Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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Selected Books

If you are interested in buying some books about the waterways, whether one or two books for the corner of your bookshelf or a more ambitious extension to your waterways library, I hope to be able to give you one or two pointers to find your way through the hundreds of titles that are listed on these book pages in Title and Author order. The first step is to establish the type of book in which you are interested so this page is divided into the following categories of books:-

The Waterways Today

  • Inland Waterways of Great Britain by Jane Cumberlidge, ISBN: 0 85288 355 2, 309 pages, Published by Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson, in 1998, A rewrite of the classic "Edwards" Navigation reference book.. Order now from Amazon.

    If you want a good general reference book covering all the waterways then I suggest:-

  • Inland Waterways of Great Britain by Jane Cumberlidge, ISBN: 0 85288 355 2, 309 pages, Published by Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson, in 1998, A rewrite of the classic "Edwards" Navigation reference book.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Exploring Britain's Canals by Paul Atterbury, ISBN: 0 00 218534 2, 192 pages, Published by HarperCollins, in 1994, A description of 10 waterways and a general gazetter, well illustrated with colour photographs by Ian Burgum.. Order now from Amazon.

    For an introduction to canals in a book that is a good balance of excellent photographs and well written text see:-

  • Exploring Britain's Canals by Paul Atterbury, ISBN: 0 00 218534 2, 192 pages, Published by HarperCollins, in 1994, A description of 10 waterways and a general gazetter, well illustrated with colour photographs by Ian Burgum.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Canal and River Cruising - The IWA Manual by Sheila Davenport, ISBN: 0 906754 49 6, 48 pages, Published by Fernhurst Books, in 1990, An illustrated introduction to inland boating.. Order now from Amazon.

    For a basic introduction to the waterways and inland boating this Inland Waterways Association publication fits the bill:-

  • Canal and River Cruising - The IWA Manual by Sheila Davenport, ISBN: 0 906754 49 6, 48 pages, Published by Fernhurst Books, in 1990, An illustrated introduction to inland boating.. Order now from Amazon.

    Waterways Early History

  • Hadfield's British Canals by Charles Hadfield and Joseph Boughey, Edition: Eigth Edition, ISBN: 0 7509 0017 2, 345 pages, Published by Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd, in 1994, A new title for the 8th edition of "British Canals" originally written in 1950 by Charles Hadfield now extensively revised by Joseph Boughey.. Order now from Amazon.

    We must start with the classic canal history text book, now in an updated version:-

  • Hadfield's British Canals by Charles Hadfield and Joseph Boughey, Edition: Eigth Edition, ISBN: 0 7509 0017 2, 345 pages, Published by Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd, in 1994, A new title for the 8th edition of "British Canals" originally written in 1950 by Charles Hadfield now extensively revised by Joseph Boughey.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Canal Mania by Anthony Burton, ISBN: 1 85410 240 0, 240 pages, Published by Aurum Press Ltd, in 1993, Produced to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the Great Canal Mania of 1793. Very well illustrated with archive and contemporary material.. Order now from Amazon.
  • The Illustrated History of Canal and River Navigations by Edward W Paget-Tomlinson, Edition: 1st edition, ISBN: 1 85075 276 1, 415 pages, Published by Sheffield Academic Press, in 1993, A complete revision of "The Complete Book of Canal & River Navigations". Order now from Amazon.
  • The Illustrated History of Canal and River Navigations by Edward W Paget-Tomlinson, Edition: Softback, ISBN: 18507 5277 X, 415 pages, Published by Sheffield Academic Press, in 1993, Order now from Amazon.

    For a general history in a larger format that has more photographs and illustrations we have:-

  • Canal Mania by Anthony Burton, ISBN: 1 85410 240 0, 240 pages, Published by Aurum Press Ltd, in 1993, Produced to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the Great Canal Mania of 1793. Very well illustrated with archive and contemporary material.. Order now from Amazon.
  • The Illustrated History of Canal and River Navigations by Edward W Paget-Tomlinson, Edition: 1st edition, ISBN: 1 85075 276 1, 415 pages, Published by Sheffield Academic Press, in 1993, A complete revision of "The Complete Book of Canal & River Navigations". Order now from Amazon.
  • The Illustrated History of Canal and River Navigations by Edward W Paget-Tomlinson, Edition: Softback, ISBN: 18507 5277 X, 415 pages, Published by Sheffield Academic Press, in 1993, Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of Eastern England by John Boyes and Ronald Russell, ISBN: 0 7153 7415 X, 368 pages, Published by David & Charles, in 1977, Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of the West Midlands (2nd Ed) by Charles Hadfield, 352 pages, Published by Augustus M Kelley, in 1969,
  • The Canals of the East Midlands by Charles Hadfield, Edition: 3rd impression, ISBN: 0-7153-4871-X, 294 pages, Published by David & Charles, in 1981, (including part of London). Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of Yorkshire and North East England (1) by Charles Hadfield, Edition: Volume 1, ISBN: 0 7153 5719 0, 254 pages, Published by David & Charles, in 1972, Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of Yorkshire and North East England (2) by Charles Hadfield, Edition: volume 2, ISBN: 0 7153 5975 4, 252 pages, Published by David & Charles, in 1973, Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of South West England by Charles Hadfield, ISBN: 0 7153 4176 6, 206 pages, Published by David & Charles, in 1967, Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of North West England (1) by Charles Hadfield and Gordon Biddle, ISBN: 07153 49562, 236 pages, Published by David & Charles, Volume 1. . Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of North West England (2) by Charles Hadfield and Gordon Biddle, ISBN: 07153 49929, 260 pages, Published by David & Charles, Volume 2.. Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of South and South East England by Charles Hadfield, ISBN: 0 7153 4693 8, 393 pages, Published by David & Charles, in 1969, Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of Scotland by Jean Lindsay, Edition: 1st edition, ISBN: 7153 4240 1, 238 pages, Published by David & Charles, in 1968, Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of the North of Ireland by W A McCutcheon, ISBN: 07153 4028 X, Published by David & Charles, Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of the South of Ireland by V T H Delany and D R Delany, ISBN: 0 7153 4008 5, Published by David & Charles, Order now from Amazon.

