The Beginning Travel River or Canal River or Canal 1755-74 Financing The Stroudwater Navigation Stroudwater Canal Act Stroudwater Triumphant Stroudwater Triumphant II A New Canal Thames & Severn Thames & Severn Canal Problems 20th Century

Forty years later, the Navigation had settled down to be a very profitable business as these accounts from 1822 show.

Coal accounted for 95% of the tonnage, carried at a rate of 5d (2p) per ton per mile. The shareholders received a dividend of £22 per share that year. A return of almost 15% on their investment of £150.

So profitable was the canal, that a meeting was held at the George Inn, Stroud, in July 1824, proposing the building of a horse-drawn tramway to compete with the canal. Of the Committee elected at that meeting, twelve men were involved in the cloth trade and two were landowners. The clothiers of Stroud were as keen on cheaper coal as their predecessors had been fifty years earlier.

GRO D1180/2/71 Stroudwater Navigation Accounts, 1872
GRO D1180/4/44 Petition for a tramway, 1824

The Navigation reduced its tolls to 4d per ton/mile with the promise of further reductions if the scheme were dropped.

In 1825, the House of Commons rejected the Stroud & Severn Railroad Bill, but campaigning against it had cost the Navigation over £1,300. It was not the last they were to hear of railways. In the meantime, strict rules were laid down for those who used the canal.

From January 2016, this website is managed by Stroud Local History Society

GRO CA 12 Rules of the Canal C19th p3
GRO CA 12 Rules of the Canal C19th p4&5