Phil Clayton developed an interest in the BCN after moving to the area in the 1970s. Involvement with the nascent Black Country Museum and later the BCN Society encouraged this curiosity, leading to explorations of the system on foot and by boat. A former history and geography teacher, he is currently BCNS Talks and Presentations Officer and a Society Vice-President. He has produced many articles for waterways and local history publications, and wrote and performed in a musical, Birmingham Lads and Friends to celebrate the original canal's 250th anniversary in 2019.
I think it’s fair to say that the book contains a treasure trove of inside information... If you love your canal history you will enjoy this fresh account of the BCN.
Phil Clayton has given his readers an account that is not only a pleasure to read but is also an excellent source of reference...giving credit to those who have so well served the BCN with their hard working support throughout the years. They deserve it and this book is highly recommended.
This is nicely produced, and well-illustrated. It includes a wide range of photographs, many in colour and from the author's own collection; one intriguing view shows a hill of piled up canal ice at Hawne Basin, from the winter of 1963, which damaged trade. Overall, this is a creditable account of a very complex set of waterways with a fascinating history.