    More detailed canal and river navigation history can be found in Charles Hadfield's Canals of the British Isles series:-

  • The Canals of Eastern England by John Boyes and Ronald Russell, ISBN: 0 7153 7415 X, 368 pages, Published by David & Charles, in 1977, Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of the West Midlands (2nd Ed) by Charles Hadfield, 352 pages, Published by Augustus M Kelley, in 1969,
  • The Canals of the East Midlands by Charles Hadfield, Edition: 3rd impression, ISBN: 0-7153-4871-X, 294 pages, Published by David & Charles, in 1981, (including part of London). Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of Yorkshire and North East England (1) by Charles Hadfield, Edition: Volume 1, ISBN: 0 7153 5719 0, 254 pages, Published by David & Charles, in 1972, Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of Yorkshire and North East England (2) by Charles Hadfield, Edition: volume 2, ISBN: 0 7153 5975 4, 252 pages, Published by David & Charles, in 1973, Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of South West England by Charles Hadfield, ISBN: 0 7153 4176 6, 206 pages, Published by David & Charles, in 1967, Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of North West England (1) by Charles Hadfield and Gordon Biddle, ISBN: 07153 49562, 236 pages, Published by David & Charles, Volume 1. . Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of North West England (2) by Charles Hadfield and Gordon Biddle, ISBN: 07153 49929, 260 pages, Published by David & Charles, Volume 2.. Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of South and South East England by Charles Hadfield, ISBN: 0 7153 4693 8, 393 pages, Published by David & Charles, in 1969, Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of Scotland by Jean Lindsay, Edition: 1st edition, ISBN: 7153 4240 1, 238 pages, Published by David & Charles, in 1968, Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of the North of Ireland by W A McCutcheon, ISBN: 07153 4028 X, Published by David & Charles, Order now from Amazon.
  • The Canals of the South of Ireland by V T H Delany and D R Delany, ISBN: 0 7153 4008 5, Published by David & Charles, Order now from Amazon.

    The Waterways Revival

  • Narrow Boat by L T C Rolt, Edition: Hardback, ISBN: 18401 5064 5, 212 pages, Published by Sutton Publishing, in 1998, Written in 1940, This classic book which led directly to the founding of the Inland Waterways Association, and the revival of interest in canals, was completed "a few weeks" after the Cressy arrived at Hungerford in March 1940. It was rejected by numerous publishers and was kept under the bed on Cressy for over 3 years before publication was agreed. With photographs by Angela Rolt.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Narrow Boat by L T C Rolt, ISBN: 0 7509 0806 8, 216 pages, Published by Sutton Publishing, in 1994, Softback edition of this classic work. Order now from Amazon.

    The book that started the awakening of interest in the waterways was undoubtably Narrow Boat written in 1944 and never out of print since. Currently available in both hard and softback versions:-

  • Narrow Boat by L T C Rolt, Edition: Hardback, ISBN: 18401 5064 5, 212 pages, Published by Sutton Publishing, in 1998, Written in 1940, This classic book which led directly to the founding of the Inland Waterways Association, and the revival of interest in canals, was completed "a few weeks" after the Cressy arrived at Hungerford in March 1940. It was rejected by numerous publishers and was kept under the bed on Cressy for over 3 years before publication was agreed. With photographs by Angela Rolt.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Narrow Boat by L T C Rolt, ISBN: 0 7509 0806 8, 216 pages, Published by Sutton Publishing, in 1994, Softback edition of this classic work. Order now from Amazon.
  • Race Against Time by David Bolton, ISBN: 0 413 63470 1, 270 pages, Published by Methuen London Ltd, in 1990, Sub-titled "How Britain's Waterways were saved" this book tells the story of the Inland Waterways Association from its founding to the re-opening of the Stratford Canal in 1964.. Order now from Amazon.

