For years we have had to make do with a temporary shed attached to the Onslow Arms pub for publicity and souvenir sales.”
She continued: “The number of visitors to the area has increased significantly and better facilities are needed to meet their needs and also those of the volunteer staff.”
The new building has been designed by Fordingbridge plc of Fontwell to have minimal impact on the environment. The low-carbon centre will be of timber construction, from sustainable sources, include an intelligent lighting system and a curved ‘green roof’. The green roof will be planted as a wild flower meadow. High levels of insulation and efficient methods of heat capture and retention will ensure minimal energy use. The contract with Fordingbridge was signed in early August.
Sally Schupke comments: “There is also an overriding need for a building that reflects the achievements of WACT since its foundation, its contribution to the amenity [and economy] of the restored areas and one that is in keeping with the size of a voluntary organisation now numbering around 2800 members.”
The services to the new building have been laid, and work is now underway on the concrete base. The pre-engineered structure will be erected by Fordingbridge and is scheduled to arrive on site during September. The project is scheduled to be finished ready for opening at Christmas.
Further information about the Wey & Arun Canal Trust is available from the Trust’s office, on 01403 752403.
The Wey & Arun Canal, “London’s lost route to the sea” was originally opened in 1816 between the River Wey at Shalford, near Guildford, and Pallingham, near Pulborough, the head of navigation of the River Arun. It closed in 1871, due to railway competition. Since the 1970s the 23-mile waterway has been the subject of a campaign by volunteers led by the Wey & Arun Canal Trust to restore the route to navigation. Work has been undertaken in a number of locations, most notably the stretch near the Sussex/Surrey border at Loxwood. Nearly three miles in length, this includes five working locks, two public road crossings, an aqueduct, two farm bridges, and numerous minor works, all built or rebuilt through voluntary effort. Boat trips are available on this stretch, onboard several craft, including the 50-seater electrically-powered Wiggonholt.
Thames and Severn Canal Photo Archive
The Thames and Severn Canal at Chalford, Gloucestershire, early 20th century.
The Thames and Severn Canal at Chalford, Gloucestershire, early 20th century. The Bell Inn is on the hillside on the left and the Red Lion Inn is beyond the lock by the canal. Consequently, the two locks here are called Bell Lock (Lock 14) and Red Lion Lock (Lock 15), respectively.
Shall Cross, Shallcross Hall and the High Peak Halfpenny Token
The word ‘Shallcross’ is of Anglo-Saxon origin derived from a place called Shacklecross named after an ancient cross in the High Peak of Derbyshire to the south of Whaley Bridge (formerly Yeardsley Cum Whaley). One explanation of the name is that it derives from the Old Norse word, ‘shakel’, meaning a tapered pole, which describes the shape of the shaft of the cross. Another explanation is that in Middle English, ‘sceacol’ means a bond or chain and hence the cross known as ‘Shacklecross’ was a place where penitents were fettered until they had atoned for the sins they had committed.
The cross is said to commemorate a mission to the High Peak by Archbishop Paulinus of York (subsequently St Paulinus). Paulinus (563 – 644) was the first Archbishop of York from 625 until 633. The original cross was made of wood, which was replaced by a stone replica in the eighth century. The surviving cross, of which only the shaft remains, was subsequently removed from its location and used as the pedestal for a sundial in a garden. Subsequently, this was discovered and returned to the junction of Elnor Lane and Old Road (the Roman road to Buxton). This monument is now a scheduled Ancient Monument registered as an Anglo Scandinavian high cross known as ‘Shall Cross’.
Shall Cross, 24 June 2011
Shallcross Hall (or Shallcross Manor as it was known locally) was situated on the hillside, south of Whaley Bridge, overlooking the later Cromford and High Peak Railway, which connected the Peak Forest Canal at Whaley Bridge to the Cromford Canal at Cromford Wharf.
It is understood that the land upon which Shallcross Hall was eventually built was given to a member of the Shallcross family by King Edward III for services rendered during the Battle of Crécy in 1346 (part of the Hundred Years’ War). The land given by the king would have extended over a considerable area but by the middle of the 20th century this had shrunk to around 17 acres. The last hall on the site was built in 1723 by John Shallcross, who was then the sheriff of the county, and it was surrounded by a ha-ha to provide uninterrupted views over the surrounding countryside. The architect was James Gibbs.
Shallcross Hall, early 20th century.
Members of the Shallcross family were interred in tombs at St James’s Church in nearby Taxal and it is notable that several female members of the family were given the Christian name of Letitia, which means ‘Joy’ in Latin.
Shallcross Hall eventually fell into disrepair and over the period 1968/70 it was pillaged for its fixtures, fittings and floorboards after which it was set on fire. It then joined the ranks of some 137 significant country houses known to have been lost in Derbyshire. Today, the name of the hall is recalled by Shallcross Hall Farm, Shallcross Hall Cottages and Manor Road, the latter being situated off the east side of Buxton Road (A5004).
