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About Heartland

  • Birthday 25/06/49

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Stechford, Birmingham, West Midlands
  • Interests
    Industrial Archeology
    Folk Music

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Industrial Historian and author
  1. How Many Straws To Break The Camel’s Back ?

    One comment made on this thread is the worrying item relating to the CRT and the way they appear to take all viewpoints to the detriment of the boaters. Whether this true is a matter for discussion. The number of different groups that now have an influence on CRT policy must, however, be a matter of concern as every important decision can be clouded by diversity of opinion. It is not the case of a strong voice or vision, winning through, but a mixture of views diluted by a savage political correctness. In the old days of the Board it was the case of making a decision, whether for the best or not. Now the agenda is lost and priorities forgotten often to suit ideas and concepts that have little relevance to the good of the working waterway. That is not to say that heritage or wildlife should not be forgotten, each has its place, but the myriad of other topics that have come to the fore since the formation of CRT amounts not to straws, but large boulders that promise to crush the camel deep into the sand.
  2. Stoke-Derby Road

    There is a lot to be said for the far sighted Lichfield & Hatherton Trust whose latest challenge is to raise funds for the railway underbridge near Lichfield. As to the Derby Canal this 1996 artistic impression may have been a reality now:
  3. Stoke-Derby Road

    Whatever happened to the crossing over the Derby Canal by the A564. There was a plan to divert the restoration project to a new bridge site, but that was some 20 years ago. Despite a lot of different schemes being proposed including the swinging aqueduct over the Derwent. Not a lot has been achieved.
  4. Wiener Neustadt Kanal

    I wonder if your friend was really a fiend! It will be however to see what the engineer wrote about British Canals
  5. Black Angel

    Was the steam launch Black Angel the first canal cruiser? On August 4th, 1876 Peter Willans set off for a journey from the Thames at Henley to Yorkshire that would take in inland waterways and rivers. He did it, at least in part, to prove the advantages of his patent engine. In doing so Peter encouraged other explorative voyages. These included Temple Thurstan on the Flower of Gloucester and Lionel Thomas Caswell Rolt on Cressy. What ever happened to Black Angel?
  6. Yes the Docks & Inland Waterways Executive- this was formed on January 1st 1948 and was one of the Executives responsible to the British Transport Commission. It acquired docks and independent waterways and then had transferred to it the railway owned canals (1948-1950). Not all waterways came under BTC /DIWE ownership, though. waterways such as the Manchester Ship Canal remained separate and that id why the Bridgewater has a separate license. The next Government changed the structure abolishing the executives (apart from London Transport) and creating the Board organisation. For the waterways they had their own board and British Transport Docks became a separate organisation. Although in the case of Sharpness that dock remained under British Transport Waterways control as did Keadby. So, whilst CRT are changing their management structure they cannot return to the days of the DIWE.
  7. How Many Straws To Break The Camel’s Back ?

    I hope that is not the case as all those efforts by campaigners such as Tom Rolt and Charles Hadfield will have been lost. All those rallies and all the free time given by volunteers to bring back the system from the brink of closure to the present extensive mileage enjoyed by boaters, walkers and yes the fishermen. Fishermen need the boats to keep their their fishing areas clear and stir up the silt to improve fishing conditions, they in turn assist with the bank maintenance and also keep a watchful eye on those that pass by. As to the cyclists there are two types, those who travel along the towpath for leisure and within this group are boaters themselves with cycles. Then there are the others who use the towpath to get to work. Amongst their number are those that race along, oblivious to the needs of others or any damage they may do the path. It is this second group of people CRT should charge and penalise, if warranted. Putting back the barriers will just be a start. I see in Alan's list there is no mention of charges for cyclists!
  8. Belmont butty

    One can only hope that the transfer of Belmont goes ahead. There is a more general concern about the projects such as where Belmont was located, though. Time and time again schemes for preservation come into place only to find that there is little security for that which is preserved. Nottingham Canal Museum closed at the end of March 1998 following budget cuts within the council. Such budget cuts go on and on and raises the question what is safe now, particularly where local councils are concerned. Moreover are canal sites seen as a easy place to make them?
  9. Ronald Moore, artist

    Oh yes, his way of depicting narrow boats is much to be desired. Looking at any painting, water colour or sketch can have the element of interpretation, but Mr Moore seems to go farther than most
  10. The Big Freeze of 1963

    The winter of 1962 through to 1963 can be said to have a catastrophic effect on midland canal carriers. I was told by one boatman the ice was broken up to keep traffic moving, but in sone places no water was left and craft were left stranded and sometimes damaged by the ice
  11. Ronald Moore, artist

    There are at least two Ronnies, involved in the art world. This Ronald Moore studied art in Birmingham and then Oxford (1961-1968). From time to time paintings by this artist come up for sale and some include his interpretation of Birmingham Canal scenes. On his website, Mr Moore, states how he carefully drew from memory to paint various examples of Birmingham Canals in the 1960's. They are all atmospheric views showing various industries along the canal, side. In one recently sold painting he placed a good representation of the Locomotive Bridge (Huddersfield Canal) in the centre of Birmingham. So is his method artistic licence or has he crossed the border to total fantasy?
  12. Mystery location on the BCN any ideas?

    The deletion of the image,makes any observations on this topic impossible
  13. Cyclists

    The location of the barriers were chosen to reduce the risk to walkers and boaters through inconsiderate cyclists passing along the towpath at speed. These locations included certain mooring spots or areas where there are a high number of pedestrians on the towpath. It seems to be a facet of our society where people believe their personal interests over-ride the wishes or feelings of others. That is why we see the unregistered trail bikes roaring along the canal side, the fixed wheel cyclists doing their bit to practice for the next Tour de France or the quad bikes churning up as much ground as possible. Sooner or later CRT will have to make a decision as to how to control this situation. The worst outcome that will affect all is the total ban for all cyclists on the towpaths of England and Wales. Few, I believe want that, but if there are more serious injuries to pedestrians, the Courts may see differently.
  14. Rotating Waterway Wall

    Lock maintenance is a facet of keeping the waterways open. Yet the construction techniques used at the time of building on occasion required rectification at some point in time. Building the Worcester & Birmingham Canal was a long process, with the locks between Tardebigge and Worcester being constructed over a period of some five years. Some of the locks on the approach to Worcester lacked the overspill weir. The top lock is much deeper as it replaced the boat lift that had been installed there.
  15. What happens if you leave the paddles open

    Richmond Lock is also rather unusual it is termed a "half tide lock"