Transport on the River Trent
The above picture courtesy of nelsch.org.uk.
In 1699 an Act of Parliament concerning the Trent was passed ‘An Act for making and keeping the river Trent in the counties of Leicester, Derby, and Stafford navigable’. The Trent runs from Stoke on Trent, Nottingham, Newark and Gainsborough to Trent Falls and the Humber. Further acts were passed allowing tolls to be charged and for all barges and vessels to be numbered and marked with their owners names. By 1670 various companies started building canals to connect to the Trent to extend access to other areas of the Midlands. The Trent and Mersey Canal of the 1770’s enabled barges to travel from the East Coast of England to the West Coast. At the same time the Chesterfield, Loughborough, and Erewash Canals were constructed allowing goods from a large area to be transported. By the end of the 1700’s further canals were added these were the Derby canal and the Nottingham canal and the Beeston canal. Trade continued to flourish on the canals until the 1840’s when the railways took over the transport of passengers and goods.
Trent Falls is where the River Trent joins the Ouse to form the River Humber and allows river passage through to Derby, Nottingham and the West Midlands. On the way to Gainsborough the River Trent passes by Burton upon Stather, which in the 1300's this was a much busier port than Gainsborough with Steam Packets plying between here and Hull. There was also a ferry, which ran to Garthorpe on the West bank. As well as natural disasters such as flooding and storms washing away the riverbanks in 1777 the brig Phoenix caught fire whilst carrying a cargo of gunpowder, which eventually exploded damaging many houses and the church. In the 1800's a shipbuilding company was formed in Burton upon Stather because of the increase in trade and the company Wray and Sons built vessels of up to 300 tons as well as a pier. (see tab Innovators/Shipbuilders and Burton Stather)
At this time shipbuilding was also prominent in Gainsborough with the building of the 'Albion', 'British Queen' and 'John Bull' by J. H. Smith, R and W. Furley and William Moody. These Steam Packet or Paddle Steamers ran regular services to Hull, Doncaster and Burringham. (The Steam Packet 'Celia' was the final ship to run a regular service on Market days until the First World War)
In the 1829 Pigot's Trade Directory, Steam Packets Hero and Victory ran from Hull to Gainsborough on a daily basis. Sailing Packets ran fortnightly from Hull to Garthorpe and Burton upon Stather.
In 1843 the Steam Packets 'Lindsey' and 'Columbine' ran between Hull and Gainsborough daily except Sunday and landed passengers at all the Ferries on the Trent. The Hull Advertiser and Exchange Gazette of 30th June 1843 quoted that the 'Columbine' was capable of performing the trip between Hull and Gainsborough, a distance of 52 miles, without stoppages in two hours.
P.S. Isle of Axholme
Built in 1860 for the Gainsborough to Hull trade by the Gainsborough Steam Packet Company. Sold in 1912 to the Goole Steam Packet Company and finally broken up in Scarborough about 1920.
Hull Maritime museum has an oil painting of the first Hull Keel Regatta 1874, with the P.S. 'Isle of Axholme' flying the flag of the Hull Keel Regatta Club 1874.
Picture by kind permission of J.Smith
These can be anything from a simple rowing boat to a flat bottomed type of punt capable of transporting carriages or in more recent times cars.
Garthorpe to Burton upon Stather
1841 Garthorpe census William Cook ferryman aged 50.
1871 Burton upon Stather census Thomas Mason Ferryman.
1881 Burton upon Stather census Robert Brooks Ferryman.
Picture on the right is Burton upon Stather ferry point to Garthorpe
Amcotts to Flixborough
1861 Flixborough census Joseph Markham Ferryman.
Althorpe to Burringham
1841 Burringham census George Rudding Ferryman
1851 Burringham census John Hayton Ferryman
1861 Burringham census Jarvase Tongue (as below?) Ferryman
1871 Burringham census Jarvis Tong Ferryman
1881 Burringham census William Wilkinson Ferryman
1901 Burringham census Stephen Barber Ferryman
West Butterwick to East Butterwick
Owston to East Ferry.
1851/1861 - Owston Census Thomas Phillipson Ferryman.
1871 - Samuel Pearson Ferryman
1901 - William Pilkinton Ferryman
West Stockwith to East Stockwith.
By Kind permission of J.Conroy
1871/1881 East Stockwith Census Frederick Waterland Ferryman
Walkeringham to Walkerith
If you have any pictures or further information please email me.