In the 1950s, Britain's waterways were still full of commercial traffic and lined with the mills, factories and ports of a then-leading industrial nation. This is the era captured in the photographs of the Lytham Sea Cadets, who in 1958 ventured from coast to coast via the canals of Lancashire and Yorkshire aboard Training Ship Queenborough. As they journeyed from the Ribble Estuary, via the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and the Aire & Calder Navigation, to the Humber Estuary, the Sea Cadets witnessed regular merchant shipping on the Humber and the dying throes of commercial traffic on Britain's tired, neglected canals. They also glimpsed the occasional 'pleasure boat'. Little did they know that such craft and their owners would be the salvation of Britain's waterways. Combining photographs from the 1950s with stunning modern-day images, Hemmings and Swidenbank show how canal life has changed over the last fifty years.
13 Sep 2012