Stonebridge Lock

 

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In between the present Picketts and Stonebridge Locks were at least two other locks.

 

BLEAK HALL LOCK and BOLTONS LOCK

 

Lock State Date Length Length - Working Distance Width Fall Removed or bypassed
Flanders Weir (On Old River Lea) Extant 1701 ~ ~   10' 6'' 1776
Bleak Hall Lock (Edmonton Lock) Built  1776         1863
Cooks Weir (On Old River Lea) Extant  1725 ~ ~   4' 0'' 1776
Edmonton Lower Lock Built 1776         1851
Boltons Weir Extant  1725 ~ ~   3' 9''
 

 

On 12.1.1780 it was “Resolved that the following Locks be repaired with all convenient speed Viz… Cooks Lock, Boltons Lock, Stonebridge Lock, Tottenham Lock, Lee Bridge Half Lock, Hackney Marsh Brick Cistern Lock And It Is Ordered that the Surveyor do repair the same as he shall find them absolutely necessary” (NA Rail 845/5).

 

On 11.4.1783, the Surveyor was ordered to make new Gates and Slackers and repair the Brickwork of Cooks Lock (NA Rail 845/6), which became Bleak Hall Lock. This name was first recorded in 1792 and lasted until the lock's removal in 1863, although it was also sometimes called Edmonton Lock.

 

Bleak Hall was perpetuated in the name of the imposing Art Deco bridge built in 1927 which carried the North Circular Road (A 406) over the Navigation. The  bridge was demolished in 1990 and replaced by five new bridges carrying the widened carriageways and feeder roads.

 

LMA ACC 2423/P/853

 

From a minute of 15.7.1767, "...Thomas Bolton, the occupier of Bolton's Weir...shall from this time be paid...the sum of Twelve Pounds of lawful money of Great Britain every  quarter of a year instead of and as a full Satisfaction for the Tolls or Sums of Money which the said Thomas Bolton hath usually taken at the said Weir for the aiding and assisting Boats, Barges, Lighters or other vessels."  (NA Rail 845/50)

 

From a minute of 16.7.1773, "...Joseph Brooks the Occupier of Boulton's Weir attended concerning a Satisfaction to be made to him for the Weir and the Fishery thereof for the remainder of his Leaze thereof which has seventeen years to come from Lady Day last and agreed to take the sum of twenty Pounds a year for the same which is ordered to be paid to him..."

 

Boltons Lock  was  recorded in the survey of 1792 but then went through a bewildering series if name changes – Boltons, Brook’s, Brooke’s,  back to Brook’s then to Bolton’s, which it retained until 1834, when it became Lower Edmonton Lock until it was removed in 1851, although on a plan of 1844 it was also noted as Wild Marsh Lock. 

 

On 9.12 1887, Mr Child, the Engineer, reported that the western abutment (of Chalk Bridge) had failed and subsided.  "I had it taken down and found it was built on the portion of an old lock immediately on the old slacker sluice hole and had settled and cracked down to the bottom - consequently we had to pull out the whole work to the entire depth.  I fear that the bridge at Bleak Hall (see above) will subside in the same manner...for it is (also) built over the sluice openings of the old (Bleak Hall) lock" (LMA ACC 2423/003)

 

The locks between Ponders End and Stonebridge have replaced the weirs and turnpikes on the old River Lea now lying under the Lea Valley reservoirs. They had names like Newmans, Sotherbys, Suistons (Sewardstone), Flanders, Higham Hill, Bleakhall, Pigborns, Cook’s and Bolton’s .

 

 

It is impossible to locate accurately the men who worked at these locks  so they are listed all together below.

 

Bleak Hall Lock and Boltons Lock

Date

Name

Title

Wife

Location given by enumerator/Comments

Census Reference

19.4.1856 Henry Smith Lock keeper Appointed ex Ware Weir ( NA Rail 845/14
19.4.1856 John William Smith Lock keeper Transferred to Ware Weir NA Rail 845/14

17.11.1855

John William Smith

 

16/- per week

NA Rail 845/14

21.10.1854

John William Smith

 

16/- per week

NA Rail 845/14

30.3.1851 John William Smith Lock keeper Ann Locks Wharf, Lock House Mx/Edmonton/1b/9

7.6.1841

John (William) Smith (28)

Lock keeper

Ann

Near Locks Wharf

Mx/Edmonton/2/13

1832

John Smith the Younger

Lock keeper

Duly elected  in the room of John Smith discharged

NA Rail 845/11

1832

John Smith

Lock keeper

Suspended then discharged*

NA Rail 845/11

* p36 “….it appearing that John Smith and George Taylor had been tried at Chelmsford on suspicion of receiving goods knowing them to be stolen but acquitted.  It is ordered that they be suspended from their situations as Lock keepers until the next meeting” 

p39 “…John Smith and George Taylor be removed from their situations….

