Acquiring a Carrier Part 1

From the Archives: NarrowBoat, Summer 2022

Joseph Boughey examines documents relating to the sale of canal-carrier John Parke & Son, based on the western Leeds & Liverpool

Some files reveal episodes in the management of waterways and toll traffics: CRT/BW/95/536, one of 1,600 British Waterways files in the Waterways Archive, deals with the latter days of carrying on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Coal-carrying was among the final traffics on the L&L west of Wigan. This involved a long-established firm, John Parke & Son, which was based in Bootle. The file includes a letter from the North Western Gas Board setting out the terms for the lighterage from the coal tips at Shevington (near Crooke) and Sandhills, to Athol Street Gas Works, from 1957 to 1959. For 1957/8, NWGB would pay 2s 10d per ton from Sandhills – where there was a rail-served tip with lighterage to Athol Street – and 9s 3d per ton from Shevington, with Parke’s paying tolls. This was then renewed for 1959/61 at higher rates. Accounts for 1960 show Parke’s making a trading profit of £1,922 on a turnover of £3,112; the wages of ‘bargemen&rsqu…

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