Bristol Channel Survey 1838
From Trewman's Exeter Flying Post or Plymouth, 1 March, 1838; Issue 3778, Document No. Y3200669794
BRISTOL CHANNEL SURVEY.-A highly-respectable and important meeting was held in the Town Hall, Bideford, last week, pursuant to public notice, for the purpose of receiving a Report from Lewis Fitzmaurice, Esq. late Commander of her Majesty's Ship Hasty, on his survey of the Bristol Channel, and his opinions on the expediency and practicability of erecting or building a breakwater or refuge harbour at Clovelly. On the motion of T. B. Chanter, Esq. the Mayor, was called to the Chair; and an interesting discussion ensued on the vast importance of the undertaking, the benefits that the shipping and commercial interests of this country would derive, and on the great and grand object - the preservation of human life. Capt. Fitzmaurice appropriately addressed the meeting and by particular request of the gentlemen present read the Report. It represented that, after a very elaborate and careful survey of the three channels, the Clovelly station was found the best calculated for the erection of a breakwater and safety harbour, the policy of which fully convinced the meeting of its necessity, and its importance to the shipping interest; to merchants in most every port in the kingdom, as well as abroad; to commerce in general, and to the great body of the people, as a prevention of shipwreck and the preservation of the lives of seamen. After the report had been read, Capt. F. stated that the work would extend from eight hundred to a thousand yards at low water mark, from the old pier at Clovelly direct north into the Channel, and that abundance of stones were to be found in the immediate vicinity. The estimate of the expense he was not prepared to lay before the meeting. A Committee of five gentlemen was then formed, with power to add to their number, for the purposes of communicating with the merchants of Bristol, Gloucester, Liverpool, London, and other ports, in order to carry this great object into effect. Capt. F by the particular desire of the meeting, was requested to prepare a chart of that part of the coast of Clovelly intended for the raising of the breakwater, which, with the Report, will be forwarded for the inspection, assistance, and co-operation of Her Majesty's Government. The meeting, probably, was the most respectable ever assembled in Bideford, and the greatest possible interest was evinced. Among the gentlemen present were - the Worshipful the Mayor; T. B. Chanter, Esq.; R. Wren, Esq.; Thomas Grant, Esq. Collector of the Customs; and nearly the whole of the merchants, traders, and nautical gentlemen of the town and neighbourhood. Several masters of vessels and merchants present, stated that, if a breakwater had been in existence, not one half, or even a quarter, of the dreadful wrecks, with loss of property and life, for the last few years, would, in their opinion, have taken place; and that hundreds of relatives were now suffering severe calamities, which a safety harbour would have prevented.