Canal family at Braunston

This fabulous photo, taken in the Edwardian era, shows a boat family at Braunston.

There is some material from Braunston in the Nuneaton Advertiser.


Northampton Mercury
Blisworth Tunnel

A letter fom 1819 complains about the use of "leggers" at the Braunston and Blisworth tunnels.  Between 30 and 50 men had congregated in the area as a result, "the most idle, disorderly and unprincipled characters in the neighbourhood".  The going rate for legging a boat was 1s 6d (7p) at Blisworth, and 1s (5p) at Braunston, but boatmen sometimes paid the leggers in goods from the cargo.

Names from Northampton Mercury 1801 to 1845 (51kb)

A couple of run-ins between the police and boatwomen are recorded.  In December 1837, the wife of Thomas Footman assaulted a constable with a hatchet when he tried to arrest her husband.  She hit him on the head, and he was saved from serious injury by the whalebone strips in his helmet.  In April 1841, the wife of Samuel Conliff, also preventing the arrest of her husband, "stood up to the policemen like a man, and knocked them about with the skill and strength of an experienced prize fighter".

I also enjoyed the suggestion from 1840 that adding a drop of Kreosote to whisky would create an authentic "peat flavour"!

Articles from Northampton Mercury 1801 to 1845 (526kb)