SHERRY, Canal Houses, Tring, 1920-1940

March 2003 

Florence Ashton is trying to locate the Canal House, Tring. The family in 1920-40 were named Sherry.

As far as I can determine, including consulting other local historians, there is nowhere in the town of Tring which is known to have been Canal House. In the rural district there are a number of cottages and houses associated with the canal, and in many cases these are still owned by Inland Waterways and occupied by their current/former employees. The matter is complicated by the county boundary running close to the canal.

The highest part of the Grand Union Canal is called Tring Summit, and includes the Workshops at Bulbourne, which are actually in Bucks  the canal being the approximate county boundary at this point. The Workshops site includes a block of three cottages by the entrance, which I suspect was originally the site offices. It also includes a largish house which was obviously intended to be the manager's house. I gather it is now empty due to Heath & Safety considerations because access is only possible via the Workshops area. Some of the cottages in the hamlet of Bulbourne may have been owned by the Canal company, The Grand Junction Arms still operates (and serves an "eat as much as you like" curry lunch) and was presumably built to provide refreshment for the bargees using the canal.

About mile along the canal to the north is the junction of the Wendover arm and there is a pair of cottages called "Canal Cottages" (carrying the date 1925 and owned by Inland Waterways) and "The Toll House" situated in an ideal position for that purpose. I am not sure whether they are officially in Hertfordshire (i.e. Tring Rural) or Bucks (Marsworth).

See Water from Wendover

The Lock-keeper's cottage at Lock 42, Bulbourne.

North from this point the canal descends by a series of locks (just inside Buckinghamshire) and there are several canal-side lock-keepers cottages before one reaches the junction with the Aylesbury Arm at Marsworth. One of these is (at the time of writing) being auctioned by Allsop and the picture above comes from the auction particulars.

On the Wendover Arm, there was the Mill wharf at New Mill, and Bushells Wharf, and some workmans cottages nearby. There is also a canal house at Little Tring, immediately adjacent to the pumping station.

On the part of the Aylesbury Arm that runs through Tring Rural there is at least one lock-keeper's cottage.


I could not find any reference to Sherry in the Kelly's Hertfordshire Directories for 1922, 1929 and 1937. In the 1929 directory the following entries occurred:

Grand Junction Canal Co. (engineering department) (depot) (Fredk. Rodley, engineer in charge), Bulbourne. T N. 6a

Grand Junction Canal Pumping Station & Reservoir (Fredk. Mew, engnr.), Little Tring.

It is very likely that Frederick Rodley lived at the manager's house at Bulbourne, while Frederick Mew lived at the house adjoining Tring Pumping Station. Other employees of the Canal Company living in company houses would have insufficient status to be listed in the trades directory.

If you can add to the information given above tell me.