Express barges through Berkhamsted…
“… one day in 1806 no fewer than 2,000 soldiers passed through Berkhamsted on the way from London to Liverpool. Sixty soldiers were accommodated in each barge, and it is recorded that the convoy reached its destination in seven days ‘with comparatively little fatigue, as it would take 14 days to march that distance.’
It was impossible to compete on equal terms [with the railway] so far as speed was concerned, but bargees were encouraged to complete their voyages in the shortest possible time. A veteran blacksmith living at a village near Berkhamsted [Dudswell] once told me that he was often aroused at dawn to shoe horses for bargees attempting to create new records with their ‘express’ barges to London.” (Beorcham, Berkhamsted Review, Mar 1942).
Christmas at Dudswell:
“George Sear (b.1937) is an artist and graphic designer, born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. He has worked in various art studios and London advertising agencies and paints a great deal in the Chilterns, East Anglia and widely throughout the U.K.” (Norfolk Fine Art website). Narrow boat, lock and canal at Dudswell. Card based on an original water colour by George Sear.