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Malet, (Baldwyn) Hugh (Grenville) 1928–2005

MALET, (Baldwyn) Hugh (Grenville) 1928–2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born February 13, 1928, in Salisbury, England; died March 13, 2005, in Taunton, England. Educator, historian, and author. Malet is best remembered as the author of books about his travels on the English and Irish canals, including Voyage in a Bowler Hat (1960; second edition, 1985). Graduating from King's College, Cambridge, in 1951, he joined the Sudan Political Service as a district commissioner. He left this post in 1955 after Sudan won independence from Britain, and worked in industrial relations for Shell Petroleum in Egypt. Returning home in 1959, Malet was a freelance writer and broadcaster for two years, during which time he bought a sixteen-foot boat he named the Mary Ann. Knowing little about where he was going, he resolved to travel the canals and other waterways of Britain, recording his adventures of personal discovery in what became Voyage in a Bowler Hat. His travels left a lifelong impression on him, and he would later work to help preserve the canal system, which was so important to Britain's history. Malet worked as an editor for the National Christian News from 1961 to 1962, and then served as director of studies and lecturer in philosophy for Brasted Place Theological Training College for eleven years. Toward the end of this period, he published another book about canal voyages with In the Wake of the Gods: On the Waterways of Ireland (1972); he also published two biographies on the duke of Bridgewater: The Canal Duke (1961) and Bridgewater: The Canal Duke, 1736–1803 (1977; third edition, 1990). In 1973, Malet was hired as a lecturer in local history and fine arts at Salford University, and he would continue to teach there until he retired in 1985. His later books were O. W. Malet and the Conservation of Taunton Castle (1988), The Bridgewater Canal: A Pictorial History (1990), and The Blue Anchor Pilgrimage (1994).

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Independent (London, England), May 7, 2005, p. 61.

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