Richard Coates (Creator of the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation)
Location: Springfield Basin (erected May 1997)
Richard Coates is often credited as the man who built the Chelmer and Blackwater canal.
The Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation has long unbroken history starting in June 1793. The great canal architect, John Rennie, was appointed Chief Engineer, but he rarely visited the site, leaving most of the work to Coates.
Coates became Resident Engineer and completed the Navigation's construction within four years. He then settled on the waterway and became a major barge owner and merchant, with his name being remembered at Coates Quay in Springfield Basin. He was buried in All Saints Church, Springfield.