Friends of The Canal Museum


Lord Boswell of Aynho


Michael Butler


Lorna York 


Brian Everest


Registered Charity No:


If you would like to join the Friends please see our Membership page, or if you would like to contact us please write to:

The Friends of The Canal Museum, c/o The Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne, Towcester NN12 7SE

or, e-mail us here 

5u84f48n Calendar Cover_2 copy

2016 Village at War Report

Saturday was a trifle wet which  dampened the wartime spirit somewhat but Sunday was a cracker of a day with warm sunshine which brought out the crowds, more than making up for Saturday.

Read a full report and see photos,  videos and comments on our Village at War 2016 page.


James Rudd


Sculptor returns to Stoke Bruerne after maintenance work is completed

Kathryn Dodington reports...


Sculptor returned to Stoke Bruerne on 2nd November after almost a month away undergoing a considerable amount of maintenance financed by jointly by The Friends and The Canal and River Trust. In early October Sculptor was pressure washed in the Braunston dry dock to remove the last two years worth of weed and muck that has accumulated. She was then inspected to ascertain her overall condition; and although the report has not yet been submitted we understand she is in very good all round order which is in no small way due The Friends over previous years.  After inspection Sculptor was blacked and some of the below-water paint was touched up.


Once refloated Sculptor was moved to the wet dock where her roof was stripped back to bare metal and repainted with the top coat being the traditional Raddle Red satin finish. It does look so much better than it was and should protect that part of her for quite some time.  All that work was paid for by The Canal & River Trust.


Sculptor was then taken to the old Concoform Marine base at Weedon where Jim Birch of Oakcraft Narrowboats undertook the following work which was paid for by by The Friends:


  • Purchase of new Epping stove - £700

  • Fitting of the new Epping stove, new chimney collar (bought by Canal & River Trust), and new mid-pipe (pipe between stove and chimney collar) and manufacture of a blanking top for the chimney collar to prevent water ingress - £430

  • Manufacture of a new cabin slide and slide guides to Yarwood's specifications and painting in correct Mason's Midnight Blue - £480


The budget allocated by the Friends was £2,000; we have spent £1,610 - are we there yet - not quite - ash strips are being made which we will fit in the spring but the cost for those will be well within any allocated budget. We wish to thank you, our members and supporters, for generously supporting us and making it possible for the work to be undertaken.


We are planning to cloth Sculptor up shortly (new cloths paid for by The Friends recently) in readiness for the winter in order we can keep the wet and the fallen leaves out of the hold.



Our popular annual events which raise money for a number of worthwhile charities and local good causes as well as the Friends are organised by a small dedicated group of volunteers who have given their time freely over the last ten years and we are immensely grateful for their hard work and continuing support.


This year, after many years of service, some of our volunteers have decided to retire and we are seeking new team members to make sure Village at War and other events continue into the future.


Informal meetings take place once a month (in the pub), normally for up to six months before each event,  and it is up to team members how much or little they do, or how much they get involved, and it's fun.


If you'd like to come along and find out what's involved, or just want to have a chat - please

e-mail our Chairman who will be only too happy to help.


Museum Matters,

our latest newsletter is now available to read


To download as a PDF for printing or to read back copies of Museum Matters, please go to our Newsletter page.



on 9th-10th September are available here


We regret that at present we do not have sufficient active  volunteers to be able to stage a Family Festival in June 2017.



Our Village at War Weekend is on 9-10th September and full details and booking forms can be found here.



We regret that due to this events' growing popularity and lack of car parking in the village during the winter months we are unable to stage this event for the time being.

Did you know historic museum boat NB Sculptor appears in a recent episode of the TV series Flog It.

Not that anyone is suggesting this popular floating artefact is up for sale!

To watch the film footage which also features an interview with Friends Vice Chairman Lorna York just follow the link below.

The interview features about 18 minutes into the episode.

Sculptor stars in TV series Flog It

2017 Village at War Weekend

Sculptor on parade at Crick Boat Show


Members of the Sculptor Team took Sculptor to the Crick Boat Show over the late May Bank Holiday Weekend and brought her back to Stoke Bruerne afterwards.


Rob Westlake was interviewed  twice by Radio Northampton, once on the way to Crick on Friday and again during the afternoon show on  Saturday, alongside Canal & River Trust, Collections Manager Margaret Harrison.


Over 6,000 people attended one of the largest of the inland waterways shows on the system and Sculptor received a continuous stream of visitors..