1904: Bristol's Opposition to the closing of the Canal

From the Evening North Wilts Herald, 24th March 1904

At a meeting of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce yesterday the president (Mr. Mandeville Edwards) stated the chamber had lodged a petition against the provisions of the Swindon Corporation Bill for the closing of the Wilts and Berks Canal, and that in consequence of the opposition one of the objectionable clauses had been withdrawn and a proviso had been added to another to the effect that the Corporation should not do or permit any act or anything which should prevent, obstruct, diminish, or interfere with the flow and passage from the Coate Reservoir and the feeders thereof into the Wilts and Berks Canal.

A letter read from Mr. Arthur Lee, in which he stated that he thought the Chamber might be congratulated upon the satisfactory result of the opposition, seeing that the promoters simply now sought its surrounding grounds for the purpose of recreation, and for the use of boats, and the right of fishing and skating, and that the proviso quoted above would place the advocates of the canal in a much stronger position if there should be any future attempt to close the canal to navigation, as the statutory rights of those interested in keeping the canal navigation open would then be positively confirmed.