The main transport route into the Jutlandic interior
Along the river Gudenåen, the footsteps of barge towmen have worn a path from Randers to Silkeborg. For many centuries, this river was the main transport route from Randers to the Jutland interior. Transportation was by flat-bottomed barges called kåge. Upstream into…
Towmen were fighters
Life was hard for the bargees and towmen, who were at the very bottom of society. Towmen were hired for single trips at a time. Their work consisted of towing the heavily laden barges from Randers to Bjerringbro. The bargees were also stigmatised by the many myths that surrounded them, such as their fondness for drink. Countless stories tell of their rowdiness after downing the Danish snaps. Brawls at the inns along the river were also commonplace. One innkeeper, on discovering a dead man in the stable after a brawl, exclaimed Thank God! It is only a towman. I feared it was a man". "
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