For five years, from 1971-76, I lived on and restored a wooden Leeds & Liverpool Canal boat, the Pluto. There is more about the canal on my Leeds & Liverpool Canal pages. As a result of writing a history of Tom Puddings, the coal-carrying container boats once used on the Aire & Calder Navigation, I was Chairman of the South Dock Compartment Boat Hoist Co. Ltd. (A Charity) which helped conserve the unique hydraulically-operated. I also founded the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society.


Pluto and Mendip, with Charlie Atkins, at Preston Brook around 1975.


Some of Mike Clarke's canal history articles and archive sources


British Canals

The origin of the narrow boat.

A brief history of English canals.

The history of commercial carrying on English canals.

A technical aspect of waterway history is covered in this article on gate paddles.

Some aspects of canal operation in times of war are described in boatmen in wartime.

The Bowes Report of 1956 into the condition of Britain's canals.

A biography of one of the most important English canal engineers, Thomas Steers.

Dating from the eighteenth century and nineteenth century are several pieces of poetry which related to canals. A few examples of such canal related poetry can be found here.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, near Llangollen.

Barcroft's Semi-Immersed Propellor.


Canal Engineering

As part of the research during translation of Hans Uhlemann's book on Canal Lifts and Inclines of the World, I looked at British Boatlifts after Anderton.

The development of the canal lock in Europe.

The early development of the canal lock around the world.


European Canals

Working life on the Finow Canal, a translation of a contemporary article about life on board a German canal boat early in the 20th century.

The eighteenth century boatlifts at Halsbruecke, near Freiberg in eastern Germany.

An early canal with two inclines in Upper Silesia known as the Gliwice Canal.

The Canal du Midi.

The canals on the main Solovki Island in northern Russia.

Waterways between East and West Europe.



Some waterway links with India.

China's Grand Canal.



The Rideau Canal in Canada.



Video of motor and sailing barges on the Aire & Calder Navigation and near Berlin.


Some more canal images.


I also help produce Waterways Journal, an annual 72 page book produced for The Boat Museum Society. Each issue has four well-illustrated articles on canal history, of which I have written several over the ten years it has been produced. Copies at £6.50 each can be obtained from:

Boat Museum Society Waterways Journal Page where there is a link to an order form.


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Home page

Other canal-related pages can be found at:

Boat Museum Society

George's: Canal boating in the U.K. and Europe

British Waterways Home Page

Canal Junction.

The Waterways Trust.

The Waterways Archive.

Mike Stevens' Historical Canal Maps.

London Canal Museum.

Railway &: Canal Historical Society.


Mike Clarke
Milepost Research
8 Green Bank
BB18 6HX
tel: +44 (0)1282 850430
Email: Image13.jpg

last revised: 22 March 2014