|Duke & Duchess
Cruising Co. Ltd
9 Lyndale Close
Coventry CV5 8AE
|telephone (from UK);
+44 7711 836441
|A canal is a man-made waterway - a highway to carry boats rather than lorries and cars. Most canals were built during the period of 'canal mania' between 1760 and 1830 to enable boats, drawn by horses, to carry goods. In those days the alternatives were packhorses or horse-drawn wagons jolting over rough roads. A single horse could move barely 2 tons on a road but could pull a boat laden with 50 tons or more. Thus, transport by water made possible the Industrial Revolution.|
however, suffered serious competition from the railways.
Although there was a revival in the early 20th century,
canal traffic declined. The internal combustion engine,
fitted to boats to replace horses from the beginning of
this century, provided some respite, but nationalisation
in 1948 and the 'big freeze' in 1963 effectively killed
off trade on most of the canals.
Today, the canals are primarily used for pleasure boating.
|Travelling on a
canal you will find a reed fringed lane of water
curving along the contour of a
hillside, flanked by a grassy towpath and bushy boundary
hedge and spanned by humped bridges of mellow brick or
stone. Locks with massive wooden gates and sheer brick
sides raise or lower the canal. Black tunnels pierce the
high ground and cuttings, embankments and lofty aquaducts
overcome other obstacles. You will find drawbridges,
elegant eighteenth century buildings and junctions with
other mysterious canals, each as enticing as the first.
Our canal network is extensive - about 2000 miles of navigable waterways. The midlands canals are generally 'narrow' canals able to take boats (narrowboats) 70 feet long by 7 feet wide, whilst much of the rest is wider - 'broad' waterways with locks able to accommodate two narrowboats side by side.