Canals were one of the enablers of the "Industrial Revolution." Until superseded by railways, canals carried vast amounts of fuel, food, building materials, raw materials and finished goods to and from manufacturing centres, cities and rural backwaters. Railways robbed them of much of their trade, and they declined rapidly, but ironically many canals have survived, at least as industrial monuments, while railways have vanished.
I'm a canal enthusiast. For me, as they burrow almost unseen through great cities, or meander through idyllic countryside, they offer a mix of industrial archaeology, the open air, recreation and ever-changing interest. Recently I've begun to volunteer for the Waterway Recovery Group, spending a happy, muddy week each July helping to restore the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal in South Wales.
This section of my web site records my experiences as a volunteer. It also includes some canalside walks and cycle rides.