What's on at the London Canal Museum

Walks, talks, boat trips, and more

What's On

There is plenty going on at London Canal Museum. We have regular monthly illustrated talks in the evening, aimed at adults with an interest in industrial heritage and canals. We have a programme of towpath walks in spring summer and autumn, and summer boat trips through the long Islington Tunnel on certain dates. Each summer we welcome the Mikron Theatre Company for theatrical performances and we have occasional special days of activities for families or adults. We also occasionally offer roses and castles painting courses, and other events.

Temporary Exhibitions

Illustrated Talks

Illustrated talks are held at 7.30 pm, on the first Thursday of each month except August. Most speakers illustrate their presentations with photographs. The museum is open 1000 to 1930 on the first Thursday of each month. Admission to talks and museum is charged at the usual museum admission charges. The programme is given below. In the event of any last minute changes to lectures or other events the site will be updated if sufficient notice is available.

Events coming soon

Narrowboat departing, brick-buildt traditional warehouse to rear

Temporary Exhibitions

Full List of Events

Date Event

August 2015

 
26th August Activity Day for Children: Watery Wednesdays. Working Waterways is the theme for this Children's Activity Day. Activities planned are Boat trips (short) Castles and roses painting Dressing up Making canal plaques Snubbers and Top Planks game, Making a Buckby can, Making a rag rug. All for only £4 per child! Sessions 1030 and 1330.

September 2015

 
3rd September Illustrated talk: Conserving our Waterway Heritage. by Florence Salbeter of the Canal and River Trust. Florence Salberter is the Canal & River Trust Heritage Adviser for the London and South-East Waterways. Florence works with Dr. Nigel Crowe and is involved in the management of the waterway's historic environment. All proposals that seek to amend or change the current waterways' structures are vetted by Florence in accordance with the Trust guidelines. She will talk about the processes and illustrate her talk with a few examples. (NB Change to previously advertised speaker)
13th September Tunnel Boat Trips through the Islington canal tunnel. The tunnel is around three quarters of a mile long and it was opened in 1820. Our trips are led by a guide from the museum who will explain the history of the tunnel as you cruise through it. Price £8.40 adult, £6.00 child, including museum admission. It is very strongly reccommended to book online in advance, as places on the boats are limited. Departures are at 1100, 1200, 1400, 1500 and 1600 and the trip takes about 50 minutes. See tunnel trips page for full details. Today's trips are wheelchair accessible.
27th September Tunnel Boat Trips through the Islington canal tunnel. The tunnel is around three quarters of a mile long and it was opened in 1820. Our trips are led by a guide from the museum who will explain the history of the tunnel as you cruise through it. Price £8.40 adult, £6.00 child, including museum admission. It is very strongly reccommended to book online in advance, as places on the boats are limited. Departures are at 1100, 1200, 1400, 1500 and 1600 and the trip takes about 50 minutes. See tunnel trips page for full details.

October 2015

 
1st October Illustrated talk The Canal and River Trust by John Dodwell. Founding trustee and long standing waterways enthusiast John Dodwell will detail the Trust's progress to date. He will explain the issues they face and the constraints under which they work.
10th October Guided canal towpath walking tour. Departing from the museum 1130. From the museum to Camden Town. Explore the sights of the canal, and amongst all the new development find reminders of its industrial transport past,, accompanied by a guide from the museum. You can combine the walk with a visit to the museum before or after the walk. book online in advance £7.50 including admission to museum, £4.50 walk only, £1 off for senior citizens, £1 more if paid in person on the day.
11th October Tunnel Boat Trips through the Islington canal tunnel. The tunnel is around three quarters of a mile long and it was opened in 1820. Our trips are led by a guide from the museum who will explain the history of the tunnel as you cruise through it. Price £8.40 adult, £6.00 child, including museum admission. It is very strongly reccommended to book online in advance, as places on the boats are limited. Departures are at 1100, 1200, 1400, 1500 and 1600 and the trip takes about 50 minutes. See tunnel trips page for full details.
11th October Roses and Castles Painting Workshop with Tricia Parrott. Book Online No prior expertise is needed for this workshop and you will be amazed at how much you can achieve with the expert tuition of Tricia, our resident Roses and Castles expert. Learn the technique of painting in the traditional canal style. You are welcome to bring something of your own to paint. Times 1030 to 1630. £30 per person, including tea/coffee at intervals.
31st October The Amazing Halloween Experience, with spooky boat trips through Islington Tunnel and a variety of seasonal activities in the museum.

November 2015

 
1st November The Amazing Halloween Experience, with spooky boat trips through Islington Tunnel and a variety of seasonal activities in the museum.
5th November Illustrated talk: The work of the Thames Ironworks Heritage Trust by Gavin Redknap. Gavin was one of the founders of the trust that is working to save and restore some of the few surviving craft built at the Thames Ironworks Yard at the mouth of Bow Creek. The Trust plans to use the fleet of restored one-hundred-year-old lifeboats for community projects on the Lower Lee.
29th November Roses and Castles Painting Workshop with Tricia Parrott. Book Online No prior expertise is needed for this workshop and you will be amazed at how much you can achieve with the expert tuition of Tricia, our resident Roses and Castles expert. Learn the technique of painting in the traditional canal style. You are welcome to bring something of your own to paint. Times 1030 to 1630. £30 per person, including tea/coffee at intervals.

