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Trent Navigation Company (2)


Records of the Trent Navigation Company (2): Bills and byelaws 1906-1934, stock and shareholding records 1902-1948, general administrative, legal and engineering records 1887-1952, boat tables 1901-1919, river gaugings 1893-1979, plans of the navigation 1795-1932, Trent works 1894-1945, vessels 1932-1943, records kept by the company for information 1889-1910, publicity early-mid 20th century, press cuttings 1886-1964.



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These records are available immediately for research

Administrative /‚Äč Biographical history

An Act in 1892 granted capital powers and also changed the name of the Trent company again, back to the Trent Navigation Company. Improvements were at first limited but river traffic picked up and larger schemes were considered. Sir Edward Leader Williams, who had engineered the Manchester Ship Canal, surveyed the river and a new Act was passed in 1906 to authorize new capitol, build new locks and dredge. New petroleum traffic and the company's carrying fleet helped the river prior to the First World War, with cartage and warehousing seeing profits. Further improvements by the company could not be financed, and the Nottingham Corporation were authorised to take over tolls on the Nottingham-Newark section of the river by an Act of 1915. The war prevented further improvements being made and the Government subsidy, paid to all waterways during the war, ended in August 1920. The Trent Navigation Company was left with increased costs and no power to raise tolls. The Ministry of Transport took over the river until the Nottingham Corporation could proceed with improvements in 1921. By 1926 new locks had been built at Holme, Stoke Bardolph, Gunthorpe and Hazelford by the corporation, and the Trent Navigation Company rebuilt Newark Nether Lock. On 1 April 1927 the Nottingham Corporation took over their section of the river and employed the company as managers. In 1936 the Trent Navigation leased, and in 1946 bought, the Nottingham Canal section from the London and North Eastern Railway. The British Transport Commission took over the canal upon nationalisation of the waterways and in 1952 built a larger Newark Town lock. In 1954, Holme flood-lock was eliminated as part of the Trent River Board's Nottingham flood prevention scheme. In 1957 a further programme of improvements was announced which included bank protection, dredging, workshop improvement, mechanisation of some locks, and enlargement of Cromwell Lock in 1960. Traffic reached over 1 million tons in 1964 but there was very little commercial traffic above Nottingham. The Newark Navigation Commission remains in existence, leasing their waterway to British Waterways. For further information on the Trent Navigation see Edward Paget-Tomlinson's 'The Illustrated History of Canals & River Navigations' and Charles Hadfield's 'The Canals of the East Midlands'.

System of arrangement

It has not been possible to ascertain the complete original structure of record-keeping from the records held for this company. The fonds has been arranged into series by subject, which is how some of the records may have originally been kept. The company's Bills and byelaws have been placed first, followed by stock and shareholding records. These are followed by general administrative, legal and engineering records, then boat tables. After this are river gaugings, plans of the navigation, Trent works, vessels, records kept by the company for information. At the end of the collection are publicity material and press cuttings. The records within these series have been arranged chronologically while keeping records relating to each other together. This means that some records may fall slightly out of the chronological sequence. The volumes of press cuttings were compiled by the Trent Navigation Company. Their original order has been maintained.

Associated material

[See also: BW60, BW98, BW158-159 and BW161 for records of the Trent Navigation during other periods of ownership]