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News article created on 26 August 2016

Brindley 300 Conference - the 'Father of English Canals'

Brindley’s life and work will be explored next month at a conference at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of his birth.

James Brindley James Brindley

James Brindley was born in Derbyshire in 1716. Though he originally trained and worked as a millwright it was his pioneering engineering work as surveyor, designer and builder of new waterways that secured his place in the industrial revolution and earned him the title: ‘Father of English Canals’.

The conference brings together leading experts including Christine Richardson (author of ‘James Brindley – Man of Myths & Networks’), Victoria Owens, (who transcribed Brindley’s notebooks in ‘In His Words – James Brindley’s surviving manuscript notebooks’), Christopher Lewis (‘The Canal Pioneers’), Peter Cross-Rudkin (‘Constructing Brindley’s Canals’) and Gordon Masterton (‘Brindley’s Institutional and Operational Legacy for Engineering’).

They will be joined by the Canal & River Trust’s first Honorary Research Fellow Dr Jodie Matthews. Members of the Trust’s museum team will also be presenting and giving their own insights into Brindley

The Canal & River Trust’s Head of Museums Graham Boxer explains the significance of the conference: “We are delighted to be exhibiting Brindley’s notebooks at the Museum, brought together for the first time in centuries – possibly even since they were in Brindley’s possession. Our conference is also a unique gathering and we are guaranteed two days of fascinating insights into a man whose legacy endures all around us. His canals were the transport system that underpinned the industrial revolution. Today they offer tranquil respite from our busy lifestyles. We have so much to thank Brindley for and this conference offers something for everyone, from students of Brindley and engineering to those curious to find out more about a true pioneer.”

Conference to take place 2-3 September. Tickets cost £26 per person which includes admission to the museum and special tours of the Brindley 300 exhibition. For more information or to book a place at the conference dinner please contact John Benson at the   National Waterways Museum, South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port CH65 4FW.

Tel: 0151 350 1226 email archives@canalrivertrust.org.uk.