A Moving Story - Transport and Travel in an East Anglian context

Ref: C2225699

East Anglia has a long and accessible coastline, navigable waterways, and fairly flat terrain. Its proximity to europe and good arable and pastoral land enabled it to become increasingly wealthy and populated in the Middle Ages. All these factors encouraged the development of efficient and varied transport systems, of which there is plenty of documentary and material evidence. This course covers aspects of transport and travel by road, water and rail from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century, using contemporary records, pictures and material remains to discover road networks and maintenance, the development of stage and mail coaches, carriers and heavy waggons; rivers, their improvement and canalization and the vessels on them, such as keels and wherries; ports and international trade and migration with evidence of the people involved; the development of the railway system and its effect on economic and social life; and the revival of road travel in the motor age.

Course aim

We study the development of road, water and rail transport from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century, their effects on the landscape, material remains, and the stories of those who travelled.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify key factors of the transport infrastructure and methods of transport throughout the period
  • Explain details of travel in the area and across the world and their relation to local history
  • Identify material evidence of transport systems
  • Describe and discuss the variety and usefulness of contemporary records relating to transport and travel
  • Use material and pictorial evidence and contemporary accounts to formulate ideas on particular aspects of the course, such as coaching inns or migration, to formulate ideas and suggest areas for further study.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • A booklist will be provided to the branch so that books can be made available to students

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could undertake individual research, or be part of a group undertaking a local history project. Interest in using original materials might encourage you to take a course to pursue your interest further

Download full course information sheet

A Moving Story - Transport and Travel in an East Anglian context


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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