The public car from Ennis to Williamstown was quite a treat in the way of public travelling; a leather strap, and afterwards a branch of a tree, sufficed for a whip, until an innocent country lad was coaxed into an exchange pro tempore — that is to say, he very good-naturedly lent our driver his whip on a simple promise to return it, and took the branch instead. Although half an hour too late at starting, our loquacious conductor assured us that we would arrive in due time at Williamstown to meet the packet, ‘barring accidents’ — which was well put in, for the wheels were once or twice so hot and the horses so lazy that a stoppage at one time seemed inevitable.
A voyage in a large steamboat of one hundred horse power was quite a novelty to be enjoyed in an inland piece of water, and I greatly enjoyed both this and the voyage up the Shannon, in a less steamboat of twenty four horse power. I had never in my life travelled in a canal passage-boat, and the voyage therein from Shannon Harbour to Dublin was described by a Limerick attorney as a nuisance, horrible beyond endurance. I have never, however, been disposed to rely so much on the opinion of others as on my own experience, and therefore I resolved to try the voyage.
Never was I more agreeably surprised that to find, after sailing in it eighteen hours, I arrived at Dublin too soon, so far as the pleasantness of the journey was concerned. I heard the best Irish songs and recitations, and had a most interesting account of Irish scenery and superstitions from Mr Dennis Leonard, of Kilrush; besides this, I had a very comfortable night’s rest and was altogether much interested and pleased with my first journey on a canal.
From Chapter XV Ireland and the Irish 1838 of Benjamin Ward Richardson Thomas Sopwith MA CE FRS, with excerpts from his diary of fifty-seven years Longmans, Green & Co, London 1891
Posted in Ashore, Canals, Charles Wye Williams, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Passenger traffic, People, Roads, Shannon, waterways
Tagged 1838, canal, Dublin, Ennis, Shannon, Shannon Harbour, Williamstown
The Shannon regatta commenced on Tuesday at Kilrush, which is crowded with visitors from Limerick, Tarbert, Ennis, and the sea coast frequenters at Kilkee and Malbay. In respect to the memory of the late Judge Vandeleur, it was supposed the stewards would defer the annual gala for a fortnight, but as several yachts had arrived from distant stations, a majority of the committee decided on proceeding. A stiff breeze from the North West, with occasional squalls, prevailed for the last three days. The prizes on Tuesday for the rival yachts were — Kent cup, a purse of £20, and two purses of £10 each.
The Cork Harbour Regatta will hold four days, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th August. The highest prize is one of £60 for all yachts.
The Marquis of Waterford’s yacht, Gem, now at Cove, is a beautiful specimen of naval architecture, and it is hard to know which to admire, the beautiful symmetry of her construction, or the perfect seamanlike manner in which she is rigged and fitted up. She is a Polacca schooner, of about 110 tons, carrying 6lb brass guns, and a swivel forward. Capt Lane RN is sailing master.
Dublin Morning Register 26 June 1835
From the British Newspaper Archive run by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited, in partnership with the British Library.
Posted in Charles Wye Williams, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Ireland, People, Sea, shannon estuary, Suir, Water sports activities
Tagged Cork, Cove, Ennis, Gem, Kilrush, Lane, Limerick, polacca, schooner, Shannon, Tarbert, Vandeleur, Waterford, yachts
Kilrush to Limerick 4 hours
Tarbert to Limerick 3 hours
Clare[castle] to Limerick 3.5 hours
Limerick to Killaloe:
- iron passenger boat 2.5 hours
- timber passenger boat 3.5 hours
- trade boat 6 hours.
Killaloe to Portumna:
- passenger steamer 6 hours
- steamer towing lumber boats 8 hours.
Portumna to Shannon Harbour:
Shannon Harbour to Athlone:
Source: Railway Commissioners second report Appendix B No 6.
Posted in Charles Wye Williams, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, People, Rail, Sea, Shannon, shannon estuary, Sources, Steamers, The cattle trade, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Athlone, barge, boats, canal, Clare, Clarecastle, Ennis, estuary, Fergus, Ireland, Killaloe, Kilrush, Limerick, lock, Lough Derg, O'Briensbridge, Operations, Portumna, Shannon, Shannon Harbour, steamer, Tarbert, Tipperary, turf, vessels, waterways