Staffs & Worcs in Wartime

From the Archives: NarrowBoat, Autumn 2021

Joseph Boughey

Joseph Boughey uncovers details relating to the management of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal during World War II

The contents of canal company minute books vary greatly in extent and possible insights; those for railway-owned canals can be very limited. The Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal Co records are in the National Archives under the reference RAIL 871. Here we look at highlights from the last two volumes (10 and 11), which cover the period of World War II in a fairly succinct fashion. Staff The first meeting in wartime, on 14th September 1939, recorded the need for shelters for the workforce, and the absence of three board members on army duties; one offered to resign but was refused. E.H. Arnold, assistant manager of S&WCC, was sent on an air raid protection course and would emerge as an ARP officer in November, with an annual salary increase of £50. He would receive further salary increases in 1941 and 1942, and be provided with a company car. Although he was to apply for an Army engineering commission, this was successfully resisted by the company in February 1943. Fr…

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