Friday, 28 August 2015

How could Pearsons Guide ignore this?


We moored in Stone on Tuesday. Collected post and parcels from the PO, handily placed in the Coop. Magic that we can now order something from Amazon or EBay and pick it up at the next town. 

We moored in the pound between Briges 93 and 94. Great spot. 

You can understand why boaters like Stone. It's a very welcoming spot. Probably because of it's long boating history.

If you read Pearsons you can learn about the Canal Carrying Company, the convent school of St Dominic's, Joules Brewery, The demise of boat Cressy, the Star pub and an old warehouse that's been converted into retirement flats. 

Not one word about Christina Collins. So, if anyone was wondering about the memorial and garden at Bridge 94.... let me enlighten you!

Christina Collins was the daughter of a Nottingham inventor. Her first husband Thomas Ingle y, a conjured, died in 1832. Christina was 30 and left practically penniless. 

Unusually, for those days, she married again, to a man she loved Robert Collins. They lived in Liverpool but he could not find work. Christina worked for. Dressmaker. Robert went to London and quickly found employment. Meh sent Christina a guinea to pay for her transport to join him.

On 15 June 1839, Christina travelled to Preston Brook to join a Messrs Pickford boat as a passenger. 

I am sure we would think it odd. A woman travelling in the cramped space of a working boat with 3 men she didn't know and a cabin boy. Nevertheless ..... 

They set off Christina, James Owne (Captain), George Thomas, William Ellis and William Muston.

The crew,mule,ed by alcohol, became increasingly unpleasant and rowdy. By Stone Christina feared for her safety. She told the Canal Clerk she was frightened on being 'meddled' with. His reply was that if she was 'meddled' with she should report it when they reached London! 

Late that night, at Hoo Mill Lock, the lockkeeper's wife woke and heard a woman crying,out. She went out to ask what was wrong. Told that the passenger's husband was with her she thought things were OK. Next day Christina's body was found at Rugely.

The boat had moved on.

At the trial, the defence claimed Christina had committed suicide. James Owen and George Thomas were hung.  William Ellis, although initially due to hang, was transported.