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Welcome to the HNBC

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Welcome to the HNBC

The Historic Narrow Boat Club was formed in 1966 and is a not-for-profit club dedicated to preserving the working heritage of UK canals, from the boats themselves to details of the waterways on which they travel.  We are passionate about working boats, traditional skills, the built heritage, and the practices and courtesies of the working boat people.

We are an active pressure group for navigational and waterway heritage interests and we welcome all who support our aims, whether boat owners or not.  By supporting the Club, you are helping to ensure that the UK’s canals retain their unique heritage value.

We hope you enjoy exploring this website.

Season's Greetings from the club.

A Christmas or New Year's walk along our beautiful canals will raise your spirits - enjoy!

Six good reasons to join us

  • Our quarterly newsletter, full of interesting articles.
  • Discount offers on boating equipment and services.
  • Access to the ever increasing wealth of information in our narrow boat register and archive.
  • Help and advice on historic craft maintenance through our members' forum
  • Small, sociable rallies.
  • Twice yearly members’ meetings – the AGM in March and the winter social in November, both with interesting speakers.

How to join

You can join us as an individual, joint or associate member.

Read more about how to join

Our Newsletter

The Club's Newsletter is published quarterly. This is a high quality and lavishly illustrated colour publication with many fascinating features of interest to enthusiasts of historic boats.

Read "taster" Newsletter articles here. Back issues are available in limited quantities from the Club shop.

Why not join the club and get your copy hot off the press every quarter?

 front cover of issue 2017/3

Find historic boats...

Events   view all

Sat 3 March

The Club's Annual General Meeting will be held at Lapworth Village Hall, Old Warwick Road, Lapworth B94 6LD. Our speaker will be Tony Lewery.

http://lapworth.org/village-hall/


Sat 24 March

Check the Events Calendar on the Birmingham Canal Navigations Society's website for contact details

Fri 30 March

A flotilla of boats from Chester will launch the start of the weekend and boats will have the opportunity to moor in the recently opened upper basin.  The lively long weekend will include a fine folk programme combined with inspirational workshops, family and boat activities for all ages.  There will be the opportunity to have “Behind the Scenes” explorations of the boat store in Rossfield Road where the vessels raised from the top basin are being stored and worked on. There will also be the usual tours of the Lime Shed and the wider site.  

Sat 7 April

See the Events Diary on the BCNS website for up-to-date details.

Club shop

The Birmingham Canal Navigations 1950-1977, as seen through the lens of Philip Weaver

 

compiled by Mike Harrison

96 pages of photographs of the BCN taken by Philip Weaver, some in colour, some black and white. The photographs are grouped into colour-coded chapters, each with a beautiful hand-drawn map cross-referenced to the locations of the pictures.

£12.00 plus £1.50 p&p

Buy your copy through our Shop.

 

Our Club Shop always has an range of interesting products available. As well as running a stall at various events through the year, we offer a mail order service. Please browse the various categories using the links below

Blank Cards  -  Christmas Cards  -  Clothing  -  Club plaques  -  Maps and books

Navigation issues

Has your boat been stuck on the waterways?  Too shallow, too narrow, too short, too low?

It is very difficult to predict where one boat will get through and another will stick, but there are some well known tricky areas, and we're keen to have up-to-date information so we can identify new problems as well as old restrictions that are getting worse.  Please tell us where you've been stuck, with plenty of detail - eg were you going up or down in a lock, did you stick in the middle?  Also whereabouts on your boat - eg the front bends, the engine'ole bulkhead, the skeg. Read our current list here.

Don't just sort it yourself - tell CRT (03030 40 40 40) so that the problem is logged and then let us know so we can chase it up.  Here is our pinchpoints form, or you can email navigation@hnbc.org.uk.  Many thanks.

CRT have published an updated map showing their regions - click here. There is also a Contact Form for telling them about problems. 

Latest stories   view all

A flotilla of boats from Chester will launch the start of the weekend and boats will have the opportunity to moor in the recently opened upper basin.  The lively long weekend will include a fine folk programme combined with inspirational workshops, family and boat activities for all ages.  There will be the opportunity to have “Behind the Scenes” explorations of the boat store in Rossfield Road where the vessels raised from the top basin are being stored and worked on.

Here's a great little video showing the safe way to use lock paddles - only just over 6 minutes long but well worth a watch.

Click here, sit back and enjoy!

Iain MacTavish, the Club's North Wales and Border area rep, has devised a schematic reporting grid that you can download here and mark where on the brickwork your boat sticks.  Please send reports to him on nwbrep@hnbc.org.uk. Thank you!

Have you spotted a winding hole that's been chained off, or now has boats permanently moored in it, or where the width's been reduced? Please let us know so we can lobby navigation authorities to try to get these vital areas improved or reinstated. HNBC carried out a joint survey with the Inland Waterways Association because both organisations are concerned about the gradual loss of these turning points.  The survey results are now being studied, but if you spot anything new, please let us know anyway by emailing navigation@hnbc.org.uk.