14 September 2023

We have been following the progress of the Birmingham Canal Navigations Society’s working boats Atlas and Malus as they take Fund Britain’s Waterways on tour. Read on to learn more about their remarkable voyage!

Birmingham Campaign Cruise

The boats started at the Fund Britain’s Waterways Campaign Cruise which took place outside the Mailbox in Birmingham on 13th August.

It was here that Atlas and Malus joined approximately 50 other boats to stage a demonstration in support of the FBW campaign which calls upon national and local government to act now and protect the public benefit and natural capital of our waterways. The event was organised by volunteers working on behalf of Fund Britain’s Waterways, a coalition of organisations representing hundreds of thousands of users and supporters of inland waterways.

Visit the Fund Britain’s Waterways website to learn more about the campaign.

brownhills canal festival

The next stop for Atlas and Malus was the Brownhills Canal Festival which took place from 19th – 20th August. The event, which is organised by the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust, took place on the Wyrley & Essington Canal at Brownhills in the Black Country. For Atlas and Malus, the next step of the journey involved cruising on the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) from Birmingham city centre to Brownhills. They stopped at Titford Pumphouse and also moored overnight in Wolverhampton on their way to Brownhills Canal Festival.

IWA Festival of water

Following Brownhills, Atlas and Malus continued onwards to the IWA Festival of Water 2023 which was held in Pelsall over the August Bank Holiday weekend. While moored at the event on the Wyrley & Essington Canal, Atlas and Malus received a great deal of interest from festivalgoers who stopped by to admire these impressive boats and to learn more about the Fund Britain’s Waterways campaign. They also welcomed members of the public aboard to have a look inside the traditional working boats.

Black Country Boating Festival

The end of August didn’t mean the end of the voyage for these two working boats however, as they continued the tour by attending the Black Country Boating Festival which took place in early September. It is an annual event which takes place at the Bumble Hole Nature Reserve on the Dudley No2 Canal. Throughout the duration of their voyage, Atlas and Malus sported the distinctive FBW boat banners and helped to raise awareness about the Fund Britain’s Waterways campaign – not only at the events but also while en-route to each location! We thank the BCN Society for their support of the Fund Britain’s Waterways campaign and for allowing Atlas and Malus to take #FBWonTour. Thank you also to the crew members that took part including: Steve King (Skipper), Mike Rolfe, Steve Melia and John Holian on Atlas and Mike Paine, Ann Wild and Phillip Wild on Malus.