A newly reprinted paperback photobook of traditional Midlands life, A Canal People

“During a few brief years in the late 1940s and early 1950s Robert Longden took a remarkable set of photographs of the narrow boat community at Hawkesbury Stop – the main meeting point for those who worked the Midlands canals. The images are of a close community and represent its members in a very intimate way, at work, at play, in their domestic affairs, and as they lived on the paired and single colourful narrow boats.”

Sadly, most of his… “negatives and photographs had been thrown out after his death” leaving only a small selection of slides. There’s also a recent film based around his work, titled Splendid People which… “received 5 stars in BIAFF 2008.”

The book seems to have been originally published in hardcover in 1997 as: A Canal People: Photographs of Robert Longden of Coventry but, like many collectable first-edition photobooks, quickly became expensive as the print-run sold out.