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Canals in the Heart of England


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Canals in the Heart of England

Over the past few decade, the Canals in Britain have undergone a significant transformation. They have gone from being abandoned, vandalised, and underused waterways to becoming a valuable national asset. This remarkable turnaround is largely due to the efforts of British Waterways and forward-thinking local authorities.

British Waterways managed over 2000 miles of waterway and the Heart of England network has been an excellent source of inspiration for this photographic essay. The essay showcases several of the canals that run through the Heart of England, highlighting the people and boats that belong to both urban and rural canal environments.

The traditional design and architecture of the canal are set against the dramatic backdrop of Gas Street Basin and the International Convention Centre and the National Indoor Arena, as well as Brindleyplace. The Birmingham and Fazeley Canal begin at the junction by the NIA and travel under Spaghetti Junction via Kingsbury to Fradley near Lichfield.

The Birmingham and Worcester Canal begins at Gas Street Basin and includes the famous Tardebigge flight. The Stratford-upon-Avon Canal runs from Bancroft Gardens in the centre of town via Kingsbury Junction at Lapworth, where the Grand Union Canal begins, and includes three famous aqueducts. Knowle locks and Hatton have also provided wonderful locations on the Grand Union. The book features a Russell Newbery Rally at the Black Country Museum on the Birmingham Canal Navigation and finally, the Coventry Canal section, which starts from the city centre basin and runs to Hawkesbury Junction.

Along the way, the author meets and photographs boaters, British Waterways personnel, skilled craftsmen and women who are carrying on the great traditions of Canal crafts, and all of whom share a common interest in the regeneration of the Canals in the Heart of England.

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Alan Tyers



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