Writing and editing guides to the waterways of the England for the British Waterways Board provided the authority for Paul’s comprehensive introduction to the development of the canal system, and exploration of the vital role canals played in the industrial growth of England’s northwest.
Overtaken, in their commercial value, initially by the advent of the train, and then by road transport, canals and waterways now have greater volumes of traffic than years ago. The only difference is that the traffic for recreation, and not commerce.
Thinking that the speed of movement of goods was the major impediment to the long lasting success of canals, I learned from Paul’s talk – pretty obvious if I’d the intelligence to think about it – that speed wasn’t the impediment in cases where a continual flow of raw materials is required. Speed doesn’t matter where a steady supply is needed. I did get the chance to speak to Paul after his talk,