Castle and Roses
There is no doubt that life on the canal was hard work. In the 19th century a family that lived and worked on a narrow boat would have had a cabin at the rear of the boat measuring approximately 3 metres long by 2 metres wide. This was where they ate, slept and generally lived their lives. Facilities were basic, water was kept in a can on the roof of the boat, cooking was done on a small stove, and of course there were no sanitary facilities. Compared to life on land, however this lack of facilities was not out of the ordinary at this time, although the cramped conditions on board the narrow boats makes life on land seem more attractive.
The working day was a long one, the cargo had to be delivered as quickly as possible in order for the boat captain to have a greater financial gain. The boat crew would often have to unload the cargo when they reached the wharves too. Although the work was hard, it was perhaps more attractive than some of the other occupations of that time, at least the boat crew were in the fresh air, and this had to be preferable to working in a coal mine, for example
Clothing in the late 1800s would have been similar to those modelled by the children above. It wasn't 'traditional' canal costume as similar clothing would have been worn generally at that time. Children were usually dressed as smaller versions of their parents.

Food would have been either from 'the land', most boats carried a gun to shoot pigeons, rabbits etc, or from the village shops along their route. Along some of the trunk routes there were a few shops especially for the boat people. Blacksmiths and bootmakers in the villages along the canal were also needed by the boat people.

The only form of entertainment would have been visiting a canalside inn. Sometimes there was accordion music in these inns and of course many of them had stables for the horses that pulled the boats.

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