Category Archives: Operations

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The Pierhead in Liverpool (not to be confused with the Pierhead in Killaloe), seen from the Ferry ‘cross the Mersey. I recommend the round trip.  And they don’t play the entire song.

Another Kerry canal

A short piece about the canal at Ross on one of the lakes of Killarney. I have little information about its origins and current use and would welcome more.

A Tale of a Tug

Improvement in Steam Vessels

(from a correspondent)

One of the greatest applications of Steam Vessels, has lately been made in Scotland, and, we learn, with the most complete success. It appears that since the opening of the Forth and Clyde Canal (upwards of 30 years ago) a navigable communication has existed between Glasgow and Leith, the port of Edinburgh, notwithstanding which, by far the greatest portion of the trade between these places, has been carried on by land carriage, an an expense more than double what it might have been done by water.

This navigable communication consists of a Canal, for 29 miles, and a broad River or Firth for 26 miles; and it appears, that the obstacle which has prevented the benefit being taken of such apparent advantages, is the extreme difficulty of constructing vessels, which from draught of water and mode of rigging, would answer for the navigation of the Canal, and at the same time be able to contend against strong and contrary winds in the Firth of Forth.

To obviate this difficulty, a Company in Leith, have equipped a powerful steam vessel, or tracker, possessing extraordinary strength, and completely adapted for encountering stormy weather. This vessel, which is most appropriately named the Tug, is meant to track ten other vessels alternately, which have been peculiarly constructed by the same Company for carrying goods along the Canal.

The Tug, which may thus be compared to a team of horses in the water, tracks these vessele between Leith and Grangemouth, the entrance of the Canal, along which they are tracked by horses. But the utility of the Tug is not confined to tracking; she has also two commodious cabins, and combining the two purposes of tracking and conveyance of passengers, she is able to convey the latter with a degree of cheapness, which resembles more the track schuyt of Holland, than any conveyance we have in this country; the passage in the best cabin, being for a distance of 26 miles, two shillings, and in the second, one shilling.

For this most ingenious application of steam to this conveyance, we understand the public are indebted to Lieut George Crichton RN, Edinburgh, an officer who has long been distinguished for scientific knowledge in his profession.

It has long been known that a steam vessel will tow a ship out of harbour, in calm weather, or with light contrary winds, but her velocity was generally considered so much obstructed by the operation, that no idea appears to have been formed that an expeditious conveyance could be so established; but Lieut Crichton, it seems, had calculated on the peculiar manner in which a steam vessel is impelled, and by which any increased resistance to her motion through the water enables her wheels or paddles to act with more effect in proportion, and had estimated that in drawing a vessel of half her own size, she would not lose more than a fifth of her velocity. The Tug draws a loaded vessel of 50 tons, against a moderate breeze of wind, at the rate of nearly seven miles an hour.

The improvements which this invention may lead to in the river navigation of this country are incalculable; for by thus uniting the conveyance of passengers and goods, steam vessels will probably be established between points, which, [illegible] only one of these objects, would not have found sufficient employment.

We understand that Colonel [illegible] of Edinburgh, Kirkman Finley Esq MP for Glasgow, and several other Gentlemen of high respectability, are at the head of a Company, which have with much promptitude and [illegible] carried into effect the plan proposed by Lieut Crichton.

Perthshire Courier 23 October 1817

Speedy communication

New Post Office Steam Packet

By the arrival of the Packet we received yesterday, at the early hour of three o’clock, pm, the London Mail of Tuesday. Had we stated a few years ago the probability of such an occurrence, we should have been reckoned wild and visionary enthusiasts.

But now the period has arrived, when, by the astonishing improvement of the roads from London to Holyhead, and the establishment of those noble vessels, the Post Office Steam Packets [inaccurate article here], the public may almost invariably calculate on the arrival in Dublin of the London Mail, within 44 hours after it is despatched from the British Capital. It is needless to point out the great advantage which the mercantile world must derive from the expeditious conveyance of the English Mail, and the consequent postponement of the departure of the Mail for London, from 10 o’clock pm to eight o’clock am.

