Working the Trench Line

From the Archives: NarrowBoat, Winter 2023

Joseph Boughey

Joseph Boughey uses ancestry resources to provide insights into working the Trench Branch of the Shropshire Union in the 19th and 20th centuries

Often the results of family history studies prove to be of interest only to small numbers of people. However, the development of resources has provided deeper insights into aspects of social history too. This article uses two sources (regrettably) behind paywalls – Ancestry and British Newspaper Archive – to discover more about people who worked on the ‘Trench Branch’ of the Shropshire Union Canal. Frank Owen worked on the Trench Inclined Plane from 1890 to its closure in August 1921. Frank Owen’s story The Railway & Canal Historical Society has, most commendably, placed all of its historical journals online. The main source here forms two pieces about the Trench Inclined Plane by the late W. Howard Williams of Trench, in March and May 1963. He reported conversations with Frank Owen, who had worked on the plane from early 1890 to its closure in August 1921. Mr Williams’ second piece recorded, sadly, that Mr Owen, who had been ret…

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