The High Peak Halfpenny Token
The ground beneath Shallcross Hall contained coal seams and by the early 1600s this was being mined1. Richard Shallcross (born 1632, son of George Shallcross) became the Bailiff of High Peak and a Surveyor for the Duchy of Lancaster. As a landowner, he also owned the mineral rights and it is quite likely that he was responsible for the issue of halfpenny tokens for ‘High Peake Cole Mines in Darby – Sheire’.
Referring to the drawings of a High Peak Halfpenny Token:
Obverse, left: The escutcheon (shield) from the Coat of Arms of the Shallcross family with the legend, ‘HIGH PEAKE COLE MINES’
Reverse, right: A martlet holding a cross with the legend, ‘IN DARBY – SHEIRE’
The escutcheon on the obverse depicts a saltire between four amulets. On the actual Coat of Arms the saltire and the four amulets are gold (Or) on a red (Gules) background.
The martlet on the reverse is a heraldic small bird without feet. In English heraldry the martlet represents a swift. The inability of a martlet to land is taken to symbolize a constant quest for knowledge, learning and adventure. It is also a symbol of hard work and perseverance. It was also the symbol of the fourth son in a family who had no well defined place and had to make his own way in life. Traditionally, the first son inherited the estate, the second went into the church and the third went into the army.
Standedge Tunnel - 200 years old.
As part of the bi-centenary celebrations, Ian Edgar and Don Baines were invited by British Waterways to join with BW staff on a guided trip through Standedge Tunnel. This is a simple photographic memory of that journey on the 31st August 2011.
Left: BW’s electric craft with its power and passenger modules firmly lashed together waits at the Diggle portal. Originally intended to tow a ‘train’ of narrowboats through the tunnel whilst transporting their crews in the passenger module the scheme was soon abandoned. Boats making the passage are now accompanied by one of the able BW staff and when the last craft for the day has entered the tunnel it is ‘shadowed’ by the electric boat to ensure all have made it safely through.
Inside the first extended section the walls are of stone construction and spanned by steel girders where the railway tunnel passes over.
Soon the tunnel changes to its original rough hewn state with an amazing range of colours. Here the roof and walls have been stabilised by drilling and inserting rock bolts. The width of the channel varies considerably and it is all to easy to collide with the walls and damage a boat - use of bow-thrusters is not recommended in the tunnel.
Another method of stabilisation is the addition of these arches built of engineering brick and each one tailored to suit the profile of the tunnel and the nature of the rock face.
Yet another method of stabilisation was used where the rock walls were much more friable and prone to breakaway in chunks. Here the walls were sprayed with fast setting concrete to achieve a stable finish. Quite an eerie effect, especially when a train passes through the adjacent rail tunnel and a ghostly mist arises.
Being accompanied by James Dean, BW’s Standedge Visitor Centre Manager, we were fortunate enough to be allowed to get off the boat and traverse into the now-disused railway tunnel - an experience not afforded to the everyday boater making passage through the tunnel.
Here you can see our ghostly figures silhouetted in the headlights of the BW Transit which, driving through the rail tunnel, accompanies each boat journey monitoring its progress to ensure complete safety.
Approaching the Marsden portal the walls, much smoother, are once again lined with good engineering bricks.
Nearer now to the portal the lining reverts to the incomparable coursed gritstone type.
Soon we will have completed the 5.28 km passage taking a bit over 2 hours - a little longer than usual having made the stop in the middle to visit the railway tunnel - very unique experience.
At last we emerge from the tunnel, greeted by another of BW’s experienced ‘tunneleers’ and journey’s end at the Marsden wharf and visitor centre.
Our thanks to Mark Ashton who invited us to join the trip and to Kate Statham who made the arrangements. Thanks also to Patrick Fielder who crammed five passengers into his swb Land Rover to transport us back to Diggle.
All in all a very enjoyable day out - our thanks to James Dean and all his BW staff.
Don Baines & Ian Edgar
This two interesting news items sent by Ruth and Mark Tiddy
Thought you might be interested in this unusual vessel we saw on our recent trip to Norwich. The main reason for the visit was to attend Andy Bell's 60th birthday celebrations (Andy was a Sheffield IWA type who has worked at Bugsworth) Andy and his partner Pauline had hired a passenger boat for an evening cruise and buffet on the Rivers Wensum and Yare, which. On our riverside walk into the centre of Norwich we noticed the this classic floating creation which combines our twin interests of boating and Land-Rovers, on closer inspection you will also observe that the creative builder has also included his obvious passion for minis and caravans into the design. The vessel's generous air-draught might unfortunately prevent it appearing at Bugsworth Basin any time soon.
