Canal Boat - - News -

In 1759, with the Duke of Bridge­wa­ter’s em­bry­onic scheme for a canal to link his mines to Sal­ford hav­ing hit tech­ni­cal prob­lems, and with no ob­vi­ous way to reach the ma­jor mar­ket of Manch­ester, the Duke’s agent John Gil­bert sum­moned James Brind­ley, a mill­wright with a streak of in­ge­nu­ity. It was the start of a col­lab­o­ra­tion which led to the com­ple­tion of the Bridge­wa­ter Canal, cred­ited as the cat­a­lyst for the dawn of the Canal Age. The author seeks to sep­a­rate his­tory from lore (did Brind­ley re­ally use a Cheshire cheese to demon­strate to Par­lia­ment how he planned to build an aqueduct?) and to ap­por­tion the credit cor­rectly be­tween Brind­ley, the Duke and Gil­bert as she tells the story of their pi­o­neer­ing work. It’s a fas­ci­nat­ing story of two very dif­fer­ent lives that were linked.

James Brind­ley and the Duke of Bridge­wa­ter, Vic­to­ria Owens, Am­ber­ley, £15.99, am­ber­ley-books.com, 978-1-4456-4966-0

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