This month we take a trip along Britain's canals and inland waterways, highlighting descriptions for the papers of engineers and entrepreneurs, waterway workers and enthusiasts. There are also links to related websites, including those of waterways and museums.
Manchester Ship Canal images copyright © Co-operative Union Photographic collection; Bridgewater Canal images copyright © University of Salford, Archives and Special Collections.
- Francis Egerton (1736-1803): 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, known as the 'Canal Duke'; developed the Bridgewater Canal originally to transport coal from his mine in Worsley, near Manchester; the canal opened in 1761, and was bought by the Manchester Ship Canal in 1887; Egerton was largely responsible for the development of canals in England; historian F. C. Mather (born 1922) was the author of After the Canal Duke, 1970, which tells the story of the Bridgewater Canal after the arrival of the railways.
- John Rennie (1761-1821): Scottish civil engineer, Fellow of the Royal Society; designer of canals, aqueducts, bridges, and dockyards.
- James Forbes (1735-1829): one of the proprietors of the Aberdeenshire Canal.
- Willink family: William Williamson Willink (1808-1883), his son, H. G. Willink (1851-1938), and F. A. Willink (fl.
- Hamish M. Brown (born 1934): writer and photographer, Fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society; this collection includes photos of Scottish canals.
- Cromford Canal Company: the canal opened in 1794 and was linked to Richard Arkwright's (1732-1792) cotton mill at Cromford, Derbyshire.
- River Cart Navigation Trust: the Trust, based in Paisley, made the river more navigable for commercial traffic in the late 18th century.
- Oxford Canal Navigation: opened in 1790, linking Oxford with Coventry.
- Leeds and Liverpool Canal Company: formed in 1770 to enable trade connections across the Pennines to be improved; the longest canal in northern England.
- Transport History Datasets: includes studies of mileage, traffic and costs, from surveys of Welsh canals, 1700-1945.
- Cambridge University Canal Club: founded in the 1960s to foster interest in canals and related subjects.
- Virtual Waterways Archive: descriptions of waterway-related archives held throughout England, Scotland and Wales, dating from the 17th century onwards.
- Canals and Inland Waterways: several hundred pamphlets on canals and inland waterways (LSE Library)
- Canals: correspondence, reports, and pamphlets held in Scottish universities (NAHSTE)
- National Waterways Museum: housed in a Victorian warehouse at the historic Gloucester Docks.
- National Register of Historic Vessels: vessels over 50 years old and of maritime importance, including many narrow boats (National Historic Ships)
- Inland Waterways Heritage Network: more than 20 UK museums whose collections are wholly or partly based on inland navigation.
- Birmingham's Canal Network - In Brindley's Footsteps: history trail (24 Hour Museum)
- Cromford Canal: canals are important wildlife habitats (British Geological Survey)
- British Waterways: government organisation managing canals and rivers in England, Scotland, and Wales.
- Waterscape.com: British Waterways' leisure website.
- Inland Waterways Association: formed in 1946 to campaign for restoration and development.
- Inland Waterways Association of Ireland: voluntary body of waterways enthusiasts.
- Waterways Trust: national charity which works to promote greater public enjoyment of our inland waterways.
- Save Our Waterways: campaigning organisation, with special events this month.
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