There is a great diversity in the waterways of the North West. Within Merseyside and Deeside there were early river navigations and barge canals. Both were used by a common vessel – the flat – which operated to provide a single means of transport for this area. Navigations stretched out in different directions to tap the coalfields around Wigan, reach the salt works of Northwich and Winsford, and bring cotton to the mills of Manchester. The waterways serving these areas included: River Douglas Navigation, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Mersey & Irwell Navigation, Weaver Navigation, Chester Canal, Ellesmere Canal (Wirral Line) and Sankey Brook Navigation, all of which connected to the canal network at Preston Brook and Nantwich. Ray Shill details the development of these individual waterways and delves into the history behind them.