During the past half-year also — within the last two months — Messrs Guinness and Co have finished the very extensive stores both here [at Grand Canal Harbour] and at our docks [Grand Canal Docks, Ringsend], and have commenced to carry their whole import and export trade upon our canal between these points. They have purchased boats, and are carrying on the trade with great zeal and efficiency, and we expect it will form a very considerable addition to your revenue from the tolls.
From the address of the Chairman, William Digges La Touche Esq, to the half-yearly meeting of the Grand Canal Company on 31 August 1867, reported in the Dublin Evening Post 4 September 1867
Posted in Canals, Economic activities, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Sources
Tagged barge, circular line, Dublin, Grand Canal, Grand Canal Company, Grand Canal Dock, Grand Canal harbour, Guinness, Liffey, William Digges La Touche
Great storm on Lough Derg
40 tons of porter lost
All over the course of the Shannon the snowstorm was of the utmost severity. The Grand Canal Company had practically to suspend traffic, and steamers arriving at Portumna from Killaloe and Limerick report the roughest weather yet experienced on Lough Derg.
The steamer Dublin, bound from Shannon Harbour to Limerick with three barges in tow, loaded with 40 tons each of porter for Messrs A Guinness and Co’s stores, Limerick, was almost wrecked on Wednesday, but for the promptitude and presence of mind of the steamer’s crew.
She was nearing Parker’s Point, on the Clare [sic] side of the lake, when the storm was raging fiercest, and this being one of the most unsheltered spots in the course of the Shannon, heavy waves came rolling over the tug and barges and tossed them about. The strain broke the ropes which kept them in tow, and two boats with their crews broke away and went adrift, and were at the mercy of the waves.
The captain of the steamer Dublin (Patrick Moran), seeing the perilous position of the boats and crews, steered with the one boat which he had then in tow to the Tipperary side, and anchored her there in shelter, and again set out to the rescue of the two drifting barges, and after a severe struggle succeeded in getting to their rescue just as they were drifting on to the rocks at the point mentioned.
There were twenty tons each of porter stowed on the decks, and this was promptly secured by covers and lashed by ropes to rings, but notwithstanding this the barrels of porter, from the tossing about of the boats, broke through the covers and lash lines, and were lost on Lough Derg. The steamer’s master again got the barges in tow, and succeeded in bringing them on to Killaloe.
The Irish Times 31 December 1906
Posted in Economic activities, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Safety, Shannon, Steamers, waterways, Weather
Tagged barge, Dublin, Guinness, Killaloe, Limerick, Lough Derg, parker Point, Portumna, steam, tug
The steam ferry barge, the property of Messrs J R Russell and Sons, which plies across the Shannon from Russell’s-quay to Lansdowne spinning mills, and which was got up for the convenience and conveyance of the factory operatives in the employ of the firm, was boarded during last night (Sunday) as she lay at the north side of the river, by some person or persons unknown, and maliciously injured to a considerable extent. She was not only scuttled, but the machinery was broken and some of the gear removed and taken away, so that the barge has become temporarily disabled. Portions of the machinery are said to have been found in the river, where they were thrown by the miscreants. This is the second attempt that has been made to damage this ferry since she was put on the river.
Cork Examiner 27 April 1869
Posted in Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Passenger traffic, Shannon, Steamers
Tagged barge, ferry, Lansdowne, Limerick, Russell, Shannon, spinning, steam, thug, vandal
His tow, like most, was 105 feet wide. The lock chamber is 110 feet wide. To park his 1,130-foot, 19,200-ton craft, he had as much space as a car does in a crowded parking lot.
From a fascinating piece on the New York Times website about two ageing locks on the Ohio and the traffic that passes through them.
h/t Alex Tabarrok on Marginal Revolution
Posted in Built heritage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Industrial heritage, Modern matters, Operations, Safety, Steamers, The grain trade, waterways, Weather
Tagged barge, dam, lock, Ohio, push, tow
One of the things that struck me, on our annual tour of inspection of the transpontine regions, was that most hire-boat skippers were very good at handling their boats.
The weather was very windy (more on that anon) and, on several days, we thought it too gusty for safe manoeuvring, but we watched hirers coming in to the various harbours. I don’t recall any of them making a mess of it, despite the wind, and some were remarkably skilful in challenging conditions. A family of Cheshire dairy farmers, experienced on the English narrow canals, were particularly impressive.
I had a look at the CarrickCraft/Waveline/Cruise-Ireland online training materials and I thought they were very good. [I haven’t looked at those of other hire firms: they may have equally good materials.] So was the Captain’s Handbook [PDF to Flipbook], which contains this excellent advice:
Take your time and carry out all manoeuvres slowly and deliberately. If you have the chance, watch a barge captain handling his barge. He is never in a hurry.
Posted in Economic activities, Extant waterways, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Modern matters, Operations, Safety, Shannon, Sources, Tourism, Water sports activities, waterways, Waterways management, Weather
Tagged barge, Carrick Craft, hire boat, IBRA, Shannon, skipper, Waveline
The Irish Independent has a sane and realistic article about living on a barge on Irish inland waterways. I can’t recall seeing such a thing before.
The book Reedbound, mentioned in the article, is available here; it is highly recommended.
Posted in Economic activities, Extant waterways, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Irish waterways general, Modern matters, Operations, People, Shannon, waterways
Tagged barge, Byford, covers, Hawthorn, Parkinson, Reedbound, Shannon
A new workboat in Grand Canal Docks.
Posted in Canals, Economic activities, Extant waterways, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, People, Sources, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged barge, boats, bridge, canal, Dublin, Grand Canal, Ireland, office, Operations, Ringsend, vessels, Waterways Ireland, workboat
Some time ago I put up a page about the Barrow trackway [towing-path]. For some reason, the page disappeared shortly afterwards. I have now recreated it; unless or until it disappears again, it is here.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Canals, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, People, Sources, The grain trade, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Athy, Bagenalstown, barge, Barrow, Bestfield, boats, bridge, canal, Carlow, estuary, floods, flow, graiguecullen, Grand Canal, Ireland, Jerusalem, Kildare, Laois, Leighlinbridge, lock, Operations, Queen's County, Royal Oak, Slyguff, towing-path, trackway, vessels, water level, weir