MUSEUM MATTERS November 2010
The Newsletter of The Friends of The Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne
See you all at
Illuminated Boats & Carols 11th December at 5pm
Village at War Goes with a Bang Stoke Bruerne resounded to the sound of gun and mortar fire once again in October for a repeat of its now annual World War II reenactment staged by The Friends of The Canal Museum in conjunction with other village organisations and businesses. Although the almost continuous rain on Sunday, meant that ticket sales were suspended at midday, the event made a small surplus of around £800. Despite a much reduced financial return than in previous years, the organising committee voted it a resounding success. Event Chairman, Museum Manager David Henderson said; “Village at War has a incalculable value in raising the profile of the Canal Museum and Stoke Bruerne which makes a huge difference to visitor numbers throughout the year. For this reason, it has been decided to go ahead with another event in 2011 — that is, if sufficient volunteers come forward to help put it together — a task that is by no means arduous and even great fun!”. This year’s colourful 40s event was opened on Saturday morning by local MP Andrea Leadsom accompanied by Winston Churchill Seamus Lefroy-Brooks with Poppy [left] and Louis (aka canal personality Ken Roseblade) and Field Marshall Mont[right] from Shutlanger gomery (Alan Oliver). photo: Lynda Payton For more pictures and a full report see Page 5
VILLAGE AT WAR WINS REGIONAL AWARD Since the last issue of Museum Matters, we are delighted to announce that Village at War has won yet another prestigious award, its fourth in 2010 — this time at the inaugural East Midlands Heritage Awards held at Kelham Hall, Newark, on the 16th September 2010. Village at War won Best Event. All the entrants were short-listed and winning museums from across the 6 counties of the region and in all types and sizes from entirely volunteer run sites to large and small independent and local authority museums. Museum Manager David Henderson is pictured here collecting the award at the awards ceremony.
40s re-enactors gave a wartime flavour photo: Anthony McCallum
Who has an important birthday this month and what present is she getting from her Friends? Turn to page 6 to find out
Stoke Bruerne and Shutlanger in the Nineteenth Century Part 5: by David Blagrove Another change that the village saw during mid-Victorian times was the restoration of St Mary’s Church in 1865. New pews, a tiled floor and alterations to the clerestory were provided, but fortunately the hands of the restorers rested lightly on St Marys in contrast with churches elsewhere. Whelan’s Directory of 1849 notes that there was then a gallery across the west end of the nave. Doubtless this accommodated the village musicians, as Sir John Betjeman was to put it in later years: “From that West Gallery no doubt The viol and serpent tooted out The Tallis tune to Ken”¹ but it is not mentioned in Kelly’s Directory of 1854, which instead states that “there is an organ standing in the rood loft”. Some idea of the Church’s importance at this time may be gleaned from the Religious Census of 1851, in which the Rector, Philip Henry Lee, claimed that on 30th March that year 116 persons attended matins and 185 an afternoon service, there apparently being no evensong. Additionally 112 Sunday scholars attended in the morning and 114 in the afternoon. The congregation was of course drawn from both villages. The vestry and an organ chamber were built on the north side of the chancel in 1881. The Reverend Lee was obviously no mere placeman. During his lengthy incumbency from 1836 to 1876, when he died in office, he fought his corner over the matter of the Church’s share of the Tithe Settlement and oversaw considerable work done to the Church in 1843 and 1865. Additionally he took a great interest in the Village School, which he was instrumental in founding in 1838, with help from R.E. Sheppard, who donated the land, The Duke of Grafton, Francis Wentworth Vernon of Stoke Park and a grant of £50 from The National Society (a Church of England organisation). In 1840 56 boys and 26 girls aged from 2 to 10 years old were being instructed there. Additionally a compulsory Sunday School was instituted which in 1840 had 65 boys, presumably the same as attended normal school, and 65 girls. This numerical discrepancy is explained by the fact that girls, once they were old enough, could earn between 1d and 4d a day as lacemakers. About 6 boys from Stoke attended the Grammar School at Courteenhall. In 1856 an infants’ school was started in Shutlanger and Lee was instrumental in obtaining a grant from the National Society of ¹ “Verses turned in aid of St Katherine’s Stadhampton, 1952”. The reference is to Thomas Tallis’s (1505-1585) music that became a setting of the translation of Psalm 100 by Bishop Thomas Ken (1637-1711), often referred to as “the old hundred” and known today as the hymn “All people that on Earth do dwell”. The replacement of village bands by organs was a constant source of dispute in the 19th Century; see Thomas Hardy “Under the Greenwood Tree”.
