Canals: The Making of a Nation


June 28, 2016

3.0 9 x
Liz McIvor explores how the nation's canals were saved following years of postwar neglect, becoming places of tranquillity and popular for boating holidays.
Episodes 2017

January 7, 2016

Expired 3.0 20 x
This is the story of the men who built our canals - the navigators or 'navvies'. They represented an 'army' of hard physical men who were capable of enduring tough labour for long hours. Many roved the countryside looking for work and a better deal. They gained a reputation as troublesome outsiders, fond of drinking and li...
Episodes 2016

February 14, 2016

Expired 3.0 12 x
Liz McIvor tells the story of the early canal builders who struggled with the rugged terrain of England's Pennine hills. Creating a network of canals in this landscape was an uphill challenge - sometimes literally! But connecting the powerhouses of Yorkshire and Lancashire was a great prize at the time of the industrial re...

April 22, 2016

Expired 3.0 7 x
Presenter Liz McIvor tells the story of the people who operated the canal boats, carrying fuel and goods around the country. Conditions were tough, days were long. Victorian society began to grow suspicious of these 'outsiders' and they gained reputations for criminality, violence and drinking. But was this reputation real...

June 13, 2016

Expired 3.0 21 x
Liz McIvor discovers how carving up the landscape in order to build canals helped further our understanding of the earth below. The canal builders struggled with rocks. Without maps or geological surveys, construction often relied on guesswork. The Kennet and Avon had more than its fair share of problems. William Smith, a ...

June 6, 2016

Expired 3.0 26 x
Liz McIvor tells the story of 'canal mania' - a boom period of frenzied activity that helped develop Britain's modern financial economy, now centred in London. The canal capitalists made money by investing and speculating in the new inland waterways used to carry fuel and goods around the country. Many of the investors wer...