While we bestow our warmest panegyric on the Post Masters General, for the strenuous exertions they have made to effectuate this desirable object, we must also pronounce, that Sir Henry Parnell amply merits the grateful thanks of every Irishman, for his unceasing and successful efforts to facilitate the communication, improve, and shorten the distance between the capital of the Sister Kingdom.

Considerable anxiety was evinced yesterday to witness the arrival of the Government Steam Packet; a number of the first characters, among whom were several Ladies, were on the Pier at Howth about one o’clock, at which hour the Meteor, commanded by Captain Davis, and also the Talbot [private sector] Steam vessel, were in view — both ploughed the ocean in grand style, the Meteor being first at the Quay by a quarter of an hour, and the Mail was landed from her at 10 minutes past two, 42 hours only having elapsed from its leaving London. The Lightning, which is to arrive to-day, is a larger vessel, being 80 horse power — the Meteor is only 60.

Saunders’s News-Letter 1 June 1821

Grand Canal carrying 1816

GRAND CANAL

Reduction of Freights etc

B Hyland and Sons return their most grateful Thanks to their Friends and the Public, for the very flattering Encouragement they have received since their commencement in Business, above 20 years, and hope, that by their constant care and attention to merit a continuance thereof. They now take the opportunity of acquainting the Friends of their Trade, that all goods committed to their care, will be forwarded as usual, with the utmost expedition. Three of their Boats leave Dublin every week, for the conveyance of all kinds of Building Materials; Wines, Spirits, Porter, Tea, Sugar, Cotton Goods, and all kinds of Merchandize &c, at tge following reduced Prices, viz:

Dublin to Rathangan                                        8s 10d per Ton
Do. to Monastereven                                      10s    6d do.
Do. to Vicarstown                                            12s    4d do.
Do. to Athy                                                        14s    2d do,

They beg leave to state to their Friends and the Public that they have got each of their Boats Hatched (so that it is impossible for Goods to meet with the slightest injury) and each Hatch is properly iron barred, with cross bars of Iron, in the most secure manner, and the moment the Goods are put into each Boat, the Hatches are put on, and locked down with brass-warded Locks of the best description, and then sealed. Each of their Agents at the above-named Stages have counter keys to open the Boats to get out the necessary Goods that is for each place. They have also provided excellent Stores at each of the above Harbours, for the general accommodation of all those who are pleased to favour them with the carriage of their Goods.

They return their best thanks to the Grand Canal Company, for their having so kindly reduced their Tolls, by which means they are thus enabled to carry Goods at the above Rates, and also to carry all kinds of Goods, Flour, Meal, Malt, Corn, &c at the under-mentioned rate of Freight to Dublin, where three of their regular fast-sailing Boats arrive each week from the country.

Athy to Dublin                                                 12s   6d per Ton
Vicarstown to do.                                            11s    6d do.
Monastereven to do.                                      10s    6d do.
Rathangan to do.                                              8s  10d do.

Exclusive of the above arrangement they have also commenced plying another Boat drawn by two Horses, which Boat leaves Monastereven every Friday evening at Four o’Clock, and arrives in Dublin on the Saturday night following; this same Boat leaves Dublin every Tuesday morning at Five o’Clock, and arrives in Monastereven on the Wednesday evening following.

They hereby give notice, that any Grain or Corn that may come by their Boats, in bulk, to Dublin, will not be entitled to the above reduction of Freight; but if the Owners of such Grain or Corn, put it into Sacks, they will then be only charged at the above-mentioned Rates (so regulated and ordered by the Grand Canal Company).

They have also established Drays with Covers for the accommodation of their Customers in Dublin, and also in the Country, for the purpose of delivering all kinds of Goods that may be conveyed by their Boats to their respective Owners.

