... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Tuesday 26 March 2019

My new life's work

... In her later years, she became obsessed with the numbering of bridges on the Sheffield Canal ...

This is proving to be rather more complex than I had anticipated.

There is definitely something awry, but I need to investigate and catalogue further before reporting my findings.

As a taster, according to the new signage, there are three Bridge 9s, but no Bridge 8 or Bridge 10 (although there is a 10A).

I have made A Table, cross-referenced with Nicholsons and CanalPlan (both of which I took with me on the iPad yesterday, along with a grubby notebook) and the plaques put on the bridges in 1993 or thereabouts, plus any other old BW/CRT signs still in evidence, and will go back again as soon as I can for a third look.

I suspect that this is a canal where the bridges never were officially numbered, and have proliferated over the years first with the railway (there are at least six rail crossings in under four miles), then with various roads, then with the tram and associated regeneration, while at the same time bridges serving collieries and factories have been lost. Nonetheless, there is an accepted, logical way of numbering additional bridges, and it should be possible, and is surely desirable, to have a logical sequence, ideally that matches what's in Nicholsons. I don't know about you, but bridge numbers are the primary way I place my location and progress on the canal in relation to the map, and having three Bridge 9s undermines this somewhat.

I shall soldier on with my grubby notebook and report back.


  1. I think I can help with the numbering. Please email me ( so I can reply with a map attached which will solve your numbering problem.