Cut culture

250 years of canals, roughly

In 1759 the Duke of Bridgewater paid the engineer James Brindley to pay hundreds of navvies to dig a canal linking Manchester with the Duke's coal mine in Worsley to stoke the Industrial Revolution and make lots and lots of money, which he did.

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The done thing: a good boater's guide

On the canals we have our own unwritten understanding of how we should share them, which is based on many generations of boaters who've learnt to rub along together.  The many 'done things' of the waterways are part of our culture and also the hallmarks of a good boater.  These 'little rules' are as simple as thoughtfulness and common sense - so you can guess what people would think of you if you didn't do them!  Here are six of the main ones:

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Floating citizens: keeping your social moorings

So, you want to cast your vote, sign on, tap the doctor for some special pills, switch bank accounts, have a wisdom tooth whipped out, and fetch 'A Memoir of Administration' by J R Hartley from the library, all in time for tea. It's a doddle if you're normal, but what if your address is My Boat, A Canal, The World?  First, let's deal with the internet...

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Getting involved

Volunteering is a great way to get a feel for the waterways near you either before or after you buy a boat.  Most navigation authorities, including the Canal and River Trust and the Scottish Waterways Trust, as well as the IWA, invite volunteers to help with anything from helping boaters through a lock and towpath tidy-ups to canal restoration work.

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More canal culture

Find out more about the history and culture of the canals - here are a few things worth a read or watch:

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