The Northampton Arm Canal.



The Northampton Arm was opened on the 1st of May 1815, replacing the tramway which had been built using equipment from the no-longer needed Blisworth Hill tramway. The Arm falls 109 feet (33.5metres) over 4.5 miles from the GU main line at Gayton Junction through 17 locks to the Nene (pronounced Nen) at Northampton, carrying steady traffic until the end of commercial carrying in the late 1960s. It has witnessed many changes, including the construction of the M1 motorway, and later the Blisworth bypass (A43) which members of the Northampton IWA were able to persuade the DoT to move and also construct an earth bank to screen the listed flight of locks at Rothersthorpe. Sadly, the very attractive stretch from Lock 14 down into the town is likely to see considerable development in the near future, some of which has already begun. Even so, the Arm is still one of the unsung attractions of England's canal system, with enormous character. Moreover, with the Milton Keynes to Bedford waterway being completed in 2010, it figures more prominently as a key link in a newly created "ring" taking in the canal system, the rivers Great Ouse & Cam, the Middle Levels and the river Nene.





The canal drawbridge looking over to the rear of the Northampton Brewery. 25th October 1964. Thanks to Robin Puryer







Motor driven working boats Redhank (Towing) and Greenshank pass under the bridge of the Blisworth line, on course past the shed with a couple of loads of grain to Wellingborough. 18th July 1965. Thanks to Robin Puryer







At the locks, as usual on a Sunday around mid-day after perusing the contents of Northampton mpd. Brian Denny, Robin Puryer, Den Thompson, Barry Taylor, Graham Onley. 12th September 1965. Thanks to Robin Puryer







Far Cotton Wharf: Looking east, from the canal side. The canal locks before the junction with the river, Trenery's Wharf with its high sluice gate, Smith's Timber riverside warehouse in the distance South Bridge, and the Brown and Panks Warehouse. 21st September 1964. Thanks to Robin Puryer







Far Cotton Wharf: Looking ahead, northwards, through the drawbridge, to the largely unseen rear quarters of the old town. 21st September 1964. Thanks to Robin Puryer






The canal swing bridge near lock 17





The lock keepers house was situated at the end of Old Towcester Road. Taken in 1954




The canal in 1972




The canal in 1965








Gathering of Narrow Boats in 1971. The trad boat seen close too in the Becketts Park view is "Arcturus" a wooden ex-GUCCC motor boat that ran trips at the Rally.




The Grand union showing draw bridge 1970's