British Transport Commission: British Transport Waterways
Records of the British Transport Commission: British Transport Waterways:
These records are available immediately for research
In 1953 a new Transport Act was passed abolishing the previous executives of the British Transport Commission, the Docks and Inland Waterways Executive being split into British Transport Waterways and British Transport Docks. British Transport Waterways retained those docks associated with inland waterways, the other docks being managed separately, responsibility was also taken for the Forth and Clyde and Monkland canals in Scotland. British Transport Waterways was subdivided into headquarters, four divisions, Caledonian Canal, Crinan Canal, Forth & Clyde, Monkland & Union Canals and Bridgewater & Taunton Canal and River Tone Navigation. The four divisions of British Waterways, each with engineering, traffic, estates, accounts, stores and reservoir departments, were - South Eastern Division with a divisional office at Watford and charge of Regent's Canal Dock. The South Eastern Division's engineering department was divided into districts, namely Lee District; Regents District which included Regent's Canal Dock; Watford District divided into Tring, Apsley and Brentford Sections with pile making workshops at Bulls Bridge and Marsworth; Warwick District divided into Hatton, Northampton and Oxford Sections and Rugby District divided into Hillmorton, Hartshill and Leicester Sections with a pile making workshop at Hillmorton and a repair yard at Bulls bridge, a maintenance yard at Regent's Canal dock and workshops at Saltley, Uxbridge, Enfield, Hillmorton, Tyseley, Old Ford, Bulbourne and Hatton. The Traffic Department was divided into Norther District with depots at Sampson Road and Tyseley and a traffic office at Hawkesbury, and Southern District with a depot at Brentford and Northampton and traffic offices at Paddington and Bow. The Stores department had storehouses at Bulls Bridge, Bulbourne and Hillmorton. North Eastern Division with a divisional office at Leeds. The North Eastern Division's engineering department was divided into districts, namely Aire District divided into Calder, Leeds and Goole Sections; Don District divided into Sheffield and Keadby Sections with a maintenance yard at Thorne and a pile making workshop at Crowle; Upper Trent and Soar District divided into Grantham and Upper Trent Section, Erewash, Nottingham and Cromford Section and Soar and Trent & Mersey Section and Trent District divided into Nottingham, Newark, Fossdyke & Witham and Chesterfield Sections with repair yards at Goole, Stanley Ferry and Newark and a workshop at Meadow Lane. The traffic department had Leeds District with depots at Knostrop, and Wakefield, Sheffield District with depots at Rotherham and Sheffield and a Nottingham District with depots at Gainsborough , Leicester, Lincoln, Newark, Nottingham and Shardlow within the traffic department, merchandise and compartment fleets were based at Hull and Goole respectively. The Stores department had storehouses at Goole and Newark. North Western Division with a divisional office at Liverpool and charge of Weston Point Docks. The North Western Division's engineering department was divided into districts, namely North Lancashire District divided into Skipton, Burnley and Lancaster Canal Sections; South Lancashire District divided into Wigan, Liverpool, Manchester, Huddersfield Canal and Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal Sections; Weaver District with it's Weaver Navigation Section; Shropshire Union District divided into Chester, Ellesmere, Norbury and Welshpool Sections and Trent & Mersey District divided into Potteries, Stafford and Marple Sections with repair yards at Northwich and Wigan. The traffic department had offices at Manchester and Liverpool and depots at Blackburn, Wigan, Shipley, Keighley and Autherley Junction with sections for Northern and Southern carrying fleets. The Stores department had storehouses at Northwich, Wigan and Lancaster. South Western Division with a divisional office at Gloucester and charge of Sharpness Docks. The South Western Division's engineering department was divided into districts, namely Severn District divided into Gloucester to Sharpness Canal and Gloucester Section, Severn Section, Sharpness Section and Kennet and Avon Sections namely Devizes and Newbury; Birmingham District divided into Oldbury and Worcester and Stratford-upon-Avon Sections; Walsall District divided into Brownhills, Bilston and Stourport Sections and Welsh District divided into Newport & Monmouth, Brecon and Swansea Sections with repair yards at Gloucester and Ocker Hill. The traffic department was divided into Midland District with depots at Bridge Street and Sherborne Street in Birmingham and Wolverhampton and Severn District with depots at Gloucester, Worcester and Stourport with a traffic office at Bristol. The stores department had a storehouse at Gloucester and sub-stores at Tipton. The Caledonian Canal had a manager and engineer based at Clachnaharry, the Crinan Canal a manager and engineer based at Ardrishaig and the Forth & Clyde, Monkland and Union Canals had a manager based at Glasgow. The Bridgewater & Taunton Canal and River Tone Navigation were managed on behalf of British Waterways by British Railways, Western Region whose general manager was based at Paddington Station, London. Following the Act the British Transport Commission/British Transport Waterways decided to commission a survey on the state of the waterways. The survey was chaired by Lord Rusholme and reported its results in 1954, which were published in 1955. The Rusholme Report reviewed the various waterways, and came to a number of conclusions. The nationalised waterways should be run separately from the docks and those waterways should be divided into three groups. The first was a large group of busy waterways with 1420 miles in commercial use, which should be improved; the second a smaller group of waterways with 486 miles not in commercial use value which should be retained to a navigable standard; and the third group a smaller but still substantial group of 265 miles of waterways with no commercial future which should be formally closed or abandoned. British Transport Waterways continued previous carrying policies, including the building of new craft. In 1955 following the Rusholme Report British Transport Waterways was reorganised and dropped the word 'Transport' from its title becoming 'British Waterways'.