Contacting us

If anyone is trying to contact us via a comment on a post, or has done so and not had a reply, please be aware that we’re getting a lot of spam comments and so may have missed an important one.

Apologies, but if you’d like to get in touch (and you are a real human being!), please do so either by the webmail on this website or by emailing myself at

Many thanks and we’ll try to get this sorted a.s.a.p.

Recruiting for exciting new post of VOLUNTEER CO-ORDINATOR

Volunteer Co-ordinator, ‘Hazel’ the Well-being Boat

Big Lottery Funded

Salary: £18,000 to £20,000 (pro-rata)

22.5 hours per week, 25 days annual leave (pro-rata)

Location: Aston-under-Lyne, Tameside

Can you help The Wooden Canal Boat Society to recruit and train volunteers to help run our restored 100 year old wooden canal boat, ‘Hazel’, as a Well-being boat?  ‘Hazel’ will provide canal boat trips for people with poor mental or physical health, respite carers or those who are suffering from social isolation.We are looking for a volunteer co-ordinator with the experience, enthusiasm and knowledge to recruit and manage new and existing volunteers for the ‘Hazel’ Well-being boat project, helping it to become a new sustainable enterprise in Tameside.

Working to the Project Development Manager and with the Boat Manager, you will identify, develop and advertise volunteer roles.  You will undertake one to one assessments with prospective volunteers, match them to suitable roles, develop and deliver an induction and identify and organise relevant training and support for each volunteer. The successful candidate will have experience of managing volunteers and working with people from a diverse community.  You will be an excellent communicator; both written and verbally.  You will have an enthusiastic and positive approach and will be able to motivate and support volunteers within their roles.

The Wooden Canal Boat Society is a registered charity, dedicated to preserving and restoring wooden canal boats of national heritage significance for community benefit.

Volunteer Co-ordinator_job description

Volunteer Co-ordinator_person specification

Volunteer Co-ordinator_Application Form

To request a paper copy of the application pack or more information or email

Please email applications to or post them to Anne-Louise Black, The Wooden Canal Boat Society, 173 Stamford Street, Ashton, Tameside, OL6 7PS.

The closing date for applications is Friday 28th November 2014.

Interviews will be held during the week commencing Monday 8th December 2014.

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Congratulations !!!

Marsh award photo - CopySome great news for W.C.B.S. today – read it here from this website:

Marsh Volunteer Award for Historic Vessel Conservation

This Award is run in partnership with National Historic Ships, the official voice for historic vessels in the United Kingdom. This award regonises those who have made a valuable contribution to the conservation, or operation of historic vessels in the UK and is an opportunity to recognise and thank outstanding volunteers.

The 2014 winner is Chris Leah

Chris set up the Wooden Canal Craft Trust in 1987, which changed its name to the Wooden Canal Boat Society in 1997, to maintain and restore two boats which he had been working to repair for many years: Forget Me Not and Lilith. Over the next few years, the organisation gained a strong reputation and acquired four more historically valuable boats, often working with British Waterways to do so.

Chris has been central to raising significant funds for the organisation. He was key in securing support from Tameside Council, which provided a boat-yard for the organisation. On the first Sunday of every month, Chris takes two boats out into the local community near the Ashton Canal, and with the help of other volunteers collects donations, whilst giving people the opportunity to learn more about the boats.

Perhaps Chris’s most significant contribution has been to bring historic boats to people in the community. Volunteers reported that spending time on the canal and boats helped to alleviate anxiety or depression. This encouraged Chris to rebuild the vessel ‘Hazel’ as a wellbeing boat for people recovering from mental health problems, people with disabilities and those who are marginalised within their community, to spend time on the boat and even learn new skills.

Chris has committed vast amounts and time, energy and passion to the conservation of historic vessels and to the community. The majority of his work is done as a volunteer and his vision and beliefs have helped the Wooden Canal Boat Society develop into the successful society it is today.

Nail-biting !!

We’ve just heard that Chris Leah has been short-listed for this award –

Marsh Volunteer Award for Historic Vessel Conservation

This Award is run in partnership with National Historic Ships, the official voice for historic vessels in the United Kingdom. This award recognises those who have made a valuable contribution to the conservation, or operation of historic vessels in the UK and is an opportunity to recognise and thank outstanding volunteers.

The announcement of the overall winner will be made at their award ceremony this month on the 21st October on-board HQS Wellington.

Please keep all your fingers crossed for Chris – he certainly deserves this recognition!

Hazel will very soon have a Manager / Skipper !!

Chris Leah has been chosen for the position of Hazel Boat Manager / Skipper.
The role will start in November and will include the recruitment, training and deployment of volunteer crew and relief skippers.
If anyone is interested in these roles please do get in touch via the website.
Working with the Project Manager, Anne-Louise Black, Chris will also organise a programme of well-being and commercial trips which may last a single day or a week in length.
Other boat owners have already volunteered occasional help towing Hazel.
His work will enable Hazel to become a new sustainable social enterprise in Tameside.

Fantastic raffle – this dolls’ house and loads of furniture


Tickets are on sale at The Wooden Canal Boat Society‘s shop in Stamford Street, Ashton under Lyne


at Stalybridge Farmers Market this Sunday 14th September.

The raffle will be drawn at the shop on Dec. 1st.


The house itself is 2 foot by 17 inches and comes on a slightly larger tray for ease of movement.
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Winner should be able to collect from our shop but transport within Greater Manchester is available if a donation for fuel is given.

Project Development Manager Appointed

With our funding from the Big Lottery, we have now appointed Anne-Louise Black as the new Project Manager to take Hazel forward as an operational and financially sustainable Wellbeing Boat. Anne-Louise wil be starting on 11th August, just about the time when we hope the internal fitting out of “Hazel” will be completed. We are delighted to welcome Anne-Louise into WCBS and we hope that really enjoys her time with us and is able to make “Hazel” a real success.

New Charter in the Nick of Time

 At the end of May, we were delighted to hear that our application to New Charter for a grant under Great Neighbourhoods had been successful. We were awarded £6000 to pay for a full time boatbuilder until end September. This is great news !  Martin Lowe who has worked on Hazel before during Stuart’s absence will now be working 5 days per week and will provide the final push to get “Hazel’s” restoration completed. The timing could’nt have been better !
We are indebted to New Charter and hope that, through “Hazel” ,  we may be able to develop a mutually beneficial partnership.
new charter

We Are Hiring!

Exciting times are just around the corner here at The Wooden Canal Boat Society

We are pleased to announce the role of Boat Manager / Skipper is now being recruited for

Please see here for more details

Our Recycling Trips are proving very popular in this beautiful sunshine
Please get in touch if you would like more information