Mike Clarke has worked on many projects related to industrial history and industrial archaeology, though he is best known for canals and inland waterways. Apprenticed as a fitter/turner and subsequently educated at college and university, few people involved with industrial history have had practical experience of such a diverse range of technologies. For over fifteen years his profession was restoration engineer, but even earlier, his leisure time had been spent on rebuilding vintage cars and steam locomotives. He has worked on objects ranging from textile machinery to wind mills, and wooden boats to stationary steam engines, both in museums and for public and private organisations across England and abroad.
In 1991 he set up his own business, Milepost Research, to provide advice and research on subjects related to industrial history, both for the public and private sector. He has written many books and articles on a wide variety of subjects, and continues to undertake new research into industrial and waterway history independently of commissioned work.
More details of his work can be found through these links:
Reports and articles
The history of European waterways, the transfer of technology in Europe during the Industrial Revolution, and the early development of the lock. He continues to research the history of British canals, particularly the technology of their construction and operation.
Since 1993, Mike has travelled extensively throughout Europe to research the development of inland navigation, making contact with industrial historians throughout Europe, in particular in Eastern Europe. He has lectured in France, The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Romania and Latvia.
President of the Railway & Canal Historical Society, President and Founder of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society, and is very involved with the conservation and interpretation of their heritage boat, Kennet. He is also part of Inland Waterways International.
Mike has many colleagues in Europe, and is committed to increasing the transfer of knowledge between the countries of Europe. He has produced a report on the history of the canal system and about the water mill, part of the World Heritage Site on the Solovki Islands in northern Russia, which are used by the guides on the island. He has good German, and has some knowledge of Polish, Russian and French.