"From the opening of the Bridgewater Canal in 1761, until well into the 19th Century, the canal system in Great Britain grew at a tremendous pace. At it's height, there were over 6,000 miles of navigable rivers and canals...
The story of how this was achieved, of the colourful characters who dug the canals and operated them is here depicted in words and pictures, in all its fascinating detail."
Other than this vintage Ladybird book being one that I do not own, the thing that drew me to it is that where we live in Hertfordshire we have both a canal (Well, the River Lee Navigation to be exact) and a river (Well, the New River to be exact, so actually a man made river - does that make it a canal? ) running through our village.
So, along with being obsessed with the little foxes learning to swim I also find myself really, genuinely interested in canals. In fact I have been suggesting to Mr Fox for at least the last few years that what we really need here at Mrs Fox's Hertfordshire HQ is a beautiful old narrow boat. We could use it as guest quarters when people come to stay. And it would make the shopping trip into Ware so much more picturesque.
This book has not only increased my knowledge and understanding of canals no end, making my dreams of owning a narrowboat all the more vivid. It has also piqued my interest in the stories of the old Bargee families in the village. Apparently there are still traditional Bargee families that settled here once the work on the waterways dried up.
I'm sure that my idealised notion of life on the canals is nothing like the reality. I had similar romantic notions when I was little and was sure I wanted to join the gypsies and live in a caravan. As Little Louis Fox is also smitten with caravans at the moment maybe I can encourage him to join forces with me in petitioning his father for a narrow boat. All I have to do is convince him a narrow boat is a caravan on water. It's nice to have dreams!
This post is part of Ladybird Tuesday started on the Being Mrs C blog, take a look at her posts here.
And the rest of Mrs Fox's Ladybird Tuesday posts are here and if you have a collection of Ladybird books, please do feel free to join in.