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Chasing the Boats

The HNBC's annual Social will be on Saturday 18 November 2023 when our guest speaker will be Kev Maslin.
Kev is a Black Country lad, currently based in Tipton at the heart of the West Midlands canal network. A former photojournalist, he has been promoting and documenting the UK inland waterways for around 35 years. He specialises in photographing historic narrow boats and the people who lovingly maintain them for work and pleasure.

Easter Boat Gathering Celebrations at the National Waterways Museum

From Good Friday 7th April to Bank Holiday Monday 10th April 2022 

Following last year’s successful Easter Boat Gathering event where we were able to enjoy good weather and meet up with friends after the two-year imposed break due to the pandemic, we are pleased to say planning is in full swing for this year and we look forward to seeing you all again. 


London’s Limehouse Cut had a slightly different look to it at the end of May 2022 when 31 historic boats came together for one of the HNBC’s ‘campaigning’ gatherings. Like Brownhills and Hebden Bridge in previous years, the London event had the dual purpose of shining a light on a less frequently boated or lesser appreciated part of the system while showcasing historic boating to the general public

Red diesel for boats

The government published its response on 3 March 2021 to its consultation on the use of red diesel. The good news for boaters in mainland UK waters is contained in paragraphs 4.6 and 4.7, different rules apply for Northern Ireland:

4.6 Following consultation, the government has decided to maintain the entitlement to use red diesel beyond April 2022 for all commercial boat operating industries, including but not limited to the fishing and inland water freight industries. 

Restricted access for wide beamed boats

Canal & River Trust has confirmed in a notice dated 11 February 2021 that wide beamed boats may only use parts of the north Oxford canal if they are booked to do so.

"The north Oxford Canal between Braunston Junction and Hillmorton Locks is a narrow canal, not suitable for wide-beam craft. 

Access to the marinas on the north Oxford is permitted but only at pre-agreed times and must be done in a single journey (i.e. not stopping between the marina and the destination)."