The Opening of the Paddington Canal

The Canal Arm from Bull's Bridge, in Slough, to Paddington Basin, opened in 1801 with great celebrations. Charles Dibden, the popular singer and entertainer, wrote one of his 1,400 songs to celebrate the occasion.

The Paddington Canal

(tune, Derry Down, or any other of that measure.)

COME, ladies and gents, all to Paddington Town,
To see our Canal of such mighty renown:
'Tis now all the fashion, so don't stand aloof,
For I warrant you'll find it complete water-proof.

A finer canal Sir, was never made flow,
And the head's near the fan' d Yorkshire Stingo, you know,
Then its water's like wine; but he must be a flat
Who'd not sooner drink Yorkshire Stingo than that.

This canal, join'd to others, pursues its way down
From Paddington fairly to Manchester town;
But permit me another remark in my song,
What a thing it would be if 'twas broad as it's long.

There's the fine Passage-boat drawn by horses so trim,
Some fancy the reasons because it can’t swim;
But a boat drawn by horses is handy, is't not,
Because with or without tide 'twill tip the long trot?

In our Passage-boat then (where so snug you may dine)
 Take water; - but most folks would rather take wine
Our Uxbridge Canal will be first in the land,
And make the New River, at least, second hand.

Then let's toast since the end of my song I've near made.
The Uxbridge Canal, Navigation and Trade!
In a bumper as large as, of white wine or red.
The Paddington Bason, or New River Head.

The first barge loading building, with its over-hanging roof.

This building is shown on page 232 among the demolished Canal Basin
buildings, before it was taken down and stored for later use.

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Updated June 28, 2011