The Friends have scooped a national award for our annual events programme which, since 2006, has bought in thousands of visitors to the Museum, canal and village, and raised more than £62,000 for museum and local community projects. The Living Waterways Awards, run by the Canal & River Trust and led by an independent panel of experts, recognise exceptional projects that are helping to care for canals and rivers across the UK.
Tony Hales, chairman of the Canal & River Trust, explains: “The Living Waterways Awards celebrate the individuals, communities and organisations that have done the most to make a difference to the nation’s historic canals and rivers - making them exciting places to live, learn and spend time. Our panel of independent experts has been tremendously impressed with the quality of projects submitted and we wish the Friends of the Canal Museum many congratulations on their tremendous success.”
Mick Butler, Friends of the Canal Museum, comments: “It’s gobsmacking to win and receive this award. Our events bring people to the canal and Stoke Bruerne and, through this, help keep the Canal Museum alive. Our chairman, David Blagrove, was awarded an MBE this year and this award is the icing on the cake.”
The events hosted by the Museum include model boat displays, illuminated boats and carols, Christmas markets, guided walks, open gardens, auctions, special events for supporters, Blisworth Tunnel 25th anniversary, a 50th birthday party for the Museum, the Stoke Bruerne Family Festival and ‘Village at War Weekend’. All are well promoted via their website, social media, leaflets, local businesses and other partners.
Helen Carey OBE DL, chair of the Awards’ Assessment Panel, says: “These events clearly have a strong social impact, with a reach well beyond the canal community. The diverse events programme is helping to strengthen the reputation of Stoke Bruerne as a unique canalside destination, where the canal is seen as the high street.”
The winners of the 2014 Living Waterways Awards, which are sponsored by Keir, CPC Civils, Galliford Try and Hyder Consulting, were announced on 24 September 2014 at a ceremony at The Royal Armouries in Leeds. The full list of winners is available here: