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Friday, 15 January 2021

Bridges and Railways.

 After the unpleasant woman in Shardlow who incidentally lived on a boat called 'Tranquility' (shame it didn't rub off) we had a lovely night near Aston Lock .

As we waited for Aston Lock I was reminded of the passing of the seasons with tractor busy in the field. There is definitely a different light after the height of summer and the colour starts to fade from the landscape.

As we passed Weston on Trent, the more southern one as there is another up towards Stone, there is a beautiful stretch of canal round Weston Cliff, but more of that at the end of this blog.

Swarkestone Stop is always handy for a top up of water and dropping the rubbish off. As we approached a man was walking away and much relieved he explained they had left their C&RT key in the water point and hadn't realised until they had got about three miles away. He was very pleased to see it still there as they were hirers and only had one. I expect that the warehouse, the nearer building is the one owned by the Soresby Co of Shardlow in the early 1800's. I wonder if the crane was there then too! Looking on the map it first appears in the 1920 edition.

We got to Stenson Lock and there was a slight delay as we waited for boat movements. There was a voluntary Lock keeper working. I have always wondered why the name of the pub and cafe is the Stenson Bubble. Apparently it is due to the noise the canal by-wash/overflow makes as it enters the canal below the lock. I can't recall ever hearing it bubble but it is a big lock and the flow can be vicious. I always put out a short head line to ensure that the boat doesn't get washed off the jetty and I can't hold it on just a centre line.

We were getting quite worried about fuel now so we were relieved when we turned into Mercia Marina. It was very windy but managed to get into the arm under the bridge okay, and then swung her round on to the fueling berth okay. There was a short delay as we waited for them to come and serve us but we had lunch to prepare. The fuel was a very good price, which surprised me for some reason, and we were allowed to stay on the wharf until we had finished our lunch.

As we approached the entrance to the marina folk were flagging us down, thinking that we were jumping the queue I think, and telling us that there was a tree down ahead. It was still across the cut when we came out again but some folk coming in the opposite direction were busy hacking away at it when C&RT arrived. As usual with little suitable equipment. However between them all they had it sufficiently cleared to pass in short order. Helen and I looked at each other and deiced to continue as were were on a bit of a schedule.

We were soon passing through Willington and I have always wondered why there is such a big gap between the Dragon pub and the canal. I now know why.

In this 1920 map you can see the canal running across the top with MP mile post in it. You can see the long warehouse that was built in the 18th century and the wharf managers house to the right of it. (Where the car park is now I think). A cattle pen shows one of the cargoes moved. WM stands for weighing machine/bridge and you can see where the pub still is by the PH public house.

A fire destroyed the warehouse in 1935 and it was pulled down the following year. The managers house survived until the 1960's.

The River Dove is not so full when we cross on Brindley's twelve arched aqueduct with the Medieval Monks bridge next to it. Just beyond is the much more mundane A38.

Just a pretty picture as we approach Burton on Trent. It was pretty dark as we penned up Dallow Lock and pitch black as we passed Shobnall Fields Park so it was just as well there was room for us to moor up. It was very dark and cold when we pulled the door shut behind us and enjoyed the warmth of the stove.

In previous visits to this area we had stooped at Weston on Trent and had a nice walk around and a pint at the pub. By Weston Cliff there is a footbridge and the River Trent comes close by to the south. Here there was a ford and later a ferry across. There is evidence of a ferry being here from the 11th and 12th Century and I can find newspaper references from 1846. In these later years it seemed to have been a rowing boat type affair that could carry around 20 people and occasionally horses. It was guided across the river by pulling on a rope across the width to prevent the boat getting washed down stream. By 1901 the ferry had been repaired but was difficult to use as the water levels were so low as the weir at Kings Mill had failed. Problems were found as to who was responsible for the ferry as a landing stage was required to take passengers out to the boat in deeper water but who was going to pay for this? A member of the local council suggested contacting the Landlord of the Cliff Inn. This was because the pub was a busy venue for trippers that either came by charabanc or train to Weston and wandered by the river and across to Melbourne. 

