Conisbrough & Denaby Main
Heritage Group
                                                                                                   
The River Don was made navigable in the 18th century by a system of locks upstream to Tinsley.  Access to the Humber was improved with the construction of the Stainforth Keadby canal in 1802.  Barges powered by sail or drawn by horses  could transport coal direct from Denaby and Cadeby Main Collieries as the river was very close to them.   The network of canals  that had been constructed meant that coal and other materials could be transported anywhere in the country.   

In the 1970s, the Don went under extensive works to make it possible for coasters to sail direct to Sheffield instead of having to be unloaded into barges in Goole.  The river was dredged and straitened where necesssary in order to allow these small vessels to navigate it.  As far as I am aware only one coaster ever sailed direct to Sheffield as the dockers in Goole threatened to go on strike.  They insisted that only dockers from Goole had the right to load and unload vessels and that they would have to be transported to Sheffield to do this.

This threat meant that no further vessels used the river as it would have been too expensive to comply with their demands.  At this time in our history, Trade Unions had the power to threaten Government as Ted Heath found out not much later.

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