Left in the lurch; Navvies made their mark; towpath taskforce; moorings for weekends
THANK YOU for Tony Burton’s excellent article on the navvies and their labours building the canal system ( CB, March) – full of interesting nuggets of information about life at the ‘canal-face’.
I came to the end and thought ‘but the story doesn’t end there’. Of course, the navvies went on to build the railways. And that reminded me of a more recent piece of history: the building of Britain’s first motorway, the M1.
I have a collection on CDs of the Radio Ballad documentaries by Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger and Charles Parker for the BBC between 1958 and 1964. The second of these, Song of A Road, is about the building of the M1.
Much of the hour-long programme is the recorded voices of the people directly involved in the work. What comes through very clearly is that the spirit of the navvies had a lot to do with the building of the M1.
BRIAN HOWARD, 10 Mascot St, Tawa Wellington 5028, NEW ZEALAND