60 mins. / 64 pages
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Follow this fascinating journey to discover what it was really like to work on the waterways of Britain – from the navvies who dug the canals and the great engineers responsible for their construction, through to the strong resourceful boatmen. Accompanying the DVD is a fully illustrated magazine detailing the history of Britain’s canal network.
Full description from the producer:
DVD: WORKING ON THE CANALS
For a brief spell in history canal mania swept the land, but when the railways came steaming over the horizon, the canals were abandoned in favour of speed. Yet the canals survived on a reduced scale, the necessity proved to be the mother of invention. Follow this fascinating journey to discover what it was really like to work on the waterways of Britain. From the men who dug the canals and the great engineers responsible for their construction, through to the strong resourceful boatmen, find out how they all played their part in keeping the wheels of the Industrial Revolution turning. In more recent years the canals have regained their popularity, but this time with holidays afloat. An entire leisure and tourism industry has developed that has ensured the restoration and conservation of the waterways for everyone to enjoy, bringing a whole new meaning to the term Working on the Canals.
MAGAZINE: CANALS BOATS
Britain’s waterways have been used as a source of transport ever since man needed to convey large quantities of minerals, raw material and mass produced commodities. The Romans introduced canals to these islands as early as AD 120 and by the late 1700s, a network of man-made arteries linked major rivers and sea ports to land-locked industrialised cities and towns across the country. After World War II, it was realised that much of Britain’s social and industrial heritage was disappearing and there emerged an enthusiasm to preserve our past as much as possible. 1946 saw the founding of the Inland Waterways Association who initially set about reopening parts of the system. Now there are more than 4,000 miles of navigable waterways with many more earmarked for restoration.