A book, by author and illustrator David Fathers, has recently been published, on the Regent’s Canal. It’s an engaging little book, part route finder, part local history guide, that documents curiosities about the canal (plus its nearby canal links) as it runs between Paddington in London’s west end and Limehouse in the east end, where it meets the Thames.
Having cycled along the canal for the last few years on my commute to work, I was interested to read about the various curious objects that I pass every day. There’s just the right amount of information about each thing, and it really brings to life the history and utility of the lands immediately surrounding the canal.
The book is right up to date, incorporating the Olympic Park into its outline map, as well as new attractions on the route such as the Towpath Cafe in Kingsland. Its publication coincides with the 200th anniversary, this month, of the first cutting of the canal.
What really brings the book to life – and why the editors here at Mapping London are excited about it – is that every page has a lovely hand-sketched colour map showing the towpath along the canal and the surrounding scenery. The extract above shows the page where the canal passes along the western edge of Victoria Park in east London. The maps are both attractive to look at and clear to interpret. Locks, bridges and road links are are shown, with great attention to detail.
Thanks to David Fathers and the publisher (Frances Lincoln Ltd) for sending a review copy.