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Voices From the Waterways

  • Author: Jean Stone
  • Binding: Paperback
voices-from-the-waterways

This volume presents the stories of the watermen – those who lived and worked on the inland waterways, on narrowboat or barge, wherry, coracle or tanker and who witnessed the final stages of the closing of the waterways to commercial traffic. The first-hand recollections are accompanied by photographs, many of which come from the boatmen themselves. The accountsinclude those of Jack Gill, who started out on his father's horse-drawn barge working the Irish canals; Billy, a Norfolk wherryman fond of "truckin' and tradin'"; and Robert Crouch, who describes his early days as a waterman transferring sugar from port to refinery as well as his more recent life as Bargemaster to Her Majesty the Queen. The contributors look back to a heyday, when the waterways were busy with commercial traffic, when competition was fierce with men racing each other to pick up the next load, and share the secrets of traditional crafts, including rope work for fender making, canal boat art and coracle making.

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