Glimpse history through old images of the Regent’s Canal, which runs through the north of Central London.
Regent’s Canal in 1938
When the Regent’s Canal Company was formed in 1812 to build a new waterway from the Grand Junction Canal’s Paddington Arm to the proposed dock at Limehouse, the aim was purely industrial.
But by 1938, the Regent’s Canal was a well established green space for city dwellers to get away from the noise and traffic, even though motorised freight barges still transported goods.
The short film also includes a look at Regent’s Park, and the canal at Maida Vale.
Regents Canal (1938) – British Pathé on YouTube
A Bit of Regent’s Canal History
Extract from a historic book, published to raise objections to construction of the canal.
“Brief Remarks on the proposed Regent’s Canal. By an Observer”
Published in 1812
Pages 20 – 22
It now remains to enumerate the disadvantages of the project, after which the reader will determine in his own mind upon the merits of the case: having in view, that of the various bills which have passed this Parliament, for the purpose of making canals, erecting bridges, and establishing water companies, in and about this metropolis, not one of them is, or, it may be asserted, ever will be, productive, at least ever yield any adequate profit to the numerous subscribers. Many of the concerns are at an alarming discount, and some ruined beyond redemption, though they, at their outset, had full as favourable an aspect as this undertaking.
1st. The permanent interruption to be occasioned by 29 public bridges, some larger, some smaller, on the main line.
2nd. Ditto by various occupation, or other bridges on the feeder; number uncertain, but 300 pieces of land are intersected.
3rd, Very great interruption to the public during the erection of the same.
4th. The rendering useless about 72 acres of land, forming the canal, and about 208 on the reservoir, and 20 on the feeder; total 300 acres.
5th. The soakage and leakage from the canal injuring the land on its borders.
6th. The introducing bargemen and others into lands heretofore private.
7th. The unhealthiness of 300 acres of standing water.
8th. The loss of springs at Islington and its neighbourhood from the tunnel.
9th. The loss of springs at Paddington and its neighbourhood from the tunnel feeder.
10th. The public and private nuisance of a steam-engine, of 120 horse power, to be erected at Paddington.
11th. The rendering so large a portion of the neighbourhood of the town, used as retirement, a thoroughfare for Wapping, Staffordshire, and other bargemen.
12th. The insecurity to the public, from persons passing through a line of country for nine miles at all times of the night.
13th. The interruption of private property.
14th. The most serious interruption of the sewers and drainages, mode & c. & c. & c.