A safe route from London to Bristol was long a dream of traders and ship owners. With a hazardous route via the English Channel an inland alternative was first proposed in 1788. After a couple of false starts construction began in 1794. Fourteen years later the Kennet & Avon Canal was opened, with the last section to open being the spectacular series of locks at Devizes. Attempts to close the canal in the 1940s were unsuccessful and the 1950s saw the formation of what was to become the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust. Over a long period, members of the trust, with support from British Waterways, rebuilt the neglected waterway and it was officially re-opened by HM the Queen in 1990. One of the most spectacular of England's waterways, the Kennet & Avon has become the biggest success story of canal restoration. Illustrated with over 200 images, The Kennet & Avon Canal From Old Photographs is a must for canal enthusiasts and for those lucky enough to live along the route of England's most picturesque canal.
Clive Hackford was born in Devon and his keen interest in local history and heritage was inspired by his childhood in the countryside. After taking early retirement from a career at the Ministry of Defence and Arms Control in 1994 he became a volunteer curator of the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust Museum, a post he held for ten years. He is now retired from the Trust and currently enjoys travels on his boat and pursuing his heritage interests. His close proximity to the canal and involvement with the Trust has afforded him access to a rich archive of documents and photographs as well as a wealth of practical knowledge and insight into the waterway's history. Clive lives in Salisbury, Wiltshire.