South Yorkshire Times, August 3.
Conisbrough Man buys a Canal.
It was unusual, it was cheap, so 71-year-old Rotherham motor dealer, Mr Frank Hopkinson, bought it – a three-mile long, 20 feet wide Canal, and the only privately owned one in England.
Mr Hopkinson, Sheffield Road, Conisbrough and head of Hopkinson’s Motors Ltd, had seen a report in a local newspaper that the canal was for sale, and when friends took him and his wife a drive to Hull on Tuesday, he found the canal was been auctioned there that very day.
Calling in at the auction rooms, he bid £1960 to secure the 54 acres of Canal, six caravans, four houseboats, 11 rowing boat, weed cutting machinery and rents from other privately owned caravans and houseboats, as well as fishing rights for the well-stocked waterway.
Said Mr Hopkinson afterwards, “I have never seen it, but other people were been fishing there have told me it’s a lovely place.”
“I would not have bothered with it at all. If it had not been worth more than I paid.”
He added, “I suppose I will find someone over there to look after it for me.”
He ought his son, Frank, my take an interest in it.
His son said. “The thing that attracted my father to it was that it was unusual. I think it is the only private one in England.
The canal – full title the Leven canal – was built in 1801 to Ferry farm produce from 11 to the river Hall and from there to Beverley market and all. Since 1935 it has been closed to navigation and has been used for pleasure boating, shooting and fishing.