17.6.1831 John Smith  …being absent, very drunk and abusive – severely reprimanded and cautioned that next time he will be dismissed  (NA Rail 845/10)

20.11.1827

John Smith

Lock keeper

Appointed

NA Rail 845/10

7.11.1816

Harris

Lock keeper

To have a boat provided

NA Rail 845/9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extract from the Chelmsford Gaol Calendar, reporting the committal of Smith and Taylor (see above).  They were acquitted but still lost their jobs. (NRO ASSI 94/2124 and Mike Thorpe)

 

 

The falls of these two locks were probably incorporated into Stonebridge Lock when it was rebuilt in 1860 (see NA Rail 845/15), although it seems  possible that part of the fall of Bleak Hall was dredged back to Picketts Lock when it was rebuilt at the same time.

 

STONEBRIDGE LOCK

 

Lock State Date Length Length - Working Distance Width Fall Removed or bypassed
Stonebridge Lock Built 1776         1853
Stonebridge Lock Rebuilt 1853 97' 0''   18' 6'' 6' 8'' 1902+
Stonebridge Lock (Brick and stone) Report 1917     18' 0''    
Stonebridge Lock Rebuilt 1902+ 90' 0'' 87' 0'' 18' 6'' 6' 6''  
Stonebridge Lock (East chamber) Duplicated 1961        
 

 

 

On 12.1.1780 it was “Resolved that the following Locks be repaired with all convenient speed Viz. … Stonebridge Lock, Tottenham Lock, Lee Bridge Half Lock, Hackney Marsh Brick Cistern Lock And It Is Ordered that the Surveyor do repair the same as he shall find them absolutely necessary” (NA Rail 845/5).

 

On 4.8.1780, the Surveyor was again  "ordered.... to repair Tottenham  and Stone Bridge Locks" (NA Rail 845/51)

 

Stonebridge or Stone Bridge were interchangeable as names during the 19th century, simply depending on the clerk.

 

“The long wall between Edmonton Bridge and the new Stonebridge Lock has been completed….preparatory to cutting out the old half lock”  (NA Rail 845/15).  

 

The plan to the right below shows Stonebridge Lock in 1817, with the lockman's house named Harris's Cottage". Was there a lock keeper called Harris? The old millstream to Tottenham Mill enters below the lock.

 

A plan of the 1776 lock in October 1853 showing the

lockman's house with the proposed new lock....

 

LMA ACC 2423/P701

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...and the working plan for the new lock, with the old lock faintly

outlined above the new chamber         

           

LMA ACC 2423/P702

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                            LMA ACC 2423/P1720 (dated 1817)

 

 

 

 

 

 LMA ACC 2423/P906

 

The plans for the lockhouse, pictured below

 

c.1899

 

      

Stonebridge Lock (date unknown) 

 

The new Lock house was authorised on 15.12.1860, although the plans are dated 1858.   

 

On 26.10.1877 “The house required some painting and papering and something to be done to keep out the damp” (NA Rail 845/21).  By July 1879, it was no better - “Repairs to lock house wanted – to be cleaned and painted, cowls put on chimneys, spouting wanted and other minor repairs” (NA Rail 845/21).  However, on 20.4.1883, the lock house was insured for £200 (NA Rail 845/23), although it was not among the houses noted as “new”.

 

In 1877 it was also resolved that “bathing be permitted at the spot in question after seven o’clock in the evening until ten o’clock in the morning, the (bathing) shed or screen to be erected to the satisfaction of the Engineer; all persons bathing there to wear Bathing Drawers, and the Tottenham Board to see that this Regulation is observed” (NA Rail 645/21). 

 

Lock keeper Page received “permission to move his wooden shed from side of Lock house to offside near the Bathing Shed and to pay a Rent of 10/- instead of 5/- as now” NA Rail 845/21).

