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Documents held

Port of London Gauging 14088



GJ Gauging 11689                                                       



Letter Warren/Millner re tunnel stoppage                                   



Newspaper report of Inquest



Letter Harlow/Millner re towing 3 boats                                   



BCN Gauging 974                                                       



GJ (OC) Gauging         12127



BCN Gauging 2111                                                     




Millner Letters



5.7.1899                  At 8.35 pm on Monday 3rd July, I received a wire from Danks stating that M Canvin’s steamer JUBILEE had

                                sunk in Braunston Tunnel and stopped the traffic at 6 pm.  After sending the men and stanking material forward from this yard, I rode over to Braunston and found Messrs Fellows Morton & Clayton’s steamer MARQUIS Captain T Wenlock and butty boat loaded with starch and sundries for Birmingham had run into that Canvin’s Steamer JUBILEE and butty boat Captain T Canvin loaded with 23 and 30¼ tons of Wyken Coal for Leckhampton, between the 13 & 1400 yards in the tunnel.  The JUBILEE lay across the tunnel with the bow on the offside and the stern on the towpath side and he was struck an inch on the inside of the stempost with the guard iron almost knocked off.  The MARQUIS then appeared to have run up on her foredeck and pressed her under.  The tunnel was thick and both steamers look to have been on their wrong sides. 

                                Wenlock states that he sounded the whistle several times but heard no reply.  The MARQUIS followed the same owner’s SULTAN close behind from hear and was probably running hard at the time of the collision.

                                The stank was driven at Bridge No 6 Wilton and the water in the tunnel (and summit for a distanceof 1½ miles 275 yards was run off to a depth of 2’ 8” before the JUBILEE could be floated after lightening her cargo 6 tons and pumping all the water out.  She rose at 2 pm, but it was 7 pm before the summit could be raised sufficiently to allow boats to move.

108 lockfuls of water were required from the reservoir to make up the deficiency.

In my opinion the JUBILEE is not a safe steamer to navigate the tunnels without sidecloths and she ought not to be allowed to carry such heavy loading.

Also considering we may always expect to have boats sunk in the tunnels, proper stop grooves should be placed in Welton Bridge wing walls as soon as possible to prevent future delays to traffic and considerable loss of water.  Millner/Thomas



3.5.1912                  On Monday boats was fast again in the Tunnel with a boat behind the Steamer named the SULTAN for one hour it caused the tug to loose a turn I think you had better send another snubber in case of another mishap F Warren/Millner

10.6.1913                A  report from the Northamptonshire Mercury of 13th June 1913.  Added by courtesy of his grandson, Tony Rowney




9.2.1914                  In reply to your letter of 6th inst I am sorry to hear that your steamer SULTAN met with a mishap below Buckby last week……the bend below Brockhall shall receive attention.     I am having reports from our lock keepers that the men on your steamers are refusing to work the sidelocks at Buckby and on the 11th January and 6th February EMPEROR and COUNT were reported.  As we are short of water this is now a serious matter.


24.6.1924                Enclosed please find a report from Betts respecting Messrs Fellows Morton Clayton motor SULTAN towing three boats through Braunston Tunnel on Saturday 21st, while the tug was working.  Starmer who was driving at the time, tells me he had started into the tunnel with the 12 oclock pull from Welton end with five boats in tow when Wright, who was steering saw the two empty boats coming through Welton Bridge, and although he waited for them to catch the tug they did not tie on to the last boat.  Mr Mercer says that all three boats had taken out tug tickets and paid for them. C Harlow/Millner (on holiday in Ramsgate)


Current Owner: 

Last recorded 10th December 1941


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