Talk:River Teme/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Navigable above Powick

I would be very interested to know what the sources of information for the article on the river Teme are. The whole story that the river Teme was navigable above Powick seems to me to be based on mere rumour (or at worst invention). Can some one please cite their sources? Peterkingiron 14:37, 1 June 2005 (UTC)

The above comment was made by me about nine months ago. I note that no substantial change has been made nor have sources been cited. Though there are a few grains of truth in the present article, but its entirety seems to be a tissue of falsehoods. I note that the author (pigsonthewing) was blocked for a year by decision of the arbitration committee on 25 January 2006. It seems to me that this is one of his false (and damaging) contributions.
I am intending to publish a contrary view in a reputable printed journal, and will also add a substantial contary statement to the present Wikipedia article. I do not wish to be objectionable, but those who post controversial or false information do not further the objectives of Wikipedia; indeed they harm them, and are likely to mislead those who look to it as a source of information. Peterkingiron 16:41, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

In view of what I have set out above, I have added my propsoed contrary statement. I will add a reference to my own article when it is published. Peterkingiron 21:39, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Section deleted from article

This section, from the "anti-navigation section" (contributed by another editor) has been deleted from the article by me:

The foregoing is based on my own research in archival and other sources, which I hope to publish as a response to Pat Jones, 'Navigation on the River Teme' Journal of Railway and Canal Historical Society 35(4) (Mar. 2006), 294-300 (which seeks to support certain of the views expressed above). Unless and until the author of the previous article (or some one else) can provide detailed justification (with sources) for the view expressed above, the view should remain that the river Teme was not navigable above Powick weir. A brief statement of the conventional view will be found in C. Hadfield, Canals of the West Midlands (1969), 58-9.

Elf-friend 07:21, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

The Teme was largely navigable

I added the template:Unreferencedsect. If no references can be supplied then in lines with Wikipedia:Verifiability:

Information on Wikipedia must be reliable. Facts, viewpoints, theories, and arguments may only be included in articles if they have already been published by reliable and reputable sources. Articles should cite these sources whenever possible. Any unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

--PBS 09:11, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

As no one has replied to the above, I have removed all of the section ==The Teme in History==. Not one line of it was sourced. If anyone wishes to reinstall any of the text, please make sure that it is complient with the above (see Wikipedia:Verifiability "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. This means that we only publish material that is verifiable with reference to reliable, published sources.") --PBS 00:58, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

The author of the material to which I objected in the first contribution above has been blocked as a contributor. I did provide a reference (Hadfield). However I cannot yet cite my own article which will appear in the enxt issue of Journal of Railway and Canal Historical Society (proofs received yesterday). Perhaps on the whole deletion was the best solution. I accept the proposition that Wikipedia is not the place for controversy. However what can you do when some one has posted material that is contrary to historical fact? I hold a doctorate in economic history and am a very experienced historical researcher with about 15 full length academic articles to my name. I will probably provide a further historical section in due course. Perhaps it is better that that should be deferred a few months, until my article appears in print. Peterkingiron 08:31, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

I consider the amendement by Elf-friend was unhelpful. I had provided some references, which he removed. At the same time reinstating the unsourced (and incorrect or at best controversial) statements of a previous contributor and giving them a credence that they did not deserve. In fairness to him, he did highlight the unsatisfactory state of the article. What I had written was based on reliable archival sources. I am getting an article based on them published as fast as I can, but (unlike the Internet) publication in print media is not instantaneous. I fully accept that Wikipedia is not the place for original research. My article will be in the July issue of Railway and Canal Historical Society Journal (a reputable one), and I would ask other contributors to be patient in the meantime. Perhaps none of this would have arisen if ther had been some response to the Talk that I put up in June 2005. Peterkingiron 11:44, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

