Next date ... AGM & Social Evening 24th November 2016 at 7pm

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

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.

Sculptor at Braunston Show

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 page.


photo: Tim Coghlan
Sculptor in the historic boat parade skippered by Rob Westlake with David Blagrove under the umbrella seated alongside Helen Westlake


James Rudd

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.

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