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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 us to you!

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



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?

Cover of newsletter 2020/1

Find historic boats...

Events   view all

Sat 6 March

The meeting will be held by Zoom video conference.

Sat 13 March

The AGM will be held by Zoom webinar video and telephone conference at 2.00pm on Saturday 13 March 2021.

Please email any time up to 6 March 2021 to reserve your place. Nearer the time of the meeting, you will then be sent, by email, your registration details, the yearly accounts and the agenda.

Fri 2 April

We have heard that the usual large Easter gathering at the Port is unlikely to go ahead in 2021 in its usual format, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Although it was hoped that a small gathering might be arranged, it is now looking unlikely due to the "2nd variant" lockdown, leaving little time to organise events for April even if the lockdown is lifted in February.

Please check on the website of the National Waterways Museum for latest updates.

Sat 1 May

Further information and booking details on IWA website.

Club shop

Christmas cards for 2020

Christmas Card 2018   

Here is the Whitby on a crisp winter's day on the Trent & Mersey canal.

Single design, pack of 10 cards with envelopes

£3.00 per pack plus p&p

The greeting inside all cards is:
With Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year


Buy your supplies through our Shop.


Our Club Shop always has an range of interesting products available through our mail order service. Please browse the various categories using the links below

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

Navigation issues

It is so important to tell C&RT, and us, if you get stuck on the waterways.

C&RT's general contact phone number is 03030 40 40 40, their emergencies number is 0800 479 9947, or you can use their Contact FormC&RT Region by Region - a list of email contacts, and a map of 2019 Regions, is here.

Please let us know too so that we can chase it up. 

Here is our pinchpoints form, or you can email


Thank you!

Latest stories   view all

There was a special surprise for the club's retired Editor, Val Roberts, at our virtual Annual General Meeting on Saturday 14 November 2020. Unbeknownst to her, Mike Harrison had smuggled in a plaque that the committee had commissioned from Dan and Vikki Cauldwell of the Cromford Canal Co Ltd, Langley Mill, and presented it to her during the meeting. 

From Kathryn Dodington, club Secretary:

All HNBC members are invited to join our Annual General Meeting, which was postponed from March 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the club is not a charity, we understand that the Charity Commission has issued guidance to charities that AGMs may be held by phone/video or other electronic means, so we are following a similar pattern.

Statement from Phil Prettyman, HNBC Chairman

Dear HNBC Member

Unfortunately we have had to take the decision to cancel this Saturday’s AGM in light of the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Are you a private boater or a C&RT volunteer? You should soon receive an email inviting you to vote for a representative to sit on C&RT's Council. HNBC has no allocated seat on the Council, so we urge you to cast your vote for a club member: