A care home resident has released a book which details the history of his ancestors and their lives on the Oxford Canal.

Michael Caton, who lives in Oxford Beaumont Care Community in Bayworth Lane, has published The Cocks of Napton Locks.

The book documents Cocks family and their life at Napton Lock as carpenters between 1833 and 1937.

Combining social, family and canal history, the book provides an insight into the day-to-day work of a lock carpenter and of a family living by the canal, as well as introducing history of Napton and the surrounding area.

The 87-year-old, who was born in Alcester, said inspiration for the book came from the fact he was “interested in my ancestors and what they did, especially my grandparents as I remember my mother talking about them in the past”.

Despite not being born in Oxford and moving to Torquay when he was 13, Mr Caton made the county his home in his later years.

On writing the book, Mr Caton added: “I like history, I like writing books and I am interested in canals so it all just came together.”

Mr Caton  dedicated the book to his wife Margret – the pair had been together since their teenage years - who passed away earlier this year.

You can buy The Cocks of Napton Locks on Amazon for £7.99: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cocks-Napton-Locks-Michael-Caton/dp/1803135999/


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This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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