Who Is Jim

Glasson Basin

Have you ever wondered who was on the other end of an email or telephone. Who is it that you are dealing with? Well here's a brief history of who I am and where I come from, a short story about my family and it's ties with canals and boats going back 85 years.

My family first became involved with canals and boats when my grandfather moved to Glasson,a branch on the Lancaster canal in 1925.


Glasson Basin, Canal & Tidal Lock.

Glasson Dock is located five miles from the City of Lancaster in the north west of England.

The Glasson branch of the Lancaster Canal is three miles in length with 6 wide locks and joins the main canal at Galgate.

Glasson comprises of the canal,a 15 acre basin with depths in excess of 15feet and a sea lock approx 100ft x 25ft connecting the basin to the outer sea dock,the River Lune, and the Irish Sea.


Lock Cottage and the Swing Bridge C1975 looking from the Dock over the Lock and Basin.



Tidal Flood Gates,Top Lock Gates and Swing Bridge


An Aerial View Of Glasson Lock Looking North Over The Dock and River Lune.



Glasson Basin,Lock,Marina and Canal.


Henry Wilson,Lock Keeper 1925-1953


In 1925 Henry Wilson, his wife Sarah and four children, Doris, Jenny, James and Thomas left the sleepy agricultural village of Woodplumpton near PrestonLancashire for pastures new.

Henry had been appointed the new lock keeper at Glasson,a village with both fresh water basin,canal and lock leading to the sea dock,the River Lune and the open sea. A two day sail by Narrowboat along the Lancaster Canal and down the six locks of the Glasson branch brought Henry,his family and his belongings, alongside the quay adjacent to Lock Cottage and the start of a new life.


Henry Wilson Operating A Sluice On The Bottom Lock Gates

In  1939 tradgedy struck Henry and his family when on 7th March a timber baulk fell from a five storey grannery hitting Henry below and breaking both his legs. At the time the grannery was being demolished by contractors from Manchester and was located at the site which is now the slipway at Glasson Marina.

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This is the actual photograph,front and back,that was used as evidence in a claim for negligence. The X marks the window from which the timber baulk fell.

Henry must have bee made of stern stuff as he made a full recovery although he did have to use walking sticks in his later life. Life was made a little easier when he bought an Austin 7 with some of his compensation money from the accident. He received the sum of £430.00 to settle out of court, I wonder how much the Austin 7 would be worth now.

At the outbreak of the war Henry returned to uniform in the Home Guard. In WW 1 he had been a cook in the infantry, this time round it was to be guard duty on Glasson's dock installations as the dock was used by minesweepers and patrol boats.


Pvt Henry Wilson Ready For Duty Complete With '303'.

Rivalry between the Home Guard and the local Special Constables was not unknown. Whilst guarding a local bridge one night the men on duty new full well that the car approaching them was none other than the Special Bobby from the next village. Expecting to be waved through he carried on at the same speed. The guard detail was having none of it, the end result was Henrys bayonet sticking through the cars radiator. 


Henry And Sarah On Their 50th Wedding Anniversary



                                   Henry and Sarah Wilson.                                         


Jim WilsonSnr.

Glasson Lock Keeper 1953 - 1978



In 1953 Jim Snr took over from Henry as lock keeper. Prior to then Jim had been employed by the Lancaster Port Commission on the maintainance staff on and around the dock area. Duties involved were setting and repairing bouys, night watch on late tides, dock cleaning painting etc. Jim had that job untill his call up in 1942 when he joined the REME and served in France, Germany,Belgium and Holland untill demob in 1946.

After leaving the army Jim regained his old job. He married Anne in  August 1946 and set up home on a houseboat called the Venture.The Venture was owned by Mr & Mrs Tiller, the leaders of the famous dance troupe The Tiller Girls.Anne was in their service as a maid and it was on one of their trips to the Venture that Anne and Jim met.

Sortly after Jim was offered a house in Glasson belonging to the Port Commission and moved to Thunham Terrace,Glasson where he remained untill 1953 when he moved into Lock Cottage with Anne, his daughter Lorraine and me.


Family Man Jim,with Lorraine and Jim jnr Lock Cottage 1956



The High Tide Reaches A Level Higher Than The Basin And Canal.







The Ritchie Rose Bowl