James Smart of Chalford, Working Life on the Cotswolds Canals and Linked Waterways, Hugh Conway-Jones

£18.00

Lightmoor Press,  2020

Paperback

Description

This is the story of coal merchant and carrier James Smart of Chalford and his associates in the 1880s and 1890s. Regularly using the Stroudwater and Thames & Severn canals, Smart’s narrowboats also traded up the River Severn to the Midlands and over the Cotswolds to the Thames Valley and Wiltshire, whilst his barges traded down the Severn and around the upper Bristol Channel.

The book is based on over one thousand surviving letters, postcards and telegrams written to James Smart by his employees, his suppliers and his customers, and these have been linked up with related voyages recorded in the tonnage books of the relevant canals. The book gives a wonderful insight into the lives of Victorian barge and boatmen, and shows how James Smart coped with managing his far-flung business in the days before the telephone.

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