I did not reinstate the "pro-navigation" section, it was there when I first read the article (albeit in quotation marks, put ther by you). What I did try to do was a bit of cleanup, because one cannot have a debate on the article page, that is what the talk page is for. As I am no expert on this matter, I had no choice but to let both versions stand, and just highlighted that there were opposing views. However, upon reflection, PBS's action (total deletion) may have been the better action; also the reference you provided should have been kept in the article by me (although I did move it to the talk page). Elf-friend 12:47, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

I have added a short history section dealing with the navigation issue. This is based almost entirely on the two works cited. I have then added a note of my own forthcoming article. No doubt some one will wikify these. This conforms to the Neutral and No unpublished research guidelines. If there has been vandalism, it has been by others, and in my view it was removing the work of a crank. Peterkingiron 12:19, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

On reflection I have commented out the to be published source, the day it is published the source can be commented in. For the time being the other two sources should do unless someone complains about them. --PBS 00:47, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

I have reverted the edit by IP address Special:Contributions/ which includes "an 18th century illustration showing a boat with sails at Ludlow and references to the Romans having shipped lead from Leintwardine for use at Droitwich." See WP:V. What are the sources for this addition? --PBS 17:55, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

This reference, was recently added to this article, and has been used as a citation. However the URL it an old clone of this page and is not usable as a reference site. --PBS 08:32, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

BBC source

At 11:32, 20 May 2006 user added a source from the BBC in which it is stated "The Teme had been an essential transport route since before Roman times - valuable gold, silver and lead mined on hills near Leintwardine would be ferried downriver for processing."

As this seems to contradict the sources already on the page, and as the BBC web page contains an address, I sent an email to the address asking for clarification and the source(s) that they used. Below is the answer I received, (if anyone wants a forward of the email, including header information to validate it, them please email me via the user page email link):

Subject: RE: River Teme
23/05/2006 12:01 PM
It's going back a couple of years and we had a few experts involved with the project at the time contributing to the history, wildlife, horticulture and geology aspects. Almost all information contained in the pages was distilled from a series of interviews in Ludlow, based on our contributors' areas of expertise.
We certainly can't establish the size of vessels used on the Teme and they may have well been been small canoes.
Trystan Jones
BBC Shropshire.

Given this I am not sure how to integrate this information into the page. I am not sure if there is a guideline on this type of thing. So if anyone can point me to a guideline or an example, I would appreciate it if they would explain on this talk page. --PBS 12:54, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

I think that BBC has been misled. It does not usually do research in primary sources, and I suspect that it has been fed information from the same group of people who are propounding the view that I have been disputing. This is essentially a circular argument.
In view of the existence of a white water section through the Downton Gorge, I do not think navigation as far upstream as Leintwardine can be credible. Even if there was downstream traffic, it would be necessary for vessels to return upstream for their next cargo. Some of the 'facts' used to support the view that the Teme was navigable are actually contrary to the historical evidence. An example of this is the statements about Bringewood ironworks, where the continuous surviving accounts (1733-79) invariably refer to 'carriage' of goods (often to Bewdley), whereas the same accounts refer to 'freight' when goods went along the river Severn. The remainder remains unsourced. Peterkingiron 18:49, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

with this edit I removed "Staff. ou are in: Shropshire > Nature > Walks > Whitcliffe and Teme > Stage 6 BBC Shropshire." as a source see the email above, the BBC can not be considered a reliable source in the commercial navigation debate. --PBS (talk) 08:41, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Pat Jones

What did Pat Jones in 'Navigation on the River Teme' Journal of Railway and Canal Historical Society 35(4) (Mar. 2006), 294-300 write? --PBS 19:34, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

