Mike Clarke's Publications

The Leeds & Liverpool Canal, a history and guide was researched and written by Mike. Published in 1990, it was short-listed for the Portico Prize and is regarded as the definitive history of the canal.

Amongst the other books he has written are several about canals in northern England. All publications are fully researched, and designed so that the interested lay-person can easily understand technical, economic and historical detail.

Full DTP facilities are available, and books and leaflets can be taken from the research stage through to publication. Technical translation from German is also possible.

Mike translated Canal Lifts and Inclines of the World from German, editing and enlarging the text, and finally typesetting the text and illustrations, ready for publication.

Mike has designed the layout of many books on Lancashire history as well as Waterways Journal, the annual periodical on canal history published by The Boat Museum Society. Boat Museum Society Waterways Journal Page where there is a link to an order form.

Research has been undertaken to order, such as the history of Padiham Power Station, compiled for National Power to commemorate the station's closure in 1993, bringing to an end one hundred years of electric power generation in East Lancashire. Here you can see a chronology produced for the booklet.

Other publications completed include Railway on the Water; and The Aire & Calder Navigation in the Images of Britain Series; numerous papers have also been published, including those on Liverpool's Dock Engineers, in particular Thomas Steers who was the first to hold this position. A recent paper looked at John Rennie's involvement with the design of the Rochdale Canal for the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Articles on the origin of the canal narrow boat, the Douglas Navigation, the general cargo fleet on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, the day-to-day operation of the Rochdale Canal, and on the transfer of technology between Britain and Prussia around the start of the nineteenth century have also been published.

Other Leeds & Liverpool Canal history books are Liverpool and its Canal which includes details of the new canal across Pier Head in Liverpool, and a book on the boat-painting traditions of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Brightwork, the name given to the tradition by boat yard workers.


The Leeds & Liverpool Canal, a History and Guide, Carnegie, 1990, ISBN 0 948789 40 9

Liverpool and Its Canal, Merseyside Portfolios, 1992, ISBN 0-9516129-3-X (with Allison Hewitt)

Around and About the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Milepost Research, 1992, ISBN 0-95192-360-9

Railway on the Water, Sobriety Project, 1993, ISBN 0-9522592-0-6 (Editor)

Padiham Power Station, commemorative book at its closure, National Power, 1993

The Aire & Calder Navigation (Images of England), Tempus, 1999, ISBN 07524 1715 0

Canal Lifts and Inclines of the World, Internat, 2002, ISBN 0-9543181-1-0 (Translator and editor)

Liverpool and Its Canal, Landmark, 2007, ISBN 978-1-84306-336-0 (enlarged edition)

Brightwork, Traditional Paintwork on Leeds & Liverpool Canal Boats, Milepost Research, 2009, ISBN 0-9519236-2-5

The Leeds & Liverpool Canal: Its History and Heritage, Milepost Research, 2012, ISBN 0-9519236-3-3



Daniel Adamson, Ships Monthly, 1976

The Origins of the Narrow Boat, Canal & River Boat, December 1982, pp 30-32

Sailing Barges on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Journal of the  Liverpool Nautical Research Society, 1988

English Canals - Yesterday and Today, Rzeki, 1996, Vol 5, ISSN 1230-2562

The Klodnice Canal Inclines, Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society, Vol 32 part 7, March 1998

British Canal History in Perspective, Waterways Journal, Vol 1, 1998, ISSN 1466-3732

Canal Boat Building in Blackburn, Aspects of Blackburn, 1999, ISBN 1-871647-56-8

Paddling About in Canal History, Waterways World, 1999

Meander Neck 'Canals' and the Early Improvement of Navigable Waterways; Transatlantic Case Studies, 1999, published in America, (with Philip Lord, Jr.)

Wooden Barge-building and the Origins of the Narrow Boat, Waterways Journal, Vol 3, 2000, ISSN 1466-3732

Canal Workers and Boatmen Around Accrington, Aspects of Accrington, 2000, ISBN 1-871647-65-7

European Canals, section for Encyclopedia Britannica, author, 2002.

Wartime Waterways, Waterways Journal, Vol 5, 2002, ISSN 1466-3732

Untertägige Kanäle in britischen Bergwerken, Der Anschnitt, 2-4 2002, ISSN 0003-5238

The Early Years of the Douglas Navigation, Waterways Journal, Vol 6, 2003, ISSN 1466-3732

The Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Narrowboat, Winter 2006

The Rochdale Canal and Its Carrying Department, Waterways Journal, Vol 10, 2007, ISSN 1466-3732

Hodson's of Whitebirk, Waterways Journal, Vol 12, 2009

The Leeds & Liverpool Canal Company Fleet, Narrowboat, Spring 2009

The Father of Britain's Canals? Narrowboat, Summer 2009

Ice-breaking on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Narrowboat, Winter 2009

Waterways between East and West Europe; a History to 1930, Waterways Journal, Vol 13, 2010, ISSN 1466-3732

John Rennie and the Rochdale Canal, Engineering History and Heritage, Vol 164 EH3, 2011

The Bridgewater Canal, Narrowboat, Summer 2011

The Draper Family of Buscough and Foulridge, Waterways Journal, Vol 14, 2012, ISSN 1466-3732 (with T J Peters)

The Rochdale Canal, Narrowboat, Autumn 2012


Conference Papers

The Dock Engineers and the Development of the Port of Liverpool, (with Nancy Richie-Noakes) Liverpool Shipping, Trade and Industry: Essays on the Maritime History of Merseyside, ed. Valerie Burton, NMGM, 1989, ISBN 0-990367-34-4

Thomas Steers, Dock Engineers and Dock Engineering, papers presented at a research day school, Merseyside Maritime Museum, 13 February, 1993

British Canals - Yesterday and Today, 18th Baltic Conference on the History of Science, Riga, 1996

British Canal History: a European perspective, 1st Waterways History Conference, 11 October 1997.

Recording and Interpreting: some thought on writing history, 3rd Waterways History Conference, 9 October 1999

Conserving Canal Heritage, Preservation of the Engineering Heritage - Gdansk Outlook 2000, ISBN 83-911909-4-3

The First Steam Locomotives on the Mainland of Europe, 1st Early Railway Conference, 2000

Identifying and conserving important historic inland waterway boats, Inland Waterway Craft - preservation and use, 20th April 2002, Ellesmere Port

Cast Iron Swing Bridges, Heritage of Technology - Gdansk Outlook 4, 2005, ISBN 83-88579-26-6

Canal Conservation and Interpretation in North-West England, Zabrze, 2005

The Benefits of Canal Heritage, Heritage First Seminar, British Waterways, Birmingham, 2005

Waterways between East and West Europe; a History to 1930, World Canals Conference, Serbia, 2009

Environmental Problems on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, TICCIH Conference, Freiberg, 2010

The Historical Character of English Canals and Its Conservation, Historic Waterways Symposium, Alphen aan de Rijn, December 2010


Services page

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

last revised: 22 March 2014