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Newsletter of The Friends of The Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne

Editorial Kathryn Dodington

I am sorry but there’s no Chairman’s jottings in this issue mainly because our Chairman, Mick Butler, is supporting his wife look after her father, Roger Hasdell, who is not well. We extend our best wishes to Roger. My apologies also for effectively missing an issue of Museum Matters but, apart from some important work on Sculptor, there is not a lot to report. We are working with Canal & River Trust on the alterations to the Museum for which we have committed £30,000 on the understanding it is matched £ for £ by the Trust. Elsewhere you will see we have also committed some monies for the restoration of Sculptor’s gunnels – oh many ways of spelling that word!

to look after Stoke Bruerne and Foxton has, sadly, decided, because of family commitments to move to a rôle within the Yorkshire and Northeast Region. Their gain is our loss sadly. The reorganisation in Newark is almost complete so we hope that things really start to move forward very soon. Elsewhere you will see a note to advise that John 'Sam' Samuells sadly passed away recently - Lynda's commitment to Sam was legendary and we do wish her the very best in the future - we'll be there to support her.

Just around the corner is Village at War – we hope you will be able to join us on at least one of the days. We hope for a good turn out and good weather. Claire Cavendish, who joined the East Midlands Team from elsewhere in the Trust

In this Issue Editorial Sculptor update FoCM News Village at War 2019 Making Little Books Museum report

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Sam looking very relaxed recently (Photo: LP)

Cover picture: A bitterly cold morning at Braunston with Sculptor on the way to have the gunnels replaced (Photo: KD)

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Sculptor Update Kathryn Dodington Whilst things around the museum may have been being worked on Sculptor was the centre of attention as regards her gunnels. It’s long been known that Sculptor’s gunnels were on their last legs and with that in mind there had been ongoing discussion with Canal & River Trust as regards replacing them. In midDecember there was a meeting at which The Friends agreed to fund up to £5k for the replacement of the gunnels for which Canal & River Trust would tender. At the same time IWA Northampton, knowing that more work may be required on Sculptor applied

Faulkner bequest that money should only be spent within Northamptonshire. Sculptor left Stoke Bruerne in freezing temperatures and ice on 29th January to make her way to Braunston Marina where she was kindly looked after overnight and then the following day to Brinklow Boat Services who were Canal & River Trust’s preferred supplier in this case. Sculptor spent some time in the care of Rex Wain and his team at Brinklow. We had an enjoyable day there to see what progress had been made and then a day to prepare Sculptor for her return to Stoke Bruerne. Again, we overnighted her at Braunston and arrived back at Stoke Bruerne on 29th March resplendent with her new gunnels. The gunnels have been replaced to as near the specification of the original gunnels as it was possible in an attempt to retain as much authenticity as possible – that’s the right and proper thing for a museum exhibit – it is now up to the Sculptor team to look after them as carefully as possible.

Sculptor in the middle of a three-boat-tow passes under the Flore and Weedon bypass with Mountbatten and Sculptor wasn’t 100% ready to Jellicoe (Photo: RC)

successfully to the John Faulkner bequest for £5.8k. This certainly secures Sculptor’s short-term future and its future in Stoke Bruerne as it is a requirement of the John © The Friends of The Canal Museum Registered Charity No 1121146

attend the Anniversary celebrations of the Welford Arm, but was ready to attend the Crick Boat show where she looked wonderful although four days on site was tiring. Sculptor also Page 3

Sculptor Update Kathryn Dodington attended the Braunston Historic Weekend at the end of June and was duly rewarded with a very generous cheque for £1,000 by Tim Coghlan, the owner of Braunston Marina. On the way home from Braunston Sculptor suffered a drive failure in Lock 8, in the Buckby flight. This was quickly traced to a sheared bolt and worn drive key. The boat we were sharing with, Doubting Thomas, kindly breasted us up, Sculptor (fleet No 82) alongside Nutfield and Sagitta (fleet No 80) at Crick (Photo: KD) once we were assured there was no leakage around the stern tube and took us to the bottom of MEMBERSHIP Buckby. Steve Furniss was asked to repair SUBSCRIPTIONS Sculptor. On the Tuesday evening, after Joint members £20 Braunston, Kathryn received a phone call from Ruth and Richard Chamberlain Joint members (over 60) £15 (Mountbatten and Jellicoe) who offered to Family membership £20 Concessionary rate * £10 tow Sculptor to Weedon Boat Yard for Paper copy of Newsletter £9 Steve; an offer that was gratefully accepted. Repairs were undertaken by * Students and those over 60 Steve and overseen by Mike Carter, on behalf of Canal & River Trust. Sculptor was Remember - you can pay your subscription collected on the Thursday evening and by way of BACS (the banks' internal safely returned to Stoke Bruerne. There payment process). The information you are longer term repairs required to need is as follows: Sculptor’s drive shaft but in the meantime, PAYEE A/C NO. 76021629 she is safe to operate. A huge thank you to SORT CODE: 55 70 06 Steve Furniss of Grand Union Narrowboats Please use reference SUBS:Your Name and Mike Carter for pulling out the stops and getting us going so quickly and or send a cheque (payable to The Friends of professionally. Sculptor is due to be dry The Canal Museum) to The Canal Museum, Bridge Road, Stoke Bruerne, Towcester, NN12 docked at the end of October this year at Yardley Gobion. 7SE. © The Friends of The Canal Museum Registered Charity No 1121146 Page 4

FOCM News John 'Sam' Samuells Just as I was finishing this issue of Museum Matters, news came of the death of John 'Sam' Samuells. We extend our condolences to Lynda and Sam's family. An appreciation of Sam's life will appear in the next issue of Museum Matters.

