Tag Archives: Portadown

Big Knock

During the past month business at the Larne Shipbuilding Works has been exceedingly brisk, and the carrying out of new orders is still proceeding apace. […] There was launched on the 19th inst one steel motor barge, 70 X 16 X 7 feet, and fitted with 40 BHP Bolinder engines, to consume crude oil. The barge was built to the order of Messrs E Dowley & Sons, Ltd, of Carrick-on-Suir.

[…] The motor engines are installed by Bright’s Patent Pulley Co, Portadown.

Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph
22 February 1913

I don’t have the dimensions of the Big Knocknagow, but 70 X 16 is larger than the Little Knocknagow, so I suspect that this shows that the Big Knock was built in Larne and launched in 1913.

No doubt information about the origins of the Little Knock will turn up at some stage.

Lough Neagh to Carlingford Lough

Thanks to David Davis for the link to this video, following the water route from Lough Neagh by the Upper Bann, the Newry Canal and the Newry Ship Canal to Carlingford Lough.

Dargan, O’Regan, steam and the Newry Canal

I wrote here about Simon O’Regan’s passenger-carrying screw steamer tried on the Grand Canal in Dublin in 1850. I am grateful to John Ditchfield for pointing me to an article about what happened next: steam trials on the Newry Canal in 1850, but this time with a lumber (freight) boat.

I would welcome more information about Simon O’Regan or about the use of steam power on the Newry Canal.

Portadown Foundry Ltd

I am grateful for a copy of Portadown Foundry Ltd: a history of the foundry 1844–1983, by Cardwell McClure and Wilson Steen, published by the authors in October 2012. It is available from five shops in the Edenderry (Portadown) area; the Edenderry Cultural and Historical Society may be able to assist.

The book’s breadth of coverage is very impressive. It may be thought of as having three main sections. The first provides five chapters covering the five main eras of control of the foundry. The second has four chapters covering employees, surviving artefacts, sporting history and Foundry Street, where many employees lived. The final section has six chapters providing the essential contest that is often omitted in local history books. These six chapters cover:

  • Portadown and the economy of Ulster
  • Foundry-built barges and lighters (of particular interest on this site)
  • The evolution of flax and linen processing in Ulster
  • The evolution of engineering in Ulster
  • The evolution of power plant in Ulster
  • The evolution of transport in Ulster.

It is richly illustrated throughout and is well worth a fiver (sterling) of anyone’s money.

 

Canal parties

I wondered recently whether the proposed canal to Clones was really a Sinn Féin canal. And I have also wondered whether the proposed restoration of the Lagan Navigation was a Unionist riposte, to be undertaken without the involvement of cross-border implementation bodies. With Michael McGimpsey having supported it, I thought of it as an Ulster Unionist project: although there seems to have been some DUP interest in at least some aspects, I’d have thought the Upper Bann was more DUP territory, with at least part of the Lower Bann staunchly supporting Ulster Scots heritage.

Now (h/t Industrial Heritage Ireland) comes news that the SDLP has got itself a canal: it wants the Newry Canal to be handed over to Waterways Ireland by the four local authorities that currently own it. This would extend the influence of the cross-border body into another area of Northern Ireland and bring it even into Portadown.

The Newry and Portadown Branch of the IWAI wants the thing restored and no doubt the local authorities (who have maintained it as a popular walking and cycling route) would be glad to get it off their budgets. Waterways Ireland, alas, remains deaf to my blandishments and is determined to have the Ulster Canal made navigable instead of setting up a walking and cycling route, and no doubt it would welcome having the good folk of Newry and Portadown lobby for it to get United Kingdom taxpayers’ money (if there ever  is any to spare) to restore the Newry Canal.

But the major question that nobody has answered is this: what is the Alliance Party doing? What canal does it want restored?