On this 1881 OS Map you can see the footbridge over the canal that leads up to the Old Cliff Inn. The path from the canal leads to a boat house and a foot bridge to arrive at the ferry point. On the far right between the canal and the river is a wharf where cargoes were transferred between the two, maybe to service the mills a a little down stream at Kings Mill

In 1890 there was a report that a Hannah Leak, a servant at the pub, was ferrying people across the river. Seemingly the Inn had taken on the ferry to promote business. In 1906 the ferry was in use as the Robin Hood Rifles Old Boys came on a trip to Weston Station, walked down and crossed on the ferry to Melbourne Hall and had a visit there then a meal at the Melbourne Hotel before heading back. By October 1908 the jetties had been washed away and the ferry was not in use and the local Wesleyan Ministers were complaining as it interfered with their ministry

By 1910 locals were raising the issue with local and district councils as the lack of a ferry meant a large detour and a loss of public right of way. In 1911 the signs pointing to the ferry were removed and this prompted more action, but still with no results. Whilst some wanted the ferry reinstating as an easier and cheaper option Councils really wanted a 10' wide bridge as it had to carry a bridle way. Funding, as always, was the sticking point. Meetings were held and petitions written up. However in the meantime a bridge had been erected privately.

The Sphere was an Illustrated weekly newspaper that ran from 1900 to 1964 and carried the story of the Trent College Officer Training Corp in February 1910 installing this suspension bridge over the Trent at Weston Cliff with no help from outside. It was still there in July 1912 but whether crossings were allowed by the general public I doubt. It was most likely just for a camp exercise and I'm not sure how long it lasted.

In 1922 and 1923 once again there was rumblings from some of the locals to get something done. They thought a ferry would be quick and easier to get going but much research could not confirm who was responsible for the ferry. It seems that hopes were pinned on the brewery, Offilers of Derby, who owned the Cliff Inn as the pub had been operating the ferry for a few decades. The Cliff Inn had been a manor house but with the coming of the canal it had become a boatman's watering hole. In the end it was felt that it would have to be carried out by a 'trust' and financed by public subscriptions It obviously never happened.

During the course of researching about the ferry I looked at the OS Map from 1944 and was shocked to see the changes in the area.
At the bottom of the map is an immense area of railway sidings! I wondered what sort of factory they would service that had just sprung up from nothing, but there are few buildings. It seems that they were for the war effort but what was it?

 It turns out that it was the Melbourne Military Line. The War Department took over the stretch of railway between Asby de la Zouch and Swarkestone for their own purposes. The 2nd Railway Training Centre was set up. Here, individuals at first, and then whole companies of men were trained how to destroy and then rebuild railway infrastructure and then maintain and run them. Canadians forces were also trained. There was a bridge building school at Kings Newton too. You can see a bridge across the River Trent on the map as it was necessary for troops to cross as the main accommodation camp was north of the river. It was another suspension bridge. You can see the Nissan huts on the map to the top of the map. Training for the railway engineers was in blocks of eight weeks and for construction engineers a further 8 weeks on the bridge building course. Over the course of the war more and more sidings were added, presumably for readiness of the D Day Landings. The depot had eight old steam locomotives on site and military stores were a common cargo as well as coal and lime from local places You can also see that the wharf seems to have moved a little nearer the footbridge over the canal. To the north of the camp and over another railway line there were two prisoner of war camps for Germany prisoners, so in this little quiet corner of Derbyshire the war was close at home.

 In 1st January 1945 the line was returned to the London Midland and Scottish Railway. There is very little to show it was ever there. They must have removed the bridge when they left too. In the field by the river is an old rusty boiler that is thought to have come from the old engine that powered the bridge building crane and there are some vertical piles still in the water. Very little remains of the sidings. After the war the camp was used by Ukrainian and Latvian refugees and the Cliff Hotel became the social club and youth hostel for them. As far as I know it is still used by members of the old Russian Baltic States.






Sunday, 10 January 2021

River and Canal.

 We penned up through Cranfleet Lock and had a nice cruise onward.

The fact that the Cranfleet Cut is man made can easily seen when looking along it's very straight length. It was built to bypass the adjacent shallows on the River Trent and was opened in 1797 allowing 40 ton barges to continue onward navigation./

The cooling towers and chimney of the Ratcliffe on Soar power station seem to pop up all over the area as the canals Trent and Mersey, Erewash and Cranfleet CutSoar,  and rivers Trent and Soar meander around the region. It started production in 1968 and is scheduled for closure in 2025. At thew present it has the capacity to power over 2 million homes. In the foreground is the Trent Valley Sailing Club that looks to have a lovely position and good facilities. It also means that on a good weather weekend there are large numbers of boats milling about at this important junction and great care has to be taken as they career about the place at the mercy of the wind.

