Glamorganshire Weighing Machine

Traditional Techniques: NarrowBoat, Spring 2014

Stephen Rowson

Stephen Rowson looks at a weighing machine for checking the amount of cargo carried by boats in South Wales and compares it to the other known examples on British canals

There should be no need to weigh a canal boat, yet at least four British canal companies installed boat weighing machines. These were the Monmouthshire Canal (1816), the Somerset Coal Canal (1831), the Glamorganshire Canal (1834) and the Thames & Severn Canal (1845). The one from the Glamorganshire Canal survives – preserved and recently refurbished and re-erected for display at the Waterfront Museum, Swansea. Monmouthshire Canal Recent research by the author has shown that the Monmouthshire Canal acquired its machine to satisfy the coal traders that they were being treated equitably. From its outset the company operated not only two branches of canal but many miles of tramroad. It was an integrated transport system and the Monmouthshire Canal Company tramroads were some of the first public railways in the kingdom. A Historical Profile of the Monmouthshire Canal was published in Autumn 2009 NB. The method of charging its carriers for using the canal was, as stipulated in …

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