This film is part of Free

Canal Bargee

Jack Roberts has spent a life on the canals of Britain. With his trusty horse Sally how much longer can this veteran carry on?

News 1966 4 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Media Archive for Central England


From Norbury Junction in Staffordshire Jack Roberts travels along the Shropshire Union canal and remembers the days of the fly-boats, the high speed canal system that tried to compete with rail and road. It might not be the fastest way to travel but for Jack it's about more than transport and as one of the final canal bargees using a horse it's a way of life that's under threat by twentieth century progress.

Jack Roberts was born on a canal boat in 1894 and spent a lifetime working on the cut. His autobiography written in the 1960s was published in 2015.