Ger Reid, the Ardnacrusha lockkeeper, retired at the end of December 2012. Ger has guided many boats through the locks over the years and has always been cheerful and reassuring as well as informative, helpful, reliable and competent. He will be sadly missed but I wish him well in his retirement.
Meanwhile, I have heard that Limerick City Council has decided not to renew Pat Lysaght’s contract for work on the river and has suggested that Waterways Ireland should retain him. Pat’s most important role, though, in assisting boats passing through Limerick (220 in 2012), has always been voluntary. Were Pat to cease to provide that service, I think the number of boats visiting Limerick would be greatly reduced.
Posted in Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Irish waterways general, Natural heritage, Operations, People, Shannon, shannon estuary, Tourism, waterways, Weather
Tagged Ardnacrusha, boats, bridge, canal, Clare, ESB, estuary, Ger Reid, Hunt Museum, Ireland, Killaloe, Limerick, Limerick City Council, lock, Lough Derg, Operations, Pat Lysaght, pilot, Shannon, vessels, water level, waterways, Waterways Ireland, workboat
I wrote here about the Park Canal and why it should not be restored. I did not include, because I had not then seen it, a link to this report in the Limerick Post. It shows why the gates on the second lock were not replaced. The core problem is that the banks in the upper section of the canal slope too steeply to be stable.
The slope of the banks above the railway bridge (from a boat)
Happily, this deficiency in the original construction has saved us from another foolish restoration.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Charles Wye Williams, Drainage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Forgotten navigations, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Operations, People, Politics, Rail, Restoration and rebuilding, Scenery, Shannon, Sources, The cattle trade, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged boats, bridge, canal, Clare, Guinness, Ireland, Limerick, Limerick City Council, lock, Operations, Park Canal, Shannon, slope, turf, vessels, water level, waterways, Waterways Ireland
To Limerick City Council offices this evening, where the family of Cecil Mercier, Mill Manager of Bannatyne’s in Limerick and later supervisor of all Ranks mills in Ireland, were handing over his papers to the Limerick City Council Archive.
No photos of the Ranks boats that worked on the Shannon, alas, but perhaps there are some in the archives.
A booklet, Cecil Mercier & the Limerick Rank Mills, was distributed (free): an interesting account of the man and the industry. But it contains this sentence:
At the turn of the twentieth century there were other flour and animal feed mills in and around the city such as the Lock Mills at the junction of the Abbey River and the Grand Canal and the maize mills in Mount Kenneth and Mallow Street.
The canal in Limerick is one of five sections of the Limerick Navigation, and has recently been dubbed the Park Canal. It was not constructed by the Grand Canal Company. It was not owned by the Grand Canal Company. It was not operated by the Grand Canal Company. The only connection between that canal and the Grand Canal is that the Grand Canal Company was permitted to operate its boats on the route and was provided with premises at the canal harbour in Limerick. It put its name on the transhipment canopy, and perhaps that may have given people the mistaken idea that the Grand Canal Company owned the canal. But during the period when the GCC operated its boats, the canal was owned and operated by the Board of Works (Shannon Navigation).
Posted in Ashore, Economic activities, Extant waterways, Forgotten navigations, Industrial heritage, Operations
Tagged Bannatynes, Board of Works, boats, bridge, canal, Cecil Mercier, Grand Canal, Grand Canal Company, Ireland, Limerick, Limerick City Council, lock, Lock Mills, mill, Office of Public Works, Operations, Park Canal, Ranks, Shannon, Shannon Navigation