 

On 14th January, 1881, Mr. Child reported "an occurrence at this lock which might have had a very serious result.  On the morning of January 5th, a barge the 'Alice' belonging to Messrs Carr and Sons of Waltham Abbey, and laden with flour, was proceeding down the....Stonebridge Cut under full sail there being a a good strong wind.  When they arrived above the lock, they attempted to lower their sail, but in consequence  of a rope breaking or some other cause they could not do so and the barge consequently continued in full sail - instead  however of running alongside the Cut wall which might have damaged the barge a little perhaps - they went full speed into the Lock (it being open) and ran into the lower gates, forcing the eastside gate some distance beyond the other one...had not the gates being unusually good and strong ones - perhaps the best pair on the whole Navigation - they would have been carried completely away. ...the damage is confined to a strain which has caused a permanent set  of some 4 or 5 inches.  I find there is nothing broken...and hope in time that the gate will in time set back or regain its proper position.  I think the men in charge ought to be prosecuted under the byelaws."  (NMA ACC 2423/001)

 

Stonebridge Lock was duplicated in 1961, when the Conservancy house was demolished to make way for the new chamber. 

 

The remains of the original 1776 wooden lock complete with an official River Lee Trust miller's post (below) were discovered under the house.

 

 

The inscription on the post reads:

 

 

 RLT  

The top

of this Groove

denotes the head

of water

1839

 

 

 

A new house was built on the western side of the Navigation.

 

Stonebridge Lock

Census/Date

Name

Title

Wife

Location given by enumerator/Comments

Source Reference

n.d. Ronald W F Hunt Lock keeper £5.3.6 (Left 27.2.1951) LCB Records

27.10.1944

L Ealey

Lock keeper

Now £4.1.0 (minimum wage)

NA Rail 845/126

2.10.1942

G Sharp

Lock keeper

Transferred to Relief Lock keeper (recorded at Bow Locks)

NA Rail 845/126

9.1942

L Ealey

Lock keeper

Appointed ex Waltham Town as a disciplinary measure.

NA Rail 845/126

1.4.1938

G Sharp Jnr

Lock keeper

£2.10.0 to £2.14.0

NA Rail 845/122

21.5.1937 The Council have decided to demolish the bath so Sharp’s wages to be raised to 50s per week (NA Rail 845/121)

12.3.1937

G W Sharp

Lock keeper

Appointed ex Old Ford Lock at £2 with house and uniform

NA Rail 845/121

12.3.1937 Sharp also to receive 10/- per week from Tottenham Borough  Council for services  in connection with their open air swimming pool (NA Rail 845/121)

12.3.1937

A Brennan

Lock keeper

Transferred to Old Ford Lock

NA Rail 845/121

27.4.1934

James Brennan (65)

Lock keeper

Retired (after being off duty sick for 12 weeks).  Board’s service 39 years

NA Rail 845/118

14.11.1919

J Brennan

Lock keeper

42/- + house, garden, and uniform

NA Rail 845/46

15.2.1918

J Brennan

Lock keeper

30/- per week

NA Rail 845/66

1.12.1916

J Brennan

Lock keeper

£3 war bonus

NA Rail 845/43

25.12.1915

J Brennan

Lock keeper

£3 War Bonus

NA Rail 845/42

19.5.1916

Brennan

Lock keeper

Increase from 23s to 25s per week (subject to revision at the end of the war)

NA Rail 845/43

8.5.1916 "Sir, We, the undersigned servants in your employ, beg to approach you for an increase in Wages.  The enormous increase of prices of foodstuffs, etc., has made our lot nothing but a bare existence.  Hoping you will give our application your kindest consideration.  We remain, your humble servants (Signed)  S. H. Chappell, J Brennan, J. Tear, A Chapman." LMA ACC 2423/15

4.3.1915

J Brennan

Lock keeper

+2/- per week

NA Rail 845/42

28.2.1913

J Brennan

Lock keeper

 Wages increased by 1/- per week

NA Rail 845/40

26.4.1912

J Brennan

Lock keeper

 Commendation for preventing the suicide of a woman

NA Rail 845/39

2.4.1911 James Brennan Lock keeper Annie Elizabeth Stonebridge Lock RG14PN7329 RG78PN356 RD132 SD4 ED20 SN361

1.4.1909

J Brennan

Lock keeper

Increase of 1/- now on £1 per week

NA Rail 845/36

8.9.1905 “It will be remembered that on the 28th July last , the Board granted J Brennan…2/- per week extra wages.  Mr Corble (the Clerk to the Board) noticed a paragraph in the local paper that the Tottenham U.D.Council had given our Lock keeper 5/- per week in reference to this matter. …..”  The Board rescinded the original resolution (NA Rail 845/32)

28.7.1905  “That the wages of J Brennan, of Stonebridge Lock, be raised from 18/- to 20/- per week, in consideration of the extra work he has to perform in connection with the filling of the Tottenham Open Air Swimming Bath (NA Rail 845/32)

