For a brief spell in history 'canal mania' swept the land, but when the railways came steaming over the horizon, the canals were abandoned in favor of speed. Yet the canals survived on a reduced scale, and necessity proved to be the mother of invention. With reduced wages the boatmen were forced to take their families with them to live aboard the narrowboats, and a community of working canal folk took to the water.
Follow this fascinating journey to discover what it was really like to work on the waterways of Britain. From the men who dug the canals and the great engineers responsible for their construction, through to the strong and resourceful boatmen, find out how they all played their part in keeping the wheels of the Industrial Revolution turning. In more recent years the canals have regained their popularity, but this time with holidays afloat. An entire leisure and tourism industry has developed that has ensured the restoration and conservation of the waterways for everyone to enjoy, bringing a whole new meaning to the term 'Working on the Canals'.