And another from Ruth and Mark:
Hello Plant Lovers,
The flowers we saw on the mown bank of the Macclesfield Canal which were identified by Mark as 'Hen & Chickens' was unsurprisingly wrong.
Norfolk plant hunters have apparently christened it 'Fox and Chickens' but the rest of the world knows it as Orange Hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum).
Walking between two waters,
I choose the steady line,
the still, brown, boaters’ way,
until the black brook, running on below,
insists that it’s the river's voice
which holds this place.
In its uncertain rush,
it baffles engines,
Suspended in an always time,
it roars of how things were,
or might have been;
murmurs of the way we
dream they may be;
whispers of seas.
Linda Goulden 2010
This Bugsworth poem was begun at a poetry workshop with the Derbyshire Poet Laureate Ann Atkinson and is included in her book ‘From Matlock to Mamelodi: 5000 miles of poetry’.
IWPS Volunteers in the 1970s
4th May 1975 saw the very first visit by the South Yorkshire and the Dukeries Branch of the IWA to Bugsworth.
Starting on the left: In the green hat is Chris Burdett and in the white hat is Andy Bell (known as D.R.E.G. Bell to his close friends). To the right of the skip is Ken Hawkins and behind him, with ginger hair is local lad Mark Lomas. Behind Mark is John Horne and beyond him, wearing the trilby, is John Pitman. Bending low beyond John is an unknown volunteer. Behind him is Pat Smith with hair in a bun and next to her in the tie and white hard hat is James Abson. In the check shirt is Pat's husband Don and the girl on the dumper is their daughter, Heather. On the far right, smoking, is Doug Agar. The remaining two loading the far skip are unidentified. Missing from the photo are Mark Tiddy, Dave Turner, Jane McIver and Steve Chambers who also attended the first visit. The blue Mini Clubman in the background was Mark Tiddy's transport and was affectionately known as the 'Pygmy Hearse'.
Loaned by Z W Wade Ltd, Whaley Bridge, this 22-RB dragline cleared a substantial length of the Middle Basin.
Perched on top, back row, l to r: Andy Parker, Anthony Johnson, Hilary Perkins
Front row: Graham Lindley, Mark Tiddy, Dave Turner, Fred Wardle, Chris Burdett
Sitting on rear: ??(in blue hat).
At front of machine: Phil Shaw, Ruth Hawkins & Ken to her left. At rear of machine, standing: Bob Lear, Pete Yearsley; sitting: Dave Blackburn, Peter Whitehead, Mavis Whitehead
Kneeling at front: Don and Pat Smith, their daughter Heather behind (in purple hat) and in front their red setter, Donna, next is Mavis Johnson, Anthony Whitehead, Robert Johnson; standing on the right: Gordon Johnson and Ian Edgar
Beyond 35 by the late Albert Parker
This article was first published in the Peak Forest Canal Society Magazine, No. 67 dated March 1978
Where the arm to Whaley Bridge leaves the main line of the Peak Forest Canal. Only a few years ago a pair of sunken narrow boats and a set of stop planks marked the end of the navigable section of the canal. Beyond bridge 35 and these hulks lay the overgrown complex which forms the true terminus of the Peak Forest Canal - the Bugsworth Basins.
Mrs Bessie Bunker and the Inland Waterways Protection Society had for several years fought to save the basins and to overcome the opposition to the re-opening of the Bugsworth Complex. AS a result of this campaign, restoration started in September 1968. The doubters abounded and few outside the IWPS shared their leader’s faith in the project. Work started hesitantly but progressed steadily, so that by 1972 the entrance basin had been reached and cleared. The work was hampered by the large amount of silt, debris and trees that had to be removed plus the requirement of BWB to build dams every 100 yards.
The entrance basin is a wide length of the canal above the gauging narrows, by the Wharfinger’s House and Office. This was basin was to prove very troublesome for a sewer pipe having been laid under the basin it suffers from major leaks. Before restoration had started the IWPS had managed to stop the pipe being placed along the bottom of the canal right through the basins - imagine having to navigate past a line of brick towers containing the manholes to this system!
In 1973 work continued into the Middle Basin leaving the lower basin wharf uncleared so as to speed the work on the more vulnerable sections. The proposed by-pass to Chapel and Whaley Bridge had been surveyed and was appearing as a threat to the south side of the basins.
From 1973 to the present year  work has continued restoring the Middle Basin. A dragline excavator cleared most of the line of the canal, but the true width of the canal was not known and further work was required clearing the margins to establish the full width.
The years of dereliction having allowed movement in the walling of the canal, major sections of the walls in the Middle Basin had to be rebuilt and repaired. More work is required on the south side of the basin - a long section between the wide and the second phase kilns needs completely rebuilding.
