Whilst visiting the London Canal Museum last week I was fascinated by the following series of images, displayed on the upper floor of the museum, showing commercial traffic on the Regents Canal.

A ‘Charrington, Gardner, Locket & Co.’ narrow steam tug hauling at least two, if not three, coal-laden broad barges, near Kensal Green Gas Works.
Two ‘broad’ steam tugs, the one heading towards the camera hauling 2x laden broad barges, pass in Regents Park.
A hive of activity, perhaps at the turn of the century (?), at Purfleet Wharf, Camden Town, showing an array of horse-drawn carts, hand-carts and boats
This is a later image. Softwood timber, imported through the Surrey Docks, was one of the last traffics on the Regent’s Canal: Dingwall’s Wharf, Camden Town, 1970…
An evocative image of a way of life in decline, horse boating on the Hanwell Flight in the 1950s.
As the double lock ahead is prepared, the horse, guided by it’s minder, works against the outflow of water…
Petrol-driven small tractors increasingly replaced horse power on the London canals from the 1950s.
The next two images are actually details of one original image – and show that period of transition: a tractor-hauled barge in front and the 2x horse-drawn barges behind…
Incredible to think a single horse could haul one of these full laden broad barges…
I couldn’t resist this contrasting image: of steam power and horse power…
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