In the third episode of this six part series, airing on Saturday 14 October at 8.00pm on BBC Two, Mary-Ann Ochota explores the story of the working Narrow Boat, discovering how it helped to power the Industrial Revolution and shaped the lives of those who earned their living from the canals.
These boats are now des-res to thousands around the country, offering an affordable way to own your own home.
They were the HGVs of their day though, transporting all manner of wares across Britain’s ever-growing network of canals. Originally horse-drawn, with competition from railways and roads, they were adapted – first to steam, then diesel power – with varying degrees of success.
Life on board was tough, with anything up to nine people living in a space the size of a garden shed. With rich archive to illustrate, this programme shows how despite the demise of the canals, dedicated enthusiasts have ensured that the boats – and the skills and traditions associated with them – still thrive.
Britain Afloat: The Narrow Boat Episode 3 (of 6) airs Saturday 14 October 2017 from 8.00pm-8.30pm on BBC Two.