FoCM help for the Museum The Friends of The Canal Museum have recently committed to support The Canal Museum in the following ways: • As previously mentioned The Friends have committed £5,000 towards the required manitenance on Sculptor, specifically the replacement gunnels and work on the cabin - both of these are in conjunction with IWA Northampton through the John Faulkner bequest. • The Friends have also committed £30,000 to the proposed reconfiguration of The Canal Museum on the understanding that the money put up is matched £ for £ by Canal & River Trust.

lived in the village and the second set’s ancestors originated from Stoke Bruerne and Shutlanger. The second session nobody came but the third session a lady and her daughter came, I had already been in contact with them as they thought they might have canal boatman ancestors but had no information beyond grandfather who came from Newport Pagnell. I was able to find out that they did have boatmen in the family who were GG Grandfather and GGG Grandfather who came from Oldbury and West Bromwich in the Black Country now the West Midlands. The fourth session nobody came. When the people turned up it was a great success and I was happy to be able to help people find out where they came from. In the future if we do this again I think we need to advertise more and have a better WiFi system within the Museum not just for me but for other users. I did notice whilst sitting waiting for people to arrive a business man using his lap top and purchasing a cup of coffee and a bacon sandwich.

Family History Workshops Lorna York ran some Family History Workshops recently - here's her account of them: The first session was a great success, two different sets of people attended one set © The Friends of The Canal Museum Registered Charity No 1121146

Lorna and Lynda discussing Family History (Photo: LS) Page 5


Sculptor paired with Toucan (with Toucan's original stern end in the background) in Stretton Stop just before Sculptor returned to Stoke Bruerne - the first time, we believe, the two boats have been together since 1936 (Photo: KD)

Mick Butler handing over a cheque for £5,000 to Margaret Harrison (CRT Collections Manager). L to R - Phil Mulligan (Regional Director), Rob Westlake (Sculptor), Paul Lynam (FoCM) Dan Whyment (CRT Ops Manager) and Bernard Morton (IWA Northampton Chairman) (Photo: KD) Š The Friends of The Canal Museum Registered Charity No 1121146 Page 6

Sculptor's new gunnels

Rex Wain (Brinklow Boat Services) explaining the work undertaken on Sculptor's gunnels to Steve Bagley (CRT), Steve Wright, Rob Westlake and Kathryn Dodington (Photo: JB)

Sculptor looking shipshape at Crick Boat Show (Photo: JB) © The Friends of The Canal Museum Registered Charity No 1121146 Page 7

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Village at War 2019 Lynda Payton Dust off your gas masks, dig out those ration books and prepare to be transported in time. Our 12th Village at War Weekend is all set to have you dancing and singingalong to all those 40s songs. This year there are no less than eight entertainers, old faces as well as new, and an army of reenactors to entertain you and the troops. It all happens over the weekend of 7th and 8th September when Churchill, Field Marshall Montgomery and Bomber Harris will be kept busy inspecting the troops and delivering rousing speeches. As well as tea

will be Lola Lamour at The Navigation pub, and on Saturday evening for those staying on site, a swing dance at the Village Hall and music by duo Bread & Dripping at The Boat Inn. This years event has a completely new focus with a new organising committee led by Kathryn Dodington and comprising village groups and villagers as well as members of the Friends. For the first time, the local Northampton branch of the Inland Waterways Association will be holding a mini-boat rally over the same weekend at Stoke Bruerne so their members can help with the running of the event. We are very grateful for their support. Local scouts will also be helping out for the first time.

That's not to say we don't need your help. Many Come and join in with Lola Lamour and enjoy a day at Village at War hands make light (Photo: KD) work as they say. dances at the Village Hall, vintage fashion If you can spare an hour or two to help with parades at the Church, the school will be set up, take down or help 'man' a sentry box, transformed into a ‘nippy’ tea rooms and please let Kathryn know. Email to fields around the village centre will be filled with black markets, memorabilia, military reach her. and vintage vehicles and displays. On the Friday night for those arriving early, there © The Friends of The Canal Museum Registered Charity No 1121146 Page 9

Making little books Laura Sturrock My tiny books come in three sizes, varying from ¾” square to 2” x 1½. When I first started making these books, I anticipated that it would be an activity suitable for

folding paper was meditative. Several children have come back again and again until they have a complete set of books. Everyone goes home with a successful book they made themselves. I have a sign which helps encourage people to have a go as they know it won’t take up too much time. It’s now time to review the success of the project and improve it for future events.

