Monday, June 17, 2013

Martha Alice

I was given this photograph recently, it shows a horse boat called Martha Alice passing under a bridge.

The Boat
The boat appears to belong to Jackson & Co of Liverpool from what I can make out on the cover sheets over the cargo. The boat looks to be wooden, and is horse drawn but sadly the horse is hidden by the bridge. The last horse boat was Parbold in 1960, so this photo must be before then. 1940s or 50s I would guess. The boat is carrying a cargo, low in the water and has its covers on. The covers may mean the cargo has to be kept dry so may be animal feed or corn rather than coal.

The Bridge
The bridge is a typical Leeds & Liverpool Canal bridge. One of the original stones ones. These are found between Liverpool and Wigan. It has the white painted arch and the mark showing the centre of the water channel. The bridge doesn't have the course of stone work at road level that most bridges of this type have. The stonework suggests the bridge has been rebuilt and repaired a few times. It has metal braces.
 By the towpath is the wooden roller which would have protected the stonework from being worn by the tow ropes. Through the bridge the canal bends around to the right.

Bridge #24 at Halsall Cutting, Lancashire

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