DVD
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British Canal History in colour

Working boats in the 1960’s:
From the collection of Keith Christie we revisit an era when trade was still common on the canals and rivers of the Midlands and North West. Starting in Birmingham we are delighted by horse drawn boats, the Thomas Clayton fleet and much more. Powerful BCN tugs show their pace along with the latest then new Admiral class boats. We follow a trip down a true lost canal, the Toll End and look at what today remains of this navigation. Further North we visit the Potteries, Anderton and Ellesmere port. Much rare footage of trading boats all originally filmed in super 8 cine. Our archive has provided some more recent film showing what sites are like today, also some black and white pictures add to the wonderful scenes on film.

Working Weekend:
This is a short film which shows Peter Froud working the narrowboat “Arcturus” from Anglesey Basin (Brownhills) to Worcester with a load of coal. Shot in black and white.

Mr Milners Grand Junction Canal:
Animated photographs from the albums of Mr Milner. Dredgers, bridges, tunnels, embankments and other engineering work are brought back to life showing how maintenance was carried out.

Working boats in the North West:
From the late Ed Greenwood is a remarkable film of some of the last North West traffics to go by canal and river. We see the narrowboats of the Anderton Canal Carrying Co carrying salt to Weston Point docks, also Brunner barge on the river Weaver alongside “Duker” barge Iris Abbott. Joshers, Admiral class boats and a variety of craft enchant the viewer. This film was salvaged from a betamax master and in parts the quality is not 100% however the content is priceless.

My thanks go to Keith Christie and the late Edward Greenwood for supplying the archive films. Thanks also for the assistance from Black Country Living Museum, Richard Hutchings, Ray White, The Waterways Trust and others.

Running time: 140 minutes.

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