Canal Boat - - News -

Much has been writ­ten about the history of the BCN, the dense in­dus­trial net­work of canals cov­er­ing Birm­ing­ham and the Black Coun­try, but this book takes a dif­fer­ent view. It’s based on the large col­lec­tion of pho­to­graphs ac­quired by the In­dus­trial Rail­way So­ci­ety, taken by the late Philip Weaver, and it de­picts the rel­a­tively re­cent history of the net­work – but still long enough ago that there have been some dras­tic changes. The pho­to­graphs show the lat­ter days of cargo boats, the con­struc­tion of mo­tor­ways above the canals in the 1960s, a for­lorn Gas Street Basin in the 1950s, the same site dur­ing the early days of the re­vival in the 1960s, and even a Bri­tish Wa­ter­ways trip-boat painted im­mac­u­late white for a pro­mo­tional event. It’s an im­por­tant record of scenes from not so long ago, many of which are barely recog­nis­able to­day.

The Birm­ing­ham Canal Nav­i­ga­tions 1950 to1977, com­piled by Mike Har­ri­son, His­toric Nar­row Boat Club, hnbc., £12, 978-0-9927321-1-0

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