|The middle reaches of the Yorkshire Derwent were said to offer the finest scenery of any navigable river in Britain, but today, alas, they lie beyond our reach. The 38 miles of river between Malton and its confluence with the river Ouse have almost certainly been used by small craft since the time of the Romans, and improvements in the l8th century permitted navigation by the barges then trading on other Yorkshire rivers. After commercial navigation ceased it became a river for pleasure, but legal action begun in the 1980s failed to prove that public rights had survived a 1935 Order extinguishing the Statutory Navigation. This book outlines the history of the river as a trade route serving Malton, Stamford Bridge, and numerous smaller communities, which, despite its imperfections, successfully competed with George Hudsori s York & Scarborough Railway. It tells how its attractions were enjoyed by visitors from York and Leeds; it describes the motor-boating era of the early 1930s, and the valiant but ultimately unsuccessful efforts to reopen all the river's derelict locks. It also looks at nature and wild-life issues, and the equation of 'conservation' with 'neglect', which ultimately contributed to the severity of the disastrous floods in March 1999.|
Summary of Contents:
- The origins of the river, early improvement works, weirs, water-mills, and flash-locks.
- George Sorocold`s surveys, the 1702 Act of Parliament, and building the pound-locks.
- The Earls Fitzwilliam, the growth of trade; l9th century developments, and its decline.
- Railway management, a river for pleasure, lock closure, and the fight for public access.
- The floods of March 1999.
Area: UK Yorkshire