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The River Don in South Yorkshire flows through a changing landscape. Along with the River Rother and the River Dearne, it forms a river system with a catchment of around 700 square miles and a population of over 1.5 million. The upper reaches of the river are defined by dams which provide a public water supply. The middle section contains a number of weirs to supply mills, foundries and cutlers' wheels. The lower section contains weirs and locks to maintain the water levels for navigation. Over the course of time, the Don has suffered some very notable floods. In 1536, the forces of the Pilgrimage of Grace were prevented from crossing the river at Doncaster due to flooding, and they subsequently had to enter into negotiations with the King's forces. In 1864, the Great Sheffield Flood destroyed 800 houses and damaged a number of bridges upstream, killing 270 people. A river with a turbulent past, the River Don has much to offer both residents and visitors, including pubs, walking routes, wildlife, sites of historical interest and the flora. The river is a delight for anybody embarking on its exploration.
Volume IV in our In Arcadia Series is a beautiful book on the delights of our canals by the eminent engraver John O'Connor.
First published in 1944, and now reissued with new black-and-white illustrations and a foreword by Jo Bell, Canal Laureate, this book has become a classic on its subject, and may be said to have started a revival of interest in the English waterways. It was on a spring day in 1939 that L.T.C. Rolt first stepped aboard Cressy. This engaging book tells the story of how he and his wife adapted and fitted out the boat as a home, and recreates the journey of some 400 miles that they made along the network of waterways in the Midlands. It recalls the boatmen and their craft, and celebrates the then seemingly timeless nature of the English countryside through which they passed. As Sir Compton Mackenzie wrote, `it is an elegy of classic restraint unmarred by any trace of sentiment' for a way of life and a rural landscape that have now all but disappeared.
This enjoyable new book delves into unexplored areas of history surrounding the great network of the West Midland Canals. It provides a new insight into its most fascinating figures and places, including interviews with some of the last true boatmen, whose world disappeared forever during the turbulent 1960s. It reveals fascinating figures like John Corbett, who became one of the richest men in Britain during the 19th century, through salt and canals. He built a fabulous chateau for his unfaithful wife on the outskirts of Droitwich that can still be visited today. We also have an account of how the Droitwich Canals have been wonderfully restored to the navigation system, with old and new photographs depicting the changes. And not forgetting such pivotal characters such as Boulton and Watt, who were an essential part of the canal story. We at The History Press are sure that this book will appeal to canal enthusiasts and all who love the West Midlands with its amazing Waterways.
Many thousands of route miles of canal and navigation once used to criss-cross England, serving collieries, iron mines, steelworks, towns and villages. From the start of the twentieth century onwards, many of these canals closed down as a result of lack of trade. Many of the lost canals are in the Midlands, the heartland of Britain's canal network, but they include the exotically named Tamar Manure Canal and the Royal Arsenal Canal. Andy Wood gives us a brief history of each of England's lost canals, from the Adelphi Canal to the Woodeaves Canal.
A new life on the English Waterways... An informative and humorous new boater' s perspective of life on the Inland Waterways; charting their learning curve from calamitous collisions to confident competence, all fuelled by copious curries. Two humans, a dog the size of a small horse, petrol, gas, and curry, all in a confined space on a vessel we'd bought and only in theory knew how to operate. What could possibly go wrong? Dotted throughout is information on narrowboats, rivers, and canals, explored as we learn it on our own journeys, written in easy-to-follow layman's terms.
The River Frome in Dorset flows for some 30 miles from the chalk uplands of central Dorset into Poole Harbour near Wareham. Its source is St John's Well in the village of Evershot, and from here it flows through some of Dorset's most scenic and historic landscapes. The river passes a wide variety of settlements, including the county town of Dorchester, the Saxon walled town of Wareham, and picturesque villages such as Cattistock and Moreton. A fascinating array of historic features fill the valley: a railway built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, earthworks of a Roman aqueduct and, most surprising of all, several miles of water meadow systems, which fertilised the land during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Called 'The Vale of the Great Dairies' in the works of Thomas Hardy, paths and lanes make it easy to explore the Frome valley and follow the river's course from Evershot to Wareham.
Originally authorised as a ship canal between Gloucester and Berkeley in 1793, the entrance on the Severn estuary was changed to Sharpness to provide better access for large ships, and the canal was opened in 1827. Trade soon developed, raw materials such as timber, wheat, oats and barley being unloaded from ocean-going ships from Ireland, Europe and North America to be carried on by canal to the growing industrial towns of the Midlands. Badly affected by the loss of trade with mainland Europe during the First World War, traffic did not fully recover, but the canal played a vital role carrying cargoes inland from the Bristol Channel ports in the Second World War. Nationalised in 1948, the canal attracted new trade post-war, only to see it die away in the 1980s. Sharpness remains a successful port and this book shows how it has changed and how the buildings at Gloucester Docks have found new uses.
Built between 1775 and 1779, the Stroudwater Navigation stretched from Framilode to Wallbridge in Stroud where it later connected with the Thames & Severn Canal to form a link between the River Severn and the River Thames. When completed the canal was eight miles long with twelve locks to take Severn trows, but by the beginning of the Second World War it had fallen into disuse and was virtually derelict. The canal was finally abandoned in 1954. Rescued from dereliction the landscape of the canal is constantly changing, with new bridges, repaired locks and many sections now containing water. The Cotswold Canal Trust intends restoring the canal so that vessels may once again proceed as far as Brimscombe. Michael Handford presents a fascinating snapshot of the on-going restoration work, contrasting the old images of the canal with many new photographs.
In this, the second of two books examining the history and development of canals in the Midlands, Ray Shill traces the waterways of the East Midlands, from the early river navigations, such as the Trent with its iconic Trent Boats and through the heady years of 'Canal Mania', when grand structures such as the Dove Aqueduct and Rainbow Bridge flourished and engineers pushed the boundaries of technology, driven by the advent of mining and industry across the region. The influence of the inland ports and the arrival of the railways is considered, as are the later developments that drew inspiration from canals on the continent. Finally, Ray takes stock of the current state of the canal system and celebrates some of the laudable conservation schemes across the East Midlands. This volume makes use of a stunning collection of rare colour photographs to tell the story of the region's unique canal system and its valuable legacy.