Oral History Transcripts

From the Archives: NarrowBoat, Summer 2017

Joseph Boughey

Joseph Boughey examines the transcripts of two interviews with working boatmen describing carrying cargos on the Kennet & Avon Canal and River Weaver

Over the past 50 years, many audio recordings have been made featuring individuals of interest to waterway historians. Sometimes these interviews have been conducted to further a specific study, but more often they have simply been made out of interest. Copies of some recordings have found their way to archives, while others remain in private collections. Written transcripts have sometimes been produced, and in certain cases only the transcript survives. Many recordings have been kept at the Waterways Archive and this article considers two of a small number of its collection that have (so far) been transcribed. The recordings are of a 1997 interview with John Gould (1913–1999) on the subject of the Kennet & Avon Navigation, and a 1993 conversation with Arthur Dodd (1919–2011), mostly about work on the River Weaver. It is unclear who interviewed John, but Arthur’s interviewer, Frank Westwood, had been a fellow-worker and clearly knew him well. One problem when int…

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