History Newspaper Archives
Newspaper Archives 1870 - 1879
1878 Swing Bridge Fleet St Swindon
Tenders are invited for the erection of a swing bridge over the Wilts and Berks Canal, at the east end of Fleet Street. The drawings and specification may be seen at the office of Mr J .R. Shopland, Esq Swindon.

Tenders to be sent in on or before the 9th day of February next to the undersigned.The lowest or any tender will not necessarily be accepted.

Sec to Fleet Street Bridge Committee.
66 Regent Street,
New Swindon.
The Swindon Advertiser 1878

Mar 1875 Proposal to Close the Canal
The Swindon ( New Town ) local Board have decided to oppose the bill now before Parliament for powers to close the Wilts and Berks Canal, the cost of the opposition to be defrayed out of the public rates.

Swindon Advertiser
March 22nd 1875

Dec 1878 Old Canal Company

To Major Prower, the chairman of the meeting of the above company held on 10th December 1878.

Sir -

I beg to tender my best thanks to you, as chairman, and through you, to J. C. Townsend, Esq, S Townsend, Esq, and J. H. Piper, Esq, requisitionists, and also to the general body of shareholders of the now dissolved company, for awarding to me compensation to the amount of £100 for past services as Clerk to the Company.

I am sir, yours respectfully,
Carlyle Cottage Sheppard-street, New Swindon,
17th December 1878.

The Swindon Advertiser

Dec 21st 1878.

July 1878 New Canal Company

The half- yearly meeting of this company was held on the 28th ult at the company's office Swindon, the chairman, Mr Henry Taylor, presiding.

The audited accounts showed a good balance in favour of the company, which was carried to the next account, and there is every probability of an increased dividend being paid to the shareholders at the annual meeting.

Mr Thos, Turner, of Swindon, was re-elected managing director, and Mr Jones, of Stratton, was elected a director in the place of Mr. Adam Twine of Wootton Basset.

The Swindon Advertiser
July 13th 1878.

May 1878 Fleet St Bridge

The operations in connection with the erection of a new bridge, which will provide a new and more commodious route to the station, were commenced on Monday morning early. The North Wilts Canal was dammed on either side of the site of operations, and as the water was drawn off, agreat deal of interest was manifested in the catching of the various kinds of fish which were left floundering " high and dry " in the mud.

The bridge will be built at about the same level as that of the Golden Lion , and so will avoid the awkward rize which is such a nuisance at Bullen,s Bridge, which it will no doubt in a great measure supersede, as it will provide an almost straight road from the station to Rushey Platt.
Messrs Edwards are the contractors, and the structure will stand on a solidly built brick and stone foundation on a bed of concrete, and will be constructed so as to swing round when any boats require to pass ( which judging by the traffic on the canal of late, will be but seldom ).
The roadway will be 9ft.6in wide and the footway 6ft.6in.

We believe that the money, excepting £150, the amount of expenses incurred in the erection of this bridge is promised, and we hope the remainder will soon be paid.- on Thursday morning a considerable number of people assembled on the canal banks to witness the ceremony of laying the foundation stones of the structure. The two stones were then laid by Miss Barker, daughter of the hon. sec. of the committee and by Miss Westlake, daughter of the chairman of the committee.

Swindon Advertiser
May 6th 1878

Dec 1874 Closing of the Canal

At the ordinary monthly meeting of the Bristol Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping on Friday it was reported that a letter had been received in reply to a communication from the chamber to the chairman of the Wilts and Berks Canal Company, expressing regret at the advertised intention of the company to close the cana.

The chairman of this company ( Major Prower ) wrote that the completion of the Great Western Railway had caused the expenses of the canal to exceed its receipts, and that there appears no hope of a better result ; but at the same time the canal proprietors would look with favour on any opportunity of selling it as a going concern to any parties who would make an offer for its purchase.

The Swindon Advertiser
Dec 21st 1874

Feb 1875 Riparian Owners Meeting
A meeting of the riparian owners of this canal was held at the Queens Hotel, Swindon, on Monday.

Mr T. J. Heathcot presided, and counsel's opinion on the bill for the sale or closing of the canal having been read, it was resolved that it was desirable to at once lodge a petition against the proposed bill, with a view to protect the interests of thr riparian proprietors.

A committee was appointed to act for the proprietors in the prosecution of the petition, and it was further resolved that, as far as it was in the power of the meeting to bind the general body of riparian owners, all expenses that have been incurred or may be incurred in the prosecution of the proceedings shall be borne in accordance with the interests of the proprietors, taking into consideration the length of frontage adjoining the canal, the length available for water supply, and all other rights, as shall be assessed by the committee.

Mr Townsend, who represents some of the riparian owners of the Swindon district, while not opposing the last resolution, did not support it. Messrs Meek, Jackson, and Lush ( of Devizes ) were requested to undertake the proceedings on behalf of the riparian propietors, under the direction of the committee.

