Opened on 17 July 1761, the canal has a special place in history as the first to be built in Britain without following an existing watercourse, and so became a model for those that followed. Affectionately known as the `Duke's Cut', the Bridgewater Canal revolutionised transport in this country and marked the beginning of the golden canal age, which lasted from 1760 to 1830.
However, as the rail network surpassed the canals as a method of transporting goods, the canal fell into disuse and in 1963, just before the great canal revival, the impressive Runcorn locks were filled in. We may still see them again as there are new plans to restore the locks, but the canal remains popular with walkers and pleasure boaters. In this new book, authors Jean and John Bradburn take the reader on a fascinating journey, and show just how the Bridgewater Canal has changed and developed through time.
Having been born in North Manchester, Jean has managed the local history collection in Widnes library for many years. She has also created the image website for Halton (www.picturehalton.gov.uk) and has published a number of heritage walk leaflets for Halton Library Service. She is now an adult tutor, offering courses in family history. John has numerous production credits in theatre, TV & film (BBC & Granada). He has worked mainly for the last decade in portrait, film and artscape photography.