The Glamorganshire and Aberdare Canals, Volume 2, by Stephen Rowson and Ian L. Wright

The Glamorganshire and Aberdare Canals, Volume 2, by Stephen Rowson and Ian L. Wright

Published by Lightmoor Press in 2004, 352 pages. Large Hardback - c.28cm by 22cm (N7641)

Brand New Book

This second volume brings us on a journey south from Pontypridd to the Sea Lock at Cardiff and once again, the authors have assembled a wealth of historical data and superb illustrative material. The Glamorganshire Canal, in particular, proved a source of great wealth to its promoters and some of those who used it. Restricted by Parliamentary Act as to how much of a dividend it could pay its shareholders, for a number of years the canal proprietors found themselves in the position of having to pay back some of the carrying charges to the freighters. On other occasions, they restricted profits by having periods of free usage of the waterway. Rarely can a transport enterprise have found itself in such a position, a result of its own success.

Whilst this second volume, by definition, deals mostly with the Glamorganshire Canal, there are chapters which are common to both canals – on aspects of maintenance, the boatmen, the locks and especially the boats. The Doctor’s Canal and Tramroad at Pontypridd is also covered in detail and there are chapters too on the Patent Fuel industry and the Glamorganshire Canal Railway. It is much enriched by the photographs of Samuel Fox, whose legacy of over 250 images of the Glamorganshire, mostly taken between North Road Lock and Nantgarw over a period of nearly 50 years from the late 1890s, ensure that the life of the working canal was recorded for posterity. Conversations recorded with the last few working canalmen also help to add authoritative background colour to the book.

The book is profusely illustrated with approximately 400 photographs, maps, drawings and items of ephemera, and includes 8 pages in full colour. There is a comprehensive index and detailed reference notes to each chapter.