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Key Stage 2: Canal Mania Investigation Pack

These are the downloadable links for all the resources associated with the canal mania historical enquiry. Please begin by downloading the   teachers' notes. Then, when you are ready, download the relevant PDF documents below by clicking on the highlighted links. 



This gives the details of the people on board a number of boats moored in Tipton, at Malthouse Road, Factory Canal Bridge.

This shows the details for the Captain and Boarder on the Fellows, Moreton & Clayton boat, "Apple".

This gives the details for a canal dredging boat.


"The father" of the English canal system, responsible for building the first Black Country canals 1768-72.

Responsible for improving the Birmingham Canal Navigations in the 1820s, shortening and straightening the course of Brindley's original canal.

Images and information on the bridges that can be seen at the Museum.

A Grade 1 listed bridge in Smethwick, designed and built by Thomas Telford in 1829.


One of the Museum's boats. Bessie is a typical Black Country "day boat". 

Longer than traditional narrow boats. Used from 1870 onwards to transport the maximum amount of coal possible using just one horse. 

The Museum's steam powered narrow boat. President was a "fly" boat, working day and night to transport goods long distance, as quickly as possible.

One of the Museum's boats. Diamond is an example of a family boat - travelling long-distance boat, with the boatman and his family living on board.

An example of an icebreaker, used to keep the canal open during the winter.

An example of a spoon dredger used to clear silt and rubbish off the canal bed.


An overview of the Factory and Canal Boat Acts in the late 19th Century.

Information on boat traffic and cargoes travelling between Birmingham and London in 1832 from evidence given before a committee of the House of Lords.

Taken c1900.

Shows a horse-drawn canal boat.

An open day boat loaded with tubes from Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd. in Bilston.

Boats loaded with coal at a canal railway interchange.

Shows the canal wharf at E.J. & J. Pearson in Stourbridge - fire brick and tile manufacturers.

Etching by Black Country artist, Harry Eccleston. Shows the decline of the canals but also captures their significance in everyday life. 

You may also wish to link your visit to a study of   Mary Ward - one of the "real lives real stories" featured in our history detectives programme. Mary was born in 1905 in Brentford, Middlesex, the third of fifteen children born to  a traditional boating family.She worked on canal boats for most of her life – and would have started assisting her parents at an early age. She worked the “cut” throughout both world wars, and became Captain of President – the Museum’s steam narrowboat – in 1941.

Did you know?

interesting fact image

1902 - 1928 Cars were produced at the Turner-Miesse works in Walsall Street, Wolverhampton.

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