The University of Nottingham’s Manuscripts and Special Collections Department has some of the records of the Trent Navigation Company, established in 1783. Other material is in the National Archives at Kew. The sources paint a fascinating picture of how, during the Industrial Revolution and later, the river provided an invaluable means of transport for heavy goods. A network of canals linked towns on the Trent to Manchester, Liverpool and London, while the Humber, Ouse and Aire provided links to Hull, Leeds and York.
Philip Riden, of the University’s Department of History, said: “We are hoping to welcome a wide range of local historians, waterways enthusiasts and others to this event, including retired boat masters who worked on the Trent whose memories will be invaluable for this project. Very little has been written on the modern history of the river and this project aims to remedy that”
The free one-day public event ‘Transport and Trade on the Trent, 1850-1970’ includes an introductory talk on the project by Philip Riden, a presentation called ‘Working Boats’ about life on board canal and river craft by writer and historian Dr Wendy Freer, President of the Railway & Canal Historical Society, as well as sessions of how to research the history of the Trent in this period.
The event takes place at 10.30am on Saturday 18 May 2013 at the Newark Academy, Lilley & Stone site, London Road, Newark NG24 1TT. Enrolment is via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0115 951 5685/01246 554026 (evenings)
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Picture: 'The Leicester Trader, the 70-year-old Trent barge being restored by enthusiasts at Newark to become a floating heritage centre for the river'
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