He put forward such evidence as he could find for the river being navigable, partly claiming me as a source, but the case he made is flawed. The article was at one point proposed as a joint article by him and me, but it then turned out that we fundamentally disagreed as to the interpretation of the evidence. I have a lot of respect for Pat Jones, who has produced some interesting articles (in print). He also had information from some one else and relied on a picture allegedly of Ludlow Castle showing boats on the river Teme. I consider that this 19th century picture shows significant artistic licence and cannot be regarded as a historic document. The question of the navigability of the Teme is currently controversial. My article should be out in July and Pat Jones is promised right to make a further reply if he wishes in the following issue.
As the article was in early April, its content was uncontroversial. There is ample evidence for navigation up to Powick Mill (1.5-2 miles). The problem is that some one keeps propounding his views, but fails to cite any source that is verifiable - other than the BBC website, which may have been fed information for the same source. History (other than some contemporary history) invariably has a documentary source (or more than one). What some one else says is not evidence, but it is legitimate to cite it, if it appears to be reliable. However that is not what has been going on here.
I would suggest that the controversial views should be removed from the article (by reverting), but should first be copied to this page, preferably with my refutation (in a March version), which you and another user between you removed. Peterkingiron 22:08, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Please see WP:V "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. This means that we only publish material that is verifiable with reference to reliable, published sources." and WP:NPOV#The neutral point of view

The neutral point of view is a means of dealing with conflicting views. The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these should be presented fairly, but not asserted. All significant points of view are presented, not just the most popular one. It should not be asserted that the most popular view or some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one. Readers are left to form their own opinions.

To comply with Wikipedia NPOV you must include his POV, his views in you POV may be wrong, but they must be represented fairly with a cited source. -- PBS 22:28, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Peter and Philip - Is it known who the 19th century artists were that have painted either Downton or Ludlow castles, allegedly showing up-stream trows or similar cargo carrying vessels? DonBarton 22:42, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Pat Jones sent me a copy of one of them; I am not sure whether I know the name of the artist but if I do, it means nothing to me. It is said to be c.1830-40 and had Ludlow castle, the church and rhe river in relative positions that they do not occupy. I was sent another picture, but the bridge in it is not Dinham Bridge (which it should be. There may be another, which I have not seen. I have not seen any relevant picture of Donwton Castle (which is - I think - merely an 18th cnetury mansion. However if artistic licence can reposition buildings, it can also add boats - merely for effect. Such an artistic work is a work of fiction, not a historical document. PBS told me that I could not use an unpublished article as a source (until published), a view that I accept. However, I am reluctant that unsubstantiated views that are neither verified nor verifiable, should remain.

The BBC webiste cited now no longer expresses a view about navigability, since I submitted my latest draft of the forthcoming article to BBC Shopshire. This will not be quite what will be published as the Journal editor made some changes, largely in terms of presentation, not content. I have altered the text slightly in the light of the foregoing, but without substantially altering its content. For example Lloyd (whose interest was Powick Mill) says nothing about navigation beyond the mill one way or the other. Peterkingiron 22:55, 27 May 2006 (UTC)


The last version that some one reverted from, was citing one of the images that I have seen before. This allegedly shows the Teme at Ludlow with boats. However I question whether the picture is actually of Ludlow at all. I have added a citation (note 6) of this on an external website. This shows a bridge, but both the bridges at Ludlow (Dinham and Ludford Bridges) only have three arches, whereas the picture shows one with at least seven. It does not show a town at all. I have also seen another picture (supplied to me by Pat Jones); that might show the town, the castle, and the church, but their respective positions (as painted) differ considerably from their real one. If an artist is prepared to distort the landscape for artistic effect in that respect, he may well have added vessels for the same reason; accordingly, the painting cannot be regarded as a historical document, at least without adequate corroboration (which is not available).

If other contributors have views on this, I would suggest that they be added below, rather than us continuing to have competitive editing. Peterkingiron 23:15, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Why Wye

Revision as of 14:23, 22 June 2006

However, the Sandys family was significant in attempting to improve river navigation in the area, so it is impossible to be certain that no work was carried out. On the River Wye, they introduced flash locks in 1634 and in 1661 Sir William Sandys was authorised to carry out further work on the Wye, and also to improve the River Lugg.

