An Address to the Public - Pages 2 and 7

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Date:Not Recorded

Description:Controversial Proposals

The Trent and Mersey Canal Company has recently issued controversial proposals to build a reservoir and extend a branch canal to Leek.

This pamphlet, sent to Enoch Wood's premises, condemns the Company's suggestions one by one:

  • Firstly, that they have been of 'infinite service' to the country, and therefore that all of their schemes should meet with encouragement.

  • Secondly, that the supply of water to their canal is not enough to meet the ever-expanding needs of local businesses.

  • Thirdly, that a new canal is to be built, parallel to the route of the Trent and Mersey Canal.

  • The views of 'The Committee'

    The pamphleteers - an un-named 'committee' - believe that every single one of these points is misguided or wrong.

    They argue that no improvements to the canal should be made unless it can be proved that no harm will come to private property.

    They also state that no works should be carried out at the expense of other projects more beneficial to the public interest.

    The pamphlet also claims that 'the promoters of the Commercial Scheme' (a proposed new canal to compete with the Trent and Mersey) are willing to protect the Trent and Mersey Canal against any financial losses, by negotiation.

    Thanks to this goodwill, they claim, there should be no need for a reservoir or branch canal.

    In fact, they argue, 'it is impossible for any candid man to read attentively the case of the Trent and Mersey Comapny, without perceiving their own condemnation on the face of it.'

    What eventually happened?

    No canal to rival the Trent and Mersey was ever built.

    However, the Trent and Mersey Company were successful in building a branch canal to Leek. This became an arm of the Caldon Canal.

    A reservoir was also built at Rudyard. It opened in 1797, and is now a popular beauty spot.

    Note: Pages 3 to 6 of the pamphlet are missing.

    This object is now part of the collections at Stoke-on-Trent Museums.