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40 years on

Primark has replaced C&A as main supplier of WRGie fashions, but has anything else changed in four decades?

Then and now Then and Now

As WRG approaches its 40th birthday, it’s amazing to think how things have changed since the beginning. In 1970, the waterways were run down and neglected by government, funding was hard to come by and WRG was a rag tag bunch of poorly organised eccentrics in C+A cagoules desperately trying to make a difference. Fortunately things are very different now: we no longer have C+A. Here are some other differences between then and now: THEN

NOW Spanking new village hall paid for with Millennium Commission funds.

Dingy scout hut with picture commemorating the Queen’s coronation.

The accommodation

Dark smoky den with violently patterned carpets and a ‘family room’. Beer 2 shillings (10p) a pint.

The pub

Dark, smoke-free den with violently patterned carpets and a wide-screen TV. Beer £3.20 a pint.

Dusty old Bee Gees tape found in glove compartment

The music

Dusty old Bee Gees CD found in glove compartment

Pie and a couple pints in the nearest pub. Marathon bar for treats.

Lunch

Muttered warning about lime mortar, box of sticking plasters

Health & safety

90 minute H+S talk including video, full first aid kit and we’re saving up for a defibrillator

Bell bottomed trousers tucked into wellies, woolly jumper, C+A cagoule

The gear

Supermarket jeans tucked into steellies, woolly jumper, Primark cagoule

Despairing of British Waterways Board

The politics

Despairing of British Waterways (formerly known as BW Board)

To restore the canal network for the benefit of all, hopefully with help from the new Tory government

The motivation

To restore the canal network for the benefit of all, hopefully with help from the new mostly-Tory government

An ambitious and energetic Palmer

The leadership

A different ambitious and energetic Palmer

Sandwich with wholemeal bread, baked-not-fried crisps and a piece of fruit. Mr Kipling for treats.

page 23

Profile for The Inland Waterways Association

Navvies 242  

Magazine for volunteers restoring the waterways.

Navvies 242  

Magazine for volunteers restoring the waterways.