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Horses on the canals

ElaineWalker

New Member
I have just joined this forum to help me research a book on horses on the inland waterways - I am using archive records from various sources, but I'm also especially interested in family history, stories, old photos and memories, no matter how vague.

I'd be really interested in anything members have to share or even questions they feel need following up - my background as a writer is horses, rather than canals, though it was my husband's long-term interest in narrowboats that brought me to the subject, so I have some experience now, as we have a tiny narrowboat on the Shropshire Union near Chester.

I do have a flier about my project but I'm not sure if it's allowed to upload it here - maybe an admin will tell me.

I'd be happy to send it to anyone who wanted to see it - or, indeed, to send hard copies for local face-to-face history groups etc.
 

Bob Johnson

master brummie
I have just joined this forum to help me research a book on horses on the inland waterways - I am using archive records from various sources, but I'm also especially interested in family history, stories, old photos and memories, no matter how vague.

I'd be really interested in anything members have to share or even questions they feel need following up - my background as a writer is horses, rather than canals, though it was my husband's long-term interest in narrowboats that brought me to the subject, so I have some experience now, as we have a tiny narrowboat on the Shropshire Union near Chester.

I do have a flier about my project but I'm not sure if it's allowed to upload it here - maybe an admin will tell me.

I'd be happy to send it to anyone who wanted to see it - or, indeed, to send hard copies for local face-to-face history groups etc.
You may find "Birmingham working horses" useful.
ISBN 0906160081 Brian Holden.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
I can see no reason why you should not upload your flyer. The forum is really meant as a conduit for historical knowledge of the region, and Birmingham is a central point of the inland waterways. We hope our members can help you and would be interested in anything you feel you can share with us
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Welcome to the Forum, Elaine. Obviously the main Canals of Birmingham thread is a good starting point - https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/index.php?threads/canals-of-birmingham.4054/ - but there are several other threads with canals in the title and umpteen other threads with canals or horses somewhere or other in the thread. As usual the Search engine (top right on every page) is your friend. A number of members trees have canal people in them, and some ancestors of my late wife were the lockkeepers at Cheston Street. Good luck with your searches. :cool:

Maurice
 

Malvernian

master brummie
Looking forward to the book. If you haven't already found out about the demise of the canal museum at
Llanfrynach on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal and the sad loss of most of the material there on horse drawn boats, send me a message with your email address, and I'll send you a potted summary of my 2015 findings.
 

Heartland

master brummie
Horse drawn boats is a complex subject and it still possible to find the odd stable around the network. That some boats were horse drawn in this area may be recollected by some visitors to this site.

Coal and rubbish boats were the last to use horse power on local waterways. For coal boats, with colliery closures, the choice of loading places became limited.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
lovely photo pedro...dont think i have seen it before in fact i did not realise that horse drawn was still being used in 1970...thanks

lyn
 

neil324

knowlegable brummie
When Spaghetti Junction was being built above the Birmingham & Fazeley canal around 1970, they had to allow horse traffic along the tow path while it was being built. There is a documetary and the chief engineer/architect mentions it in amazement.
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
There is the same picture, but of poor quality, in the Post of August 1966. In the background there is a mast with a few dishes on it. No write up but caption says the last two horse drawn narrow boats left on the English canals.

I presume this would not include Barges!
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
From the Coventry Evening Telegraph of August 1968, we learn that Jim the dapple grey had 3 years previously worked around the Birmingham canals with the Corporation's Salvage Dept.

674B5DBA-8DE0-411C-A36A-792FF91801ED.jpeg
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Elaine has read other canal threads on BHF as she knew about the horses belonging to one of my grandfathers. She sent me a PM and I replied with the answer she asked for.
Horses had a very long canal association; from their beginning until the working boats virtually ceased. There are still some working boats and some of them and tourist boats are horse powered. Those on the Grand Western in Devon are still horse drawn.
 
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