In 1967 BWB took over the responsibility of the canal from Bridgemont into the entrance basin. They have had to cope with leakages at several places particularly in the entrance basin. Here after some earlier unsuccessful treatment, a novel method is being tried. A fillet of clay has been placed along the foot of the canal walling where the leakage occurs. A polythene sheet has been placed over the clay, pegged into the wall at the upper edge and dug into the puddling at the bottom. Over the sheet more clay has been placed. This arrangement awaits the test of water pressure and later the wash of boats.
At the end of September last year a drainage channel was cut into the upper basin. Here several springs arise on the south side, this channel will capture these and also drain the basin.
The moorings by the ‘Navigation’ are in sight, but a great deal of work is required before boats will reach them.
If you would like to see the basins fully restored and to cruise a boat into them, then why not help in a positive way. Come to one of the digs in 1978, send a donation or join the IWPS. All help will be most welcome.
On the right, one of hulks referred to by Albert Parker in his article from 1978, 'Trojan', moored on the offside of the canal just before Bings Wood Stop Place, 12 May 1968. 'Trojan' was built in 1901 and had been purchased from the Anderton Company by April 1933 for use as a maintenance boat. After nationalisation it became BW - RB46Nwn. Because of its very poor condition, it had to be disposed of by burning it. The only part to be saved was the rudder, which is in now in the care if the IWPS.
Left Photo: IWPS Archive/L Kaye - The boat 'Kenelm', together with two other boats, tied up at Bings Wood Stop Place and well frozen in, during the very cold winter of 1962. Was one or more of these the hulks referred to by Albert Parker?
A LUCKY FIND - The preceding item originally written by the late Albert Parker came to us via our old friend David Tomlinson who approached me in his own inimitable style at a meeting of the Northern Canals Association. He had some old Peak Forest Canal Society magazines which he wanted to clear out of his attic pending the coming of the grim reaper which affects all of us. My attic is probably as full as his with waterways stuff but PFCC magazines are always interesting because so many IWPS restoration people started volunteering at Marple Locks and the Lower Peak Forest Canal.
The novel way of placing a fillet of clay on top of a polythene sheet mentioned by Albert was in front of Canalside Cottages and was doomed to failure. British Waterways wanted to try this method and used Bugsworth Basin as an experimental site. We gave the opinion that as the wash wall was drystone the water would just go behind the wall somewhere else and then track back in to its former route to the Blackbrook or worse through the only cellar on the row of cottages. BW had no money for Bugsworth. My belief was that they would clutch at straws just to be seen to be ‘doing something’. Anyway maybe this was a prelude to a common method of sealing a canal today (other than the traditional clay puddle) by going from above water level (NWL) each side in a continuous run of plastic or Terram sheeting with the joints welded by a special heat machine. This works very well and was used to finally cure the leakage at Canalside Cottages which defeated us for so long. So maybe some knowledge was gained by that fruitless and futile experiment at Bugsworth Basin. ‘More work is required to rebuild walls on the south side of the Basin between the kilns and the wide’ was a somewhat understatement. A long length of wall was rebuilt by volunteers but only recently a further long length (125 metres) not previously touched has fallen in and is presently fenced off. This is scheduled to be rebuilt next October (2012) just 34 years after Albert wrote his piece. To be a canal restorer you have to have faith and accept the fact that there will always be maintenance work to do at Bugsworth! Ian Edgar
JUMP UP ON THE CART
by Allan Richards - Assistant Editor Buoy’s Own - Black Buoy Cruising Club Magazine
In case you have not heard yet, the new waterways charity that is to replace British Waterways in April 2012 is to be called Canal & River Trust. Indeed it seems very important to Defra and BW that the new charity has a completely new name and logo which disassociates it from British Waterways. But is a new name more important, for instance, than having new people, with new ideas to run the new organisation? And is a new name more important than the new organisation being properly funded?
As with any rebranding, the logo is important. The BW bulrush and bridge logo is instantly recognised and much loved. Indeed, many boaters choose to have it on the side of the boat before the BW index number. Perhaps the measure of the endorsement and acceptance of the old logo is that boaters will actually pay a sign writer to reproduce it!
John Rushworth, partner at award-winning design agency Pentagram (who designed the old logo), volunteered his time to help define the name and logo of the new charity.
BW say "following extensive research, both within the company and outside it, the name 'Canal & River Trust' was decided upon" with Rushworth adding "We got to the Canal & River Trust quite quickly. Waterways isn't in everyday vocabulary and we wanted a name that demonstrated the change to Trust status ".
But surely this is saying the old logo failed and people did not associate the old logo with the name British Waterways. This is certainly not the case!
One is led to the inescapable conclusion that it is because the old logo was so associated with the words British Waterways it had to go. Indeed, it had already been stated that the name of the new organisation would not include British or Waterways so how could the old logo be retained?