We were soon at Sawley Locks, as there are a parallel pair of them, although one was under repair. We saw that there was a voluntary keeper and duty so it was all done for us and we were soon on our way. We were getting very short of fuel at this stage and so moored up at the fuel pump outside the marina. It proved almost impossible to obtain fuel as you need to be registered and have an account etc etc. which turned out to be a good thing as it was extremely expensive anyway. 

After the flood lock and the M1 motorway bridge is the more attractive bow string bridge that carries two water pipelines across, one 33" and the other 36". They come from the Derwent Valley Dams and transmit the water to Leicester. There is a footpath across to I believe. It was built in around 1936 I think.

The River Derwent comes in from the right in this photo and was navigable to Derby. The Trent comes in from the left, and straight on is the start of the Trent and Mersey Canal.

Looking to the left, up the Trent is the Long Horse Bridge. The original was wooden and installed at the time the Trent and Mersey canal was built. It served as a tow path to get the boats from the canal to the Trent. The original was replaced in 1932 by a concrete structure. However this was demolished in 2003 as it was not viable to repair it. Unfortunate various problems/delays then occurred and this replacement was eventually opened in 2011! This is also the way to enter Shardlow Marina and is navigable to Cavendish Bridge, or Wilden Ferry as it used to be known.

In the creation of the Grand Trunk Canal, that is now known as the Trent ans Mersey Canal Wilden Ferry was the name given as the termination. It was also the commencement of the Navigable waters of the Trent Navigation Co. The Trent was navigable to Burton on Trent (and a little beyond) at one time but this was under the auspices of Burton on Trent and using a lock at Castle Donnington. Unusually perhaps there were bridges here before a ferry. There is evidence of wooden bridges been here between 1100's and  early 1300's. floods and the shifting gravel banks meant they were hard to keep standing and in 1310 they were replaced by a ferry. This was replaced by a bridge in 1760. It was a toll bridge and was financed by shares. It was called Cavendish Bridge after William Cavendish 4th Duke of Devonshire who was the patron. There was a little argument over this as many others had invested. 

The five arch bridge lasted until 1947 when an arch and the central span was washed away. It was replaced by a bailey bridge until 1957 when the modern bridge was opened. The toll house lasted until the old bridge abutments were removed. There are some toll charges carved on slate that have been preserved and sited near the new bridge.

Before the opening of the Trent and Mersey Soresby and Flack carrying company operated from Cavendish Bridge up to Burton on Trent and elsewhere, but with the new canal opening in 1777 bought land in the Shardlow, but keeping the old operation going for a while.


This map from 1882 shows the old bridge with the rout of the new bridge and old warehouse that still survives as flats. In 1815 a brewery was bought here and greatly expanded by the Fletcher family. It is known that they had a coal wharf  for the brewery. The brewery expanded greatly over the years and had its own maltings. They even had their own gas works later, as can be seen by the gasometers on site. They sold the brewery and some of the houses etc to George Trussel Eaton who continued to develop the porter brewery and appears to have been well liked by workers and customers as every year he put on a lavish festival for workers, locals and customers, numbering up to 200 with food and drink and amusements. He sold the brewery to Offiler's of Derby who eventually closed it down in 1923. There is a conservation zone in Cavendish Bridge that includes buildings from this era. I would recommend that if you haven't been up to the bridge previously it is worth investigating and the river is nice and wide for turning.

We didn't divert up to Cavendish Bridge as we had done so last year, but instead headed straight over the junction and penned up Derwent Mouth Lock and back on the the canal system. I always make a p[oint of taking a picture of Bridge No.1 on the Trent and Mersey as it is named after us, Porter's Bridge. I have had a look and it seems that there was a Mark Porter lived in the are and was a property owner. He married Elizabeth Hancock in 1798 and died in 1843. I may dig a little deeper one day to see if it is him and what he did. A Mark Porter Junior was apprenticed to a rope maker in Derby and it seems it was the right family as the first son was always called Mark.

We had intended to stop in Shardlow but there was little room on the visitor moorings. We decided to bend the rules and moor up on the end of the moorings where a less than 1/4 of our length would be extending beyond the marker post. However a very mouthy women from the permanently moored boat opposite took objection and gave a very colourful tirade about us and our like. I was for ignoring her but very wisely Helen suggested we wanted a quiet life and should continue.

I only mention this as I now find that she was moored on one of the several wharfs that was owned by Soresby and Flack, carriers who had moved here from Wilden Ferry/Cavendish Bridge. This is Soresby's warehouse and dock yard today.

