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Pluto last won the day on July 12 2011

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About Pluto

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    European inland waterway history, including the transfer of technology during the early industrial revolution; wooden boat construction on inland waterways; the history of opening bridges; and the L&LC.

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    industrial historian
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  1. Help with this location please

    Don't forget that several camping boats operated on the L&LC, either for Peter Froud or through Northern Counties Carriers (Geoff Wheat). Amongst those used were June, Frank, Finch, Lune, Wye, Irwell and Weaver.
  2. Google Earth Canal & River Map.

    On the Douglas Navigation/L&LC, it is difficult to show what happened as the river below Rufford was straightened c1805. The navigation built the canal from Rufford to Sollom c1760, joining the old river at either end. The current canal line below Sollom was opened c1805, using the old river line between Sollom and the A59 bridge. Further up river, at Wigan, the navigation branched off the river to Miry Lane Ends, the current canal basin being part of the old Navigation, dating from 1741.
  3. Nr Bulls Bridge - Side Arm

    With a pub at three corners, it is obviously an open air pissoir.
  4. Most crossed road ?

    Actually, there is no such ting as the Leeds Liverpool, it crosses the Leeds & Liverpool Canal - missing out the 'and' is just lazy. It also crosses a surviving section of the Mersey & Irwell Navigation on the north side of the Thelwall Viaduct.
  5. Coal to Wigan power station

    One of my friends from the L&LC Society emailed to say where he had seen the photo previously, which is the book "Lancashire Carriers', a history of Monk's carrying business. The people are, from the left, Mr Walker, Paul Davies, Richard Davies, Charlie Davies and Billy Davies, the photo being one by the Lancashire Evening Post.
  6. Keels on the Bank

    They were some of the boats used for carrying coal to Ravensthorpe Power Station. The plant was built just after the war, and continued to have coal delivered by boat until 1981. The last wooden boats were the Anglela Jane and the Ethel, the former being burnt out in 1975, raised and taken to Stanley Ferry for breaking up. Stanley Ferry was where many boats which worked in the area were broken up, so the photo could be there, possibly in the 1960s. It would need to be somewhere with a low bank for pulling the boats out. The boats are West-country keels, and probably built at Mirfield, where a number were built post-war. The one on the for right of the first picture seems to have a square transom, a design which made its way into Yorkshire via the L&LC. It is possible that it is a converted keel, where the rounded stern has been cut off because it was in poor condition, and a square stern fitted as a cheap way of keeping the boat in traffic.
  7. Coal to Wigan power station

    The date of the last run was 11th August, 1972, though I can't help with the names. I am sure Alan Holden will know.
  8. It was the Limited Liability Act of 1855 in the UK, just about the time when industrial development in this country started to go downhill, with large sectors of management unable to keep up with or invest in modern technology. All limited liability does is to pass on debts to the general population - those careful with their money - through increased prices to cover debts.
  9. Water Wanderer

    Actually, inside photos would be of interest, if they show how things were arranged for passengers.
  10. Yesterday's Witness BBC 2 1969

    I worked on Lapwing in 1972, the last year that Charlie worked regularly as steerer, which is where I learnt much about boat handling, though George Radford had helped previously, and a number of L&LC boatmen subsequently.
  11. No one using an adze correctly would leave highly visible marks in timber. Properly adzed timber is virtually flat, hardly requiring the use of a plane. What is replicated today on replacement beams and the like are the marks left by axes.
  12. The green spot mystery

    I wouldn't call them wide boats on the L&LC, as they are what the canal was built for, they are just boats. On traditional L&LC boats, the chimney was in the middle of the deck, next to the forward bulkhead. You just had to line the chimney up with the line on the bridge to go through without touching. The white line around bridge arches and at lock entrances was probably introduced around 1875 when regular flyboats working to a timetable day and night were introduced.
  13. Water Wanderer

    Rather an unusual way to end a trip! I, and I am sure others, would be interested to see any photos you can find. The time when canals/waterways were changing from commercial to leisure use is becoming of interest to historians, so any information is very useful.
  14. Mersey flats spike island widnes

    As with much from Wikipedia, this is not strictly true. The Mersey flat was not always double-ended, as a significant number had square sterns. Although the second mast could be a mizzen, it was usually called a jigger, with jigger being the Liverpool term for an alley behind terraced housing, often occupied by jigger rabbits, or cats as some call them. The size of flats varied considerably, often for no apparent reason, as an examination of the 18th century port registers will show, though it could be a result of the waterways on which they were intended to be used.
  15. Oh dear

    That is certainly the case with Norfolk wherries over the last hundred years or so, but the Norfolk wherry evolved from Viking ships and ceols into coastal cargo boats and Norfolk keels, and then boats for loading and unloading ships waiting to enter Yarmouth, so earlier they would certainly have had to lie on the mud. The flat bottom required would have made them suitable for the shallow waters of the Broads as lands there were drained and water levels controlled.