Autumn Newsletter

The Autumn newsletter is now out. Anyone expecting an emailed copy should have received it at the weekend. Anyone expecting a paper copy it is snailing it’s way to you at this moment and you should be receiving it in a few days time. Anyone not expecting a copy who wants one there is still time to join us by clicking here.

New Hazel Calendar

I’ve changed the calendar on the website to the google one so that it can be updated more easily and is linked in with the crew invites etc that Tony sends out. Click here to view.

This should mean it is kept more up to date than before and include all the short notice bookings which were previously not shown. Having said that it is now winter so we are in a quiet period!

Most of the private bookings, whether wellbeing or commercial will just show as “busy” as they contain additional information used for management purposes (e.g. crew rostering). If anyone else would benefit from seeing the additional info let me know.

We are an Accredited Training Centre

We are now an Accredited Training Centre. We can now train crew to nationally recognisable standards and give out certificates awarded by The National Community Boats Association. The final inspection on Saturday was kept top secret on a strictly “needs to know” basis. Even Kath, our treasurer, didn’t know, in fact we packaged her off to Greece for the duration so the first thing she will know about it is reading her tablet while sipping retsina in a Greek taverna! Dave, Mick and myself, Phil, were the guinea-pig pupils in Chris’ practical exam, although, as a by-product, we had skills ticked off which can now count towards our own qualifications.

Does that mean we want lots of new crew volunteers now? Yes, please send an email to, but don’t hold your breath as you might have a long wait. We have a backlog of 12 existing crew to train. Some are well overdue but still need finishing off the last bits, assessing and certifying, others are quite new and so need more training. Once the first batches have popped out the system they can help training, on dedicated training days and also by taking control of passengered trips while Chris loiters in the background with new crew members. So if you, or one of your friends, apply now expect to be invited to an induction day later this year or, more probably, the beginning of next year.
Will we be able to make money training for other organisations? No. Well not for a long time anyway. Maybe in a couple of years, once we have got our team up to scratch and Chris is feeling a bit bored & redundant, not being rostered for enough trip and looking for more work etc, maybe then. But right now he is far too valuable a resource to share with anyone!
A full report of the roller-coaster ride of accreditation process will be in the next newsletter. So if you’re not a member or sponsor yet now is the time to join. Rated PG, contains medium peril!

There’s still time……………….

………….to buy that present for ”the friend who has everything”

Complete this and enrol them as a Hazel Sponsor.  Hazelsponsorform

If appropriate, please also complete a GiftAid form GiftAidDeclaration_singleformforemail

Hazel the boat is up and running, starting her Well-Being trips for folk with poor mental health. Unfortunately they don’t all get funding plus Hazel will still need long-term care to keep her in the necessary tip-top condition.

Becoming a sponsor means that, for just £28 p.a., you or the recipient will get updates via our Newsletter and the knowledge that you’re helping with Hazel’s work.

Thank you


We would like to invite all members to the General Meeting to be held at 7pm on Wednesday 12th August in the shop at 173 Stamford Street, Ashton under Lyne. Please let us know if you intend to come as we need numbers for seating and catering.

Obviously at this time the society has a great future to look forward to. Hazel will soon commence her new role and the other boats will hopefully be able to get more attention. During talks with the Canals and Rivers Trust about moorings for Hazel several opportunities have arisen for us to work with them in some very new (for us) and exciting projects.

We are always looking for more volunteers, members and trustees. If you are interested in enquiring about any of these roles please comment on this post, email us or come to the meeting whether currently a member or not.

Thanks to all our members for your continued support and we hope to see you on the 12th.

A.G.M. Notification

The AGM for the Wooden Canal Boat Society will be held at –
WCBS Charity Shop
173 Stamford Street
Ashton under Lyne
on Sunday 26th April at 2 pm.
 We should love to see all members there and have your input.
This invitation is being sent out to gauge numbers and ensure that everyone reads it before the Easter holidays. An agenda will be available later.
For catering and seating, please advise us as soon as you can if you will be able to attend either or via this website.
Many thanks.

Do you live near Ashton-under-Lyne…………..

……………….  and would you like to help us in the shop or driving our van? Our shop in Stamford Street, Ashton is very big and it has a huge range of books, records and C.D.s not to mention all the clothes, toys, furniture and bric-a-brac that are donated to us. We need volunteer van drivers and shop assistants to help our over-worked manageress. We aim to give our shop workers a range of retail experience they can take into paid work. We also welcome pensioners and those who are already rich with life experience. We offer bus-fares and lunches and can provide references for those who are job-seeking. Good atmosphere and nice people! If you’re interested please do call in or phone the manageress on 0161 330 8422 (Monday to Friday) and ask for an application. Thank you !

Volunteer Co-ordinator

We are very excited to welcome the new Volunteer Co-ordinator to our ranks. She’ll help Anne-Louise, the Project Manager, to get Hazel up and running in 2015 by finding more volunteers to help with the project and the Society’s running generally.

Coincidentally, she is called Hazel !! That’s Hazel Mayow, and Chris Leah says………

”Our new Volunteer Co-ordinator is Hazel Mayow.    She used to be volunteer organiser with CRT, BW and The Waterways Trust. She is part owner of a wooden boat and also a really good musician who played in the band at Hazel’s launch ceilidh.  She knows a lot about wildlife too     (And she can use a chainsaw) ”

Welcome Hazel !


The Wooden Canal Boat Society would like to thank all members and those who’ve donated money and volunteered their time to bring us to where we are today; with a 100+ yr.old narrowboat all renovated and ready to be in use early 2015.

We couldn’t have done it without you! Keep up the good work and we hope you have a marvellous New Year !