Friday 11 April 2014

Sheffield Basin to Tinsley. (1)

This is the first in a series of postings which will include some old photographs taken along the South Yorkshire Navigation. Today the navigation is used for leisure, however for many years it was an essential service for fledgling businesses during the early days of the industrial revolution.  Eventually overtaken for speed and carrying capacity by the railways. The railways like the waterways has since shrunk over time. Starting with the privations brought about by the Beeching axe. Now the navigation only has a limited commercial use being mostly leisure with a historical perspective. That harks back to a far different era.

Sheffield Basin to Tinsley. (1)

© JR James Archive
The canal basin in Sheffield has been redeveloped in recent times. Ripe for new use since it fell into disuse as a result of the carriage of boat cargo slowly dwindling away in the 60's. Maintenance of the waterways was actively discouraged and it was only the efforts of canal enthusiasts and volunteers that stopped many canal abandonment and closures.

Sheffield was built upon coal and the manufacturing of steel products. The Tinsley canal provided an easy route to carry coal in and the manufactured goods out of the city centre. Once the main employment in Sheffield and surrounding area was steel and coal. Now both have been decimated, that's progress for you!  

Cargo consisting of steel, grain, coal and timber were a common sight. It seems strange to realise now that in 1957 to 1960 I was enjoying my summer holidays from school with the occasional opportunity for travel on the last of the cargo carrying barges. In the autumn of 1960 we left our home on the side of the canal and moved away miles from my watery haunts. But  the seeds of the canal were set, to grow and blossom later.

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