Samples are taken from all Wines and Spirits sent to their care, the instant they are laid down off the cars, in the presence of the Carrier, in small Vial Bottles, sealed, one of which is sent to the Owners, the other retained as a proof; and they are in all cases accountable.

Their Boat Agents are Mr Henry Farrell, at Rathangan; Mr John Coyle, at Monastereven; Mr Thomas Doyle, at Vicarstown; and Mr Michael Commins, at Athy; each of whom are purchasers of Grain, and will give the full value for Wheat, Bere, Barley, Oats and Rapeseed.

Wanted, 800 new Hemp Sacks of the best Irish Manufacture; each Sack must weigh 7 lb exactly standing beam.

They have always a large supply of the best KILKENNY COALS, on reasonable Terms.

Dublin Evening Post 12 September 1816

Coal at its heels

Estimate of the annual produce of British Mines: coals

The export in 1841 was 1848294 tons; home consumption carried coastways 7649899 tons, carried inland about 19000000 tons, total 28498193 tons, free on board at 10s per ton is £14249091

This trade gives employment to 1400 vessels, 15000 Seamen and Boys, 21000 Pitmen and others employed in the collieries above ground, 2000 Keelmen, Coal-boatmen, Carters, and Trimmers, 5000 Whippers, Lightermen &c, 2500 Factors, Agetns &c in London; 45000 for the North Country Trade alone; and taking the proportion which this bears to the whole of the United Kingdom, it follows that not less than 150000 persons are engaged in the production and distribution of coal.

Statistics and Calculations essentially necessary to persons connected with Railways or Canals; containing a variety of information not to be found elsewhere. Calculated and arranged by Samuel Salt 2nd ed Effingham Wilson, London 1846

The rules of the road

Another subject which has engaged our attention has been the frequent accidents that have of late occurred from steam-vessels coming into collision with other vessels, and it appears that from the recent introduction of this mode of navigation no defined rules have been adopted to guard against such occurrences.

A Select Committee of the House of Commons was appointed in the year 1831 to consider the question of steam navigation, and the numerous accidents arising from the employment of steam-vessels. This branch of the subject came under their consideration, and in the Report which they laid before the House thet expressed their opinion of the necessity of establishing some regulations, which they briefly suggested; these, however, have never been adopted, and the evil continues to increase.

With sailing vessels the rule which has been laid down and admitted in courts of law, viz, that, when two vessels meet upon contrary tacks, the one on the larboard tack shall bear up, and that upon the starboard tack shall keep her wind, has been attended with the best effect.

We are aware that the same rule is not strictly applicable to steam-vessels, and that there exists great difficulty in treating a subject involving the varying nature of the circumstances in which steam-vessels are placed in a river as regards the state of the tide, the depth of water in the river, the draught of water of the steam-vessel, and particularly the more or less crowded state of the river, from the number of other vessels in motion, and their relative position.

But rules upon this subject have been laid down, and are enforced, in the Firth and River of Clyde; and we consider it of the highest importance that some “rule of the road” should be established, to be acted upon whenever circumstances will admit. We therefore annex to our Report a set of rules which have been laid before us, and which, we think, may be adopted with advantage.

[…]

Appendix C. Proposed Regulations for the Navigation of Steam Vessels

I. In the Thames, and in all the rivers and channels of the United Kingdom, and in all cases of wind, weather, and tide, steam vessels are to endeavour to keep on that side of the river or channel which lies on their starboard hand.

II. When two steam vessels are standing in contrary or nearly contrary directions, if their courses should lead them near each other, each vessel shall keep towards the starboard side of the river or channel, and thus leave each other on the larboard hand.

III. Whenever  a steam vessel may have to meet or to cross the course of a sailing vessel, or of a rowing boat, the steamer shall in all cases yield to the sailing or rowing vessel, whatever may be the state of the wind, weather, or tide.

IV. In passing any small rowing or sailing boat every steamer shall, if necessary, slacken or stop her paddles, so as not only to prevent the danger of too near an approach, but even so as to avoid giving them any just cause of alarm.

