These two letters were written at the Marple Section Office on Wednesday, 14 December 1904 and they describe how damage to Lock 9 caused the canal to overflow at the pound of Lock 6. The water flowed over the towpath, which was low at this point, into Willow Pond on the other side of the towpath and then onto the driveway of Brabyns Hall, causing a little damage. A sketch was also provided to show where the overflow occurred.
S. Allan Esq. Marple Dec. 14. 1904. Dear Sir. Particulars of Water Overflowing at 6th Lock, Marple. The Lock Keeper reported to me that the Ground Paddles at the 9 Lock were broken down. I went this morning myself to them and found that these were letting the water in the bottom of the lock. We had to draw off the Water in the pound below to get at it (I found that the Drop Sills and 2 Paddle Guides were smashed off, which I made good) the Water running into the Pounds below. The banks at the 6th lock being rather low it flowed over and into the Private Carriage Drive to Brabbans (Brabyns) Hall and washed some of the Ashes and Gravel away down beside the road. We have made some of it good, we shall very likely finish it off tomorrow. I may had (sic) that Mr. Hargreaves the Agent to the Estate came to us. I told him we were sorry it had occurred but we would raise the bank at once which he said would be quite right if we would make good the slight damage it had done to the Road. Yours Respectfully R. Bagshawe
Insp. Lucas Marple Dec. 14. 1904. Dear Sir. We had to do some Repairs today to the Ground Paddles 9 Lock, the Drop Sills and 2 Guides being smashed. We had to draw off the Water in the pound below the water running into the pounds below it flowed over the Banks at the little pound at 6th Lock and onto the Private Carriage Drive to Brabbans Hall washing some of the ashes and gravel down beside the drive, they at once telegraph to Manchester and Mr. Allan sent for particulars at once. It has made a little damage but of course they are making a good ---- (illegible). I was very sorry to hear of you lying bad but I hope you will be a lot better. Yours Truly R. Bagshawe
Sketch of the Overflow at Lock 6 Pound.
When Marple Locks were built, Willow Pond was part of the pound of Lock 6. Subsequently, the towpath was diverted across the pound to reduce its size and the isolated part of the original pound became known as Willow Pond. When this work was done the towpath was not built high enough and this was the reason why the pound overflowed at this point. Had it been built to the correct height then the flood water would have flowed safely away down the bywash of Lock 6 and into the pound of Lock 5.
In their time, both George Lucas and Raymond Potts Bagshawe were Canal Inspectors based at the Marple Section Office but in 1904 it seems that Mr Bagshawe was reporting to Mr Lucas. Mr Lucas lived at Top Lock, Marple, and Mr Bagshawe lived on Chadwick Street, Marple, which is off Church Lane and quite close to Marple Locks.