The Intended Commercial Canal - Minutes of a meeting at the White Hart and Star Inn, Uttoxeter. From the Enoch Wood scrapbook

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Date:26th of July 1796

Description:An ambitious new project has begun in Staffordshire - outlined at a meeting at the White Hart and Star Inn, Uttoxeter.

A transport revolution

A proposed new canal promises to transform the transport of goods between London, the Potteries and the sea ports of North-West England.

Route of the new canal

The canal will link Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire with the River Trent and canals in Cheshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Branches will connect the Coventry Canal and an expanding network of early railways.

The project will open a new supply line between coal mines and manufacturers in the Potteries and beyond.

A bumpy ride

Just as importantly, it will take away the need to make parts of a journey by land - a bumpy ride on the roads of the 1790s that could easily result in damaged goods and dented profits.

The owners of the Ashby, Newcastle and Chester canals are firmly behind the scheme, and there is enough support to open a nationwide subscription fund.

But the men behind the scheme will still have to persuade Parliament that the scheme is a good idea, and so they resolve to hire three solicitors to pursue an Act of Parliament that will give the go-ahead.

Meanwhile, a committee is to be set up to lobby local industrialists and other canal owners who stand to benefit from the scheme.

This item is now amongst the collections of Stoke-on-Trent Museums.


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