Sunday, 29 April 2012

Rivers Canals and a Young Lad

I have just finished reading "Rivers Canals and a Young Lad" by Mike Routledge.  
(ASIN: B0053YTW0W) 

Mike was ten years old when he started to help in a local boatyard. He left school aged 15 and started work as mate on a river tug (towing barge) running between Nottingham and Hull. 

A pleasant read about Mike Routledge's early years around the cut and his working life on the rivers and canals. A time before the Health and Safety Taliban highlighted some of the activities that were done without the need for a risk assessment. All done in the days when wooden canal cruisers were the de-facto hire boat. A time when the canals had been allowed to deteriorate and were in a terrible state of repair. Mike brings to life, canal characters of the time and  hire boat incidents both funny and poignant. A little insight into a time when the future of the inland waterways of the United Kingdom was still uncertain. A good read, where nostalgia for the good old days of the 50's, 60's and 70's is evoked.  At the same time, the story seems like a timeless reflection of our society and its lackadaisical attitude towards the canals. 


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