Swindon Advertiser
February 15th 1875

March 1871 The New bridge
This bridge although "down only some nine months, is now up" for repairs, causing a complete stoppage to a large portion of the daily-increasing traffic between Old Swindon and New Swindon.
As we stated at the time this bridge was opened, four iron tubes, or coffer-dams are sunk in the ground, two on each side of the canal; over these tubes there are pillars, in the centre of which there are chains connected at the one end with the bed of the bridge, and at the other with large weights, which rise and fall inside the coffer-dams as the bridge is raised or lowered.    On the outside of the pillars there are groves in which wheels, which form a kind of spur at each corner of the bridge, works, and by which the bridge is kept in its proper place.
For a long time past these wheels have shewn a "hitching" disposition, and the bridge has generally exhibited a determination not to "go easy" until at length it positively refused to go one way or the other.  On examining into the cause of this it was found that one of the coffer-dams had been shifting its position, and had made a move towards the water, and in doing so had, of course , taken the pillar on the top along with it, and thereby locked the spur of the bridge into the grove up and down which it was intended to work easy.
For some days past men have been engaged in "putting things right", but how long it will take to do this seems uncertain.  The offending coffer-dam has been removed, but whether the attempt to make it "bide still" will be successful or nod remains to be seen. As it is very clear that the "giving" of any part of the work an inch or two does make a difference to the working of the bridge, it may be found necessary before "a job is made of it" to have the bridge "out of it" altogether, and pulling down the walls built up last June or July, re-erecting them in a more substantial manner by using cement instead of mortar for the purpose, it appearing quite certain that the present failure is to be attributed to the water having found its way to the back of the wall, "which it oughtn:t to have done", and thus caused the "foundations" to shift.

It is rather amusing when passing by the "works" to notice the number of authorities engaged in it.

When the bridge was first put down there was no end to the "interests" the "Wilts and Berks Canal interests" and the "Great Western" and goodness knows how many other "interests" and the same thing appears to be going now.

We think it is a pity, considering the great inconveniences these stoppages of a leading thoroughfare occasions, that the work is not entrusted to one competent and responsible man, and thus prevent a constantly recurring illustration of the old adage that "two many cooks spoil the broth".

Swindon Evening Advertiser  March 13 1871

Feb 1873 Proposed New Bridge in Fleet St
A meeting of quite an animated character, took place at the Volunteer Inn, New Swindon, on Saturday afternoon, with Mr.Westlake in the chair, to take into consideration the advisability of erecting a bridge over the canal leading from Fleet Street, via Milford Street, into Wellington Street, as being a more direct route to the Great Western Railway Station than the bridge now existing between London Street and station Road. The difficulty in approaching the old bridge is well known to all persons in the town and neighbourhood who possess horses and carry on business with the Great Western Railway Station.
The bridge now contemplated will do away entirely with this difficulty, as it is intended to construct it on a level with the towing-path. It will not only be a great boon to persons trading to and from the Station, but will also be a means of direct communication with that large portion of New Swindon, called "Queens Town". The benefits of such a bridge bring so apparent, the gentlemen present at the meeting look with confidence for the support from the New and Old Swindon, as well as the neighbourhood.
The following sums were subscribed in the room :- Mr.R. Bishop, £5; Mr. Baker, £5, Mr.G.Smith, £5 Mr. J Forward, £5 Mr. H Bishop, £5 Mr. Wait, £5 Mr. H. Smith, £5 Mr. Rich, £5 Mr. W. King £5 Mr. Pope £5 Mr. Hurst, £5 Mr. Hinton £5 Messrs. Freeth and Sons, £5 Mrs, Collard, £4 Mr. Elliott, £3 Mr. Hemming, £2 Mr. Day, £2 Mr. Drysdale, £2 Mr. Jno. Dawe, £1 Mr. A. sharps, £1 Mr. Hawler, £1 Mr. Rickard, £1 total £87.
A committee for construction having been formed, the following gentlemen were elected to receive subscriptions.
Mr.H. Bishop, Fleet Street, New Swindon; Mr. R Bishop, Rodborne Lane, New Swindon, Mr. Pope, Fleet Street, New Swindon, Geo. Smith, Fleet Street, New Swindon, Mr. J Forward, Fleet Street, New Swindon, Mr. Rch, Regent Street, New Swindon, Mr. Baker, G.W.R. Hotel, New Swindon.
All persons wishing to subscribe are requested to forward to the County of Gloucester Bank; or to the Treasurer Mr. Henry Smith, Volunteer Inn, New Swindon. All communications to be addressed to the Secretary, Mr. George Brooks, 66 Regent Street, New Swindon.

Swindon Evening Advertiser Feb 17 1873

Oct 1876 New Bridge in Fleet St

October 7 1876

Mr. Forward proposed that the clerk be instructed to write to the Canal Company, asking what kind of bridge they would allow the Board to erect over the canal at the top of Fleet Street, which was seconded and carried.  Cheques for over £600 having been signed, the meeting broke up.


November 6 1876

A long discussion arose on the subject.
It was said estimates had been received of the probable cost, which amounted to something like £700. It was decided that the Board should take no further action in the matter until plans were laid before them of what kind of bridge it was proposed to erect, with an estimate, so that the board might lay it before the Canal Company.


December 9 1876

Mr. Westlake and Mr. Rich attended before the board as a deputation from the Fleet Street Bridge Committee, and presented plans and an estimate for the proposed new bridge, which it is said would cost about £400. It was proposed to put a swing bridge, with 10ft 6in roadway, and 2ft 6in. footpaths each side. Mr Westlake said the committee could offer the board £250 towards the cost if they would make up the deficiency.-The chairman said the bridge would increase the value of the property each side more than £400, but Mr Forward said it was a question of public convenience--.
Mr Hurt again denounced the scheme as useless, there being another bridge within eighty yards of the proposed one, which drew from Mr Pope the remark that it was evident Mr Hurt had not got property in that street.-
Mr Forward proceeded to propose that the board accept the offer, but it was said would be desirable to give the absent members notice of the question coming on, and thus save any remarks afterwards.
This suggestion was adopted.

Swindon Evening Advertiser 1876



<< Start < Prev 1 2 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 2