Category Archives: Engineering and construction

Tepid baths

1823

KILRUSH HOTEL, AND TEPID BATHS

This Elegant Establishment is fitted up in a superior style for the accommodation of Visitors, on the reduced terms of last Season.

The House adjoining the Hotel, now occupied by Mrs Colonel Stammers, of Cahernelly, will be Let, from the 12th of June, for the remainder of the Season; it has ample accommodation for a large Family, who can be supplied with any thing they may require from the Hotel; they will also have the use of the Bathing Machines and Bathing Houses — from this House to the Tepid Baths there is a covered passage.

The Lady of the Shannon steam packet sails from Limerick for the Hotel, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and returns on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, making her passage in five hours.

Kilrush, May 15th, 1823

Dublin Evening Post 20 May 1823

1829

[…] The hotel and baths, for which this Town was remarkable, have been suffered to go to decay — at least, are not occupied as such at present.

Limerick Evening Post 8 May 1829

Eccentricity by steam

Folk interested in eccentric early steam inventions, such as that described on my page about chain haulage, might also be interested in the invention of Captain George Beadon RN, as described on the invaluable Grace’s Guide site.

Her late Majesty Queen Victoria, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, had the foresight to acquire a photograph of Captain Beadon’s vessel and to make it available on tinterweb.

Captain Beadon’s route to London took him through Keynsham: that’s K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M.

Tralee Ship Canal

The principal export trade of Tralee is in grain, cattle, and pork; they are sent to Cork by land. The harbour is exceedingly bad and dangerous, and, at the time of my visit, a ship-canal was in process of cutting from the bay. By some men of intelligence and experience, a railway was considered preferable.[1]

[1] Jonathan Binns The Miseries and Beauties of Ireland Longman, Orme, Brown and Co, London 1837

Mr Mullins’s steamer

Here is a little information about the steamer Cupid, which was owned or used by the contractor Bernard Mullins on the Shannon in the 1840s.

Launch at Messrs Bewley and Webb’s yard

The first of two new steel canal boats which the above firm are building for the Grand Canal Company was successfully launched on Wednesday.  These boats are 60 ft long by 13 ft 2 in beam, and 5 ft 9 in depth of hold, and are designed to carry forty tons on a light draught of water. They are of improved design and construction, and expected to tow very easily. The Canal Company have expressed themselves well pleased with the time of delivery and workmanship, and it is to be hoped no more orders of this kind will go across the water in future. The firm appear to us to be well able to deal with the work of the port. The ss Magnet, of the Tedcastle Line, which had an extensive overhaul at this yard, we believe, gave every satisfaction, and had a most successful trial trip a few days ago. It is to be hoped that more of our local steamship companies will follow the lead of Messrs Tedcastle, and have their work done in Dublin.

The Freeman’s Journal 1 September 1893

Some context here.

A canal caterpillar?

Robertson’s chain propeller system on the Bridgewater and Grand Canals in 1859 and 1860.

And the prize goes to …

… Niall Galway, who identified the Cong Canal. bjg

A glass of sherry …

… to anyone (other than those present when the photo was taken) who can identify the Irish waterway shown in the new header pic above.

Athlone 1889

To the Editor of the Athlone Times 24/8/1889

Dear Sir

I understand that the Athlone Board of Guardians passed a resolution at a recent meeting in favour of the drainage of the Shannon. May I ask, is it the object of these enlightened gentlemen to destroy the navigation of 240 miles passing through our country, which no law can ever restore; or can it be possible they so far despair of the future traffic of the country under the management of their Parliament, in College Green, as to feel warranted in doing away with such a natural and beautiful highway for trade.

I happen, myself, to be in a position to judge the agricultural part of the question, and after the experience of 25 years of the lands which are subject to the Shannon flooding, I have no hesitation in saying that the meadows are greatly improved, and I may mention that in no way could these lands be more profitably farmed than by meadowing.

To the Athlone people, it seems to me a matter of the greatest importance, or do they realise that their beautiful river is about to be turned into a mere cesspool, their traffic to be left at the mercy of the railway companies, and their boating excursions on their fine lake to be made almost impossible, as this drainage will create such a current at the opening of the lake that it will require their strongest efforts to force a boat against it, and even after overcoming this difficulty, they would have little to look at but white shores and barren rocks.

I remain, Mr Editor, Faithfully yours… R D Levinge, Carnagh

Thanks to Vincent P Delany for this.

Blessington Street basin

Blessington Street Basin (Michael Geraghty) November 2015 01_resize

Blessington Street Basin (Michael Geraghty 2015)

One of North Dublin’s less-well-known treasures, this is Blessington Street Basin, off the (former) Broadstone Line of the Royal Canal. Thanks to Michael Geraghty for the photo, taken in November 2015.