Unfortunately, the new logo has come in for some criticism. The bridge, seemingly, is retained as a sop to those who liked the old logo. However, for those unfamiliar with the old, one wonders if the new bridge will even be recognised as an iconic hump back canal bridge.
Unsurprisingly, it is the swan that people take issue with, many thinking that a boat is needed to reinforce that the new charity is about maintaining and developing navigable waterways. Quite true! The new logo suggests something to do with wildlife, particularly birds or even a swan sanctuary!
Then we have the name. British Waterways has negative connotations for many and it seems that very early on a decision was made that the new charity would not have British or Waterways anywhere within the new name. However, some say that this is a pity as simply changing the name to British Waterways Trust and keeping the well known logo would make a significant saving in the charities start-up costs.
They have a point. A logo and name change is costly and cosmetic if not supported by real change at BW.
As for the name itself, that has also come in for a bit of stick. For example, one online waterways magazine suggested that it should be even longer with Canals & Rivers Trust (plural). What does seem clear is that those who made the new name decision rather boxed themselves in with words that should not be included.
The deprecated words would have included British and Waterways as already suggested. However, also out would have been Inland and Waterways because of confusion with existing organisations including the Inland Waterways Association (IWA), the Inland Waterways Advisory Council (IWAC) and The Waterways Trust (TWT).
Looked at from that point view, there is very little choice for a name that has to reflect that it is a charity dealing with some (but not all!) of our inland waterways in England and Wales.
Just as British Waterways Board is shortened to British Waterways or just BW, we can be sure that Canal & River Trust will be shortened. Indeed, it already has been with the 'and’ shortened to an ampersand. Of course it will not stop there as the name is still much too long.
Here, we are into the realms of TLA's, ETLA's and FLA's so beloved by those who wish to confuse. They will tell that a TLA is a Three Letter Abbreviation and an FLA (or ETLA) is a Four Letter Abbreviation (or Extended Four Letter Abbreviation). They will add to the confusion by saying that TLA is self referential (in other words TLA is a TLA of Three Letter Abbreviation).
My guess (without wishing to confuse further!) is that the public will call the new charity CRT (Canal & River Trust) or CART (Canal And River Trust).
Unfortunately, CRT in already a TLA in common usage referring to the Cathode Ray Tube which was used in older TV's (and PC monitors). This component is what makes older TV's so huge front to back.
The Cathode Ray Tube has been around for decades. Indeed, it has been around for so long that people simply accepted that massive power hungry TV's could not be changed. However, in a few short years they have changed out of all recognition. The once mighty CRT has been superseded by slimmed down power efficient flat screen technologies. Of course, any similarity between power hungry BW being superseded by a charity and the Cathode Ray Tube being displaced by the flat screen is purely in the mind of the reader.
To my mind CART will win the day. Indeed, I have already read several articles which refer to CART or CaRT. When people mention the new charity, ease of speaking will dictate what is said. Nobody is going to say "Canal and River Trust" just as nobody says "British Broadcasting Corporation". Of course, when one says "BBC" everyone knows that you mean. Say "CRT" and confusion will ensue as the TLA is already embedded in people's minds in a different context.
I have no hesitation in believing that, if British Waterways does become the Canal & River Trust in five months time, we will start talking about 'the cart' just as we now talk about 'the beeb'.
Yes, it is just five months until BW changes its logo and name and, if you believe the doubters, not much else. Indeed, many boaters seem apathetic towards the new charity and have a deliberate head in the sand attitude. Perhaps this is due to a feeling of hopelessness with government on course to dump BW on the charitable sector without proper governance and funding in place to ensure future success.
Will that head in the sand attitude change when the CART comes into existence? In the words of the old Lonnie Donegan song (My Old Man's a Dustman) will boaters be saying "You've missed me ....... am I too late?" Probably not but one thing is certain. If they do the response will be "No, jump up on the cart!"
This article is reproduced here by kind permission of Allan Pickering, Editor of Buoy’s Own.
The Black Buoy Cruising Club is one of the oldest inland waterways cruising clubs, located at Bridge 69, Grand Union Canal (Warwick and Birmingham), Heronfield, Knowle, Warwickshire.
The Black Buoy Cruising Club (BBCC) was formed in 1963. Obviously the close proximity of the Black Boy pub was the inspiration. The subtle change was probably made to demonstrate that the club was, and still is, a separate entity. Unfortunately it is sad that the identity of the person responsible for this clever pun has been lost in the obscurity of time.
Find out more at: http://www.blackbuoy.org.uk/
Northern Canals Association, Autumn Meeting Sunday October 9th 2011 - report by Malcolm Bower
The Burslem Port Trust was the host for the NCA meeting at the Staffs University in Stoke and Roger Savage, IWA Stoke Branch Chairman welcomed visitors. The usual airline-style H&S briefing in case of fire even had a life-jacket as part of the demonstration! A joint meeting with the Southern Canals Association had been intended, but this had been prevented by a clash of dates, such as a memorial dig on the Basingstoke for Peter Redway.
