Charles Hadfield and the British Canals Files

From the Archives: NarrowBoat, Winter 2019

Joseph Boughey

Joseph Boughey uncovers many opportunities for further research in the waterways files of well-known canal historian Charles Hadfield

An earlier piece in this series dealt with Charles Hadfield’s World Canals Collection (NB Spring 2019) which was deposited with the Waterways Archives in the 1980s. This closing article explores an older collection, which, in the then absence of a full-scale professional archive with the National Waterways Museum, was deposited at the British Library of Political & Economic Science in 1979. Charles hoped that this would be studied by academic scholars (including students) but visitors proved few, and the collection was recently moved to the extended archives at Ellesmere Port. Multiple sources I had consulted the British Canals collection in London in the 1990s when researching my study of Charles Hadfield’s work, Canal Man and More. Multiple sources in the files include newspaper cuttings, retyped sections of books and articles, and correspondence with various parties, notably libraries, record offices and other researchers. The latter were thin on the ground in th…

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