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EAST HADDON HISTORY SOCIETY Northamptonshire, England

The Canal Boat People

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Sue Woodward, from Long Buckby Wharf, gave a fascinating talk on the people who lived on and operated canal boats in the past. Hard physical work, sometimes in atrocious weather conditions, was accompanied by very cramped living conditions.

Despite the hardships, these people developed into a close-knit community, developing a lifestyle suited to the canals, with a distinct style of dress, and a particular art style, most often expressed in “canal art”, painted on everyday objects.

Sue illustrated her talk with slides of past and present scenes, and also exhibited items of canal art. She brought with her a collection of the clothes which a canal wife would have worn in days past. And then proceeded to transform herself into a 19th century canal wife by putting on the apron, the shawl and the bonnet!

A very enjoyable evening, provided by an excellent speaker.