Barge captain drinking tea, c 1950.
© National Media Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
The captain of a barge having a tea break at Leeds Wharf, on the Aire and Calder Canal, West Yorkshire, about 1950. The canal opened between Leeds and Wakefield in 1701, and was opened as far as Selby by 1721. The canal carried a variety of goods, and helped West Yorkshire towns to grow and as trade links were established. However, by the 1950s canals were in decline.