Here you can find details of the principal books, booklets and other materials that have been written about the Canal over the years by members of the Society, the BCA and others.
Books and Booklet for Sale from the Society
Available books and booklets can be purchased from the shop on our main website by clicking here.
Books and Booklets Out of Print
Occasionally, the following out of print publications can be found for sale on eBay and elsewhere. Some have been added to the Society’s online archive and links to them can be found below.
London’s Lost Route to Basingstoke
P A L Vine
Paul Vine’s definitive history of the Basingstoke Canal was originally written when the canal was still in private ownership and the newly formed Canal Society was battling to stop it sliding gently into oblivion. This book played its part by raising public awareness of the canal and its complicated past. The revised edition continues the story through the restoration and re-opening to the point where Basingstoke Council was looking at the possibility of re-establishing the line into the town.
Basingstoke Canal Restoration
Dieter Jebens & David Robinson
#48 pages. Black & white photos. 1985
This book was published by the Canal Society in collaboration with Fulltone Graphics Ltd who did full justice to the many excellent photographs taken by Dieter and David. The book outlines the early history of the canal and then moves onto the campaign for public ownership and the restoration programme. The publication in 1985 came just over half way through the restoration, so much remained to be done but it was by then clear that it could and would be done. Most copies of the book were paperbacks but there was a limited edition of 125 in hardback. Copies do appear on eBay and Amazon from time to time and it can be viewed in the Society’s online archive.
P A L Vine
96 pages. Black & white photos. ISBN 0-906520-51-7
Published by Middleton Press in 1987.
These two books provide an overview of the history of all the navigable waterways of the two counties, as well as some that were never built such as the Grand Imperial Ship Canal. They contain many photos that are hard to find elsewhere as well as some good maps which will help anyone trying to trace the waterways today. 32 pages are devoted to the Surrey length of the Basingstoke Canal and 37 to the Hampshire. The books are quite a nice addendum to Paul Vine’s “Lost Route”. They are out of print but quite easy to find on, say, Amazon.
A Key to Odiham Castle
This booklet, published with the assistance of Hampshire County Council who now own the castle, is an excellent summary of the history of ‘King John’s Castle’ from its origins in the 13th century to the archaeological excavations of recent years. Maps and diagrams help to explain where the bits that have been hidden by the canal all were.
The booklet is nicely produced with some charming illustrations by Julie Anne Hudson. It appears to be out of print at the moment, but some copies may still be for sale on the Canal Society’s trip boat John Pinkerton.
David W Horsfall
141 pages. Black & white photos. Canal Press, 1981 ISBN 0 906986 00 3
Subtitled “The Canal Memoirs of a Coal Washing Man”, the book recounts the life of the Horsfall family aboard an aged narrowboat. ‘Adelina’ began its life carrying grain on the Severn in the early 1900s and was, much later, converted into a houseboat. David found her half submerged on the Erewash Canal and they all eventually ended up at Woodham on the Basingstoke Canal. David became involved in the early efforts to save the canal and the rally in Woking in 1962, and the following year sold her to Tim and Liz Dodwell, the Canal Society’s current co-Presidents.
Sadly neither David nor Adelina is still with us, but his book provides a very entertaining snapshot of the canal world 50 years ago. Copies can sometimes be found secondhand and the text can be read on the Canal Society’s website .
Links to Out of Print Publications
The following publications from the early days of the Society can be found in our online archive. Some of these go back over 40 years, well before the Canal was restored. Click on the covers to open the links.