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  • Yorkshire Waterways Heritage Society

    Illuminating the lives of the hard working watermen who plied their trade on the waterways of 19th and 20th century Yorkshire.

Historic Photograph Collection

Browse 150 years of life on Yorkshire's waterways as captured through the photographer's lens.

Historic Photograph Collection

Browse 150 years of life on Yorkshire's waterways as captured by the photographer's lens.

Canal Boat Registration

A new resource for family historians. Search for Yorkshire's watermen and their vessels in our free to use database

Recent Research Projects

1881 Census

Yorkshire's watermen and their families have been identified and transcribed from the 1881 census. Click here to see what has been discovered..

Watermen Families

Detailed family history research has been carried out on twenty waterman families. Click here to see which families.

Literacy among Watermen

A study of watermen marriages has sought to understand how the level of literacy among watermen compared with the population in England.

Articles and Society News

Down the canal to Hull

The Yorkshire Evening Post of 21 July 1919 published their reporter’s first hand account of his journey between Leeds and Hull by tug with barges in tow. … Read More

Featured Post

Memories of a Water Baby: 1

In 1980, Nellie Gale nee Scott, the daughter of a busy Knottingley waterman, recalled her childhood memories from before the Great War describing school days and accompanying her parents on working trips by keel towed along the Humber to Hull. … Read More

Featured Post

The Billy Boy

Waterways historian Steve Gardham writes about an unusual class of waterways vessel found in Yorkshire, the Billy Boy. This type of craft was able to not only navigate Yorkshire’s rivers, canals and the Humber but significantly also take to the … Read More

Featured Post

Our Events

Take a look at where you can find us at all of our upcoming events


Your kind donations, keeping the society's research program and website running, are much appreciated!