December 2015

 
3rd December 2015 Illustrated talk: The River Thames Society and the River Thames by Peter Finch. Peter, who is Chairman of the River Thames Society, will explain the role and function of the society and then go on to talk about London's river and some of the issues it faces.
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January 2016

 
7th January Illustrated talk: Leonardo's Waterways by Dr. Roger Squires. The history and development of the early waterway network of Milan and Pavia, coupled with a review of the waterways today and plans for their future.
10th January Roses and Castles Painting Workshop with Tricia Parrott. Book Online No prior expertise is needed for this workshop and you will be amazed at how much you can achieve with the expert tuition of Tricia, our resident Roses and Castles expert. Learn the technique of painting in the traditional canal style. You are welcome to bring something of your own to paint. Times 1030 to 1630. £30 per person, including tea/coffee at intervals.

February 2016

 
4th February Illustrated talk: Industry in the Lee Valley by Jim Lewis. How the Lee Navigation and the River Lea facilitated the development and growth of the industries of the Lea Valley.

March 2016

 
3rd March Illustrated talk: The Glamorganshire Canal by Stephen Rowson. This waterway was built by Thomas Dadford and son to link the iron works of Merthyr Tydfil to the port of Cardiff. It followed the valley of the River Taff. Tramroads provided important feeders to the canal which rapidly gained traffic and trade. However, with the arrival of the Taff Valley railway in 1859 competition led to a decline. Mining subsidence in the upper reaches closed that section in 1898, and the lower line was finally abandoned in 1943.
12th March Disabled Access Day. Free refreshments and an extra welcome for disabled visitors.

April 2016

 
7th April Illustrated talk: The Stratford Canal. by Clive Henderson. The history and development of the Stratford Canal and the battles that were fought to save it from dereliction. The talk will also illustrate its rebirth as a major cruising route.

May 2016

 
5th May Illustrated talk: The Lancaster Canal. by Robert Philpotts A resume of the way in which the early canal builders brought the Lancaster Canal to life. Robert looks back on his early studies of the canal which were the focus of his first book.

June 2016

 
2nd June Illustrated talk: Three Cheers for the Regent's Canal by Lester Hillman. In the Summer of 1816, on the birthday of the Prince Regent, the first section of the Regent's Canal, from Little Venice to Camden, was opened. A display in the museum, which relates to the 1820 opening, shows how two centuries ago those in the Regency era organised such events. Lester Hillman will illustrate this first opening , and other such events, in this review of the bicentennial of the opening of the first length of the Regent's Canal.

July 2016

 
7th July Illustrated talk: All Ship-shape and Blackwall -fashion by Jeremy Batch. On the opposite bank to the Dome there was once the largest private dock in Europe, the birthplace of the hydraulic crane, the yards where "bad buoys were made good" and HMS Warrior was launched, and the wharf where Brunel's first steamship had her engine installed. Blackwall has featured in Jeremy's other talks but now is the time for a closer look at this historic site.

August 2016

 
4th August Guided canal towpath walking tour. Departing from the museum 1830. From the museum to Camden Town. Explore the sights of the canal, and amongst all the new development find reminders of its industrial transport past,, accompanied by a guide from the museum. You can combine the walk with a visit to the museum before the walk. book online in advance £7.50 including admission to museum, £4.50 walk only, £1 off for senior citizens, £1 more if paid in person on the day.

September 2016

1st September Illustrated Talk : Gunpowder on the Lee by Richard Thomas. The Royal Gunpowder Mills on the Lee at Waltham Abbey were in operation for over 300 years. From the 1850s onwards the site was also involved in developing new nitro-based explosives. Originating back in 1665, a former vegetable oil mill was converted to gunpowder production . A network of canals were created, both to segregate processing plants and to move finished products around the site. Similarly a specialist type of Thames/Lee barge was also designed for the gunpowder trade. Richard will outline the history of the works and its waterway connections.

October 2016

 
6th October Illustrated talk: The River Stour Trust by Andrew Richardson. The first Act was passed in 1705 to make the river navigable to Sudbury. It involved the construction of thirteen locks. Coal up and bricks down were the staple trades, together with grain. Subsequently railway competition slowly eroded traffic. In 1967 the then Anglian Water Authority petitioned parliament to have the Act repealed. The River Stour Trust fought off this proposal. Since then the Trust has worked to bring the navigation back to life. Andrew will detail what has been achieved.

November 2016

 
3rd November Illustrated talk: Narrowboats to Norway by Clive and Jill Field. Clive and Jill will tell us of the exploits of four narrowboats and their crews who ventured to Tilbury Docks under their own power before being taken to Sweden on a cross North Sea ferry. In Sweden they explored the scenic Gota Canal and the connecting lakes. They then ventured up the Daalsland Canal into Norway. They will tell us of their experiences on these scenic waterways.

December 2016

 
1st December Illustrated talk: Coventry: Its Canals and Canal Society by Robert Nash. Robert is the archivist of the Coventry Canal Society. He will explain the history of these two interlinked canals that formed part of the Brindley "Grand Cross". Hawkesbury Junction is the place where the two canals meet. This canalside hamlet has changed little over the years. Elsewhere, however , various alterations along these canals have changed them for ever. Robert will draw on the Coventry Canal Society archives to explore various themes.

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