Snatching the sound of Manannán's song on the bite of a northwesterly wind


History (Canals) Readings

The Longest Trench (Summer readings)

Sept. 18, 2022

The second of our reading this year takes back to the working-boat families of the First World War. Geoffrey Lewis’ beautifully detailed and cleverly structured tribute to the people who worked the boats through this turbule…


Canal Pushers (Summer readings)

Sept. 11, 2022

The first of our ‘Summer’ readings this year is a litle different from those we looked at last year and features Andy Griffee’s meticulously researched, fast-paced, crime thriller Canal Pushers . Set on the West Midlands can…

Boat Life History (Canals) Natural World (Birds) Readings

Caught in a Rhyme

June 5, 2022

On the week that the cygnets of our swan pair hatched, we explore the rather contradictory nature of the canal through the eyes of poets Jo Bell, Nancy Campbell, and Ian MacMillan. We find romance amidst the unromantic and b…


Kenneth Grahame's 'The Wind in the Willows' (Summer readings #4)

Aug. 29, 2021

This week we explore and listen to extracts of Kenneth Grahame's (1908) children's classic The Wind in the Willows . The story follows of the lives of various (anthropomorphised) animals that live by a river, principally, th…


Lucy M. Boston's 'The River at Green Knowe' (Summer readings #3)

Aug. 1, 2021

For our final summer readings session we are looking at a very different piece of writing. It is Lucy M. Boston’s The River at Green Knowe . Lucy M. Boston is probably better known for her earlier book The Children of Green …

History (Canals) Readings

Temple Thurston's 'The Flower of Gloster' (Summer readings #2)

July 25, 2021

In this second Summer Reading Special we discover the delights of Ernest Temple Thurston’s The Flower of Gloster . Published in 1911, Temple Thurston is writing about a very different world to the one in which last week’s au…

History (Canals) Readings

Hassell and Hollingshead - Early canal writings (Summer readings #1)

July 18, 2021

This is the first of our Summer Reading Specials devoted to one or two books that are in some way related to waterways or life on them. They replace the normal format while Penny, Donna and I are away, off-line, and having a…