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Historic canals on film

Reader's Letters & Queries: NarrowBoat, Spring 2020

I hope you have been enjoying the photos of commercial traffic published in recent editions of NB magazine, taken by Julian Thompson and J.G. (Jack) Parkinson. This letter gives a bit of background about these photographers, and the organisation that holds their collections. Julian Thompson was principally interested in tramways, trolleybuses and railways (indeed he had a number of books published on these subjects), and just a few of his photos were of inland waterways. He spent many years in Germany before retiring to live in the Philippines, where he died. Fortunately, it was possible to collect his huge photo archive and return it the UK, where it is now looked after by Online Transport Archive. This is a charity set up 20 years ago to hold private individuals’ photo collections, conserving them and publishing them in books and magazines. (The word ‘online’ is a bit misleading now; OTA was set up by individuals involved in the film and television industry –…

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