£5 per annum towards the salary of a “monitoress” and the Duke of Grafton and F. Wentworth Vernon increased this to £10. Lee did not have it all his own way though, for the Dissenters in the two villages managed to establish a school of their own, where the condition of attending a Church of England Sunday School did not apLacemakers could earn ply. In 1840 these between 1d and 4d a day pupils numbered 15. It was noted at the time that some 32 children aged from 4 to 12 years old did not attend any place of education and presumably ran wild in the villages. Following the Rector’s death in 1876 his work for the parish was commemorated by a new East Window, installed the following year. In 1884 an infants' school was built in Shutlanger to a design by the architect Matthew Holding on land given by Sir Thomas Fermor-Hesketh. Hitherto such children had been accommodated in an extension to the Wesleyan Chapel, built in 1844. The following year the new school was licensed as a chapel of ease for divine worship, with seats for 150. In 1886 a chancel, with a stained glass east window was added as a memorial to Mary, the wife of the Reverend Lee, who died in 1885, having laid the foundation stone for the building the previous year. An altar from the parish church, replaced during the restoration of 1881, was installed at the chapel. In the meanwhile the old infants’ school became a village Reading Room, a facility that Stoke was to lack for some years to come. The infants’ school closed in 1916 but the building, dedicated to St. Anne, remains in use as a chapel of ease to St. Mary's at the time of writing, with the nave also serving as a village hall. ■ To be continued
“girls, once they were old enough, could earn between 1d and 4d a day as lacemakers”
PROMISES GO UNDER THE HAMMER Twenty highly attractive lots ranging from a half-day cruise on a narrowboat to a luxury four bed villa in Thailand went under the hammer at The Boat Inn PH on Friday 29th October raising just under £1400 for our cause. The evening was kick-started by Denis Atkinson with a „mock‟ auction of nine antique items, some of them quite valuable and others absolutely worthless. Advance viewings were encouraged and after prices were noted down bidding commenced (to ascertain what bidders thought they might be worth). A prize was awarded to the person who amassed the nearest correct value for all nine items. No money actually changed hands! While valuations were underway, bidders were invited to partake of a light supper which was funded by a raffle drawn at the end of the evening. The main auction was conducted in a highly entertaining and humorous manner by professional auctioneer John Harris who succeeded in extracting some very high bids. Our sincere thanks go to him and to Friends volunteers Bill Mann and Denis Atkinson who put the evening together.
Auctioneer John Harris [left] and raffle announcer David Blagrove [centre] look on while winner Grete Ricketts collects her prize. Our grateful thanks go to the generous support of our sponsors who provided the promises. They were Silverstone Racing Circuit, Laura Sturrock & Peter Oates, Saints Rugby Club, Denis Atkinson, Northampton Town FC, Lynda Payton, Tracey Bovington, Bill & Liz Mann, The Boat Inn PH, Lawrence Cook, Mike Partridge, Derngate & Royal Theatre, David Ingleby, Brian Collings, David Blagrove, NABO Chairman David Fletcher and Roade Cars.
FOLK SONG & STORY EVENING SUPPORTS SCULPTOR APPEAL
DO YOU REMEMBER... When you filled in your application form to join the Friends and support your local canal museum? Did you tick some boxes offering to assist in some way? Well, we could do with your help. Is there anyone out there who could spare a few hours to organise our winter talks season and also co-ordinate volunteers on behalf of the Friends who have offered to give talks? Apart from our own highly entertaining talks to members which are held monthly in the Canal Museum over the winter months we are occasionally asked if we can provide speakers to other groups, such as WI’s and local libraries, to talk about the Friends or our canal heritage in general. It’s not an onerous task as we only invite 7-8 speakers to talk to us each year and we can assist with a database of members who have offered to give talks or demonstrations of canal crafts. If you think you might be interested, or
On Saturday 23rd October a Folk Song and Story Evening in the Royal Oak Barn, Blisworth, hosted by Friends members Rose and would like more information about what is involved, please contact a committee Brian of NB Enigma, raised £130 for the Sculptor Appeal.
member (see back page), or send an e-
The event was supported by, amongst others, sixteen local boat mail to: crews. email@example.com More news on the Sculptor Appeal can be found on page 6.
David Blagrove, Chairman of the Friends, writes…
“Village at War... an all-round success”
“deteriorating rapidly” I mentioned the matter of the Side Lock and Weighing Machine last time. This is still far from being resolved, but at least something is happening. I cannot usefully report very much on the subject, since delicate negotiations are proceeding, but the Village Partnership is in the course of preparing a scheme for the continuing use of the side lock if and when the machine is removed. It is evident that it is deteriorating rapidly. The other project that I mentioned last time in connection with the canalside generally, that of interpretation, is proceeding slowly. Roy Sears, our Council member who has masterminded the booklet substitute for the stalled interpretation panels, has had to go into hospital for an operation. At the moment of writing he is at home and progressing well. I am sure all Members will join me in wishing him a full and speedy recovery. Meanwhile in his absence the project is being guided by Brian Collings, so we may be assured that it is in very safe hands indeed. Our Council Member Bill Mann has also been in the wars, he has had a minor operation on his hand and is currently out of regular operation, but hopes to be back in full working order by the New Year; we wish him all the best and a swift recovery. Finally, our West Northants stalwart, Councillor David Griffin has intimated to me that he feels that he can no longer give our Council the attention he would like and so will be resigning his place as from the New Year. He has been a member since our inauguration five years ago and I would like to take this opportunity of thanking him for his long period of useful input, especially from the point of view of local authorities.
