Monday, 16 December 2013

Old Waterway Photograph (5)

Collecting postcards, or Deltiology as it is known, is a fascinating hobby. Our recent history has to a point been documented by postcards. It's curious in a way even with all the wonderful advances in technology. It's hard to believe that the good old picture postcard is still with us and still going strong. I did a posting on collecting old photographic postcards. Which gives some simple background information about what is an interesting hobby. Click Here

This is an old postcard titled 'Stamford Bridge Canal" and what seems to be a lock keepers type cottage, which might well have been a bridge keepers cottage is on the left.  There is a bridge in the background but no sign of a lock. The photograph dates from around 1908. In front of the cottage is what seems to be someone's floating home complete with portholes!  This looks like one in a series of photographs taken around Stamford and published by W Bramley of Cross Gates Leeds.

What location on the canal is this?
I think that this may be the disused Stamford Canal in Lincolnshire. It opened in 1670, around 100 years before the start of the Industrial Revolution which brought about the "golden age" for canals in Britain. Parts of the route can be traced on the ground, though only one lock survives intact.  It ran for 9.5 miles from Stamford to Market Deeping and had 12 locks, two of which were on the river section. By 1860, the locks were leaking and the canal was difficult to navigate by boat. In 1863, all water-borne trade ceased. By the time of the photograph the canal would have been closed for some time. The canal, was also known at various times as the Stamford and Welland Canal and the Welland Navigation.  No plans of its construction survive.

The line of the canal around Stamford can be picked out easily on goggle earth.  The River Welland runs along the bottom. The River Gwash runs down almost diagonally through the centre. While the line of the canal loops from bottom right, over the top towards the left.
The major structures included Thorpe's lock in Market Deeping, the A15 bridge and then Molecey's lock. This was followed by Eastfield lock, St Andrews lock a Railway bridge and Tallington Horse Holmes lock. The next lock is Tallington Village lock followed by Copthill Turnpike lock, then Copthill Farm East lock and Copthill Farm West lock. Uffington Stone Bridge was followed by Hudd's Mill lock just before reaching the end of navigation.

There is a engineering time line available. Click Here

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