This is our mooring at Hawkesbury junction and it is right opposite the old steam pumping house . Although not used for many years it once housed an engine designed by Thomas Newcomen (February 1664– 5 August 1729) who was an English inventor who created the first practical steam engine in 1712, the Newcomen atmospheric engine. He was an ironmonger by trade and a Baptist lay preacher by calling. He was born in Dartmouth, Devon, England, to a merchant family and baptised at St. Saviour's Church on 24 February 1664. In those days flooding in coal and tin mines was a major problem, and Newcomen was soon engaged in trying to improve ways to pump out the water from such mines. His ironmonger's business specialised in designing, manufacturing and selling tools for the mining industry.
What a clever man Newcomen was and of course the connection between this and us is Devon .Our home town of Totnes is only 12 miles from Dartmouth and I worked in Dartmouth for over 23 years in the good old days when I was employed by the local water company.
If ever you are in Dartmouth it’s well worth a visit to see the actual engine that was at Hawkesbury and this engine is in The Newcomen Engine House, beside the Tourist Information Centre in Dartmouth,and houses an original early Newcomen engine dating from about 1725. It can be seen operating during opening hours of the T.I.C., using a hydraulic mechanism added for demonstration purposes. This engine was first installed at the Griff Colliery near Coventry, and later moved to Oakthorpe Colliery, Measham, and to Hawkesbury Junction where it was used by the Coventry Canal Company from 1821-1913. It was finally moved to Dartmouth in 1963 by the Newcomen Society for demonstration in Newcomen's home town. The 22-inch diameter cylinder and wooden arched beam are believed to be original, with valve gear and a separate 'pickle-pot' condenser added about 1820. Plus it’s free to get in.
We were lucky that we bumped in to our friend Chris on nb Bosley not long after arriving at Hawkesbury and it was good to have a catch up before we head off in different directions on our Summer cruises.
Yes I know the pub yet again . Meeting up with Sharon and Rich nb Oakapple and Gary and Dell nb Muleless . Yet again we didn’t have very much to eat or drink. The look on our faces just show’s that we were all a bit tired and having a good time and nothing to do with what we had to drink….Ha-ha !!
It will soon be time for us to move and we plan to go in to Coventry for a few days . Many people have told us not to bother as it can be a nightmare getting in there due to the amount of rubbish in the canal . Then others have said what ever you do don’t stay overnight in the basin as it’s a bit of a rough area. I think we will do what we usually do and go for it and find out for ourselves,you never know we might enjoy it.