‘The Cromford Canal’

Mid-winter seems as good a time as any to re-arrange my proverbial bookshelves on the blog.

I’m going to look again at the canal-related titles listed in the Books In Brief tab at the top of the page. I’m then planning to do what I’ve promised myself I’d do, which is to put down on paper my brief (I promise!) reaction/response to each book.

Books In Brief will go something like this:

Potter, H. (2003) The Cromford Canal Tempus Publishing ISBN 0 7524 2802 0

The Cromford Canal (it’s top section at Cromford now part of the UNESCO Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site) holds a special place in my affections, not only was it my local canal when I was growing up in Matlock, but it was also where I ran countless cross-country races when at school; where I train-spotted on the Matlock-Derby line; where I got utterly spooked one night telling ghosts stories as the mist swirled from the canal; and where, most recently, I’ve uncovered information that I believe shows that my great, great grandfather lived at Cromford Wharf, and worked on the canal…

‘The Cromford Canal’ is a comprehensive and fascinating book,  first published in 2003, by Hugh Potter. A visual delight, it’s packed with pictures each one carrying a detailed caption. The book is well written and scrupulously well-researched, as I suppose should be expected from the Archivist of the Friends of Cromford Canal.

The book takes the form of a journey along the route of the canal from Cromford to Langley Mill over seven detailed chapters, and in addition includes further chapters on the Leawood Arm, the Pinxton Branch and on the more recent history of the canal including closure, the rise and fall of the Cromford Canal Society and the formation of the Friends of Cromford Canal.

The book very successfully achieves that delicate balancing act of providing both sufficient information for the enthusiast and, importantly, a highly readable introduction to the history of this gem of our industrial heritage.


One comment
  1. Capt Ahab

    I didnt know that Hugh Potter was the canal archivist – you learn something new every day. I am very fond of the Cromford – even the missing bits.

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