Friends of The Canal Museum


Andrea Leadsom, MP

Lord Boswell of Aynho


Lynda Payton


Lorna York 


Laura Sturrock


Registered Charity No:


If you would like to join the Friends please see our Membership page, or if you would like to contact us please write to:

The Friends of The Canal Museum, c/o The Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne, Towcester NN12 7SE

or, e-mail us here 

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Latest Museum Matters - May 2021

Editor Kathryn Dodington has published the latest newsletter from the Museum Community at Stoke Bruerne with as much of the latest news as we can muster. Go to our Newsletter page to download a PDF version or click on the image below to read it on-line.


Corporate Member

A Stage Development 2 Project to carry out further work at the Museum and to the whole site at Stoke Bruerne is in preparation by the Trust and an Expression of Interest will be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund very shortly.


More details are expected shortly but is expected to include the refurbishment of the Learning Centre and the installation on a lift to the rear of the Museum, as well as exciting new initiatives along the canal corridor. More details will be posted here as they become known.

Pop-up Museum

A 'Pop-up' museum manned by volunteers outside the front door of the Museum ran every weekend in August and September last summer with very successful results.


It was a marvellous way of bringing the museum artefacts out to the public whilst the museum galleries remain closed.  The pop-up was open during cafe opening hours, weather permitting, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 11:00 and 15:00.

Here is a link to a short video of happenings on the first Sunday - thank you Phil and Denise for the video footage. See Video here.

Pop Up Museum with family Saturday afternoon pop-up

Sadly due to CV-19 our Village at War Weekend, which is usually held in September, couldn't happen in 2020 and was cancelled.


Due to continued uncertainty about when such large events can be held again and increasing difficulty finding sufficient volunteers to put on the event each year, we have had to take the hard decision to suspend hostilities in Stoke Bruerne for the foreseeable future.


We wish to thank all our Partners, Entertainers, Re-enactors, Traders and, most of all, our army of Volunteers, for all the support we have received over the last thirteen years.


It was great fun while it lasted but all wars come to an end.

Triple Cheque Presentation


Along with The Friends of Raymond and the Narrow Boat Trust, we were absolutely delighted to receive a donation of £1,000 from Tim Coghlan, Braunston Marina at Stoke Bruerne on Friday 30th October. A wonderful gesture in light of of the cancellation of the Historic Narrowboat Rally. We are totally in awe of Tim's continued generosity to the Friends and Sculptor over the entire life of our charity (almost 15 years!).


L to R Nick Lake, Friends of Raymond; Kirk Martin & Alison, Narrow Boat Trust; Rob Westlake, Sculptor Volunteer Team;  Tim Coghlan, Braunston Marina; Roger Goulder, Friends of Raymond; Lynda Payton, Friends of The Canal Museum; Louise Stockwin, The Canal Museum and Steve Bagley, Canal & River Trust.

2020 Award Recognition


Each year we make an award to the Member who has made an outstanding contribution to furthering the aims of our Charity and I am delighted to announce the 2020 award goes to our No.1 Corporate Member - Tim Coghlan.


The award is usually presented at our AGM but because of CV-19 our AGM is moving online this year, so it seemed appropriate to take advantage of Tim being in Stoke Bruerne at the same time as historic working boats Sculptor, Nutfield and Brighton. (See story above)


Well done Tim - very well deserved!

Friends Chairman Lynda Payton with Tim Coghlan

Above: David Daines & Kathryn Dodington


Left: Lynda Payton

Museum Revamp Reaches Completion

The Canal and River Trust have almost completed an impressive revamp of the Museum helped by a whopping £67,000 of funding from the Friends.  The Stage 1 Project has seen the building transformed and modernised with new panoramic windows, a catering kitchen and smart interiors with exhibits on all floors. Retail has been streamlined and combined with the cafe.


The Museum re-opened to visitors on 19th May, with the opportunity to enjoy free entry to the upper floors and a new mouth watering menu in the extended cafe on the ground floor, with a new outside seating area.


Due to snagging issues with some of the building work, the top floor will remain closed until at least early July, but when it is open, visitors will see a transformed exhibition space.


The volunteer curatorial team led by the Trust's Collection Manager, Steve Bagley, have been beavering away for the last few months to prepare brand new displays and interpretation which will be installed as soon as the building work on the top floor is complete. The team will be continuing to work on more new  displays throughout the summer months.



HLF Bid is in preparation

2105 Museum Matters