    A book that looks at the whole story of the fight to save the waterways is:-

  • Race Against Time by David Bolton, ISBN: 0 413 63470 1, 270 pages, Published by Methuen London Ltd, in 1990, Sub-titled "How Britain's Waterways were saved" this book tells the story of the Inland Waterways Association from its founding to the re-opening of the Stratford Canal in 1964.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Canals Revived by Roger W Squires, ISBN: 0 239 00191 5, 185 pages, Published by Moonraker Press, in 1979, Photographs and maps.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Waterways Restored by P J G Ransom, ISBN: 0 571 10434 7, 179 pages, Published by Faber & Faber Ltd., in 1974, 16 plates and 10 maps.. Order now from Amazon.

    Books dealing with waterways restoration are:-

  • Canals Revived by Roger W Squires, ISBN: 0 239 00191 5, 185 pages, Published by Moonraker Press, in 1979, Photographs and maps.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Waterways Restored by P J G Ransom, ISBN: 0 571 10434 7, 179 pages, Published by Faber & Faber Ltd., in 1974, 16 plates and 10 maps.. Order now from Amazon.

    Life on the Waterways

  • The Amateur Boatwomen by E Gayford, ISBN: 0 947712 31 3, 162 pages, Published by M & M Baldwin, in 1996, Written in 1973, Order now from Amazon.
  • Idle Women by Susan Woolfitt, Edition: Paperback edition, ISBN: 0 947712 28 3, 223 pages, Published by M & M Baldwin, in 1995, Written in 1947, Illustrated account of the work of "trainee" boatwomen during the Second World War.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Maidens' Trip by Emma Smith, Edition: 1987 Paperback reprint, ISBN: 0 947712 05 4, 208 pages, Published by M & M Baldwin, in 1993, Written in 1948, A novel based on author's experiences as a trainee boat woman during the second world war.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Troubled Waters - Memoirs of a Canal Boatwoman by Margaret Cornish, ISBN: 0-7090-2955-1, Published by Trent, in 1987, Written in 1987, Covers the author's life as a trainee boatwoman during the Second World War.. Order now from Amazon.

    One of the earliest sources of books based upon the authors' experiences of working on canals was from the pens of the women trainees who worked on the Grand Union Canal during the Second World War:-

  • The Amateur Boatwomen by E Gayford, ISBN: 0 947712 31 3, 162 pages, Published by M & M Baldwin, in 1996, Written in 1973, Order now from Amazon.
  • Idle Women by Susan Woolfitt, Edition: Paperback edition, ISBN: 0 947712 28 3, 223 pages, Published by M & M Baldwin, in 1995, Written in 1947, Illustrated account of the work of "trainee" boatwomen during the Second World War.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Maidens' Trip by Emma Smith, Edition: 1987 Paperback reprint, ISBN: 0 947712 05 4, 208 pages, Published by M & M Baldwin, in 1993, Written in 1948, A novel based on author's experiences as a trainee boat woman during the second world war.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Troubled Waters - Memoirs of a Canal Boatwoman by Margaret Cornish, ISBN: 0-7090-2955-1, Published by Trent, in 1987, Written in 1987, Covers the author's life as a trainee boatwoman during the Second World War.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Anderton for Orders by Tom Foxon, Edition: Revised, ISBN: 0 947712 33 X, 158 pages, Published by M & M Baldwin, in 1997, Written in 1988, Memoirs of a canal boatman in the early 1950s.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Bread upon the Waters by David Blagrove, Edition: Paperback edition, ISBN: 0 947712 27 5, 224 pages, Published by M & M Baldwin, in 1995, Written in 1984, Describes the author's experiences of working on the waterways in the 1960s, from a trip boat on the River Kennet at Reading to a pair of working boats in the Willow Wren fleet.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Hold on a Minute by Tim Wilkinson, ISBN: 0 947712 39 9, 188 pages, Published by M & M Baldwin, in 2001, Written in 1965, Paperback version of this 1965 account of working a pair of narrowboats.. Order now from Amazon.

    After the war other people tried their hands at making a living from the waterways:-

  • Anderton for Orders by Tom Foxon, Edition: Revised, ISBN: 0 947712 33 X, 158 pages, Published by M & M Baldwin, in 1997, Written in 1988, Memoirs of a canal boatman in the early 1950s.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Bread upon the Waters by David Blagrove, Edition: Paperback edition, ISBN: 0 947712 27 5, 224 pages, Published by M & M Baldwin, in 1995, Written in 1984, Describes the author's experiences of working on the waterways in the 1960s, from a trip boat on the River Kennet at Reading to a pair of working boats in the Willow Wren fleet.. Order now from Amazon.
  • Hold on a Minute by Tim Wilkinson, ISBN: 0 947712 39 9, 188 pages, Published by M & M Baldwin, in 2001, Written in 1965, Paperback version of this 1965 account of working a pair of narrowboats.. Order now from Amazon.

    Individual Waterways

    If you need information about a particular waterway you will find the books (if any) for each river or canal listed on the entry for the waterway. To get to the waterway entry click on the river or canal on the Waterways Map or on the Waterways List

     

    Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
    Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
    Home Introduction Waterways List Waterways Map Links Books DVD Articles Photo Gallery
    Features Contact me Glossary Boats Events List History Local Waterways Help Photo List