Fri 07 Feb 2020 08:32

This Saturday the Blood and Sand entertain Sale FC at Volac Park.

Sale was a small village until the arrival of the Bridgewater Canal. I know Bridgewater is in Somerset, Bridgewater and Albion play in South West 1 West, so why does it have a canal in Cheshire. Sir Richard Egerton was a Tudor knight who had an affair with a woman names Alice Sparks. That resulted in a son Thomas, who he acknowledged and sent to Oxford and Lincoln's Inn.

Thomas impressed Elizabeth who made him a Queen's council and Lord Keeper of the Seal and Lord High Chancellor. King James VI and I made him Lord Chancellor,Lord High Treasurer and Baron Ellesmere and Viscount Brackley. His son John became Earl of Bridgewater, where his father had acquired land. John married a Stanley, his son John a Cavendish and the third Earl John a daughter of the Duke of Bolton.

Their son Scrope entered the household of Prince George the husband of Queen Anne. He was elevated to become the first Duke and married the daughter of John Churchill Duke of Marlborough and then the daughter the Duke of Bedford. Two of their sons inherited the title John and Francis. Francis is the real focus of this story.

Frances fell in love with a society beauty. Elizabeth Hamilton the widow of the Duke of Hamilton. However, for some reason the marriage fell through. Frustrated in love, he returned to Cheshire and set about improving his estates. He owned a coal mine at Worsley. But he needed to transport that coal to the growing markets in Manchester. The solution was to build a canal. He hired an engineer James Brindley who found a flat route that did not require locks, but did involve an aqueduct. I would not be cheap. The Duke invest £168,000 - £26m in today's money. However, he was able to sell so much coal the price in Manchester halved.The next stage was to be able to extract more coal from the mine. The solution was to extend the canal through tunnels into the mine itself. The canal had a double benefit. Not only could coal be loaded onto barges underground, it also acted to drain the mine, exposing more coal to be dug and kick starting the Industrial revolution.

The Duke moved on to financing the Liverpool and Manchester canal and died unmarried, one of the richest men in England. Brindly built more canals including linking to the Trent for Josiah Wedgewood.

Cambridge lost the match in Manchester so we have unfinished business. However, since then we have moved above them in the table though they closed the gap by beating Plymouth last week. Both sides now have ten wins, but we have the two draws. With the roar of the crowd to life the boys, we can get back to winning ways.

The Wanderers entertain Esher Cardinals.

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