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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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376 of 396  Tue 25th Jun 2019 3:49pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3069

When I think of the Coventry of two centuries ago, my mind goes to Constable's painting of 'The Lock'. A beautiful painting of what could have been on the Sherbourne instead of the Stour. The Sherbourne had to have been a much greater river as they called it the 'Severn' - it once covered Spon End and West Orchard to the depth of 5/6 feet in a violent storm, trapping the people in St John's Church for some time until rescued by horse and wagon. Although a landscape painter rather than an history painter, it gives a clear view of what old locks were about. He also painted several water mills in the early 19th century so we can imagine what Pool Meadow once looked like - or I can.
Canals around Coventry
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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377 of 396  Wed 3rd Jul 2019 11:26am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3069

"Okay, let's get this monkey into the cut, now its bottom's been cleaned". These are the words I would expect about to be uttered by the guy in the narrowboat (taken about 1880) on post #50, Wyken Slough topic. He owned the repair yard at Tusses Bridge, employed the men in the picture, ten boats and the horses to tow them, a wharf in Coventry Basin, offices in Bishop Street, and a number of houses and a couple of pubs. 'Monkey' was the nickname of a butty boat - cleaned and repaired, the boat is on the slipway ready to be slipped into the cut. His sons, born on the boats, followed his calling - one of his grandsons was the last man to leave working on the cut for Inland Waterways in the Coventry area, the man responsible for stopping the cut from draining between Brinklow and Sutton Stop during the war. In 1855 all narrowboats had to be registered and licensed to trade. The first pleasure boat to berth in Coventry Basin was in 1954, it was towed by hand from New Inn Bridge to the basin, to stop the engine from being fouled.
Canals around Coventry
Midland Red
Cherwell
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378 of 396  Mon 9th Sep 2019 4:32pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5392

Sutton Stop, by James Kessell
Canals around Coventry
NeilsYard
Coventry
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379 of 396  Mon 16th Sep 2019 11:07am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2260

Does anyone have any images of the coal bunkers at the Basin pre-development or when in use, that today make up 'The Tin' music venue?
Canals around Coventry
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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380 of 396  Tue 17th Sep 2019 1:56pm  
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NeilsYard, What is your idea of a coal bunker? What are you looking for? Neil, to me a coal bunker/cellar was under the house or road, where people stored their coal for burning - to me there was nothing at the basin to my knowledge except wharves and weighbridges. I think people have the wrong idea. The canal coal business was very small part, it was for heavy goods and mostly water the wharf at Coventry Basin was built especially for, and by a water-carrier, there were more water carriers at the basin than coal people in the beginning for the best part of a century. Now to me the best place to trace the coal chute from pavement to bunker was in Palmer Lane as I posted on that topic but few people seemed interested. The biggest customer in Coventry for coal was Longford Power Station, supplied by train, stored in the open by conveyor belts - the only danger was if the heaps got too hot, so regularly moved around by hand and belts.
Canals around Coventry
NeilsYard
Coventry
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381 of 396  Tue 17th Sep 2019 2:05pm  
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Kaga - they were these. They now make up The Tin Music venue.
Canals around Coventry
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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382 of 396  Tue 17th Sep 2019 2:55pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3069

Neil, Doubt very much they were storage for coal, have no idea where they are or their use.
Canals around Coventry
NeilsYard
Coventry
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383 of 396  Tue 17th Sep 2019 4:10pm  
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Canals around Coventry
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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384 of 396  Wed 18th Sep 2019 9:36am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3069

NeilsYard, The last time I saw those tunnels was in the early fifties, and completely different, completely encased in the brick building. They had great wooden doors either side, a brick building above them, there had been a wooden staircase fixed to the wall that led to the top floor. On the water side was in bad state. I was sleeping aboard an old working motor boat converted to a houseboat, the very first one to do so, right where that one is moored in your photo - the building you see through them was Cartwrights timber yard, where I worked for a couple of weeks, to put me on the tax radar. And as far as I know they were built as entrance and storage tunnels for water wagons, but let's go back to early 18th century.
Canals around Coventry
scrutiny
coventry
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385 of 396  Wed 18th Sep 2019 9:47am  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:683

