Author Topic: canal people. and canals  (Read 11790 times)

roy one

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canal people. and canals
« on: December 05, 2009, 09:48:32 AM »
it seems that brum has more canals than Venice and in days gone by they carried  the wealth of England to and from all parts of the uk and Birmingham seemed to be the center for the canal trade

 some  on the canal folk had up to six kids on there narrow boats in a cabin no bigger that 8x 4 and it was away of life they all new each other and they wed between themselves

 can any one add to this thread  do you have or had canal folk in you re family any info to add to this thread would be welcome by the members  its our history
each day is a blessing and I bless each day when it comes

guilbert53

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Re: canal people. and canals
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2009, 09:38:57 PM »
I live near the Stratford Upon Avon canal that runs from Kings Norton to Stratford upon Avon and have studied its history.

It was never a very profitable canal and eventually, like many canals, ran into disuse. In 1958 the local council wanted to replace a bridge over the canal, and rather that build a bridge that boats could go under wanted to bulid it "flat", which would have meant the end of the canal as a working route.

The council applied to have the canal "abandoned" but a few locals fought hard to keep the canal open.

The canal was full of weeds, and most of the locks did not work, but volunteers worked at weekends and during holidays to get the canal working again (with the help of the National Trust, amongst others).

Eventualy in 1964 the canal (southern section) was reopened by the Queen Mother, and now the whole canal is open.

It is used by people on canal boat holidays, by walkers and cyclists, by fishermen and nature lovers.

guilbert53

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Re: canal people. and canals
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2009, 09:43:09 PM »
follow on from above......

So I would just like to say a big "thank you" to all those people who worked hard in their spare time, when canal boat holidays were probably unheard of, to keep the Stratford Upon Avon canal open.

Many of them are now very old, or have died. If it was not for them then the canal would have been abandoned, filled in, and lost forever.

All those people who stand around in Stratford at the canal basin near the theatre would have nothing to watch if the canal had been closed.

I am so glad those people did not just shrug their shoulders and accept that the canal was going to close.

Thank You.

http://www.stratfordcanalsociety.org.uk/history.html
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roy one

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Re: canal people. and canals
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2009, 10:34:35 PM »
what i would like to know is how the heck did they live in such a small space
in the 60 i was in brum town center just up from gas street and they could not move the ice on the cut must have been a foot thick  what a hard life they had no work no pay they must have been the last of the boat folk who made a living on the cut
each day is a blessing and I bless each day when it comes

guilbert53

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Re: canal people. and canals
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2009, 10:38:09 PM »
Well of course the awful winter of 1962/63, that we all remember (if we are old enough) saw the last of the canal companies fold.

They were still moving things by canal in the early 1960s, but the long freeze of 1963 saw almost all the canal companies that were left fold.

guilbert53

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Re: canal people. and canals
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2009, 10:49:08 PM »
Little bit more about the canal in Stratford upon Avon.

Of course canal boats and canal people were considered rather dirty at the time, and the canal basin in Stratford was a right dump when it was a working canal. Here is a picture of Bancroft Basin in Stratford as it was in 1930: http://www.stratfordcanalsociety.org.uk/photo103.htm

Originally there were two large basins in Stratford upon Avon (picture here). One of them is where the theatre now stands: http://www.stratfordcanalsociety.org.uk/photo024.htm

The local people hated it so much they wanted the whole canal rerouted so it went east of the town and entered the river Avon further up stream.

Eventually one basin was sold to build the theatre on, and the money raised was used to develop the rest of the gardens in Stratford around the canal.

21ASaltley

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Re: canal people. and canals
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2009, 08:01:15 AM »
I remember the canals around Smethwick,and the traffic.I can recall being amazed at the way the rope that was connected to the barges and the horses wore grooves into the brickwork and even the cast iron bridges. There are two levels where I grew up,and I`ve tried to capture a google Earth snap of the area,without success,for some reason.

However,good old Wiki has supplied a photo.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Roving_bridges_at_Smethwick_Junction.jpg
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21ASaltley

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Re: canal people. and canals
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2009, 08:35:29 AM »
I remember the canals around Smethwick,and the traffic.I can recall being amazed at the way the rope that was connected to the barges and the horses wore grooves into the brickwork and even the cast iron bridges. There are two levels where I grew up,and I`ve tried to capture a google Earth snap of the area,without success,for some reason.

However,good old Wiki has supplied a photo


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Roving_bridges_at_Smethwick_Junction.jpg
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Google relents:



guilbert53

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Re: canal people. and canals
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2009, 03:29:48 PM »
Of course near Smethwick is one of Birmingham's great forgotten treasures, Galton Valley.

The first canals built round Birmigham tended have a lot of locks, which slowed the boat traffic down. So eventually a HUGE cutting was dug (which became Galton Valley) to remove these locks from the route and speed up boat movement.

So now the OLD canal, and the NEW canal, run side by side (but at different levels) all through the Galton Valley.

When I first walked the Galton valley many years ago (when I knew little about canals) I thought the valley was natural. Only later when I read more about canals did I find out it was man made (I believe it was the biggest earth moving project in the world at the time).

Now Galton valley is a peaceful oasis in a busy city and is a haven for wildlife. Well worth a visit.

http://www.railaroundbirmingham.co.uk/full_photos/smethwick_galton_hl_view_of_galton_bridge.jpg
  

21ASaltley

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Re: canal people. and canals
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2009, 03:36:33 PM »
A distant relative worked for Fellows Morton and Clayton,many years ago.A local coal merchant had his coal by barge.His yard was in Bridge street,visible on the google map,where a narrow cut of the main canal served a basin, few hundred yards from where we lived.Campbells was the coal merchant.

guilbert53

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Re: canal people. and canals
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2009, 03:43:53 PM »
And did you know that Galton Bridge (that crosses the valley), that many people drive or walk over without even noticing it, was once the worlds longest single span bridge

http://www.laws.sandwell.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/leisure-and-culture/local-history-and-heritage/heritage-trail/walk-smethwick/galton-bridge/