James Soresby moved to Wilden Ferry in 1758, probably to join an uncle Edward who built the last ferry before the bridge in 1702 from Eyam. They bought land on either side of the proposed canal when the news of the route came through. They seemed to have run wide beam boats mainly of various sizes for the different trades, to Gainsborough, Newark, Nottingham and also some narrow boats. In 1805 they were still trading from Cavendish Bridge and had established warehouses at Swarkstone and Chesterfield in Manchester and Morledge in Derby and had agents all over the system. James senior died in 1790 but his son James Junior continued the business and his sister Elizabeth married his partner William Flack.. 

From this plan from the Shardlow Heritage website shows how large the Soresby and Flack enterprise was in the town.

No.19. was Soresby's yard and is where the bumptious woman was moored.
No.20 was The Firs the family home for many years and built in the 1790's.
No.21 was their warehouse and dockyard.
No.26 was Soresby and Flack's grain warehouse and later a corn mill. It is now where the outdoor model railway lives!
No.29  Soresby's warehouse with office and stabling.
No.30 was the family home built in 1770 and is now a restaurant (or was until a fire in 2008. It has since had planning for conversion to a five bedroom house but is still derelict).
No. 35 may have been built by the Soresby's and was certainly tenanted by them at the start of the inland port and until around 1850.
No.7 they also tenanted this small area by Idle Bridge in the early days. The bridge is so named as boats waited in this area for work.

It seems that after the death of William Flack in 1831 the two sons of James Soresby junior took over and changed the name of the business  in 1837 to J and W Soresby. However they seem to have got out of acrrying by 1860 and appeared to have sold at least ten of their vessels to Joshua Fellows.

When ever I pass these beautiful buildings a feel sure that one day somebody will bring them back to life. I just hope that they remain standing until then. They were built in the 1780's I think and were leased by Soresby's in the early years.

We continued up the lock and found a better mooring just before Aston Lock in the peace and quiet of the countryside.




Wednesday, 6 January 2021

The Right Place to get Plastered.

 After a couple of days in Nottingham we set forth once more and Headed down Beeston Cut towards the Trent.

Just before Lenton Chain, where the Nottingham Canal headed north and where the Trent Navigation's Beeston Cut joined with it to link with the Trent above Nottingham is Trevithick's Boat Yard. This opened at the same time as the canal 1796, but it was in 1903 when Tom Trevithick moved his ship.boat building business here from Gainsborough where he had started his yard in 1895.

Soon afterwards he bought two steamers and started up pleasure trips along the canal and as far as Trent Lock. The picture is of one of them passing his yard in 1908.

Later a part of the business was running canoe and rowing boat hire from near Wilford Bridge on the Trent.  The popularity of this area fell and business was hard until WWII and as nobody could go far he started running his steamers from the embankment near Trent Bridge to Colwich Pleasure Park (near Trent Basin) and he did very well. All the time doing building and repair from his yard. This photo from the 1950's shows the yard on the left, and a large building that had been a blacksmiths shop and had been bought by the boat yard in 1920, and then Clayton's Wharf. In both pictures is Gregory Street Bridge that was replaced when the modern industrial estate was created nearby.

We stopped to use the services and wait for a boat penning up the lock. There were two wide locks here at Beeston. The one you can see penned up above the weir and on to the Trent. The other ran to left that you can make out at the bow. This lock penned down to the river below the weir so the Wilford area could be accessed by shallow draft boats,

It is awkward leaving the lock and the heavy wooden fendering on the wall to the right tells you where most folk end up.

Once clear and away from the weir it is back on to the wide open spaces of the Trent.

This stretch of the Trent is lovely with lots to see on the bank . Homes or holiday places that span from ultra modern to rudimentary and many with boats moored on the river.

Next comes Barton Island which seems  to bea real Huckleberry Finn spot. In 1916 it was for let at reasonable terms and consisted of a bungalow with a tennis lawn and rose walks. By 1953 there were two huts on it one belonging to the Ist Nottingham Sea Scouts and the other by 2nd Beeston Sea Scouts. The name on the advert for the letting was King of Beastmarket Hill in Nottingham. This could have been Mrs. Elizabeth King who ran a pork pie shop there. Her pies became famous and are still on sale in Nottingham and Borough Market in London. The shop was demolished though in 1966.

