John Coulthart on reading Robert Aickman: “like finding the quotidian Britishness of Alan Bennett darkening into the inexplicable nightmares of David Lynch.” I often return to BBC4′s The Golden Age of Canals, which features Aickman as a broody, nerdy TE Lawrence of the waterways, for its footage of decaying tunnel entrances, drained locks & Kitchen Sink Gothic clutter embedded in wet mud. I watch with the sound turned off. “Down the canal” wasn’t just a destination of my childhood, it was a state of mind. It was at an oblique angle to everywhere else. It ran at the back of things. It was one of the places where everything broken ended up; where you could see the future.