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hepzibah
09-12-2009, 5:53 PM
can anyone tell me the probability of navigators who worked on building the canals, becoming railwaymen, when the railways took over? i have a particular interest in the avon and kennet canal ( clutching at straws??) does anyone have any knowledge of the canal between wootton bassett, wiltshire and just to the south west of faringdon oxfordshire/berkshire ( the county boundary changes through time)

Marie C..
09-12-2009, 6:11 PM
Well I would think it was possible.
If you want to know about railway navvies there is a pb book entitled The Railway Navvies by Terry Coleman which is a wealth of info.
The canal in which you are interested was the subject of a TV programme some time back.
Marie

AnnB
09-12-2009, 6:28 PM
There is a web site for the Wilts and Berks Canal (just put the phrase into a search engine) which runs through Wootton Bassett, the site looks very informative. There is also a site for the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust (again a search engine will find it.)

Best wishes
Ann

hepzibah
10-12-2009, 10:22 AM
thank you for your replies; will check out that website and book.

Alan Welsford
18-12-2009, 7:20 PM
can anyone tell me the probability of navigators who worked on building the canals, becoming railwaymen, when the railways took over? i have a particular interest in the avon and kennet canal ( clutching at straws??) does anyone have any knowledge of the canal between wootton bassett, wiltshire and just to the south west of faringdon oxfordshire/berkshire ( the county boundary changes through time)

In thinking about the "navvies" question, you need to consider the dates on which canals and railways were being built.

Although canal construction continued for many years, it was starting to ramp down in the early 19th century in many areas, but there was then often a "golden age" of the canals before the railways arrived and started to compete.

For example where I live in Hertfordshire, most of the Grand Junction canal was completed around the 1800 time-frame, but the London & Birmingham Railway did not open until the late 1830s.

So, although not universally true everywhere, anybody who worked as a young man on canal construction was likely to be fairly old before there was a requirement to do the same for railways.

Navvys, however, were a very mobile bunch, which might have permitted some involved in late canal construction to have also worked on early railways, but I would not expect there to be huge numbers of these.

If trying to find out about the canal mentioned, you need to be searching for "Kennet and Avon", rather than "Avon and Kennet" I think.

Even Wikipedia will give reasonable info...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennet_and_Avon_Canal

The canal part was fully constructed by 1810, it seems.