The winter floods had shifted large amounts of sand and gravel on the Trent and lower down there are had been groundings outside some of the locks. Here at Thrumpton Shoal was another place where it had built up and dredging was taking place. In October 1874 in the course of a week around 250 boats were stuck on this patch. There had been a long summer drought and a massive build up of 'new weed' Canadian pondweed. Over the weekend around 200 gongoozlers came to watch the fun. There was a cluster of 82 boats were almost piled together, many of them carrying cheese for Nottingham Fair. In their attempts to get clear there were many lines to the bank, kedge anchors out in the river, lines to the bank for blocks and purchases as well as to multi horse rigs. They looked like they were stuck in a spiders web. There was much to see for the bystanders as the boatmen pushed, pulled and heaved and crossed the river on horses etc, often falling into gravel pits. The paper was proud to say that only a couple of times did profanities pass their lips! On the Saturday night many managed to get clear but 30 or 40 were left. A coasl barge that was laying across the channel was badly damaged by several other boats colliding with her amidships

Next, on the south bank, come Barton in Fabis. You can't see it though but at one time in the 1930's it was a hot destination for day trippers to come. Every house had tea and hot water for sale, as well as ice creams etc. On the north bank the landing was close to the mouth of the River Erewash.

This picture shows the scene in 1904 looking from the north bank and it appears on a map of 1774. In the 30's there were two punt like craft offering their service run by George and Arthur Chamberlain. Arhur Tindal seems to have taken over from them in the 1950's until it closed in the early 1960's.

A little further upstream was the wharf that served the gypsum mines at Gotham and district. The wharf seems to have become disused by the 1950's. There is nothing to see from a distance, but worth a closer look perhaps.

A little further still you come to the village of Thrumpton, of which little can be seen from the river. How ever this was not the case in the past as there was a wharf and factory there, along with another ferry.. The plaster Mill was linked to the gypsum mines by a long plateway railway. You can see on this 1921 map that it was a large concern. The plateway can be seen heading off to the right. The factory seems to have been started in the 1840's. In 1877 the works was up for sale. In 1874 it was owned by Joseph Gregory of Loughborough following the dissolving of a partnerships with others. In 1876 it seems to have been owned by a Thomas Robey whose father had owned it before him. The mines and mill were owned by the same people and as he wasn't qualified in anyway to run the mine he was fined £5 following a death by asphyxiation when digging a new shaft for ventilation and pumping. The name of the company was the Trent Mining Company

This postcard from around 1900 shows the ferry and the factory. As you can is it was a fairly large concern. In 1877 it 's lease was for saleand we can see the land was owned by Lady Byron of Trumpton Hall at £600 per year plus royalties on every ton of plaster at 1s 6d and the same for every 1000 bricks. The factory had 20HP engine driving the machinery, calcining kilns, boiling ovens, tramway and steam locomotives and waggons. The output of the mines was said to be 1/8 best stone, 1/8 pottery stone, 1/4 second stone and 1/2 coarse stone. There were also two narrow boats suggesting that at least the pottery stone products would have been transported up the Trent and Mersey. There were adverts for boatmen in 1900 that specified that they should be used to working on the Trent so perhaps they also had barges to work the river. By 1891 the company had become incorporated and one Albert Robey was still one of the directors. There was a court case between the sharholders and directors and by 1907 the business was owned by the Trent Navigation Co. In 1933 a Ruston Diesel 2'2" narrow gauge locomotive was sold to Gotham mines so perhaps this was the end of the enterprise as by WWII the factory disappears from the maps.

The next spot of interest is the Cranfleet lock onto the cut that navigates around the weir and leads to the River Soar and the Erewash Canal and onward to Sawley on the Trent and Shardlow for the Trent and Mersey Canal.


Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Forgotten Freight can be found.

After Hazelford Lock we continued up the Trent towards Nottingham.. The trip is fun, but with few places to stop. 

It was a lovely day to be on the river and there were the usual number of fishermen chancing their arms. I an always struck by how much gear they have with them to catch fish. Those critters must be mighty clever.

We shared Gunthorpe Lock with a boat who had left Hazelford a little after of us but were taking their time.

Stoke lock looked nice and quiet but we were heading further on. The lock keepers were all very chatty and helpful and pass on your ETA to the next lock after confirming that you are going onward.

Just through the Radcliffe railway viaduct is this wharf that was next to an aggregates quarry. It looks as though it has been used fairly recently and there has been a wharf here since the 1950's though.

In the 1930's Colwich became the site of the development of an industrial estate. Russian Oil Products ROP was a company that was set up in 1924 to market oil produced in the oil fields of the then Russian Baku and Grozny oil fields. They set up a depot here in 1930 and had four of their own barges delivering fuel there from the Humber. No petrol was brought into Nottingham via the Trent in 1928 but they had a 700% increase on their 1929 figure. The company was thought by the UK Government to be a vehicle to bring spies etc into the country and indeed two directors were expelled from the country in 1929. However they were granted equal access to the markets in the 1930's. 

The oil depots at Colwich, below Holm's Lock in the 1960's

By the 1960's there were 5 jetties on this one site. You can tell it was an oil jetty as there is a little derrick which was used to heave the oil pipeline up to the manifold on the jetty. ROP laso had a small depot at Althorpe, near Keadby Bridge and the Keadby and Stainforth Canal lock until the 1950's. They also had a depot at Blisworth, right next to the Marina at Gayton, on the Grand Union that was supplied via the canal. Another company that had a depot in Colwich was the Power Petrol Company that was set up in 1923 and also marketed Russian oil, and they also had their own boats for the work. Nottingham also had depots for  Shell-Mex and BP but they used the vessels of Harkers, Whitakers or Cory's. ROP and Power became quite large against the others as they were undercutting their prices by a couple pence as the market was growing. There were another couple of jetties a little further up river and I'm not sure if this was the Shell-Mex/BP terminal and the ROP and Power shared the other one.

Very nice posters from the two Russian oil marketing companies.

A little further towards Holme's Lock was this wharf that was set up to service a concrete products factory after WWII but doesn't look like it has been used since around the 1970's.

We went up through Holme's Lock and moored above. This is next the Holmes Pierre Point Water Sports Centre and you have a first hand view of the white water rafting course. We decided to take a stroll round the long rowing lake on a lovely afternoon.

The next day it was gloomy and with a hint of drizzle in the air for our arrival in Nottingham. before arriving at Meadow Lane Lock we passed the old Trent Basin. In 1922 Nottingham Corporation took control of the river from the Trent Navigation company and set about improving/enlarging the locks between 1922 and 1926. The last one to be finished was Hazelford that was reopened by Neville Chamberlain. In 1928 they started on the Trent Basin terminal. By 1933 there was the basin with 6 foot of water at summer river levels with No.2 warehouse. On the river front was No.1 warehouse. there were also



This is Trent Basin in the 1960's with railway lines down each side of the basin and lots of transit sheds to the west. Just to the west of this plan is a terminal that was built in 1930's for Anglo American Company oil products. The basin buildings were demolished in 2012 and now is the site of a housing project that is supposed to be using all green technology including battery storage that will see all power produced on site being used on site and excess sold to the grid and profits split between the property owners.

We went up the Meadow Lane Lock that had been closed due to it being caved in and on to the remainder of the Nottingham Canal. Just up from the lock on the River Trent are some more warehouses that also belonged the Trent Navigation Company/Nottingham Corporation. For some reason no boats seem to moor in the city centre. It is a little gloomy being overshadowed by tall buildings but parts seem quiet enough. On the right is a warehouse that  backs on to a road called Ironstone Wharf was owned by the Nottingham Canal Co. and was for grain storage. It seems to still have some industrial application. On the right the new properties have been built on on goods yards for the railway.

This area was known as Island Wharf and until 1818 had a warehouse of the Nottingham Boat Company there. In September of that year a narrow boat was loading and had 21 barrels of gunpowder pound for the quarries at Cromford, via the canal. The explosion completely demolished the warehouse and killed 8 men and two boys who were fishing nearby. The Fellows, Morton and Clayton Warehouse was built in 1895 with covered moorings to work the boats. On the road side are some lovely offices that acted as the company's coal carrying offices. Both buildings are part of a pub/brewery complex and are Grade II Listed.

Just a little further on is the British Waterways warehouse that was built in 1919 but is now flats. The area of Island Wharf is now known as Castle Wharf.

Non oil products were usually transported via the river and canals towed by a tug of the various companies that normally towed three barges behind them. The first to be dropped off would be the last in the tow. The dumb barges were manned and they slipped their tow as they approached their berth and had to momentum, wind and current to get alongside, or drop the anchor and get ashore with a line in the coggy boat to heave themselves in. When bound for the canal they would get a tow up the canal with a horse and try to man haul of pole back to the river. Trade was immense at one time on the Trent. In 1931 there had been an 8 fold increase to 117,449 tons. By 1935 there were 200 vessels trading regularly from the Humber to Nottingham. WWII saw a drop in trade but by 1953 it had reached 727,600 tons, half of which was oil products. By 1964 it had topped a million tons and 1974 dropped to 455,500 tons, 1984 300,000 and even in 1994 it was still 170,000. I wonder if it will start to rise again in an attempt to same the CO2 production etc.