Some of the little books that Laura Sturrock has been helping visitors make at the Canal Museum (Photo: LSt)

children. Experience has shown that as many adults enjoy making the book as children. I have spent four days in the Museum making books with anyone who takes an interest. This included several members of choir from Germany. They said the activity of

Laura's sign which encourages visitors to making little books (Photo: LSt)

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Museum Report Louise Stockwin The 2019 visitor season is well under way. Everyone is delighted Steph returned after her maternity leave along with destination team returners Bev, Hayley, Sharon and Catriona, who couldn’t resist another visitor season. It’s also great to welcome three local faces to the team, Phoebe and Will along with Nelly who’s been working away in London and has returned to her childhood haunt, Stoke Bruerne. The first of the region's Customer Service Improvements here was completed at the beginning of June, the refurbishment of the public toilets, a huge improvement. The Trust's rebranding is now evident on all the signage and the investment of Canal & River Trust, smart blue and white parasols, for the picnic benches has proved popular with visitors. This stretch of the Grand Union continues to benefit from the marvellous, monthly upkeep from Stoke Bruerne Canal Partnership's task force. Their work along the flight, on the Museum green, including the installation of the region's first children’s mud kitchens, picnic bench staining plus the underplanting and care taken in the woodland walk and wildlife garden is evident and much appreciated. This year the gift shop set aside two book cases to accommodate the offers of preloved books, guides and maps. This is proving popular with both people wanting to rehome their books to good homes. If you have any donations or you have a keen eye

for an interesting bargain, we’d love to see you, between 10am to 5pm any day of the week. Thanks to you, the Friends of the Canal Museum, who continue to support the work here. Two ‘Friends’ have recently been trialling additional activities. ‘You Can Crafts’ short sessions on how to make miniature origami books and pamphlet stitch handmade journals from an assortment of attractive paper and ‘Your Story’ family history surgery in the waterside café have both been enjoyed by visitors. Laura Sturrock provided four free creative workshops and will be back on Sunday 15th September with a crochet workshop, please book a place if you’d like to try it. Lorna York has been helping visitors, new to family history and those who are already researching their ancestors, if you’ve been meaning to investigate yours, pop in on Saturday 28th September from 10.30am. Stoke Bruerne has for a long while been recognised as a pretty and interesting place to visit, irrespective of your waterways knowledge. There is a growing interest from the public, on the positive impact, special waterside places have on everyone’s general health therefore, the destination team would be delighted to welcome you, to this special part of the canal network which you continue to care for.

The Friends of The Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne (The Friends) may not agree with the opinions expressed in this newsletter, but encourages publication as a matter of interest. Nothing printed may be construed as policy or an official statement unless so stated. The Friends accept no liability for any matter, errors or omissions contained within this newsletter. We will however gladly publish corrections if notified. The Editor reserves the right to shorten or modify articles published in the interests of space or clarity.

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FoCM Council Chairman Michael Butler - also a Trustee ( or 01604 473756) Vice-Chairman Lorna York - also a Trustee Treasurer Paul Lynam ( and a Trustee Membership Secretary Laura Sturrock ( Publicity & Website, Grant Funding & Awards Lynda Payton 01604 861205 ( and a Trustee Minutes Secretary Lynda Payton - (pro tem) Newsletter Photographic Credits Kathryn Dodington ( KD Kathryn Dodington FoCM Other RC Ruth Chamberlain Museum Manager (ex-officio seat) LP Lynda Payton FoCM Curatorial Group LSt Laura Sturrock FoCM Steve Bagley (CRT), Louise Stockwin (CRT), LS Louise Stockwin CRT Brian Collings, Rodney Hardwick, Brian Mayland, JB John Bannister Lorna York, Lynda Payton, Olive Minney and Kathryn Dodington

THE FRIENDS OF THE CANAL MUSEUM ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING to be held on Thursday 21st November 2019 in the Canal Museum commencing at 19:30 (7.30pm) AGENDA • • • • • • •

Apologies for absence Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting of The Friends of The Canal Museum held on Thursday, 22nd November, 2018 at the Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne Matters Arising Chairman’s Report Treasurer’s Report Election of Members of Council Any other business

At the time of publication of this notice, there are three vacancies on the Committee, which also includes one ex-officio seat held by the Manager of The Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne. Under the terms of the Constitution Kathryn Dodington and Lynda Payton retire by rotation Lynda is seeking reelection, Kathryn is not seeking reelection, Laura Sturrock is retiring; Chris Durham is to be proposed as Membership Secretary and there are other opprotunities available; please contact Mick Butler if you are interested in helping. Other nominations for Council must be received by the Chairman, Michael Butler, 7 Primula Close, Billing Road East, Northampton, NN3 3QD by 15th November 2018. All those voting must be fully paid up members of The Friends of The Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne. SIGNED: Michael Butler, Chairman, The Friends of The Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne.

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