Tony Harvey BW Midlands Regeneration Manager was the first guest speaker and he explained the regeneration function had been re-designated “enterprise”. The meeting was opportune as the title for the new charitable waterways organisation had just been announced as the Canal & River Trust, and Tony summarised the points considered in selecting the name and logo of swan before canal bridge; this work had been provided free by a design agency and when the logo is seen from a distance as on the side of a van it closely resembles the present logo. Julie Sharman is the Northern Enterprise Manager.
He went on to describe the improvements in the waterways over the last 10 years and how he feels there are grounds for optimism for the future although this will not be easy. In 2001/2 the DoE graded 31% of the waterways as being in poor condition, whereas for 2009/10 this has reduced to 19%., but £100M has been lost in income. BW/C&RT is aware of the financial shortfall but the make-up of these values should be examined. The £50M available at present for current funding will be reduced by £11M, but the number of boats licensed has increased to 35K, there are 13M visitors to the waterways annually and there have been £200M of capital returns. They resisted Treasury “interest” in their properties 3 times this last year and these are now sacrosanct within the new trust. Their capital investments earn £35M/pa, and dealing with the utilities brings in £20M/pa.
In future there will be taxation benefits and a long-term contract (10 years) negotiated with the government for maintenance of the waterways, something BW requested many times to help in long-term planning. Although the property income is now secured, future relations for regional funding and grants, such as with the ERDF & HLF, are uncertain. Further savings in major works are needed, with £10M made this year and £15M planned for next year; there will be new waterways partnerships and priorities will need to be set for these works.
Roger Savage then described the Burslem Port project, how it had existed for some years as a local scheme to restore the Burslem Arm which had been breached. This had been raised in profile by forming a trust to overlook and guarantee the project, by bringing on board more influential local personalities. He introduced the new patron, Ian Dudson, who spoke on business partnerships as being the way forward in such projects. His private company had started in about 1800 and he was the 8th generation to work in the company, with the 9th already in the business. Such an arrangement can benefit all partners by increasing the range of skills for the organisation, the project benefits the individual and there are benefits to a company by increasing the range of skills for their employees. He then described the trustees who have been inspired by the examples of Roger and David Dumbleton in persevering with the work in its early stages and encouraging others to come aboard.
Roger then rounded this off with anecdotes of the project, many of which should be a part of the visitor centre that it is hoped will be established eventually. The costs of such a project are often daunting and the estimate of £56M for the BP included a large quota for the land involved , but this has become more like £6M now that Stoke Council are within the partnership. In fact the council now estimates there is £4M/pa income in benefits. Stoke people tend to look on the area as derelict, drug-ridden and not a place to park a car; in fact Roger said most of the housing has been demolished, so there are fewer social problems – just watch out on the empty roads where the drain covers have been removed!
After the interval, we had reports first-hand on the many waterway projects in northern parts. At Sleaford they have been plagued by weed this summer and it was bad enough to have stopped a rowing event. Later discussions showed this was a common complaint and it was suggested the high cost of weed control using a harvester, something like £35K for a transportable version, would be eased by sharing a single unit. Ian Edgar for the IWPS said their good season had been spoiled when 125m of washwall at the basin fell in, but BW has asked them to help by making presentations to local groups wishing to volunteer by keeping their local stretch of canal tidy. One such is at Disley on the Upper Peak Forest. The Caldon & Uttoxeter CT said they were busily involved in the Churnet Valley Partnership along with the steam railway developments and their own plans for the line to Uttoxeter. This latter includes the locks at Froghall, establishing the ownership of bridge 70, the only one intact, before any work there can be started, and preserving the T&M-type mileposts.
The Manchester, Bolton & Bury have cleared the Nob End flight of locks by the River Irwell and aqueduct and where the B&B lines part. Also at Salford work by Network Rail on the Windsor Link by the station might help the canal line in extending the line north of where it leaves the Mersey. The Lichfield & Hatherton CRT has appointed an engineering director and he reported on meetings he has held with local concerns which will lead to benefits for the project. Persimmons the builders are planning a new development near Lichfield and are looking for the means of dumping rainwater, so the nearby canal looks like the ideal solution. A Jubilee development is planned near Lichfield involving trees and they are to see if a stretch of canal can be incorporated in these plans. They have also watered their last pound and are stopping the leaks found. The Foxton Inclined Plane Trust has rearranged their museum and now has room for travelling exhibitions. Malcolm Bower reported for the Macclesfield Canal Society on damage experienced at the RH railings and on how the Bosley sidepond work remains incomplete.
