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This film provides a unique insight into the lives and boats of working boat families and of the struggle to keep our waterways open in the middle part of the last century.

The original silent films were made between 1949 and the mid 1950's on 16mm - a professional format, by Ralph Lee, a one-time Chairman of the Midlands Branch of the IWA. They turned up at the end of the 1990's in a photographic jumble sale. Since, it has been shown to a number of surviving early waterway pioneers, and much of the information on the narrative was provided by them. It has also been shown to a group of retired boat men and women, and their recorded reactions while watching it provide part of the current sound track. They have also been able to name many of the working boat people and British Waterways staff shown, and indeed many of them were on the film themselves.

One of the films is a record of an IWA pilgrimage from the West Midlands to the Coronation in 1953, via Braunston and the Grand Union. It includes footage of Robert Aickman, a co-founder of the IWA, steering the lead boat into town.

DVD Info

Region: 2
Running Time: 110 minutes

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