Canals in Camera
by John Gagg
There is a part of me that always wants to be back in the days of my childhood, a time when everything seemed stable and unchanging. I particularly hanker to return to the canals of my childhood - all those long weedy channels and overgrown towpaths.
I received a double dose of nostalgia this week, starting with a meeting of the BCN society where the speaker didn't show up so we were treated to an impromptu slideshow of events in the late 1960's. This blast of childhood memories was chased down with John Gagg's Canals in Camera.
Dating this book was easy, with its price displayed as 50s and a "decimal price" of £2.50. This places it at 1969 / 70 and John's collection of black and white images are all from this period.
Its an eclectic mix of images from around the network grouped into contrasting subjects :
Locks, Lock Gates, Paddle Gear, Balance Beams, Bridges, Boats, Junctions, Tunnels etc.
The commentary isn't great but the narrative surrounding each plate if informative and it is fun identifying the subject matter. Many remain largely unchanged but some of the city-scapes are virtually unrecognisable.
All in all its a fascinating "dip in" book, full of timeless black and white gems.