Friends of The Canal Museum


Andrea Leadsom, MP

Lord Boswell of Aynho


Michael Butler


Lorna York 


Paul Lynam


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 

Facebook blue large Twitter black large

Latest Museum Matters

Editor Kathryn Dodington has released the latest newsletter from the Museum Community at Stoke Bruerne jam packed with all the latest news and details of up coming events. Read it here or go to our Newsletter page to download a PDF version.

Latest Village at War News

Our annual Village at War Weekend is all set to be a resounding success. A full team of volunteers are on board beavering away to make sure it goes without a hitch and many NEW entertainers and re-enactors are booked in ready to entertain us. You can see who's coming and what is planned in more detail on our Village at War page.


That's not to say all volunteer vacancies are filled - we still have a few roles seeking willing volunteers. If you would like the opportunity to join the team and help shape this years event, then email Kathryn who is heading up this years Village at War. She will be delighted to hear from you.


We are now restricted on space for Trading boats - please make contact first through this link to check our availability.


BOOKING FORMS available on the VAW 2019 page.


Adopt-an-Object launched

IMG_2842 crop

Adopt one of our unique museum artefacts from an engine to a boatman's spider belt, each with its own fascinating history. Become responsible for its care and cleaning, and even get involved in telling its story to our visitors!


Which one will you choose?


The Museum is starting an 'Adopt an Object' scheme where volunteers can come in once a month to care for a chosen object, cabinet or exhibit. It could be any day or time to suit, come on your own or bring a friend or in a group.  By adopting an object, you will be supporting activities in the museum, ensuring that our museum continues to be an inspiring place for everyone.


The museum will provide the training needed to clean and handle the objects. So why not come along, meet likeminded people, have a chat with visitors and help the museum look after its objects and the people who visit us.


Interested? Ring the museum team on 01604 862229 or email stokebruerne@canlrivertrust.org.uk and then meet up for a chat.

photo: Louise Stockwin

IWA plan mini-rally for Village at War Weekend

The local Northampton Branch of the Inland Waterways Association are planning a mini boat gathering at Stoke Bruerne for it's members over the weekend of the Village at War on 7th - 8th September.


Participating boat crews will be part of the volunteer team helping to run the event and in return will receive free entry and reserved moorings. For more information contact Northampton IWA at northampton@waterways.org.uk

Could you be our next Membership Secretary?

Our current membership secretary, Laura Sturrock will be retiring at our AGM later this year and we are seeking a volunteer to take over her role. Could you be our next membership secretary?


All that is needed is an understanding of database management using spreadsheets, some enthusiasm and a few hours spare each month. Laura will give all the training required.


It is a committee position, but please don't let this put you off. We're a friendly bunch and we only meet once a month, sometimes less in winter.


If you are interested please contact any committee member, Louise at the Museum on 01604 862229 or email us.


The image was taken by Ruth Chamberlain, and is her ©, who, with her husband Richard very kindly took Sculptor from the bottom of Buckby to Weedon Boat Yard for a repair by Steve Furniss.  Richard and Ruth own the working pair Mountbatten and Jellicoe. On the way down Buckby we had a 'fair wear and tear' failure of the coupling between the driveshaft and the prop shaft which stopped the propellor from turning. The image shows Mountbatten, Sculptor and Jellicoe approaching the new Flore and Weedon bypass bridge on Wednesdy 3rd July.


Sculptor was expertly repaired by Steve Furniss in double quick time and was returned to Stoke Bruerne on Thursday 4th July.


We are most grateful to Ruth and Richard who, unprompted, rang Kathryn Dodington and offered to move Sculptor for Canal & River Trust - their payment - you'll do it for someone else - what stars they are.


Sculptor in need of help....

Sculptor has a driveshaft issue in Buckby

Saturday Craft Workshops

A series of regular Saturday craft workshops stated on on Saturday 27th April on the Ground Floor of the Canal Museum.


Organised in partnership with the Friends, the workshops cover a range of craft and other activities from book binding, crochet, signwriting, how to research your family history and, hopefully, rag rug making. Other crafts may be added during the summer.


The workshops are free but places will be limited so if you'd like to attend we recommend booking. More information can be found on our Diary page.


M, Scuptor,J 7Maycheque1crop cheque3 7maycrop

Double cheque presentation to CRT

We are delighted to be able to help with funding for replacement gunwales for historic narrowboat Sculptor jointly with IWA Northampton Branch. Cheques were presented by our Chairman, Mick Butler and Bernard Morton, IWA Northampton Branch Chairman to Margaret Harrison, Collections Manager and Phil Mulligan, Regional director, East Midlands Region, Canal & River Trust on 7th May at Stoke Bruerne. The total donations of £5,500.

L to R: Phil Mulligan (CRT East Mids), Rob Westlake (Lead Volunteer, Sculptor), Mick Butler (Chair, Friends of The Canal Museum and IWA Northampton Branch), Margaret Harrison (CRT Collections Manager), Paul Lynham (IWA Northampton & Friends of Canal Museum),Dan Whyment (CRT East Mids) and Bernard Morton (Chair, IWA Northampton Branch)

L to R: Bernard Morton (Chair, IWA Northampton Branch), Phil Mulligan (CRT East Mids), Rob Westlake (Lead Volunteer, Sculptor), Mick Butler (Chair, Friends of The Canal Museum and IWA Northampton Branch), Margaret Harrison (CRT Collections Manager), Paul Lynham (IWA Northampton & Friends of Canal Museum) and Dan Whyment (CRT East Mids)

D5J7x3lXkAAowYL.jpg large

Lorna York giving advice on family tree research

Tim's generous donation....


Once again we are delighted to be able to extend our grateful thanks to Tim Coghlan and Braunston Marina for making a generous donation of £1,000 at their successful annual Historic Narrowboat Rally at Braunston at the end of June. The monies are ring fenced for the use of the Friends in carrying out maintenance work to the Museum's historic working narrowboat Sculptor which attends the Rally each year.


Pictured above left to right are Lorna York, Vice-Chairman of FoCM, Tim Coghlan, Proprietor and Manager of Braunston Marina and Sculptor Volunteer Team members Rob Westlake and Kathryn Dodington.

Say hello to Bonny and Bilbo!


Say hello to Bonny and Bilbo, two temporary residents at Stoke Bruerne who are doing a brilliant job at mowing the Quarry Field in readiness for our Village at War Weekend in September and who are proving quite an attraction for our our visitors.


Bilbo and Bonny are boat horses belonging to Sue Day of the the Horseboating Society. They were recently in action at the Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally at Braunston at the end of June where they were helping to demonstrate boat horse harnessing.