This 2 disk set covers two canals that meet at the hub of the inland waterways network, Braunston. The Grand Union Braunston – Birmingham In the 1930’s the narrow beam section from Braunston to Birmingham was deepened and widened to create a broad gauge canal capable of taking 70 tonne barges. Because of onward deliveries beyond the wide beam system, paired narrow boats became the normal operating mode. Today’s legacy is an attractive and heavily used leisure canal. This programme covers the journey from one of the hubs of the canal network at Braunston through pleasant open countryside, through Royal Leamington Spa and Warwick, and finally right into the heart of Britain’s second city, Birmingham. The Oxford Canal Built in the 18th century, this typical Brindley canal was originally built as a winding contour canal, slavishly following the contour lines. In the 1830s, the Northern section from Braunston to Coventry was straightened, shortening it by 14 miles. The Southern section from Napton to Oxford remains untouched, wandering about all over the place and seemingly getting nowhere. All part of its charm for us today of course, but how the commercial boatmen must have cursed its directionless curves. It formed part of the original “Grand Cross”, linking the great rivers of England and played an enormously important role in the Industrial Revolution. As a main transport artery it carried coal and manufactured goods from the Midlands to Oxford, and via the Thames to London.