At Newport the Shrewsbury Canal group is digging at various sections, and at the Norbury junction with the Shroppie the locals are “anti” the inclined plane proposal and are in favour of restoring the locks. They have formed a new group to achieve this. The Severn Navigation Trust attended and told how David Hutchings had said in 1972 that he wished to extend the river navigation north of Stourport, though little was achieved. More recently the trust has made proposals for inflatable weirs with locks for navigation and facilities for hydropower generation. In comparison the Thames is more advanced than the Severn, having sluices and locks at the weirs, whereas the Severn has none.
Work by the T&MCS has slowed down as they have lost the committee and chairman. Attempts at the Cheshire Locks have stopped as the BW Volunteer Officer is overloaded, but they plan for Lock 65 above Wheelock to be looked at. On the Grantham the WPs help to raise local awareness, and the trust, which rebuilt the walls at lock 18 in 2008, has fitted new lock gates there. At Cotgrave, Notts CC is making linear park improvements so that the line will become near-navigable. Sadly, even in the more remote Vale of Belvoir, the canal suffers from vandalism.
Geraint Coles (Derbys CC) reported on the Chesterfield Canal, where the Hollingwood centre has been recently opened near Staveley (not to be confused with the Hollinwood arm off the Ashton). There has been much local interest as the line has included new road bridges associated with a new link to the M1. The Staveley basin is now complete and although still isolated from the main network it will hold up to 80 boats as they can be craned in and out. A heritage “plus” has been for the new town lock to be built entirely from local bricks. Geraint is also involved with proposals to have a recognised national scheme for the training of volunteers. There are now efforts to combine efforts with the railway fraternity who are streets ahead of waterway (maritime) volunteering, so there would be a single national framework for training that would be recognised widely. The skills would be in mechanical engineering (moving), civil engineering (non-moving) and project management and safety skills, and with the move to volunteering such management is seen to be highly necessary.
The IWA said the sideponds on the Droitwich Canal are now working, and this restoration is the highlight of the year. IWAC has been disbanded as a part of the cull of quangos, and there could be a problem in that the restoration reports used by HLF were prepared by IWAC. There is also concern that in future the grading of waterways, which have been upwards with restorations and improvements, could also be downwards. BW has asked IWA to arrange a conference, perhaps more of a workshop, in January, for waterways charities to discuss the working of C&RT. The meeting concluded with visits to the Burslem Port and Westport Lake by the T&M Canal within the Potteries.
HAYTOR GRANITE TRAMWAY
It was George Templer, son of the canal promoter James, who first exploited the commercial potential of quarrying around Hay Tor in the early part of the 19th century - conscious of demand for Haytor granite from the builders of London Bridge - but using conventional horse-and-cart to take the granite downhill on twisting tracks, as his grandfather had done, was never going to be a viable solution. His father’s canal was there for the lowland part of the journey, but how to get the stone off the hill, a vertical descent of some 1300 feet ? The solution was to use the granite itself to create a tramway. Getting iron up here was a non-starter so the cut granite blocks themselves form the ‘tracks’ for trains of horse-drawn wagons which ran from George’s quarries at Hay Tor to the head of the canal at Ventiford Basin.
L-section tramways had been around since the 1790’s, notably on the Peak Forest Tramway, but they had hitherto been iron on stone sleeper blocks; actually granite rails was pretty much unique. There was a plentiful supply of granite and labour, and as Templar owned all the land on which the tramway was to pass, no Act of Parliament was required. ‘Points’ were cut into the blocks at junctions and sidings, and worked by inserting some rod mechanism into obvious drilled holes. Wagons were around 13’ long and 10’ wide and generally used in trains of a dozen.
Opened in September 1820, seven years after George had inherited the canal from his late father, the tramway, broad-gauge and single-track, was in service for less than forty years. By 1825, much was being taken to London for construction of buildings such as the British Museum and National Gallery. The tramway continue in use through to the late 1850s when the development of quarrying closer to Plymouth, and the Newton-Moretonhampstead railway caused a significant decline in demand for the granite and use of the tramway ground to a halt. There were plans to build an electric tramway along the route in the 1900s but they came to nought, and in 1975 the upper section transferred to Dartmoor National Park and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
The upper reaches are freely accessible, and from the west of Yarner Wood down to Pottery Pond in Brimley it can be followed reasonably closely by paths and minor roads though some sections are in private ownership and inaccessible. South-east of Brimley, it is hard to follow and there is little of note that can be easily seen.
There is plenty of evidence of the former quarries below the Rock; Haytor Quarry itself at the start of the main line of the tramway (SX760775), Holwell and Rubble Heap further west, plus Harrow Barrow further south near Saddle Tor. The tramway can be followed north-west out of Haytor Quarry, then as it turns east it meets the branch line from the other quarries. Heading west down the branch line, the line to Holwell Quarry leaves at SX756777, that to Rubble Heap at SX754775. Just beyond here the line splits again below Emsworthy Rocks, the southernmost fork heading to Harrow Barrow.
