An interesting narrative, an opportunity to learn, a surprising twist, nostalgia for England in the 50’s, beautiful images, evocative music… we spent an hour last night watching The Golden Age of Canals over on BBC i-player. Amateur archive footage shows the heyday of the canals that were a key element in the transport infrastructure of the industrial revolution, their decline, a battle to restore and their reuse for leisure cruising.
My parents had a huge interest in the restoration of the Wey and Arun Canal (see here X) that runs through Surrey and Sussex but we never realised this was part of much wider movement to re-open the canal network that was nearly thwarted by government policy and action. The story of volunteers in northern England hacking away, successfully, at the Victorian locks that had been filled with reinforced concrete just a few years before is inspiring in a rather bonkers British way!
The resurgence of interest in folk art in the 50’s and early 60’s is explored too which, as regular readers will know, is a big influence on certain aspects of our work at TheBigForest.
The Golden Age of Canals is a fascinating story told by folks who have a real passion for the topic. The images are screen grabs and the copyright isn’t ours but belongs to the film makers. We suggest you rush over and look at the programme (see here X).
And the music by Penguin Cafe (formerly The Penguin Cafe Orchestra) is worth exploring too (see here X).