of

  South Mill Lock

 

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SOUTH MILL LOCK

 

 

Lock State Date Length Length - Working Distance Width Fall
South Mill Lock  Built turfsided 1766/9 90' 0'' 87' 6'' 13' 4 1/2'' 5' 5''
South Mill Lock  Rebuilt in brick/concrete 1923 90' 0'' 87' 6'' 13' 4 1/2'' 5' 5''

Griggs’ Report 1844: No 15 Lock at South Mill is affected by a mill. Has a Horse Bridge at the tail which is old and in bad condition. Headway 6’ 9’’. Depth of water on lower sill 2’ 8’’; ditto on upper sill 3’ 4’’; lower gates in middling repair, dated 1822; upper gates in good working condition, dated 1834; this lock in fair working order.

Beardmore’s Report  1870: South Mill Lock is in bad repair

Childs’ Report 1880: South Mill; Brick ends, open sides, nearly all renewed last year and deepened. Lower gates new, Upper gates old and will require renewal shortly. Wing walls below brick new built, depths over sills sufficient. Lockhouse about ¼ mile above (at Bridge No 50) is a brick built and slated Cottage in fair condition with new and commodious outbuildings.

Childs' 1884 Report: "Brick ends, open sides nearly all renewed last year and deepened.  Lower Gates new; Upper gates old, about to be renewed next week. Wing walls below, brick, new built, depth over sills sufficient.  Lock-house, about 1/4 mile above  (at Bridge No 50) is a brick built and slated Cottage in fair condition, with new and commodious outbuildings."

 

Tween's 1901 Report:''Brick ends, open sides, nearly all renewed in 1883, and deepened. Lower gates fair order. Upper gates 1884.  Wing walls below, brick, new built open timber sides, all good.  This is the best lock on the River. Upper sill lowered 1 foot.  Cost £200.  Lockhouse built by Sir W Gilbey, not far from lock"  (Coincidentally, the occupant of the cottage was Walter Gilbey, lock keeper, from 1911-1915)

 

The name was recorded in 1785 but on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map in 1805, it was uniquely called Sow Mill. It was also called Thorley Lock on some early 20th century postcards.

 

There is a miller's plate below the bottom gate.

 

A sign bearing the inscription "Notice. The Punishment for Tampering with these Works is Transportation", was found at this lock and can be seen in the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne, Northants.

The shape of the sign has caused a certain amount of speculation. The answer can be deduced from a photograph of Feakes Lock, further downstream.  Enlargement of the sign above the door of the shed reveals the same wording.

 

However, the shed here at South Mill had an apex roof, as can be seen from the  image below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture below shows the lock in its original turf sided condition..  It was rebuilt with concrete sides in 1923, the last of the Stort Locks to be rebuilt.

 

 

 

 

 The original Lock Cottages were built in 1833 next to the Tanners Arms Public House. on London Road about 700 yards upstream from the lock.  In the early 20th century postcard below, the Tanners Arms is to the right and the cottages are central.  The Navigation flows under the London Road Bridge to the left and turns sharply right towards the foregroundThe cottages have now been demolished to provide access to a development built on the former timber yard which was out of view to the right hand side.

 

 

A newer house was provided at the lock, situated just to the south of the chamber. The building date of this

house is unknown, but it was occupied by the lock keeper in the mid 1970's.

