Home Trade at Cromford
An interesting little ceremonial was performed last Saturday which will have an important bearing upon a local industry in the future. This was the launching for Messrs N Wheatcroft and Sons of their first boat, at Bull Bridge, in connection with their coal trade over the Cromford Canal. It was christened Victoria, In past years all the boats belonging to the fleet on the canal have been built in other counties than Derbyshire, and this is the first start of local builders.
Among those present at the christening were Mr Harry Wheatcroft (the head of the firm) Mr Sheldon (Hopton Wood), Messrs German, John and George Key. Mr E Ball, and Mr W Doxey, The launching was witnessed by a large crowd of spectators, who cheered as the boat glided off her stays into the water. The christening ceremony was performed by Mr H Wheatcroft, the owner, who broke a bottle of wine upon her stem, at this same time declaring her name to be Victoria, At a substantial repast provided in a room adjoining, at which about fifty friends were present, Mr Wheatcroft, in a neat speech, alluded to this being the first new boat built on that dock, but that he had every reason to believe it would not be the last, having now satisfied himself that this branch of industry can be carried on here as well as in other counties, where it has been done in the past. The Victoria is built of the best English oak, and is beautifully painted with landscapes, flowers etc, the colours for which were supplied from the Via Gellia Colour Works, and the workmanship reflects great credit on the builder, Mr J Mills of Derby.