Gower Branch Traffic

Historical Profiles: NarrowBoat, Spring 2021

Christopher M Jones

Chris M. Jones studies traffic passing Brades Hall Toll Stop on the Gower Branch of the BCN in 1946-47

One of the best ways of learning about traffic on a particular waterway is to study toll or traffic books, which record the daily movement of loaded craft passing a fixed point. Some canals are blessed with a large number of surviving documents, while others have virtually nothing for historians to see. There are a few survivors for the Birmingham Canal Navigations, and one in the T.W. (Will) King Collection gives a rare glimpse into traffic passing Brades Toll Office from 9th November 1946 to 7th November 1947. This document is actually a specially printed pocket book for the toll clerk to record details of passing loaded craft in pencil, presumably to be copied up in ink later in the day and sent to the head office, perhaps at the end of the working week. The information was needed by the company clerk at the head office in Birmingham to identify outstanding tolls owed to the BCN by various carriers, manufacturers and traders, which were then subsequently charged to their individual…

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