European Pages

EUROPEAN CANALS: I have researched the history of European waterways and have travelled to many countries to look at their waterways and waterway history. Life on board canal boats was, and is, similar in all the European countries, as can be seen from this description of life on a canal boat in Germany on the Finow Canal in the early 20th century. I have also worked together with waterway historians in Poland and Germany to research the history of a short canal with two inclined planes which was built in Upper Silesia in the early 19th century and called the Gliwice Canal.


A list of my international visits.


I have made several trips in Germany on board the MS Amoebe sailing down the Danube and on the waterways around the Ruhr.

Here Amoebe is on the Rhine-Herne Canal.


MS Amoebe.jpg

EUROPEAN INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE: I am particularly interested in developing links with countries in eastern Europe, and have written reports on the industrial history and heritage of the Solovki Islands in northern Russia. The monks of the 16th century monastery there developed interesting answers to the problems of living so far north, including a canal system.


The Solovki Monastery.



I have written about the first steam locomotive to be used on the European mainland , and looked for reports of English travellers abroad, such as the report of Thomas Morris on his four days visiting the wire makers of Westphalia in 1878.

In Poland, I have worked in co-operation with industrial historians from the Wroclaw Polytechnic where a post-graduate course for industrial historians is also available to students from outside of Poland. Part of the course takes place on-board the steam tug Nadbor, seen below with the historic crane boat Wroblin at their moorings outside the Polytechnic. Amongst the archive material which they hold are numerous photographs of boats on the River Oder in the 1950s and 60s, a selection of which I arranged to be exhibited in England and Germany. More details of the course can be obtained from the Foundation of Open Museum of Technology.


Nadbor at work on the Oder near Wroclaw in the 1950s.


Nadbor at work.jpg

Some European canal-related pages for groups which I have been associated with can be found at:

Deutsche Wasserhistorische Gesellschaft (The German Society for Water History).

Canal Verein (The German Canal Society).

Donau-Schiffahrts-Museum (The Danube Shipping Museum at Regensburg).

Altes Schiffshebewerk Henrichenburg (The Henrichenburg Boatlift Museum).

Hommes et Cours d'Eau (French Association for Research into Inland Navigation).

Tide Mills of Western Europe (Based at the Ecomuseum at Seixal, Portugal).

Museu Maritimo de Ilhavo (Maritime Museum at Ilhavo, Portugal).

The Solovki Museum and World Heritage Site, Russia.

Photo galleries of expeditions researching aspects of technical history and culture in Northern Russia by the Russian Institute for the History of Science and Technology. Inland waterways were central to most of these expeditions.

Mike Clarke, 8 Green Bank

tel: +44 (0)1282 850430


last revised: 22 March 2014