A Glimpse of the Past

The following is copied from an extracted copy in the Museum's possession. Original spelling maintained

At a Meeting of Gentlemen held at the Spread Eagle in Wandsworth, on Thursday 3rd June 1802

GEORGE TRITTON , Esq; in the Chair

"I went in Search of Sources from whence might be derived a Supply of Water, being well aware that ftrong Objections would arife to taking Water from the Streams that fed the River Wandle, the works on which are perhaps more valuable than any others within an equal Compafs in the Kingdom.

"I next examined the Country, with a Hope of finding Ground where a Refervoir might be made to catch Flood Waters in Winter, for the Supply in Dry Seafons, but I found the whoIe Country was a Sieve; that there were no Flood Waters, nor any Ground that would retain it if there had been any; and to this Circumftance the Rivcr Wandle is indebted for its copious and valuable Springs.

"It was fuggefted to me, that as in the digging of Pits for Gravel, they always found Water, a Canal might find a Supply within itfelf, if it were to be dug Seven or Eight Feet at the Head of the Locks, and Fourteen or Fifteen Feet at the Lock Tails, and in the Bafon at Croydon : I think it probable that it would be supplied with Water, but it would be making it very expenfive and inconvenient, for the Purpofe of Deception, as every Drop of Water fo taken would be taken from what Supplies the River Wandle.

"Unlefs therefore the Owners of Mills can with Propriety confent to the Canal being fupplied from fome of the Sources of the River Wandle, I am forry to fay, I muft confider a Canal as impracticable."


[Editors note: If the date of the meeting is correct, this must have been an older report, tabled for completeness. According to Bayliss, by 9 June 1802 the Wandsworth basin and dock had been constructed, and the railway already extended across Wandsworth High Street. William Jessop was the famous canal engineer, who had been commissioned to investigate the possibilities of a canal to service the needs of the Mill Owners on the Wandle. His first report was tabled in December 1799.]

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