NAR­ROW BOATS

Canal Boat - - News -

First pub­lished in 1989, this book­let’s ori­gins go back fur­ther – as the in­tro­duc­tion points out, the term ‘nar­row­boat’ usu­ally refers to modern leisure craft to­day, but this the au­thor is con­cerned with the car­ry­ing craft in reg­u­lar use car­ry­ing long-dis­tance traf­fic from the ear­li­est days of the canal sys­tem un­til 1970. A brief his­tory fol­lows their devel­op­ment from the choice of the 70ft by 7ft size (at a meet­ing in an inn in Lich­field in 1769), through the early wooden horse-boats to steam, diesel and the steel craft of the 20th Cen­tury. Life in the tiny cabins is de­scribed, the dis­tinc­tive paint­ing and dec­o­ra­tion of the boats, and the back­ground to their fi­nal de­cline. In just 64 pages it gives a con­cise and thor­ough all-round pic­ture of the iconic work­ing craft of our canals.

Nar­row Boats, Tom Chap­lin, Am­ber­ley, an­ber­ley-books.com, £8.99, 978-1-4456-6997-7

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