Elijah Duckett

Working the Waterways: NarrowBoat, Summer 2017

Christopher M Jones

Chris M. Jones looks at the life and craft of a boatman who specialised in carrying roadstone and occasionally fell foul of the Canal Boat Acts

The Ducketts Elijah was born at Tipton, Staffordshire, in about 1853, to Thomas and Ann Duckett of Banbury. Thomas was a boatman and a labourer, and worked on the canals until his death. Elijah worked principally in the granite roadstone traffic from the Hartshill and Nuneaton districts. In the late 1890s he was employed by Jees Hartshill Granite & Brick Co Ltd at Hartshill, and operated the company’s boats with his wife and children. By 1901 he was working for William Boon & Sons of Windmill Hill Quarries near Nuneaton, and seems to have forged a long-standing relationship with the company, which lasted many years. In 1904 he became a boat-owner after purchasing an old craft that he named Annie Elizabeth. Soon after he bought his second boat, Emily, from William Neal of Folly Wharf, Napton, who traded as a coal, hay and corn dealer.…

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