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Fund Britain's Waterways - Flying the Flag

There will be numerous opportunities to fly the flag to Fund Britain’s Waterways in 2024.  Some of our supporters are off to a flying start.  Please send in your photos and details to [email protected]


Fund Britain's Waterways - Flying the Flag

On the River Avon at Evesham

Spotted at the Russell Newbery Register Rally, which took place at Evesham on the River Avon over 10th to 14th July, to coincide with a local festival over the same weekend.  Photos by Sue O’Hare.

Lymm Historic Transport Day and Braunston Boat Show

Left – Leeds and Liverpool Canal short boat Ribble was sporting a Fund Britain’s Waterways banner at Lymm Historic Transport Day on 23rd June.  Photo by David Poole.
Below – this banner was spotted at Braunston Boat Show.  Photo by Les Etheridge.

Late May Bank Holiday Weekend

There were FBW stands at Gloucester Tall Ships Festival (right), where a very supportive public kept the stand busy, and even at Crick Boat Show (inset below) it was surprising how many people were not aware of the funding peril facing navigation authorities, or the campaign that was being mounted to try to address the situation.

Birmingham Canal Navigations 24-Hour Marathon

Over 24 hours finishing on 26th May, the Birmingham Canal Navigations were cruised by many boats promoting the Fund Britain’s Waterways Campaign. The BCN Society’s annual Marathon Challenge aims at ensuring the future of these canals.

Boat Rallies and Events in May

Of course, there were lots of FBW flags flying over the weekend of action, and on the Westminster Cruise (main photo, by Bob Fox), and this flag was spotted at the Batchworth Boat Rally over the weekend of 18th and 19th May.  See the full video clip here.

Getting Ready for the Westminster Campaign Cruise

Here are boats gathered at Limehouse ready for the Westminster Campaign Cruise, which took place on 8th May and, inset, Rum’a’gin and Purple Emperor having arrived at Canalway Cavalcade, before setting off to Limehouse.

At Norbury Junction on the Shropshire Union Canal

Sue O’Hare spotted these banners at Norbury Junction on 1st May.

And Andy Williams sent in this photo of his boat.

On the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal

Another photo (left), taken at Fazeley, from Hazel Owen’s scrapbook on her tour to the Thames. Narrowboat Purple Emperor has now caught up with Rum’a’Gin and has been dressed in banners to cruise in convoy to London.

And (below) a flag on the stern of Andy Williams’ boat.

On the southern Shropshire Union Canal

On 16th April, Sharon Wells sent in this photo from Gnosall, near bridge 34.

On Tour to Westminster

Hazel Owen writes…

“Having not been able to join the November Campaign Cruise on our NB Rum’a’Gin we were determined that we would be on the May Cruise come hell or high water.  The logistics of cruising to the capital in November were just too great, never did we think it would be as difficult to get there for May.

Firstly, Vazon bridge onto the River Trent near Doncaster was closed for repair.  Then the L&L closed due to lock issues.  Fortunately reopened so we could head across the Pennines.  we have now reached Lichfield, but our route is still changing we will be heading from the Coventry Canal onto the Birmingham and Fazeley before hitting the Grand Union.  The usual route would be on the Northern Oxford but that is closed due to a landslip.

Keep up with our progress at

And if you see us on the canal give us a wave or stop for a chat.”

On the Shropshire Union Canal

Anne Husar writes “At great personal risk (waterside on a very silted/muddy canal), my OH has bravely gone where no-one has before to attach this banner. There’s a lot of boat movement on the Shroppie at the moment, many more than last year we think, so hopefully this will attract curiosity/interest and is the best we can do at the moment with no boat engine to go anywhere!”

Bingley Five Rise 250th Anniversary Gathering

Hazel Owen (AWCC) sent this photo of her boat Rumagin dressed in FBW banners and flags (bow, stern, roof and sides) at Bingley, ready for the 250th anniversary of the Bingley Five Rise Locks on 23rd March.  The photo was taken on the previous day.

Situated on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, the Bingley Five Rise opened on 21 March 1774 due to demand from the industrial hubs in the region. At the time it was a major feat of engineering. The Grade I-listed locks are the steepest flight of locks in the UK, with a gradient of about 1:5 (a rise of 18.03m (59ft 2in) over a distance of 98m (320ft)). When the locks, and hence the canal from Gargrave to Thackley, were opened a crowd of 30,000 people turned out to celebrate and the local militia fired their field guns in salute. The first boat to use the locks took just 28 minutes.

Unlike the competing, and earlier, trans-Pennine waterways (Huddersfield Narrow and Rochdale canals), the Leeds & Liverpool has broad locks. This, combined with the heavy industry along its route, ensured that, unlike the other two trans-Pennine canals, it competed successfully with the railways throughout the 19th century and remained open through the 20th century. Ultimately, this means that Bingley Five Rise has continued to serve countless numbers of boats over two and a half centuries.

Shrewsbury Canal Heritage Exhibition

Alan Wilding (IWA Shrewsbury District & North Wales Branch) sent in this photo showing former Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski at IWA’s stand in the Shrewsbury’s Canal Heritage exhibition on 22nd March.  Alongside Daniel are Susan Wilding, Branch committee member (centre), and Philippa Bursey, Branch secretary (right).  They are well wrapped-up as the building has no heating.  After hearing from our team about the inadequate future Government funding of the Canal and River Trust, Mr Kawczynski asked  for more information so that he could write to the waterways minister.

Shrewsbury and Newport Canal Trust held the exhibition at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings to celebrate the county’s and, particularly, Shrewsbury’s, canal heritage.

Through a variety of historic artefacts and displays, the exhibition showcased the history of the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals, their decline and the work by the Trust and other organisations to highlight the importance of these canals, their history, the environment they create, and the benefits of their restoration.



At Fradley Junction

IWA Lichfield Branch has arranged for this banner to be displayed, until further notice, in a prominent position at Fradley Junction, in time for lots of visitors over Easter and beyond.


[Photo by Neil Barnett]

On the Regent’s Canal

St Pancras Cruising Club have put up this banner in a prominent place on their premises – which is visible to the passengers on main line trains arriving and departing from St Pancras rail station.


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