I would like the author of the above addition to explain here why these two sentences have been added to this article. What has work done on the River Wye and Lugg to to do with the Teme? --PBS 19:31, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I do not think I wrote the above. However the Wye is potentially relevant. The point is that Sandys was authorised in the 1630s to make the River Avon, Warwickshire and the River Teme naviugable. There is ample evidence that he undertook work on the Avon before the Civil War and the Wye after the Restoration, but no evidence that any work was undertaken on the Teme. Perhaps there ought to be a biographical article on William Sandys; I could produce this, but do not want to anticipate what I want to publish in a book; in any event some of this depends on original research. Furthermore there is another issue - I have grave doubts as to whether Sandys locks on the Wye or Avon were flash locks rather than pound locks. Peterkingiron 22:58, 25 June 2006 (UTC)


I have removed the section quoted. The 1661 reference (actually 1662-4) is correct, but has already been mentioned. I have made other amendmetns in the light of the publication of my article, including a citation of Pat Jones' article, to which mine is in some degree a reply.

I continue to regard attempts to 'prove' that the river was navigable, by means of rumour, hearsay and innuendo as examples of vandalism. If any one has substantial evidence, based on original historic sources, that the river was navigable, the correct course is to publish a reply to my article in RCHS Journal. I know that the editor has offered Pat Jones a right of reply, and I expect others would be acceptable, that is if proper evidence is adduced. Peterkingiron 12:10, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Commercial navigation

The question of the navigation of the river Teme is indeed controversial. Its proponents have advanced various references to the use of boats (probably leisure boats) on the river. However, all assertions of commercial naviagtion above Powick appear ultimately to depend on 'original research' in the sense used in WP:OR. Some one has put back an archival citation of a BBC website; that page was taken down because the producer was convinced having seen my July 2006 article that it was wrong. Severn Traders hedges its bets by quoting both views; it offers no substantial new evidence in either direction. With the exception of the single reference to a boat at Stanford, NO ONE has produced ANY solid archivally based evidence of navigation. My July 2006 article refuted what Pat Jones put forward in the previous issue, showing that none of his 'evidence' pointed unequivocally to his conclusion. Correspondence on that subject has contiunued in twqo subsequent ones.

I propose in effect to revert recent alterations to the section to indicate that there was no commerical navigation, while admitting that the alternative view does exist. If there is an academic dispute over the facts, the correct course is for the proponent of the alternative view to PUBLISH their evidence, based on archival sources in the same (or another reputable) journal. At worst they should explain HERE what primary sources they rely on. History depends on provable facts, not on the unproved assertions of opinion, but that seems to be all the evidence that the proponents of navigation can advance. Peterkingiron 22:09, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

