Passing Through Worsley

Canal Postcards: NarrowBoat, Spring 2023

Christopher M Jones

Chris M. Jones looks at postcard images of coal carrying on the Bridgewater Canal

All four images here show Worsley Bridge on the Bridgewater Canal, with coal being taken towards Manchester, Runcorn and elsewhere. This coal was mined locally and transported along the Leigh Arm of the Leeds & Liverpool from Wigan to Leigh, then onto the Bridgewater and under Worsley Bridge, which carried Barton Road over the cut. Although the two artificially coloured postcards show the water as blue, in actuality it was a reddish ochre, having been stained by local iron ore deposits. This view shows transom stern barge Alfred of Runcorn about to shoot Worsley Bridge, although the presence of the photographer is distracting the steerer. This craft was owned by Samuel Taylor, Frith & Co Ltd of Runcorn, and was of some age when this image was taken. The business was a partnership formed in 1904 between Samuel Taylor, an old established lime and coal merchant, and John Robert Frith, the manager of Runcorn Gas Co. John and Samuel were also next-door neighbours in Halton Road, R…

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