Living on canal boat in 1930s

THIS week’s Archive Corner picture is of Chesterfield Canal at Bracebridge and was taken in the 1930s.

Monday, 5th March 2012, 8:24 am

The canal was built in 1777 and stretched from West Stockwith to Chesterfield, via Worksop.

The pumping station can be seen on the right of the picture.

Traffic on the canal declined drastically even before the turn of the 20th century, as other modes of transport became more popular, but it was still in use to Worksop until the 1950s.

This narrow boat had a small cabin at the stern and was flush with the deck.

Entry was through a hatch and the family lived on the boat, despite its small size. The pole at the front was for the rope to be pulled by the horse.

There was stabling for horses at Bracebridge. Grain was carried upstream on the canal and coal was carried downstream.

Coal from Shireoaks Colliery was brought by barge to a chute which ran from the canal to the pumping station, and this fuelled a coal-fired boiler and beam engine.

This engine was dismantled before the Second World War and electric pumps installed.

The photo is featured in the book Bygone Bassetlaw, published by Bassetlaw District Council in 1983.

It was brought in to the Guardian by reader George Gauntley, of Howard Street, Dinnington.