I have now edited out the material that I object to. I have tried to be as fair as I could to the proponents of the opposing view, but they have no evidence, only assertions. C. Green, Severn Traders unfortunately does not cite his source, and the basis of his statement on Caen stone remains unverified. If there are attempts to restore unverified (and unverifiable) statements, I will seek to have action taken against those responsible. I have no wish to be vindicative: if verifiable sources can be provided, I will be only too happy for them to appear, and I may well seek to see them published more widely. Peterkingiron 09:12, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I feel that the recent edits are, at least in part, unhelpful and inappropriate, and have impaired the neutrality of the article. For example, deleting the name of a road or house or farm with the claim that names of roads, houses and farms are 'original research' so cannot appear on Wikipedia. This is taking the OR concept too far. Do we really have to quote evidence that the River Teme is in fact called the River Teme? Or that Powick Mill is called Powick Mill? Or even that the Teme does join the Severn? Why were property/road names deleted from the navigation section, but the name Powick Mill has been left in? The recent edits removed information from published sources, such as books. Why? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 10:23, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Please sign your comments with ~~~~ it will automagically become a user name and time stamp
Please read WP:NOR The original motivation for the "No original research" policy was to prevent people with personal theories attempting to use Wikipedia to draw attention to their ideas. If you wish to include such information then it must be from a verifiable reliable source. Also please not the section in WP:NOR "Synthesis of published material serving to advance a position" The text that I removed was "House names suggest a history of boats being used on the Teme near Tenbury Wells. For example, The Boat House at Newnham Bridge and Boat House Farm at Eastham" I did it because is not covered by a source and it advances a position. I am sure that a source for the name of the houses can be found quite quickly, and is not in itself the issue, the issue is that it advances a theorie of "boats being used on the Teme near Tenbury Wells" that is being used to support the position that the river was navigable, for this reason it can only be included when it has been published in a verifiable reliable source that this is evidence that the river was navigable. --PBS 12:54, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for that help. However, much of the article seems to be unverified. For example the opening sentence is "The River Teme rises in mid-Wales south of Newtown, Powys and flows through Ludlow in Shropshire, then between Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire and Burford, Shropshire on its way to join the River Severn south of Worcester." But no source is cited. Can you give me a reference that explains which things have to give a source, and which don't? Thanks in advance - John —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 17:58, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Please see WP:V "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. Material that is challenged or likely to be challenged needs a reliable source, which should be cited in the article. Quotations should also be attributed. If an article topic has no reliable, third-party sources, Wikipedia should not have an article on it." Over the last two years there has been a move towards far more citation than there used to be. It started in contriversial articles like the Bombing of Dresden in World War II but now most of the better articles are including them. For example have a look at the Battle of Waterloo and compare it with a version at the start of the year. Not a lot of the information in the article has changed but I think that the inclusion of citations has made it a far more useful article. --PBS 18:35, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I found this an interesting page and I have read through its history and I see there has been some lively debate over navigation. Would is be possible to add the sources Pat Jones and Peter King used for their Journal of Railway and Canal Historical Society articles, rather than merely cite these recent articles? It would improve the article to add as much evidence as possible, given the range of opinions. 07:51, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

I am afraid this is difficult. Pat Jones' article had 16 footnotes; mine (Peter King) had 50. Some of these related to river navigation in general, but at least 15 relate specifically to the river Teme, many of them from archival sources, a class of source, whose citation is discouraged on Wikipedia. My article also questioned the whole principle of navigation in the Midlands. Everywhere that I look I find that the original measn of passing mills was by pound locks, with flash locks only used to get over other shallows. If you want to discuss this further, I would suggest that you contact me privately. You should find how to from my user page. If you cannot manage that, leave a message for me on my user talk page. Peterkingiron 16:05, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
I have also restored the reference to boat houses, with a citation - though perhaps less specific than desirable. Peterkingiron 16:21, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

It would be helpful and informative to have more information about what is in the Journal of Railway and Canal Historical Society articles - assuming these are the best available articles at this time, it would improve Wikipedia to add more of their content. Either by quoting the content (if the authors are prepared to share their work) or by adding more footnotes. Adding another 15 or even 30 references shouldn't impair readability of the article, if presented as footnotes. 08:59, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

The policy of Wikipedia is WP:NOR. That means that only published sources should be cited. Several of the references are to archives; other articles are too detailed to be set out in an encyclopaedia article. If you want to see the articles, I would suggest you find them in a library or order them via Inter-library loans. For example, this article formerly claimed that vessels went up to Bringewood with cargos of iron (or something like that). The account for Bringewood survive from 1733 to about 1778 and clearly distinguish freight (always on the river Severn) from carriage (always by land). This information is taken from the original accounts (now in Worcs Record Office), thus not an acceptable source for WP, and clearly contrdicts what was formerly claimed. Peterkingiron 21:23, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Nov 25 amendment - deleted 'single' from before reference to 'newspaper advertisement in 1750' - given that 257 years have passed, it's unlikely to be possible to prove that the advert only appeared once, so it's safer to stick with the fact of the advert, rather than to go for a 'best guess' that the advert only appeared once. However, if anyone can substantiate the 'single' claim, please revert the deletion, but please add a reference. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:17, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

