Pannel boatyard was located on the river bank close to West Elloe Bridge. Pannell‘s Boat Yard
In 1822. John Pannell. was landlord ofthe ‘Jolly Crispin‘ Inn. which was near Chain Bridge. and it “as there he commenced the boat building and carpentry business which was carried on by his family for 120 years.
In the pre-railway days there was a ﬂourishing trade on the River Welland and it was not considered unusual for as many as forty small vessels — sloops. ketches. schooners. brigs and lighters – to be counted on the river at one time between Fosdyke and Spalding High Bridge.
There was evidently a lack of provision for the proper repair of such craft. and on 17th April. 1837. the owners and captains of vessels trading up the River Welland sent a petition to the trustees of the Outfall of the River Welland asking them to allow John Pannell to lay down a slip in the River Welland bank for hauling up vessels for the purposes of repair. Permission was granted and the slip duly laid down.
At times the yards of Messrs. Pannell and Smith Bring (the latter owned an adjoining yard ),were hives of industry and gave regular work to a number of men. On occasions there were vessels waiting their turn for repairs, and small boats were put together on the upper ﬂoor of the shed.
Spalding enjoyed an extensive carrying and coasting trade in corn, wool. coal. timber etc. until the opening of the Great Northern Railway, in 1848, which eventually absorbed a great portion of the river trafﬁc. The need to maintain the river for drainage purposes enabled the river trade to continue to some extent. and in 1896 the river was still navigable for vessels of 120 tons. and some trade in coal, oil- cake and timber carried on.
John Pannell, who died in 1843, was succeeded in the business by his son, Ellis Pannell. He died in l877. and was followed by his son, John Ellis Pannell. who died in 1888, aged 39. His brother. Joseph Ellis ‘Joe’ Pannell then took over the family business. He died in 1942. aged 78.
Source: Aspects of Spalding and SGS.
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