History Newspaper Archives
Newspaper Archives 1900 - 1909
Oct 1909 Telford Rd Bridge Swindon

It was recommended by the Works and Streets Committee that the Canal Company be requested to carry out the necessary repairs to Telford Road Bridge, to put it in save condition, and that in the event of the Company not carrying out the work, it be an instruction to the Borough Surveyor to carry out the necessary repairs to the bridge and to forward an account for the cost of the same to the Canal Company. - Approved.

October 27th 1909
North Wilts Herald

Sept 1903 Public Rights on the Towing Path

The case affecting the public rights on the towing path alongside the Wilts and Berks Canal, arise through Henry Hiscock, haulier, canal side, being summoned for allowing two of his horses to stray, again came before the Swindon magistrates to-day.

Mr. W. J. Ainsworth, on behalf of the Canal Company, questioned P.C. Bowyer with regard to the time of the occurrence and elicited that the animals were found about 150 yards on the Swindon side of Haines bridge.Mr. Ainsworth then informed the Bench that he went over the towing path last night with Hiscock and the tenant of the adjoining farm.

The stile which led from the path into the meadow, was not a stile in the proper sense of the term and there was no gate by the Haines Mill stopping the path, neither was there any gate to the west of the stile for some quarter of a mile. He contended that the police, finding their original summons was likely to fail, had amended it.

He brought witnesses on Monday to prove that the towing-path was a private footway subject to the rights which existed under the Canal Act, and the public had no right over the path. The police had changed front and sought to prove that Hiscock had allowed his horses to stray, not on the towing path but on an ancient footway.The evidence of their witness did not prove that at all, because the witnesses were unable to distinguish between that part of the the towing path and the rest of it.

His first objection to the summons was that no ancient footway had been proved, but, supposing there had been an ancient footway, it had been disused as such for years.There was no continuous footway at all, and the road did not lead anywhere.

The Chairman, after consultation with his colleagues, said they were satisfied that that portion of the towing path was a right-of way. They did not say anything generally, but felt they must convict.They did not think it was a case in which they must impose a penalty, as they believed the man acted in ignorance, and he would only have to pay the costs.

September 17th 1903.
North Wilts Herald.

Aug 1902 Letter to Editor regarding Canal at Wantage

To the Editor of the North Wilts Herald.

Is it not time that the sanitary authorities in the Wantage district took some action with regard to the state of the Wilts and Berks Canal ?. It is now nothing but a mass of reeking mud in an active state of effervescence, added to which it has become a cemetery for outcast dogs and cats, and a general dumping ground for the refuse of the neighbourhood.

Having of necessity to walk several miles by the side of the canal early every morning , I can testify to the stench that arises from what I consider must be a hotbed of disease.Will the authorities wait until fever or some other complaint forces their attention to what I consider a crying evil and a menace to the health of the district?.

Yours truly W.E. Wantage.

7th August 1902
North Wilts Herald.

May 1902 Opposition to the Closure of the Canal

At a meeting of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce yesterday a communication was received from the traders and others interested in the Wilts and Berks Canal, calling attention to proposals under which the water of the canal would be abstracted and used for the water supply of the town of Swindon.

It was pointed out that such proposals, if carried into effect, would completely destroy an important link in the line of the canal communication between the Thames and the Avon, and the assistance of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce was asked for in opposition to the scheme.

It was resolved to refer the matter for consideration and report to the Railway and Canals Committee.

MAY 1ST 1902.
Evening North Wilts Herald.

Jan 1906 Christmas in Swindon


While on a visit to Swindon during the festive season of Christmas I was very much struck by the dismal appearance of the canal.It at once seemed to me a great drawback to the general appearance and welfare of a growing town like Swindon.

During the short time I spent in Swindon I came in contact with many people, and concluded that the description " up to date" might be applied to the town generally.Surely something might be done with the canal.Not a very alarming outlay would be required to dredge it well and thus provide boating accommodation, instead of the useless and unsightly form it now presents.

It would be a great acquisition to the town, and also a great incentive for people to visiting Swindon in the pleasant time of the year, when boating becomes to many a source of greatest enjoyment.
My advice to Swindon is "See ye to it."

