The Stroudwater and Thames and Severn Canals From Old Photographs Volume 2 by Edwin Cuss
Since the development of photography in the middle of the last century, the picture of our past provided by the written chronicle, the museum artefact or by failing memory has been augmented by the most vivid and immediate relic of former times, the photograph. Authenticating even as it describes, the photograph is of its time in a way that other representations of the past are not. This photographic journey recalls the final years in the life of the two canals, now being restored by the Cotswold Canals Trust, which once linked England's two longest rivers. With the current interest in reviving former railways and the reclamation of their towpaths as quiet refuges from the mayhem of modern living, there is an undeniable fascination in comparing the lively scene to which the camera has in the past been witness to the present. The Stroud and Golden Valleys were traditionally centres of industry and population, the canals in part responsible for their continued prosperity after changing technologies largely relocated the cloth industry to the north of England, and during the heyday of the picture postcard the wharves and locks were still busy places. Comprising the work of both professionals and gifted amateurs, this enchanting collection follows volume one. It will delight and surprise all those who know the canals today, and fascinate anyone with an interest in our industrial heritage.