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Retro: Canal saw the beginnings of the industrial age

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editorial image

By the 19th Century, many of the villages in rural areas around Worksop and Retford were mainly connected with agriculture but some industries did exist.

Following the building of the Chesterfield Canal, a number of brickworks were established nearby, which took advantage of the new form of transport.

At Cuckney and Langwith, early textile mills had also been established.

A glance at the Nottinghamshire directories in the second half of the 19th Century shows an interesting picture of village life.

Many villages were fairly self-contained.

In addition to the farmers, the lists include, shopkeepers, innkeepers, blacksmiths , boot and shoe makers, wheelwrights and a full range of craftsmen and artisans.

The chief means of transport from the villages were the carriers with their horse-drawn carts and carriages, who came into the towns on market days, carrying produce and passengers.

The railways arrived in the 1840s and quickly put an end to the era of the stagecoach.

They quickly spread into a comprehensive network and most villages in Bassetlaw were never too far away from a local station, although many have now disappeared.

The rise of machinery and steam power was good news for men like Thomas Flamwell, whose yard is shown in our picture.

He came to Worksop in 1868 and started his business on Canal Road before moving to Church Walk around 1880.

He installed stream power at his works, and as well as making and maintaining agricultural machinery and implements, he repaired steam boilers and engines, including locomotives, traction engines, threshing machines and mowers.

 

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