The research I have included here includes some key information about each canal. My particular area of interest is the WW1 era, especially those canals which were under the control of the Canal Control Committee, and the soldiers of the Transport Workers Battalions, who worked on the canals as well as the docks.

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Kennet and Avon Canal

The idea of building the Kennet and Avon Canal was batted around for several centuries before the first turf was turned. It was a long held ambition, fuelled by the possibility of avoiding both treacherous seas and marauding privateers, to link the Bristol Channel in the west with the Thames in the east, creating an inland route across England. The two stretches of river at each end of the route were navigable from the early 18th century.
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Calder and Hebble Navigation

By the beginning of the 18th century, the Aire and Calder Navigation had made the River Calder navigable as far upstream as Wakefield. The aim of the Calder and Hebble Navigation was to extend navigation west (upstream) from Wakefield to Sowerby Bridge near Halifax.

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Wyrley and Essington Canal

The Wyrley and Essington Canal is nicknamed the Curly Wyrley, at it was built entirely on the level, following the contoyrs of the land. This has the advantage of allowing over sixteen miles of lock-free navigation.
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Aire and Calder Navigation

The Aire and Calder Navigation was conceived as an improvement to navigation on the River Aire (from the River Ouse at Airmyn via Castleford to Leeds) and on the River Calder (from Castleford to Wakefield). The proposal was principally motivated by wool traders in Leeds and general merchants in Wakefield.
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