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All these titles are available to purchase from Pen and Sword.

Contents:
- 200 Years of The Lancaster Canal - By Gordon Biddle..
- Around Britain by Canal - By Anthony Burton..
- Crime on the Canals - By Anthony Poulton-Smith..
- River Ouse Bargeman - By David Lewis..
- The Canal Builders - By Anthony Burton..
- The Canal Line - By Jerry Murland..
- The Canal Pioneers - By Anthony Burton..
- Thomas Telford - By Anthony Burton..
- Tracing Your Canal Ancestors - By Sue Wilkes..

 


 

Result Pages:  1  Displaying 1 to 9 (of 9 Books)

200 Years of The Lancaster Canal

By Gordon Biddle

200 Years of The Lancaster CanalDescription:

2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the completion of the Lancaster Canal from Wigan to Kendal. Designed by the celebrated engineer John Ronnie, it is notable for a large number of aqueducts, including the magnificent Lune Aqueduct at Lancaster. A large aqueduct across the Ribble Valley at Preston was never built, leaving the canal in two sections connected by a temporary horse tramroad which became permanent. Consequently the 57 miles from Preston to Kendal remained isolated until 2006, when it was connected to the main network via the Ribble estuary. Before the railways were built the canal was unique in running a highly efficient passenger service and for several years actually took over a main line railway company. In 1947 the final 15 miles to Kendal were closed and partly drained. The author was an early member of the Lancaster Canal Trust in 1963, which is now at the forefront of a campaign to re-open the closed section. This book examines the history of the waterway, its powerful effect on the 18-19th century economy of north Lancashire and south Cumbria, the canal as it is today and the offers being made to restore it to navigation throughout.

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Around Britain by Canal

By Anthony Burton

Around Britain by CanalDescription:

This is the story of a thousand mile-long trip around England by canal. At times the journey took the author out into the beautiful countryside, and elsewhere the canal crept round the edge of old industrial towns.

It is a journey that proved full of surprises, delights and rich variety, as the book clearly demonstrates. The book illustrates the great contrasts between travelling on the wide tidal waters of the River Trent and being overtaken by sea-going cargo ships, to meadnering along the sinuous curves of the Oxford Canal. The Leeds & Liverpool Canal brought magnificent moorland scenery and the drama of the great five-lock staircase at Bingley. London was seen from two very different perspectives. Travelling past the elegant houses of Little Venice and Regents Park and then turning back along the Thames to float past the Houses of Parliament. The author finds as much pleasure in the hidden corners of Birmingham as in the rural beauties of Shropshire.

The book has become regarded as a classic of canal travel, and is reissued with previously unpublished colour photographs taken by Phillip Lloyd, who shared the trip with the author.

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Crime on the Canals

By Anthony Poulton-Smith

Crime on the CanalsDescription:

Throughout our islands' history we find tales of thieves, smugglers, thugs and murderers. Books have been written retelling tales of bandits, footpads, highwaymen, et al, attacking the lone traveller, the horseman, the coachman, shipping line, locomotive engineer, lorry or van driver and even pilot. Yet for almost two centuries the majority of goods travelled on Britain's famed canal network. This also attracted felons of all kinds and yet many of these tales had been ignored, until now.

Within these pages all manner of crimes are covered. From murders to muggings, parental problems to pilfering, arson, assault, smugglers, counterfeiters and even road rage (albeit canal-style). But it is not all morbidity and misery, humour also plays a significant part in these tales. Why would a hungry man steal the inedible? Follow the policeman on foot chasing down a thief on board the narrowboat. Discover what really lies beneath the waters of the canal. Learn about canal etiquette, the hardships, the kindness and the cruelty.

From an author whose fascination with etymology has produced many books on origins of place names, leading to an interest in the historical modes of travel across our islands, this book is the latest to follow old routes and those found along them.

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River Ouse Bargeman

By David Lewis

River Ouse BargemanDescription:

The Ouse reaches into the heart of Yorkshire from the Humber Estuary. Until the 1980s, loaded barges made the challenging journey from Hull to Selby, bearing bulk cargoes for the mills of the town. The bargees had to be tough and resourceful; physically strong enough to handle their craft, wise enough to combat the rivers shifting currents and savvy enough to deal with those supplying short measure.

Laurie Dews of Selby worked the Ouse from 1937 to 1987, and is now the only ,man remaining with first-hand experience of a lost way of life. In this book, "River Ouse Bargeman", Laurie's words of wit and wisdom give a skippers eye view of a barge loaded to the gunwales fighting upstream, unloading at the mill and drifting back with the tide.

Laurie spins many a yarn about a bargeman's social life, too. His first-hand account includes the mysterious river crafts of singling out and penning up, the tricks and tell tales to show where the ever-shifting river channel lay and the camaraderie of life in the close-knit watery world.

In this book, alongside Laurie's account, there is a factual commentary, illustrated by many images from Laurie's collection dating back over a century, and extracts from official documents and maps.

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The Canal Builders

By Anthony Burton

The Canal BuildersDescription:

Canal Builders is a classic history book for anyone interested in the development of Britain's canal system. The book, which was first published in the 1970s, is now republished here in a new fifth edition. It takes the reader from the middle of the eighteenth century, to the start of the railway age in the early nineteenth century.

Anthony Burton has revised and improved the original text, using new material that he has found in archives since it was first published, and has added many extra illustrations. 

This is the remarkable story of the many groups of people who were responsible for building Britain's canal system. There were industrialists such as Josiah Wedgwood, who promoted canals to help his own industry, and speculators, financed the projects in the hope of a good return. The work was planned by engineers, some of whom, such as James Brindley and Thomas Telford, have become famous, while others have remained virtually unknown but still did magnificent work. This is also the story of the great, anonymous army of men who actually did the work – the navvies. 

