Helping people experiencing loneliness and social exclusion by providing Volunteering and employment opportunities through the preservation of historic wooden canal boats, which engage the community in a variety of activities such as, boat recycling trips and running a charity shop; boat restoration, repairs and maintenance; The boats offer respite for disadvantaged people and those suffering poor mental health.  Preserving the traditional boat building skills and the history surrounding the operation of these boats.


If you are interested in our Society or would just like to find out more, we should like to invite you to our AGM which is being held in our shop, 173 Stamford Street Ashton under Lyne at 12 noon on 23rd April so please come along and meet us there. To ensure there will be enough cake, please email with numbers.

Anyone can come along, but only paid up members can vote (join on the day). If you would like to be part of our team then please send your name to us before the meeting so we can include it in the voting. To see what opportunities there are please look at the Vacancies page which you can find via the link under the photo.








I’ve just updated the calendar to show Hazel’s whereabouts over the next few months. Just hover your mouse over the date. Most dates are still bookable for trips during the day and/or overnight stay wherever she happens to be at the time.


We need a larger team of folk to carry the society through our next stages. The Big Lottery paid for a full-time Project Development Manager and a Volunteer Co-ordinator. Now their grant has finished Claire Bebbington is employed as Community Boat Co-ordinator and runs the Hazel Project ongoing with a team of volunteers and volunteer crew, under our part-time skipper, Chris Leah.

We are also looking at the future of the boatyard in Stalybridge; whether or not we buy it from TMBC a lot of planning work needs to be done.

Plus we need at least three Trustees to carry the work forward and check compliance with Charity governance.


If you think you would be interested in any kind of admin work in any of the fields above, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Training is given, we just need some dedication and enthusiasm for the projects.

Our AGM is being held in our shop, 173 Stamford Street Ashton under Lyne at 12 noon on 23rd April so please come along and meet us there. Or just email

Thank you

Valentines and goodbyes

Don’t forget to keep up to date with the doings of Ashton Boatman via the link in ”About us”

Especially the latest post…..There are some still some places for the Valentines trips to the Boundary pub

And, end of an era as we said ”Goodbye” to Hazel Mayow, who has been the Volunteer Co-ordinator for the Hazel Project until recently.


The spring newsletter is out. Anyone expecting an emailed copy should have received it on 27th Jan. Anyone expecting a paper copy had it posted on 30 Jan or 2nd Feb so should have received it by now. Anyone not expecting a newsletter can click on “Join Us!” then “Application form” and follow instructions to get one…

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If you’re feeling the love already this year why not celebrate Valentine’s along the peaceful setting of the Ashton canal on board Hazel the Wellbeing boat followed by a lovely meal at the Boundary Inn, Audenshaw.

Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 1pm & 4pm and Tuesday 14th February 6pm departure from Portland Basin, Ashton under Lyne

Tickets £20 per person including 2 course meal at the Boundary Inn.

For further details contact Claire on 07860 944969

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A new venture for Hazel

In between Hazel welcoming folk aboard for well-being trips she is earning a little money and getting well known by having folk to stay who pay a commercial rate.

At Christmas a group of friends stayed aboard and were pleased enough to write this review…….” My five friends and I had a great stay for two nights over new year in Hazel docked at the Portland Basin. Chris was a wonderful host: friendly, chatty, helpful, always reachable by phone, and flexible. We commuted into Manchester easily both days to explore and enjoy the nightlife. There is an ASDA superstore a five minute walk away. The kitchen on Hazel is very well equipped. We found the boat very well equipped. I certainly recommend a holiday on Hazel if you’re looking for something fun and a little bit different.”

So – spread the word !!!

Find more details here…….


Volunteer opportunities for the New Year

DRIVERS NEEDED….Become a valued part of The Wooden Canal Boat Society Charity Shop‘s team. Deliver sales from our shop or collect donations.     Clean driving licence a must.

ONLINE SALES PEOPLE NEEDED….We have donations to our charity shop that could make more money for us by being sold online.
Help us to sort donations and / or list online.
Great, interesting work for anyone who is computer literate: full training given.

CHARITY SHOP WORKERS……Lots of opportunities in our shop in Stamford St., Ashton under Lyne.  Sort donations, arrange the shop to best advantage, help customers, work on the till, learn management skills.
Email or ring the shop Mon-Sat 10-4 and ask to speak with the manager, Christine Roberts for an appointment or more info.