Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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MY HOLIDAYS ON
2000 MILES CRUISING BY MOTOR BOAT AND PLEASURE SKIFF ON THE CANALS AND RIVERS OF GREAT BRITAIN
MEMBER OF THE BRITISH MOTOR-BOAT CLUB
WITH SEVENTY-FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS
THERE has been considerable discussion at various times in and out of Parliament as to the development of our inland waterways, and the cry of '' Back to the Canals '' has aroused more than ordinary interest in this country.
My experiences, however, of canal exploration, covering some 2,000 miles by motor boat and pleasure skiff, have been undertaken purely from the pleasure point of view, and the following pages are compiled from the diaries or log books of my cruises without any pretentions to literary merit.
Given favourable weather conditions canal travelling is an ideal pastime. One passes through lovely and constantly varying scenery, with beautiful panoramas unfolding themselves at intervals; and there is always the charm of unfamiliar views.
These waterways are geographically interesting, as they lead through practically unknown country, and are left severely alone by the tourist.
As many of the canals were traversed some years hack, any intending tourists should enquire from the proper authorities, as to the navigations being open and available for boating purposes.
For any further reference I would recommend the following guides: " Bradshaw's Canals," by H. R. de Sailis; '' lnland Cruising,'' by C. Westall; and The Oarsman's Guide," and " Cruising Club Manual," by E. M. Prothero and W. A. Clark. These books will supply much useful information.
I might add that in recent times a small portable motor engine, made adjustable for fixing to row boats, has been introduced, and this mode of propulsion could he utilized for canal travelling to advantage.
Should there he any difficulty in procuring suitable row boats for any such excursion, one should communicate with Salter Bros., Oxford, who specially lay themselves out to provide and despatch craft to any part of the country.
In conclusion, I would say that in travelling through these waterways my motor boat was in a number of instances the pioneer of this class of craft