Last Traffics on the T&S: Coatesfield & Cirencester

Picturing the Past: NarrowBoat, Spring 2009

One of the last traffics before the reconstruction in the early 1900s and one of the pioneering journeys after the work was completed

COATESFIELD QUARRYThe photograph (above) was included in an album belonging to Jim Cowan. The original interest of the album was the journey by skiff through the Thames & Severn Canal that featured in the August to October 2008 issues of our sister magazine Waterways World. The photograph has been published elsewhere but, judging by the printed caption (inset), this image was intended for inclusion in some kind of local guide book. The reader is certainly expected to be arriving by road rather than canal! Ken Burgin, chief executive of the Cotswold Canals Trust, told NarrowBoat that it shows a boat loading stone at Coatesfield Quarry, which is between Thames Head Bridge and Trewsbury Bridge on the Thames & Severn Canal, probably around 1880. The canal is clearly well below normal water level as the loaded boat is out in the middle of the channel, and other traffic – if there were any – would have had difficulty in passing. All the output of the quarry left by boat…

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