 

Photograph from late 1970's, courtesy of Tony Ford, son of former lock keeper Danny Ford

 

South Mill Lock House

 

Census/Date

Name

Title

Wife

Location given by enumerator/Comments

Source Reference

5.1976 - 1977 Bill White Lock-keeper Moved from Feildes Weir Lock. Living in 21 Rhodes Ave, Bishop Stortford. Moved to Stanstead Lock. Carol Byatt
1974 -5.1976 Danny Ford Lock keeper   Tony Ford
until 11.1974 Bill Baker Lock keeper Drowned in river  
31.3.1957 Alfred Field Lock keeper Appointed ex Feildes Weir Lock M Welsh
31.3.1957 Sidney Barnard (67) Lock keeper Retired LCB Records
2.8.1950 Sidney Barnard Lock keeper £4.18.6 per week NJIC award LCB Records
9.6.1948 Sidney Barnard Lock keeper £4.15.0 LCB Records

30.11.1946

Sidney Barnard (55) Lock keeper Transferred ex Bow Locks LCB Records

30.11.1946

H V Stock (70)

Lock keeper

Retired

NA Rail 845/127

1.4.1939

H V Stock

Lock keeper

To £1.7.0

NA Rail 845/123

1.4.1938

H V Stock

Lock keeper

£1.5.0 to  £1.6.0

NA Rail 845/122

1.4.1936

H V Stock

Lock keeper

£1.1s to £1.2s

NA Rail 845/120

10.11.1933

A B Chapman

Lock keeper

Resigned

NA/Rail 845/117

27.11.1931

Alfred Bettle Chapman (34)

Lock keeper

Appointed

NA/Rail 845/115

4.11.1931

A G Woolner

Lock keeper

Resigned

NA/Rail 845/115

12.2.1931

A G Woolner (26)

Lock keeper

Appointed at 21/- per week with uniform

NA/Rail 845/115

14.11.1930

W J Webb

Lock keeper

Retired with pension of 10/- per week

Died 17.10.1935

NA Rail 845/114

NA/Rail 845/119

31.10.1930

W Webb (74)

Lock keeper

14 years service, 21/- per week and house.  Wife has pension

NA Rail 845/114

5.10.1928

W Webb

Lock keeper

Increase to £1.1s (minimum wage)

NA Rail 845/112

14.11.1919

W Webb

Lock keeper

18/- + house, garden, and uniform

NA/Rail 845/46

5.2.1918

W Webb

Lock keeper

16/- p.w.

NA/Rail 845/66

11.2.1916

William Webb

Lock keeper

Appointed at 16/- per week plus house and uniform

NA/Rail 845/43

24.9.1915

William Gilbey

Lock keeper

See below

NA Rail 845/42

“left on the 20th August 1915, without giving notice, to join the Royal Engineers and had left  for France; that his wife was sill living in the lock cottage and had stated that she could not, at present, find another one.”

4.3.1915

Walter Gilbey

Lock keeper

+2/- per week

NA Rail 845/42

13.10.1911

Walter Gilbey

Lock keeper 

 Into the service of the Board at 16/- per week

NA/Rail 845/38

2.4.1911

Walter Gilbey (38) Lock keeper Alice Mary South Mill RG14PN7493 RG78PN365 RD134 SD1 ED2 SN151

31.3.1901

 

 

 

 

No record

1899

James Patmore

Lock keeper

 

South Mill

Kelly's Directory

5.4.1891

George W Dorrington (38)

Lock keeper

Annie

South Mill

He/BshpsStfd/2/39

4.4.1881

George Searle (24)

Lock keeper

Sarah Ann

South Mill

He/BshpsStfd/2/6

4.4.1881 

William Searle (80) (Boarder)

Retired Lock keeper

Widr

South Mill

He/BshpsStfd/2/6

2.4.1871

William Searle (70)

Lockman

Elizabeth

South Mill

He/BshpsStfd/2/7

8.4.1861

William Searle (60)

Lock keeper on R Stort

Elizabeth

South Mill Lockhouse

He/BshpsStfd/2g/40

30.3.1851

William Searle (50)

Lock keeper on the River

Elizabeth

Hockerill Rd

He/BshpsStfd/2a/24

7.6.1841

William Searle (35)

Lock keeper

Elizabeth

South Mill Lockhouse

He/BshpsStfd/1/18

11.6.1833

Wm. Searle     South Mill Lockhouse Essex RO D/DU 289/52

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This site was last updated 18-Jul-2016