Back to the library again, and I had a good browse of the “transport” section this time. I am currently quite interested in canals, due to a combination of some new local knowledge, memories of narrowboating holidays and Canals: The Making of a Nation on the BBC, which was a fascinating history mini series (available for the next week or so). This one jumped out at me, so home it came.
Historical facts are interwoven with recollections from former Lancaster Canal families, so the changing canal gains a personal face, one which sparks both nostalgia for an age that has passed, and relief that life has changed. It explores why the canal was built, what the main trade was and then its decline. But also moves onto the future of the canal network, and links between the modern towns and cities to unveil the history of the canals beneath them.
She references her main contributors, both her own family and others, notably including:
- May Ashcroft
- Charles Ashcroft
- John Parkinson
- John Tickle
The same names appearing over again is of course not unexpected in quite a closed community. But she also discusses movement and links across geography and industries.
This was a very personal history, but also one which explores a tiny piece of the country’s history in great detail.