Canal Boating through Wiltshire!

I never did complete the tale of my family’s week long vacation did I! If you’re interested the previous 3 postings tell the tale of our London overnight stay, it’s basically a ‘photo dump’ of shots taken by myself, you know sightseeing and different places of interest………….fairly easy reading.

After departing London we then ‘set up camp’ so to speak at my brothers home, he lives in the rural farming County of Wiltshire, the complete antithesis of London, slow paced and peacefully tranquil when you venture into a countryside now golden with ripening corn.

Below photos taken from our Canal barge we hired for the day, notice the ‘tow path’ on the right hand side trodden by horses throughout the centuries centuries and now replaced by diesel power, steam trains locomoting along thousands of miles of track put an end to commercial barge traffic, but at least tourism saved them from being filled in with soil or garbage……………..I saw more Herons in one day than I’ve seen in my lifetime, not forgetting Dragon Flies the size of flying pencils, and SO quiet.

The Canal network of the UK played a vital role in the Industrial Revolution, creating great wealth by moving valuable goods manufactured in the Shires, like cotton pottery and steel…… goods destined for the British Empire and making many a Victorian rich. The UK was the first country to develop a nationwide canal network, expanding to nearly 4,000 miles the length and breadth of England. These Canals allowed raw materials to be transported to a place of manufacture, then finished goods to be transported to consumers more quickly and cheaply than via a land based route.

Roads were being constructed, improved and replacing dirt farm tracks, but they couldn’t easily handle heavy and bulky materials like coal for power stations and steel from Sheffield, or delicate and fragile materials like pottery from Stoke and lace from Nottingham, one horse could pull fifty tons of cargo by barge and I guess created the unit we know today as Horse Power!

Easy peasy to understand, 1 horse drawn Canal barge equates to 1HP!

A. Shepherdson 2021