Yours &c.,

6th January 1906

Evening North Wilts Herald

This is Latin meaning ( for the public good ) so this man had a sense of humour as well as a vision for the future all those years ago Roy Cartwright

Jan 1906 Tram Cars and the Golden Lion Bridge

At a meeting of the Electricity and Tramways Committee the Town Clerk reported that the sanction of the Board of Trade to the tram cars running over the existing bridge over the canal in Regent Street would expire in August next, and it was resolved that it be an instruction to the Borough Surveyor to report to the next meeting of the Committee with regard to the erection of a new bridge over the canal at this point.

Mr. E. Jones asked whether there was not an alternative - could not they try to get the Board of Trade to suspend action rather that incur a huge expense considering the state of the canal and the uncertainty as to its future.
Mr. Thomas said that had already been done, although the fact did not appear in the minutes.

3rd January 1906
Evening North Wilts Herald.

Nov 1904 A Cow in the Canal

An unusual scene, which aroused considerable commotion, was witnessed in Swindon this afternoon in the neighborhood of the Golden Lion Bridge. Three cows were being driven from the market to Mr. G. Wilton's premises in Faringdon Street, and had successfully crossed the bridge, when one of the animals, startled by bystanders, rushed along the canal towing - path, followed by the man in charge. Just as he got to its head, the cow turned to the side and jumped into the canal. His efforts to drive it out were unsuccessful, only resulting in the animal getting underneath the bridge.

This structure was raised, and a rope was passed round the horns of the cow, which was drawn back the way it had gone and safely landed. In the excitement a young man, who had been taking an active part in the work of rescue, fell into the canal, and was thoroughly drenched before getting to the land.

28th November 1904
Evening North Wilts Herald

Dec 1906 (2) Cleaning the Canal

The sum of £100 was provided for cleansing the Wilts and Berks Canal where the Corporation storm water entered it at the Whale Bridge and Cambria Bridge.

December 12th 1906
North Wilts Herald

Dec 1906 Cleaning the Canal.
A sub-committee reported that they had considered a copy of a letter sent to the Local Government Board by Mr. W Maslin with regard to the condition of the canal, and forwarded by the Board to the Town Clerk, and also an estimate of the Borough Surveyor for cleansing the canal through the borough, showing the estimate cost of cleansing the canal where the Corporation's storm water sewers enter to be £100, and for cleansing the remaining portions of the canal in the borough £420.

They recommended (1) that the canal company be requested to cleanse the canal ( both branches ) from all weeds and silt along its course through the borough, ( 2 ) that the estimate of the Borough Surveyor be forwarded to the Works and Streets Committee, and that it be a recommendation to the committee to cleanse the canal where the Corporation's storm water sewers enter it at the Whale Bridge and Cambria Bridge, at an estimated cost of £100.

December 5th 1906
North Wilts Herald

March 1902 Canal Boats & Dauntsey Lock
The inspector's report contained the usual statement that " he had visited Dauntsey Lock twice since the last meeting but no boats came up on those day's"

This led Mr. Reeve to remark that, in his opinion, they could well afford to dispense with the Inspector's duties in regard to the inspection of canal boats, as no boats now ever traversed the canal.- The Clerk : Has the canal been handed over to the County Council ? - Mr. Reeve: I do not know. - Mr Pinegar agreed with Mr. Reeve, adding that if the inspector were relieved of those duties he could devote more time to other matters.-The Inspector said he was elected inspector of the canal boats for three years and the term would expire in 1904. - The Clerk : But as there are no duties in respect of the appointment it ceases.- The Inspector said that when he was appointed surveyor to the Council he had a salary of £250, but no remuneration for inspecting the canal boats.He had to send returns to the Local Government Board respecting the boats, and an inspector came round to examine his books.

The Local Government Board said he must be paid for these duties, and the Council at that time took £5 off his salary as Surveyor and gave it to him for his duties in inspecting canal boats ( laughter ).Therefore, he really had no salary at all for his extra work.He should be very glad to be released of his duties in respect of the boats.-

It was resolved to allow the matter to stand over until the County Council had made definite arrangements respecting the canal.- A letter from the County Council respecting legal steps in regard to the closing of the canal was read, but was not discussed, as the Clerk said it did not affect their interests.

March 12TH 1902.
Evening North Wilts Herald.

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