The early years of operation were marred by a series of legal disputes, which were resolved when the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal Company and the Conservators, who managed the River Tone Navigation, agreed that the Canal Company should take over the Tone Navigation. The canal originally terminated at a basin at Huntworth, to the east of Bridgwater, but was later extended to a floating harbour on its western edge. Financially this was a disaster, as the extension was funded by a mortgage, and the arrival of the railways soon afterwards started the demise of the canal. The canal was rescued from bankruptcy by the Bristol and Exeter Railway in 1866.
Despite commercial traffic ceasing in 1907, the infrastructure was maintained in good order, and the canal was used for the transport of potable water from 1962. The Countryside Act 1968 provided a framework for Somerset County Council to start the restoration of the canal as a leisure facility, which was completed in 1994, when the canal was reopened throughout. Bridgwater Docks have been restored as a marina, but there is no navigable connection to the River Parrett, as the canal still transports drinking water for the people of Bridgwater.
Most commonly employed as a right-handed opening batsman, Sainsbury was one of Somerset's most talented batsman during their formative years. His slow underarm bowling was effective in second-class cricket, but in an era when overarm bowling was becoming the standard, he was used sparingly in the first-class game. During his time at Somerset, the county gained first-class status. After being led for three seasons by Sainsbury's Lansdown team-mate Stephen Newton, Sainsbury was given the Somerset captaincy for the 1885 season. A combination of poor results and not being able to raise a full eleven during that season led to the county's removal from the first-class game, although Sainsbury remained as captain until 1888. By the time Somerset had improved sufficiently to return to first-class cricket in 1891, Sainsbury had moved to neighbouring county Gloucestershire, where he saw out his county cricket career.
It has palaeolithic remains, was on an old Roman road and was recorded in the Domesday Book as the town of Givle, and later became a centre for the glove making industry. During the Middle Ages the population of the town suffered from the Black Death and several serious fires. In the 20th century it developed into a centre of the aircraft and defence industries, which made it a target for bombing in World War II, with one of the largest employers being AgustaWestland who manufacture helicopters. Several other manufacturing and retail companies also have bases in the town. In the 21st century Yeovil became the first town in Britain to institute a system of biometricfingerprint scanning in nightclubs and the first English council to ban the children's craze Heelys. Plans have been proposed for various regeneration projects in the town.
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