Company of Proprietors of the Birmingham and Warwick Junction Canal Navigation
Records of the Company of Proprietors of the Birmingham and Warwick Junction Canal Navigation: legal records 1856-1927, administrative records 1844-late 19th century, plans of the canal c1840-late 19th century, Ordnance Survey maps detailing canal, land ownership and agreements 1890-early 20th century, bridges c1840-1913, Rea Aqueduct mid-late 19th century, Saltley Aqueduct mid-late 19th century.
These records are available immediately for research
By 1839 traffic in Birmingham was seriously hampered by congestion at Farmers Bridge. The Tame Valley Canal planned to alleviate this as it would divert traffic away from the Warwick and Birmingham Canal. To avoid this, the Warwick and Birmingham Canal company proposed the Birmingham and Warwick Junction Canal. The Birmingham and Warwick Junction Canal opened in 1844, the same year as the Tame Valley Canal. The new canal was managed by the Warwick and Birmingham Canal company, who also financed and staffed it in conjunction with the Warwick and Napton Canal company. The canal was just over 2 ½ miles long with 6 locks, 5 in the Garrison flight and a stop lock at Salford. Water supply came from the Warwick and Birmingham Canal and was aided by a reservoir at Saltley that collected lockage water from the flight to be pumped back up to the top of Camp Hill locks on the Warwick and Birmingham Canal. The canal quickly attracted heavy traffic and earned good revenue, however railway competition soon emerged and it went into receivership with its controlling companies in the 1850s. In 1917 the Birmingham and Warwick Junction Canal together with its two controlling companies came under a joint committee of management. This situation remained until their eventual purchase by the Regent's Canal & Dock Company in 1927. In 1929 they became part of the Grand Union Canal Company. For further information on the Birmingham and Warwick Junction Canal see Edward Paget-Tomlinson's 'The Illustrated History of Canals & River Navigations' and Alan Falkner's 'The Warwick Canals'.
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 were originally kept. The company's legal records have been placed first, followed by their administrative records. These are followed by plans of the canal and Ordnance Survey maps detailing canal, land ownership and agreements. These progress through plans of bridges, Rea Aqueduct and Saltley Aqueduct. Within each series the records have generally been arranged chronologically while keeping records relating to each other together. This means that some records may fall slightly out of the chronological sequence.
[See also: BW154 and BW103 for records of the Birmingham and Warwick Junction Canal during other periods of ownership]