I have checked the newpaper in question. It was the local newspaper for Worcester, at a time when there were not many newspapers. It was not repeated in the next issue. The refernece is cited by Hadfield. I am fairly sure that some one has been though all issues and would have reported further references if there were any. Peterkingiron (talk) 00:35, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Is it possible that whatever commercial navigation may have been possible (as suggested by that 1750 boat advert) may have come to an end (apart from Powick) with the improvement of the road through the Teme Valley (1753 Act of Parliament) and the opening of the Leominster Canal (1790s) - meaning a river that was barely/rarely/hardly ever/never (depeding on your opinion) navigable would no longer be commercially useful? (talk) 21:00, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

This issue has been argued at greast length here. Like most Midland rivers, the Teme was impeded by weirs used to power mills. Serious commercial navigation over significant distances would have been impossible without some measn of getting vessels past weirs, but there is no credible evidence of any locks (whether pound locks or flash locks). Peterkingiron (talk) 22:48, 30 July 2008 (UTC)


The name is completely unrelated to "Teifi" and "Tywi". The nearest Welsh equivalent is Taff, Tâf. LinguisticDemographer 17:26, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Leisure boating

I have removed 'small' from before boats as no evidence is provided about size of leisure boats so including 'small' reflects opinion rather than verifiable fact. 11:41, 29 May 2007 (UTC)


The bridge that collapsed at Ludlow was over the Corve, not the Teme so I have moved this information to the Ludlow article. 19:32, 27 June 2007 (UTC).

This article is about the River Teme. It is not about the River Corve or the Kyre Brook. If information about the River Corve or the Kyre Brook should be added to Wikipedia please add the information as 'River Corve' or 'Kyre Brook' articles. You cannot separate a river from small tributaries; the Kyre brook does not warrant an individual entry. Your comments are anon so I have reverted the page. --MJB 13:07, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

There was a link to a BBC video for a Tenbury flood. However, that was the second of Tenbury's floods, which was a flash flood - the rivers did NOT burst their banks during that flood. You can tell it's the 2nd flood because Hugh's car was parked in Market St, plus the BBC say it was on the Tuesday anyway! During the first flood and the third flood, both the River Teme and the Kyre Brook burst their banks - but neither did during the second flood. There are plenty of pictures and videos on the web of the 1st and 3rd floods, showing both rivers flooding, if somebody wants to add the links to these. 17:50, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

It would be helpful if you could sign in before editing, so that the rest of us know how to judge the quality of your work. I think we need to be wary of including too much detail on particular events. You are probably right about Kyre Brook not needing an article. Peterkingiron 21:58, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Bringewood Ironworks

Given that Bringewood Ironworks is mentioned in the article, I assume it was an ironworks of some significance/interest? If so, could someone add a Bringewood Ironworks entry to Wikipedia, even if it is only brief? Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:01, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

done soon after this was posted. Peterkingiron (talk) 22:29, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Alleged Navigation weirs

I have removed a recent addition alleging that there were 25 navigation weirs on the river. This subject was discussed on this page nearly two years ago (see above), and no one provided any substantial evidence for the assertion. It is quite possible that there were 25 weirs, but no evidence they were navigable. If this assertion is to be added again, a reliable published source for the statement ought to be provided as a reference. Peterkingiron (talk) 18:34, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Recent edit war

Max Burgoyne, I think what you have been trying to remove from the article is not some vandal trying to impose a Lithuanian name on the river, but a cross reference to an article on the river in the Lithuanian WP. This is a harmless addition. Not knowing the language, I canoot tell what it says, but it may well be a translation or summary of the english article for the benefit of speakers of that language. Peterkingiron (talk) 22:28, 8 April 2008 (UTC)