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Upon completion of the Rochdale Canal in , the two canals were joined at Castlefield. The canal was from that point supplied by the much purer water of the Rochdale Canal. Worsley Delph, in Worsley, originally a centuries-old sandstone quarry near Worsley Brook, was the entrance to the Navigable Levels. It is now a Scheduled Monument. The mines ceased production in The journey down river by the latter route took eight hours nine hours in the up direction while the journey on the Bridgewater canal took nine hours each way.
Fares were similar but the Bridgewater route was said to be "more picturesque". Barges on the canal continued to be towed by horses until the middle of the 19th century, when they were replaced by steam-powered boats after a fatal epidemic spread through the horse population. The "dense smoke" produced by the steam barges and their "harsh unnecessary whistling" proved unpopular with some local residents, who also began to suffer from a condition known as canal throat, "no doubt caused by the foul emanations given off by its [the Bridgewater Canal's] horribly filthy water".
The canal carried commercial freight traffic until ; the last regular cargo was grain from Liverpool to Manchester for BOCM.
The Duke of Bridgewater died on 8 March By his will the income from the canal was to be paid to his nephew George Leveson-Gower , the Marquess of Stafford later the 1st Duke of Sutherland. On his death it was to go to Stafford's second son Francis , provided he changed his name to Egerton; and then to his heirs and successors. The management of the company was placed in the hands of three trustees. The other two trustees had each married nieces of the duke and were "dummy trustees".
During the time the canal was administered by the Bridgewater Trustees, it made a profit every year. It has been calculated that the average annual profit between and was of the order of 13 per cent, and in , the best year, it was 23 per cent. However any cooperation between the two companies was short-lived and by the Mersey and Irwell had reduced their charges.
Further competition was to come from other carriers who used the canal; in the traffic carried by private companies exceeded that carried by the Trustees for the first time. However, in time more profit came from "tonnage traffic" that carried by private companies than from the Bridgewater's own carriage of freight.
The undertakings were starved of capital largely owing to inadequate provision for it in the duke's will. During the s there was increased dissatisfaction with the canals. They did not cope well with increasing volumes of cargo, and they were perceived as monopolistic, and the preserve of the landed gentry class. There was increased interest in the possibility of railway construction. When the first bill was presented to parliament in , the Trustees opposed and it was overthrown.
Following this the Trustees withdrew their opposition to the construction of the railway; they did not petition against the second bill, which was passed in This was spent mainly on a second line of locks at Runcorn, which were completed in , plus new warehouses at Manchester and Liverpool. In the new railway opened and by the end of the year was carrying freight. Bradshaw immediately went into competition by lowering the rates of carriage on the canal and by offering improved terms to the private carriers.
By so doing he managed to maintain the volume of traffic carried by the canal, both freight and passengers, at a time when the country was suffering a trade depression. However Bradshaw's tactics led to a sharp decline in profits. At the same time costs were rising, partly due to the use of steamboats on the Mersey.
Further competition came with the opening of the Macclesfield Canal in which gave separate access to Manchester from the Midlands. Matters came to a head in , the year in which the canal made its lowest profit since the death of the Duke. It had been expected that he would appoint his other son, William Rigby Bradshaw, as his successor, but Loch persuaded him to appoint James Sothern in the position; Sothern had been the principal agent of the Trust since December Charges were made against him of dishonesty and of nepotism.
The steamers owned by the Trustees had been neglected and were in a poor state; these were repaired or sold. I am a simple girl who likes to enjoy life. My Physique, what do you think? Somerville , Somerset County , New Jersey. Waters Meeting to Runcorn.
He entered into disputes and disagreements with Loch, with Francis Egerton, and with the other two trustees. Sir Archibald Macdonald had died in ; by this time his place had been taken by the 10th Earl of Devon. Loch was extremely busy and did not have time to deal with the detailed administration of the Trust.
He therefore looked for a deputy to take on these duties. However this was perceived as poaching and it led to such controversy that Smith declined the offer and recommended his son, George Samuel Fereday Smith for the post. In a new dock, the Francis Dock, was opened at Runcorn. This led to a price war between the two canal companies and the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, who had previously cooperated on rates.
Having seen off competition from other canal companies, the next major threat was to come from the railways. This was the period in the mids known as the Railway Mania. The railways competed with the canals in three ways; by building, or threatening to build, new lines which would be in direct competition with the canals; by amalgamation into giant companies such as the Midland and the London and North Western companies , which gave them more political power; and by taking over ownership of canal companies.
In , in return for concessions, the Trustees supported the Grand Junction Railway in its campaign to build a more direct line to Liverpool, which crossed the Mersey over a bridge at Runcorn Gap. However the bill was overthrown in the House of Lords. By October a bonding warehouse had been built in Manchester and the first cargo to arrive was announced in a letter to the Manchester Guardian , later printed in The Times: We have great pleasure in recording the first arrival in the Port of Manchester of a vessel, with an entire cargo of wines and spirits removed in bond, and for bonding in Manchester.
The vessel, a flat named the Express, was wholly laden with a valuable cargo of wines and spirits, in all about 40 tons weight, belonging to Mr. William Gibb, spirit merchant, of this town, whose active and long-continued exertions in the struggle to obtain the privilege of bonding for this great and important borough are about to be acknowledged in the form of a substantial mark of respect and gratitude by his fellow-townsmen. The Express arrived from Liverpool on Saturday evening; but it was yesterday morning before she began to unload.
She is lying in the Bridgewater Canal, Knott Mill where the Duke's trustees have constructed a large bonding vault, which Mr. I want to share my life with someone who want to live their best life.
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