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The Grand Junction UK

The Grand Junction canal at stoke bruern had been decided to be built to increase trade and for quick access to markets between Birmingham and London. The route was designed to be 90-100 miles long but the alternative route was 250 miles. They planned to have 121 locks and two major tunnels, one at braunston and the other at blisworth.

The route was planned to be the most direct route from London to Birmingham and had all the important local people involved including the duke of Crafton and five earls, a marquis and a senser. The canal was thought to raise over 500,000 in shares.

The source is not very good in giving you information in telling you any of the difficulties that accord during the building of the canal at stoke bruerne. The source only tells us that there were difficulties, which caused a delay. It tells us that there was a to abandon this part of the canal which is good because it tells us that things were very serious. The alternative route that was decided to be used after the first route failed. The new route added an extra 150miles to the plan and went from Birmingham through the country to oxford then to London going to all the towns on the way.

When they started work at the tunnel at blisworth they encountered many problems. The Northampton mercury is very good at describing most of the difficulties that they encountered and what some of their ideas were to fix these problems. Some problems that it tells us are that the hill at blisworth was 45metres high and 3 miles long. In the source it tells us that they had other problems to with the amount of manual labour they had and that they needed more skilled and non-skilled labourers.

In the Northampton mercury there is an add asking for people to sign up for work if they were a carpenter, brickmaker or they did any other sought of labour. This add shows us that they needed a huge workforce which they did not have. The add was placed on July 3 1802

The first major problem was in 1793 -96 when then the tunnel collapsed. This set them back a long way and caused a lot more problems. They had to build a new tunnel over the remaining ruins of the old tunnel. None of this is mentioned in the source given and instead is in the Northampton mercury. In the Northampton mercury they tell us of the rebuilding of the fallen tunnel and how it added extra costs because of additional brickwork and strengthening.

In the minute book on 3 November 1769 and 10 Jan 1798 You find out that they had ideas for building a tramway and toll road while the canal was not finished Another problem that the source does not explain is that the canal company had competition from the railway as there had been one built from blisworth to Northampton. Because of the first major problem on august 1799 in the minute book Mr.jessop says that the tunnel would take another 2-3 years to be built if it was going to be built right.

On the 17/5/1799 in the minute book it also tells us of the difficulties of gaining support from the landowner the duke of Grafton and other problems.

The minute book is a useful source for finding all of the details of the problems that encountered and for finding out about the builders and the everyone that was involved including the duke of Grafton. It explains what problems the duke had including a letter that he writes were he is concerned about what will happen to his land and neibouring villages. The replies to the duke's letters show how everyone had to keep him happy and keep him up to date with all future plans and events.

The Northampton mercury tells us briefly of an accident when one man died and one man was injured when a horse jerked and the basket which both men where standing flipped over dropping them sixty yards killing one man instantly while the other man survived for only a few hours. Even though this is a short piece it tells us a lot, like working in the tunnel was a very dangerous job and could be fatal.

The tunnel leak edge was not the only water problem they also had to build side ponds and build 7 locks at stoke bruerne. Finally in both the minute book and in the Northampton mercury we are told that the second attempt to build the tunnel finished in 1805 and was 1 and three courtiers of a mile long.5 million bricks were used and the tunnel was two bricks thick.

Both the minute book, Northampton mercury and site visit are equally important. The Northampton mercury gives details on water problems, workforce problems and on the completion of the tunnel while the minute book gives us all the information on the duke of Grafton and gaining his support which was a major part of building the tunnel because it was his land and it also gives u allot of information on the lock system, local opposition and of the second attempt of building the tunnel which was successful.

The first source we are given is not very good in explaining all the points and details of the building of stoke bruerne canal and all the difficulties they met. We do not get enough information to no any of the problems faced. The first source would have to have a little more information to be any use. The only thing we get out of this source is that they had difficulties building the tunnel. The minute book helps us to understand what problems all the people involved had and all the plans that they had thought of. In the minute book there are letters and notes from meetings which are all dated to help us no when they had the problems and how many months it took them to solve the problems and this is a much more useful source than the source we are first given.

The Northampton mercury does not give us details of meetings and letters like the minute book but it gives us brief details on what happened for 5 months of the construction of the canal and includes an add for workers which tells us that they had trouble with the amount of labour they had. This source although good is not as good as the minute book because it is a newspaper and they could have changed some of the information unlike the minute book that is notes from meetings, construction and letters.

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