People often ask who the Friends are and what they are for?
To explain briefly; the Museum has existed since it was founded by two men who worked for the waterways, Charles Hadlow, an engineer and Jack James a boatman, turned lock keeper, in 1963. At that time it was the only museum devoted to the inland waterway system in the country. Since then other museums have developed, notably at Gloucester and Ellesmere Port, both of which, together with the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne are now run and operated by the Canal & River Trust, a charity tasked with caring for over 2,000 miles of our inland waterways. While the Canal and River Trust recieves a grant from central government, resources are inevitably limited and the Canal Museum recieves no funding from the DCMS museums grant scheme to allow free entry.
For this and other reasons it was decided in late 2005 to call a public meeting in Stoke Bruerne with a view to sounding out public opinion regarding forming an organisation that could support our local museum in various ways. The meeting decided that such a course should be followed and during 2006 the Friends were set up and at the same time volunteers began assisting the Museum’s work.
As a local organisation we are vitally interested in maintaining and preserving the heritage of our waterways system, particularly those relating to Northamptonshire.
If you would like to know more about the waterways that form so important a part of Northamptonshire’s historical heritage,
If you want to help conserve this precious heritage for future generations to enjoy,
Then join us and let us help take the Museum forward into the canal’s third century of service to its community.