Cannot say I remember the arches but I do remember the great stack of coals against the wall. Used to play in the basin in the 50s, much to the despair of our mothers we used to slide down the coal heaps. Thumbs up
Canals around Coventry
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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386 of 396  Wed 18th Sep 2019 11:05am  
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I have to do it this way, I lose so much. The Coventry Canal, or "Navigation” as it was first called, was obtained by an Act of Parliament in April 1768. It opened August the following year, the first two loads of coal from Bedworth came into the Coventry Basin to great applause. The canal system helped to facilitate the removal of heavy goods from place to place, before the better roads of 1800. Goods damaged in those days by water were often dried in a malt kiln. Thomas Bache did a lot of water carrying trade. I believe he built the first warehouse for his cart. His cart was a barrel on wheels which held 100/30 gallons of water let out of a tap into buckets at a halfpenny each. The water carts of which there was about half a dozen helped the supply of water to the city before the opening of the water supply from Spon End water works around 1830 - these Coventry water carriers were named Frank Crab, Billy Tibbets, "Short-Arm" Johnson, and "Bacco" Westwick. Thomas Goodall was the agent for the canal company at the canal house. After that era then coal became more prominent. But it would be doubtful that coal was stored there as it was the main entrance to the basin, the weighbridge gates used mostly for outgoing.
Canals around Coventry
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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387 of 396  Tue 24th Sep 2019 1:53pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3069

Rob has kindly put my photo of the Simpson boat repair yard at Tusses Brodge on this topic (post 110), mistakenly put on Wyken Slough by my son. This shows my great granddad about 1880 on his own boat and his own repair yard. The canal in those days was a very slow horse-drawn boats affair, but imagine on a nice summer's morning heading out into our beautiful countryside, slowly gliding through the water, the plop of the water vole. There was no prop-wash frothing at her stern, there were reed banks with tall flowing bullrushes that bent with the wind, catkins kissed your cheeks, bright yellow flags bent, seemed to say good morning. Quietude, you hear the wind rustle over the fields, the owls shriek, then alone with your thoughts. Coots with their blood curdling scream, bats brushed your hair when you approached a tunnel in the evening. But the old boat people new a thing or two, every mile or so they built a pub, run by boat people, and always the flurry of changing or feeding the horses, the smell of leather, brasses to be polished, a hard life, but never a visit to a "shrink". NeilsYard, if you look at post 69 you will see the height over those bunkers.
Canals around Coventry
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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388 of 396  Wed 25th Sep 2019 3:37am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:3332

Kaga, some lovely memories you have captured again. I imagine a few of the old boat people would have glided passed the Navi on a few of those occasions, and maybe met a few bats under the bridge. Have a good day. Wave
Canals around Coventry
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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389 of 396  Fri 27th Sep 2019 10:55am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3069

Here is the way I see it, In 1927 the Craven Mine closed, this was devastation to the narrow boats, most folded. The Wyken Basin became obsolete, so did the railway line between the mines and Aldermans Green Road. The basin was left to rot and became overgrown with weeds, and so did the Coventry canal from Sutton Stop to the Basin at Bishop street. The canal between the Greyhound and Grange Road bridge was overgrown with reeds and weeds, except under Grange Road bridge where the kids swam and paddled, and people threw old bed frames, etc. in the cut. My school friend "Chunky Finch" dived off the bridge and was speared. This was the late 30s so the canal was not navigable for boats into Coventry because it was not used and not serviced. So what I am saying? No boat entered that part of the canal (except one) until my father and his team dragged the rubbish out of the canal in the late fifties. Now many of you have visited the Greyhound pub, here is history. Not more than six yards from that pub the lock was fractured, the towpath breeched and the water lost as far back as Tusses Bridge, by German bombers. This was not luck, this was aimed for, it can be traced by the rest of the bombs, yet no one has mentioned it. I am sure there must be some trace or photo or story in that pub. I have a very small photo of the lock being repaired in 1940. I am amazed that I cannot find a post by any Coventry Canal Society member with information, criticism, or whatever on this topic?
Canals around Coventry
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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390 of 396  Sun 29th Sep 2019 2:01pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3069

Midland Red, Your photo on 378 has to be the old toll house (there's one down by you on the Oxford Road), which also became the lock keeper's house. He would measure the load of the boat by the depth of the boat in the water, with a special stick, he then would calculate the charge - there was a charge for unloaded boats. He also would be in charge of the order of boats through the lock if there were more than one, but he would not open or close the lock - the boatmen did - he only supervised. The canals were first called the Navigation Com, so the men that did the work with shovels and barrows were called 'Navies', and travelled from site to site. But for cheapness, especially tunnels, created the width of the narrow boat which created the width of the canal, but costs made them follow the contours of the land, to the annoyance of boatmen on the Oxford Canal, who swore they could travel all day and still hear the hour chimes of Brinklow church, and in places could look over the fields and be level with a boat that was hours ahead. The Grand Junction Canal was made to connect four main Rivers: Trent, Mersey, Severn and Thames. I wrote this in a more detailed and better way but lost it, so you get the brief version.
Canals around Coventry

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