 1.7.1904

J Brennan

Lock keeper

16/- + 8/- for a boy now 18/- per week and dispense with the boy

NA Rail 845/31

21.3.1904 James Brennan "I am a lock keeper at Stonebridge Lock. Tottenham—on March 21st in the morning I found the body of a child in the River Lea; about a mile and a quarter below the Angel Bridge—I handed the body to the police" Evidence at the Old Bailey www.oldbaileyonline.org.  Ref Lily Coleman

31.3.1901

James Brennan (31)

Lock keeper

Annie

Stonebridge Lock

Mx/Tottenham/14/52

18.3.1898  "Application for increase of Pay from the Lock-keepers at Ponders End, Picketts and Stonebridge Locks...I recommended that the Lock-keepers...be granted Uniforms. We (Mr Corble and myself) are of the opinion that this would be sufficient for the present, as when the River is opened for the Launch and Barge Traffic on Sundays, application will undoubtedly made by the Lock keepers for an increase of  pay and if their wages were now increased to say 18/- per week; when the extra Sunday work commences, they would probably ask for as further raise.  We are therefore of the opinion that  the question of extra pay should be deferred for a time" (C Tween LMA ACC 2423/006)

19.6.1895

James Brennan

Lock keeper

Appointed at Survey

NA Rail 845/28

17.5.1895 Jeremiah Brennan Lock keeper Has left his appointment and his son, who has practically done all the work for some years is now attending to it.  I ask that he be appointed at your annual survey LMA ACC 2423/005

5.4.1891

Jeremiah Brennan (60)

Lock keeper

 

Stonebridge Lock (Page's Lock)

Mx/Tottenham/9b/16

1884

Jeremiah Brennan

Lock keeper

Appointed

NA Rail 845/23

12.1.1884

T Searle

 Lock keeper

"the worst or most negligent man is Searle of Stonebridge and I have seen him and warned him to little purpose - he states that he cannot get up in the night to pass barges and I think the only thing to do is to discharge him" (J Child)    Dismissed

NA Rail 845/23                LMA ACC 2423/002

28.12.1883  T Searle “be … fined 5/- (to be deducted out of his wages) for this neglect of duty( the passing of barges without signing the Permits); and that he be severely reprimanded; (NA Rail 845/23)

20.4.1883

T Searle

 Lock keeper

4 years service, 16/- per week           

NA Rail 845/23

4.4.1881

Thomas Searle (37)

Lock keeper Lea canal

Mary A

Stonebridge Lock (The Marsh) (Page's Lock)

Mx/Tottenham/3/13

11.10.1878

Joseph W Munday

Lock keeper

Appointed on trial

NA Rail 845/21

26.5.1876

James Watts

Lock keeper

Appointed at 16/- per week (ex Gunpowder Factory)

NA Rail 845/20

28.4.1876

William Ralph

Lock keeper

Transferred to Pond Lane

NA Rail 845/20

2.4.1871

William Gigney Page (30)

Lock keeper

 

The Marsh Lock house

Mx/Tottenham/6/29

15.5.1863

William Page (jnr)(23)

Lock keeper

Appointed

NA Rail 845/15

15.5.1863

William Page

Lock keeper

Died (after 36 years service) leaving widow and son (23)

NA Rail 845/15

8.4.1861

William Page (61)

Lock keeper

Catherine

Stonebridge Lock house

Mx/Tottenham/6/23

17.11.1855

William Page

Lock keeper

16/- per week. Also attends France’s Weir

NA Rail 845/14

21.10.1854

 

William Page

Lock keeper

16/- per week.

NA Rail 845/14

30.3.1851

William Page (52)

Lock keeper  

Catherine

Stonebridge Lock, The Marsh, Tottenham

Mx/Tottenham/3a/31

7.6.1841

William Page (35)

Lock keeper

Catherine

Lock House, Marsh Lane

Mx/Tottenham/7/14

17.7.1838

William Page

Lock keeper

Transferred ex Limehouse

NA Rail 845/11

27.6.1838

William Bradshaw

 

House stripped by late lockman

NA Rail 845/11

19.6.1838

William Bradshaw

Lock keeper

Left

NA Rail 845/11

1833

William Bradshaw

Lock keeper

Duly elected in place of George Taylor

NA Rail 845/10

1833

George Taylor

Lock keeper

Suspended then dismissed

NA Rail 845/10

 “….it appearing that John Smith and George Taylor had been tried at Chelmsford on suspicion of receiving goods knowing them to be stolen but acquitted.  It is ordered that they be suspended from their situations as Lock keepers until the next meeting”

 “…John Smith and George Taylor be removed from their situations….”  (see Bleak Hall Lock above)

20.2.1818

William Cox

Lock keeper

Appointed

NA Rail 845/9

             

 

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