Potter & Son

Famous Fleets: NarrowBoat, Spring 2012

Basil Jeuda

Basil Jeuda looks at a fleet based at Runcorn and serving the Potteries

The origins of Potter & Son, merchants and canal carriers of Runcorn, date back to 1821, when the partnership of Charles Simpson and Jonathan Potter was established. They traded as slate and flint merchants, at a time when the port of Runcorn was expanding rapidly. By 1840, Charles Simpson had moved to Chester where he ran the slate business from New Crane Wharf on the River Dee. Fortunately, the balance sheet of Simpson & Potter at 31st December 1850 has survived. By this time, there were three partners: Charles Simpson, his son John Simpson, and Jonathan Potter. Their investment in the business was substantial, worth at today’s values around £850,000. The balance sheet refers to the partnership owning four boats, valued at £230, though there is no further information on what type of vessels they were. With their businesses at Runcorn and Chester well-established, Simpson & Potter turned their attention to establishing a white salt business at Winsford …

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