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Cromwell Lock

A Broader Outlook: NarrowBoat, Summer 2006

Euan Corrie

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Trent enlargement Act of 1906, Mike Taylor and Euan Corrie look at the work carried out at Cromwell Lock.

Exactly 100 years ago, the Trent Navigation Company obtained an Act authorising construction of locks on their river, in an attempt to ensure a draught of 6ft throughout. The scheme was based on a survey by Sir Edward Leader Williams, which proposed additional locks at Cromwell, Hazelford, Gunthorpe, Stoke Bardolph and Holme. Work began in 1909 at Cromwell, the river’s tidal limit. The 188ft x 30ft lock and adjacent weir were completed by mid-1911, allowing four Trent-sized barges (82ft 6in x 14ft 6in) – or a tug and three barges – to pass in one penning. The First World War then intervened and construction of the other locks was not completed until 1926. These photographs were taken on 7th September 1911 when Cromwell Lock was newly opened to traffic. Little John and tow Little John, built by Yarrows on the Clyde in 1902, was specially designed to operate in shallow water. It had a locomotive-style boiler, the top of which with its dome steam collector can be seen…

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