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River Lee Conservancy Board


Records of the River Lee Conservancy Board



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These records are available immediately for research

Administrative /‚Äč Biographical history

A board of 13 conservators, elected for four years, replaced the Trustees of the River Lee by the Lee Conservancy Act of 1868. Five conservators represented landowners, one barge owners, one local authorities, two the New River Company, two the East London Waterworks Company, one the Corporation of London and one the Metropolitan Board of Works. The Act gave wider powers including control over sewage pollution (from leaky manure-carrying boats and the growing towns) and purchase of the Stort Navigation, which was only completed in 1911. Improvements to both the Lee and Stort meant that by the 1930s, 130-ton barges could reach Enfield. The River Lee (Flood Relief) Act of 1930 continued the improvements begun jointly by the West Ham Corporation and Lee Conservancy Board on the Bow Back Rivers, reconstructing locks and improving the channels. A new lock was opened at Bow in 1935, and City Mills lock was given radial gates to act as flood relief sluices. The navigation was taken over by the British Transport Commission: Docks & Inland Waterways Executive under nationalisation in 1948. Recent construction has been the mechanisation of locks up to Ponders End and the replacement of the Limehouse Cut lock into the Thames in 1968, and in 1969 the opening of a new terminal at Brimsdown with warehouse accommodation. Traffic is still carried. For further information on the Bradford Canal, see Edward Paget-Tomlinson's The Illustrated History of Canals & River Navigations and Charles Hadfield's The Canals of Eastern England.

Associated material

[See also: BW135 for records of the Trustees of the River Lee]