This was the first book ever to study the lives of these labourers in detail. Altogether it is an epic story of how the transport route that made the industrial revolution possible was built.

'Well planned and well written …There is no better introduction to the early canal age.' The Economist

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The Canal Line

By Jerry Murland

The Canal LineDescription:

The network of canals stretching from the coast at Gravelines, through St-Omer, Béthune and La Bassée, follows the approximate boundary between Artois and Flanders and was, in 1940, the defensive line established on the western edge of the so-called Dunkerque Corridor designed by Lord Gort to provide an evacuation route to the channel coast. Even before events on the line of the Escaut line had concluded with yet another Allied withdrawal, Lord Gort was diverting units to bolster the Canal Line defenses

This is probably the first occasion that the fighting along the Canal Line has been looked at in detail; overlooked by the inevitable withdrawal towards the channel coast, the units deployed along the canal faced some of the stiffest fighting in the whole 1940 France and Flanders campaign. Whole battalions, particularly those in the 2nd Division, were sacrificed as units were thrown into the battle in an attempt to slow down the German advance. The book looks in some detail at the ad hoc nature of the Usherforce and Polforce units, the units of the independent 25 Brigade and the vicious fighting that enveloped the 2nd Division. Time is given also to the notorious massacre of the Royal Norfolks at Louis Creton’s farm near Le Paradis.

Material concerning the deployment of units along the Canal Line in 1940 has been found in a variety of sources, including regimental histories and unit war diaries. The author has been fortunate in being able to access a number of personal diaries and accounts from men serving with the independent 25 Brigade and the 2nd Division, which has, in some cases, added to and enhanced the actions taken by those units while deployed on the canal.

The book is illustrated by over a hundred contemporary and modern photographs and by five car tours and three walks, all of which give the tourist a greater access to the battlefield.

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The Canal Pioneers

By Anthony Burton

The Canal PioneersDescription:

This is the story of canals used for transport and the men who built them from the earliest times, up to the end of the ninteenth century. This is a very long history: stones for the pyramids of Egypt were brought to the site by canal and one of the most imposing canal systems ever built, the Grand Canal of China, was begun in the sixth century BC.

Development after the end of the Roman Empire was slow, but saw the steady improvement of river navigations through locks – the mitre gates were actually first designed by Leonardo da Vinci. 

The modern age of canals that cross summits began in France, and the most famous of these early waterways was the magnificent Canal du Midi, the brainchild of Pierre-Paul Riquet, completed in 1681. It was a visit to this canal, when he was a teenager on the Grand Tour, that inspired the Duke of Bridgewater to build his famous canal that inspired a rush of canal construction in Britain. 

Britain’s canals became the essential transport route that made the country’s industrial revolution possible, thanks to engineers such as James Brindley, William Jessop and Thomas Telford. It was a period of intensive construction that lasted for fifty years from 1760. It saw many innovations from the use of cast iron for bridges and aqueducts, to inclined planes and vertical lifts to move boats from one canal level to another. The nineteenth century also saw extensive canal systems developing in North America, such as the famous Erie Canal, and culminated in two great ship canals at Suez and Panama.

The book tells an exciting story of canal development and the many men who made it possible.

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Thomas Telford

By Anthony Burton

Thomas TelfordDescription:

Thomas Telford's life was extraordinary: born in the Lowlands of Scotland, where his father worked as a shepherd, he ended his days as the most revered engineer in the world, known punningly as “The Colossus of Roads”. He was responsible for some of the great works of the age, such as the suspension bridge across the Menai Straits and the mighty Pontcysyllte aqueduct. He built some of the best roads seen in Britain since the days of the Romans and constructed the great Caledonian Canal, designed to take ships across Scotland from coast to coast. He did as much as anyone to turn engineering into a profession and was the first President of the newly formed Institution of Civil Engineers. All this was achieved by a man who started work as a boy apprentice to a stonemason. rn He was always intensely proud of his homeland and was to be in charge of an immense programme of reconstruction for the Highlands that included building everything from roads to harbours and even designing churches. He was unquestionably one of Britain's finest engineers, able to take his place alongside giants such as Brunel. He was also a man of culture, even though he had only a rudimentary education. As a mason in his early days he had worked alongside some of the greatest architects of the day, such as William Chambers and Robert Adams, and when he was appointed County Surveyor for Shropshire early in his career, he had the opportunity to practice those skills himself, designing two imposing churches in the county and overseeing the renovation of Shrewsbury Castle. Even as a boy, he had developed a love of literature and throughout his life wrote poetry and became a close friend of the Poet Laureate, Robert Southey. He was a man of many talents, who rose to the very top of his profession but never forgot his roots: he kept his old masons' tools with him to the end of his days. rn There are few official monuments to this great man, but he has no need of them: the true monuments are the structures that he left behind that speak of a man who brought about a revolution in transport and civil engineering.

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Tracing Your Canal Ancestors

By Sue Wilkes

Tracing Your Canal AncestorsDescription:

Britain's industrial revolution depended on canals for the cheap movement of materials and goods – until the coming of the railways. Canal companies struggled to compete and went into a long decline, but much of the canal network is still with us today, and interest in the history and heritage of canals - and those who worked on them - is strong. That is why Sue Wilkes's well researched and highly readable handbook on the subject is so valuable. 

She concentrates on the people who lived and worked on the waterways – the canal boatmen, their families and their way of life - and those who depended on the canal trade for a living – the lock-keepers, toll collectors, and canal company clerks. She provides a thorough, practical guide to the sources – the archives, books, websites, societies – available for researchers if they are studying our inland waterways, or trying to find out about an ancestor who worked on the canals or was connected with them. 

Her book is essential reading for anyone interested in this aspect of the industrial past.

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