V. Although a vessel propelled by steam in any of the four above cases, may also have had recourse to the assistance of her sails, this circumstance shall in no wise alter the foregoing restrictions; for otherwise she would only have to hoist some small sail to evade them.

VI. All these regulations shall be equally in force at night as well as by day. And for their more effective execution at night every steam vessel, when in Pilotage water, shall carry between sun-set and sun-rise three sufficiently strong lights, in lanterns, so as to be seen in all directions, and attached to a yard which must be kept square, and raised at least six feet above the tops of the paddle-boxes; this yard may be attached to the mast, or otherwise raised to the requisite height above the vessel’s bow for that purpose.

VII. These three lights shall be arranged in the following manner:— One light on each yard arm at the distance of six feet from the mast, that is, twelve feet apart; and on the larboard yard arm one additional light, which shall be placed horizontally with respect to the other light, or vertically under it, according to the following conditions:

(1) All steam vessels which may be coming up any river or channel shall show the additional light three feet directly under the light at the larboard yard arm, viz:—

(2) All steam vessels which may be going down any river or channel shall show the additional light at the same height as the two other lights, and at the distance of three feet inside the larboard light, or half-way between it and the mast, viz:—

VIII. For any infraction of the foregoing regulations a fine, varying according to the culpability of the offender, but not exceeding five pounds, should be summarily levied upon the party and, as the only means of making those regulations effectual, one-half of the fine should be payable to the common informer.

Report from the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Laws and Regulations relating to Pilotage in the United Kingdom Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of His Majesty. HMSO, London 1836

Looking after Fido

I have today sent this email to both Waterways Ireland and Clare County Council.

This email is being sent to Waterways Ireland (Scarriff office) and Clare County Council.

Let us suppose that, during the summer season (15 May to 15 September), I set  off on my boat, with my dogs, from somewhere at the northern end of Lough Derg; I moor in Mountshannon at 11.15am.

Under Clare County Council’s beach bye-laws (number 16), I may not take my dogs ashore until 6.00pm: they will be confined to Waterways Ireland’s piers and pontoons. The entire area of the car park, the access from the piers to the roads, is off limits to dogs between 11.00am and 6.00pm.

Perhaps you might, for the convenience of visiting dog-owners, designate a corridor through which dogs (on leads) might be taken to land. After all, the area in question is not actually a beach: it is a car park.

 

 

The Mountshannon dog-prison

Let us suppose that you are on a boat, with your dog, and perhaps some humans, and that you decide to visit Mountshannon, Co Clare, in the summer.

Here is a map of Mountshannon. I have stolen it from Clare County Council’s Beach Bye-Laws document, which you can download here [PDF].

Mountshannon, Co Clare

Bye-Law 16 applies to this “beach”:

16) Between the hours of 11am and 6pm during the Summer Season, it shall be prohibited to bring any dog onto any part of the beach except the exempted areas delineated on the schedule of maps attached hereto. Before 11am and after 6pm, a dog may be brought onto the non-exempted areas of the beach on the conditions that:

  • the dog is on a leash;
  • it is not causing annoyance, danger or nuisance to any person using the beach or worrying, chasing, injuring or disturbing any animals, birds or other creatures on the beach; and
  • its faeces is removed and deposited in a suitable receptacle.

There are some exceptions: guide dogs and those employed by the constabulary and the excise-persons.

The area from which dogs are excluded is shown by the hatching on the map. It covers the only exit from the piers to the shore. Thus it is not permissible to take little Fido to the land between 11.00 and 18.00 in the summer.

Little Fido had better be good at crossing his legs.

 

 

 

 

Not asking for more

At the Police-office on this day, 64 boys, inmates of Mountkennett workhouse, were brought up for effecting an entrance into the stores of the Dublin Steam Packet Company, which are underneath the workhouse, and converting to their own use 432 bottles of porter [6¾ bottles each], the property of Mr Hurley.

Tralee Chronicle 3 August 1850 citing Limerick Chronicle 31 July 1850