3. Canal Life and Costume

A tough life afloat

Face of costume model - the boatman.

View through the door of the boatman's cabin. Life was hard for the boatmen and their families. First go inside his floating home and be astonished at the cramped conditions in which generations of canal families lived until around 1960. Sit at their dining table and listen to the family having supper and discussing their lives. An entertaining radio play style sound track, portrait performed by Keeper's Lock Theatre Company, portrays the tough conditions and social customs of the canal people and brings their meagre existence to life.

Then look at the boatman and his family in traditional costume along with a "best dress" from the Victorian era in our costume display. Try your hand at tying knots to secure the boat!

Click for sound clip if not automatically played. If you are unable to listen to sounds there is a transcript of the sound clip.