In April 1815, famous Civil Engineer, Thomas Telford, produced this report on Hugh Baird’s Proposed Line of the Union Canal, which he called ‘as perfect as possible’. Telford viewed it in the wide context of a canal network, linking Edinburgh also with Ardrossan, Stirling, East Lothian and Berwickshire.
He suggested the Union go further West before joining the F&C summit pound, reducing the locks between them (from Baird’s 9 in this report, 11 in the event) to 6. He had ‘not yet had time’ to assess Mr Baird’s calculation, but ‘it appears to have been made out with great care’ and the terrain was judiciously selected. Most importantly, Baird had been unusually successful at not upsetting the local Landowners (albeit having to tunnel past Callendar Park).
Telford soon found the time, and contersigned Hugh Baird’s impressively precise accompanying estimate. Work started three years later.