Returning to the main line, then route east to the Manaton road is self-evident; there is apparently a carved stone some 300 yards up the hill at SX764779 marked ‘T’ for Templar and ‘S’ for Somerset – presumably a boundary stone of some sort. Just beyond where the tramway crosses the Manaton road there is clear evidence of a siding close to where a small tree has grown up (SX770776), one of only two sidings on the tramway. Where the tramway passes very close to the road by the hotel, is a milestone indicating 6 miles to Ventiford (SX779773). The tramway bears north towards Yarner Wood, and it is on the outskirts of the wood that it loses is SAM status and parts have been obliterated. A dedicated route, the Templer Way, takes you as close to it as is possible.
Once across the driveway by Yarner Lodge (SX781782), the footpath takes you through a lovely part of the wood and after a short rise in the land you come to an interpretation board marking the start of another extant section, as it winds down through beech trees – probably planted when the tramway was built - passing the ’ 5’ milestone on your right (SX784787). Emerging from the wood, brambles and nettles are a minor hindrance as you descend Lowerdown Moor with Bovey Tracey ahead. As the land starts to level the pedestrian route diverts away from the line of the tramway and heads along a permissive path due south to the Widecombe road. Take great care as you walk east along the side of the road to Lowerdown Cross (SX798782).
Bearing right down Chapple Road, the tramway is regained by a waymarker immediately beyond a private road on the right. The ‘4’ milepost is with a dozen yards or so, on the left, and the path then drops very gently before picking the road up again about quarter of a mile further down. Another short stretch of road walking before there is a wide verge which soon bears the familiar stone rails. This runs out but within a hundred yards or so, where the road bears left, the tramway can be regained on its original route at Bovey Pottery Leat bridge, the only extant original bridge remaining on the tramway (SX802776). The leat carried water from Becky Falls - up on the moor above Yarner Wood - to the potteries of Bovey Tracey, though much of it was abandoned after the potteries closed in the 1950s.
The diversion away from the road is short-lived, but on re-emerging, a bridleway opposite takes up the reins. There are a few stone rail setts along here but not many – after crossing Brimley Road and then Ashburton Road, the way passes past the back of houses, allotments and lock-ups, but watch out for the ‘3’ milepost on your left (SX812773) before you reach Pottery Road by the entrance to Pottery Pond. The pond was created in the 18th century as a holding reservoir for the nearby potteries’ machinery, and helped power five waterwheels.
From Pottery Road, the tramway has been obliterated and there is little public access to any of the route. It probably stayed alongside Pottery Road past the pottery kilns still standing in the premises of House of Marbles, and as far as the roundabout on the Newton Road. Across the roundabout the old track formerly known as Piggery Lane (possibly still signed Wifford Piggeries) gives an indication of the line, though you cannot follow it through, and there is has been much road realignment by the roundabout. It then ran down and along the back of what is now the King Charles Business Park (SX824768) a hundred yards or so from the site of the 1646 Battle of Bovey Heath. Its route south from here is clearly contiguous with the existing railway line, albeit taking a few twists in the last hundred yards before the basin (SX848748).
This article extracted by kind permission from Andy Screen’s report to the Towpath Action Group
POSTER LONDON & NORTH EASTERN RAILWAY
Our possession of a copy of this well thumbed original poster is courtesy of our good friend Malcolm Allcard of Top Lock Training at Marple. It is one I have not seen before. Perhaps railway enthusiasts amongst our readers could explain how this poster was issued by the London & North Eastern Railway whereas all our documentation shows ownership of the Peak Forest and Ashton Canals as the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway which later became the Great Central Railway. Any information for ‘174’ to the Editor could be included in the next edition of the Society magazine.
The poster is not dated but if we take 1900 as an example the hefty fine of forty shillings (£2) would be the equivalent of around £200 which an offender would likely not be able to pay and would go to jail. This poster almost certainly pre-dates 1900. The canal company must have had a real problem, or maybe they did not have a problem if any potential culprits knew the consequences of offending the canal company. There must be a story in itself as to why the Railway Company needed to issue this notice.
Any suggestions and research to the Editor please. He would be very pleased to include something on this in the next issue.
POSTER – EXTRACT FROM BYE LAWS
Reproductions of the poster on the next page are available in A3 size at a cost of £2.00 on good quality paper for framing or A3 encapsulated plus postage in a paper tube to prevent damage £1.50. Please send your order and cheque made out in favour of The Peak Forest Canal Co. Ltd. to Ian Edgar MBE at the address inside front cover.
POSTERS CAN ALSO BE BOUGHT AT THE BUGSWORTH BASIN SHOP ON MOST SUNDAYS