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Stoke Bruerne, Northamptonshire

The Friends of The Canal Museum are a registered charity originally set up in 2006 to support the work of The Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne through volunteer effort and fundraising....find out more ABOUT US

Family Festival Highlights


Dry and warm, if not sunny weather, ensured a steady stream of visitors to Stoke Bruerne for our 11th Family Festival to celebrate our canal heritage and enjoy a fun filled weekend on and off the water.
This year's focus was on dance and music with a full programme of live entertainers in a covered marquee and out on the towpath.
Boat trips, canal craft demonstrations, trade and fundraising stalls, pony rides, tombolas and a raft of children's activities completed the range of things to do and see.
A variety of food outlets serving everything from burgers, champagne & strawberries and cream teas topped off by a real bar and beer festival at The Navigation pub kept visitors watered and fed.
All in all, another successful Festival for all the family.

A big THANK YOU to all our volunteers, villagers, traders, entertainers, caterers and helpers for ensuring our festival was a great success.

We couldn't have done it without you!


Sculptor attends Braunston Historic Boat Rally

Sculptor cheque presentation 2016 (WATERWAY IMAGES

[L to R] Tim Coghlan, Braunston Marina; John Bannister, Sculptor Team; Les Etheridge, IWA Chairman and Rob Westlake, Sculptor Team
photo: Harry Arnold, Waterway Images

Despite poor weather, a total of 67 historic narrowboats and some 7,000 visitors attended the recent 14th Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally, along with the Canal Museum's NB Sculptor and her volunteer crew. The Rally was opened by Les Etheridge, Chairman of the Inland Waterways Association, in recognition of this being the 70th anniversary of the founding of that Association in 1946, which has done so much to save and preserve our inland waterways.

Les Etheridge sportingly donned Arthur Bray lookalike traditional working boatmen costume which he wore throughout including during the very welcome presentation of a cheque for £1,000 from Tim Coghlan, proprietor of Braunston Marina to the Friends of the Canal Museum from the proceeds of the event towards the maintenance and upkeep of NB Sculptor. Tim has generously supported the work of the Friends for a number of years on condition that Sculptor attends the Rally which she is delighted to do! Braunston Marina was also our No.1 Corporate Member signing up right at the beginning of the formation of the Friends in 2006.

Tim Coghlan of Braunston Marina said, ‘For me what was most pleasing was the number of boats that came which had never been before, and the comments from so many owners that it is events like the Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally, which inspires them to restore and maintain their boats which are such an important living and moving part of our canal heritage. Each year I hear the same gratifying story, which makes organizing the Rally so worthwhile’.

The Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally is sponsored by Braunston Marina and Towpath Talk, and is supported by the Canal & River Trust. Braunston Marina will be hosting the event again next year on the same last weekend in June 24th – 25th.

Michael is New Chairman

At May's Council Meeting, Michael Butler was elected unopposed as the new Chairman of the Friends of The Canal Museum.
His appointment follows a brief period under the stewardship of Vice-Chairman Lorna York due to the retirement of David Blagrove due to ill health at last year's AGM. David continues in post as a Trustee.
Michael who is probably better known as Chairman of the very successful and award winning Village at War event is looking forward to steering the Friends into its second decade supporting the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne.

Bray photos ex Rosemary Kendall0001

Arthur Bray or Les Etheridge? Answers on a postcard not required!

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