Waterways Journal

Published annually by the Waterways Museum Society and a useful source of research material.


Contents of Waterways Journal Volume 20Cover of Waterways Journal volume 19

Traffic on the Upper Dee: Terry Kavanagh
Terry Kavanagh has been researching and studying the history and craft of the River Dee for many years. For part of its length, this river forms the boundary between Wales and England. From before medieval times, it was used to transport a wide range of goods between its higher reaches to mills and wharves as far as Chester. With the use of contemporary prints, newspaper report and documents, Terry describes the traffic on the river, the craft used and recent discoveries.

Nationalisation and inland waterways: Joseph Boughey
Joseph Boughey’s essay focuses on some of the motives behind, and implications of, the nationalisation of the inland waterways within the British Transport Commission in the Transport Act of 1947. The background to the changes, the people involved since before the 1914 – 1918 war and their views are discussed. With Joseph bringing this evidence together, we have a new look at the effect that the 1948 legislation has had on the inland waterways that we have today. It makes for fascinating reading.

British Waterways’ early involvement in leisure craft: Cath Turpin
When Sir Reginald Kerr was appointed as General Manager of what became known as British Waterways, the canal system was in great need of attention and commercial carrying was in decline. The inland waterways were losing money and there was a need for other sources of income. This article traces the development of the various ways that British Waterways built up their own pleasure boat business from the mid 1950s. Their early passenger craft, hotel and hospitality boats and hire boats originated as conversions of redundant ex-carrying craft. This experience enabled BW to understand and respond to the needs of private pleasure boat owners and other commercial hire boat companies.

The Development of the Waterways Archive at Ellesmere Port
We often use archives, local history collections and libraries without much thought about where and why collections have been assembled. This short piece traces the history and development of the Canal and River Trust Waterways Archive at Ellesmere Port from British Transport Commission days in 1952.

The Big Lift
By 2017, the condition of many of the wooden boats in the collection at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port was perilous. Many had sunk and their condition was deteriorating; not good for the boats, but also making part of the upper basin look like a boat graveyard. Many of these craft were lifted from the upper basin and taken to secure storage for preservation and conservation in October 2017.


Waterways Journal is available for £7.99 at BMS meetings, the shop at the NWM, and from canalside shops. Mail order price is £9.99 inc. p&p. If you would like to order Waterways Journal, print this order form (opens as a pdf file), fill it in, and send it with your cheque to the address on the form.

Click here to see contents of previous editions of Waterways Journal.

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