SP0686 : Boatman waiting for traffic - Gas Street Basin (1969)

taken 53 years ago, near to Birmingham, Great Britain

Boatman waiting for traffic - Gas Street Basin (1969)
Boatman waiting for traffic - Gas Street Basin (1969)
Boatman & child aboard butty 'Ash' waiting for traffic in Gas Street Basin. In front is his motor boat 'Linda'. These are boats of the Birmingham & Midland Carrying Company. For a time this pair of boats had traffic bringing timber loaded directly from a ship in Sharpness Docks to Warwick. However, by the time of the photo the company's traffic had more or less dried up. In the background building is taking place that will forever block the view of the Town Hall that my June 1968 photo shows, see: SP0686 : Gas Street Basin - Worcester Bar (1968)
Gas Street Basin in 1968/1969

Stepping through the door of the high wall on Gas Street took one into a private & totally different world, completely cut off from the hustle & bustle of Broad Street.

In 1968 it was still the world (just) of working narrow boats & there was no indication what so ever of the transformation that was to come to Gas Street Basin. The Birmingham & Midland Carrying Company had been formed by enthusiasts in 1965 & a few of its boats could be found in the basin although in truth I think there was little trade for them by then.

Gas Street marked the point at which the Worcester & Birmingham Canal joined the Birmingham Canal Navigation & each company had its own basin separated by the Worcester Bar. Initially there was no connection between the 2 canals - the BCN refused it because of the fear of losing water to the W&B and any transhipment between boats had to be made manually. In 1815 an Act of Parliament allowed a connection to be made but with a stop lock to minimise water loss. This lock has long since been removed.

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SP0686, 2901 images   (more nearby search)
Photographer
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Date Taken
February 1969   (more nearby)
Submitted
Friday, 23 February, 2018
Geographical Context
City, Town centre  Canals 
Primary Subject of Photo
Canal Basin 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 0624 8660 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:28.6376N 1:54.5733W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 0622 8658
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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Image Type (about): close look 
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