“pleased to welcome” At our September Council meeting we were pleased to welcome Linda Davies from Northampton University who came along as an observer following the approach to the University mentioned in our last Museum Matters. Since then David Henderson and Louise Stockwin from the Museum have attended a Freshers‟ Presentation with much information about the Museum and its work. This has already brought forth interest from new students and we are hoping to build upon this substantially during the ensuing academic year.
Union Canal (it seems only yesterday that it ended, sign of the ageing process I‟m afraid!). Whilst irregular commercial traffic has never ceased completely the daily sight of loaded and empty working boats passing the Museum is now forty years in the past. The last such contract was for the supply of 100 tons of industrial coal per week to Kearley & Tonge‟s jam factory at Southall, known as “the Jam „ole” by boaters. This ceased in late August 1970 at the same time as the supply of coal to Dickinson‟s paper mills at Croxley, carried by a variety of small carriers in latter years. However a sudden call for a late order of 100 tons for Southall in October, after the boats had been laid up, meant that the Jam „ole was indeed the very last regular customer of the canal.
“commemorative run” Since 1995 though the custom has arisen of a commemorative run by surviving working boats and others every two years and this year saw a special run made. Our treasurer, Laura Sturrock and her partner Peter Oates took Stanton, one of the boats to carry the last loads to the Jam „ole, round the course in the traditional seven days (Braunston-Atherstone-SouthallBraunston) that the regular boats would achieve. Another six boats accompanied them including Renfrew, another of the boats employed up to the very last. All the boats kept together and made landfall together at Stoke Bruerne for the final night of the run (see photo below). I am slowly recovering from this. One interesting piece of news is that the owners of Renfrew,
Photo: Laura Sturrock
Although the main excitement of this year‟s “Village at War” has died down, there are still echoes as we go to press, for as such events grow so does the administrative work, particularly the accounting side of things. Hopefully all will be settled by Christmas and it looks as though the event has been an all-round success. There have been some complaints from villagers who found the presence of fairground generators nearby too much of a good thing, but at least these problems were mitigated by the most helpful attitude of the showman and his family. Quite obviously we shall have to think seriously about the positioning of such amusements at future events. However the most important thing in my view that aided the event‟s success was the generosity of Alison Jones in allowing us the use of her large field in the Greenway for a show ground. We are most grateful. The events at the church were also a great success, pleasing the Parochial Church Council, members of which had never seen the Church so full. Sadly the hope I expressed in my last Jottings for an Indian Summer was only partially granted. The weather on Sunday was once again dreadful, but even so a good few people braved it.
who have kept her in excellent condition ever since buying her out of trade forty years ago, have decided to sell her and she is to be re-united with her old butty boat Lucy, now undergoing extensive repairs and rebuilding at Braunston. This means that five out of the last six boats operating the final contract are still unconverted and in good hands, for the other pair is of course our old friends Nutfield & Raymond. Whilst on the subject of boats, Sculptor was moved in early November to the boatyard at Stretton-on-the-Fosse, where she is awaiting restoration. A small sub-committee of the Friends has been formed to oversee this, and I hope we shall be able to give subsequent progress reports for the Friends‟ benefit.
The years speed up as one gets older. Not only does 1970 seem like yesterday, but my last year‟s Chairman‟s Jottings seem like a few minutes ago. Nonetheless, here we are again and so I will take this opportunity of wishing all members a very happy This October has seen the fortieth anniversary of the end- Christmas and a prosperous New Year, and look forward to seeing of regular long-distance commercial traffic on the Grand ing you at our events planned for 2011.
“Bigger and better than ever!” This year’s Village at War was bigger and better than ever, with a vintage fair featuring dodgems, a helterskelter and swing-boats. Attractions also included a replica Spitfire, musical entertainers George Formby (aka Paul Casper) and the ever popular Lola Lamour, a special Land Army display featuring vintage tractors and a Dig for Victory garden along with farm implements and static animals. Even the poor weather on Sunday didn’t deter families from turning out to experience what it was like to live in the austere 40s and learn how to do the “Lambeth Walk” at the popular afternoon tea dances. There was plenty to do for the children too with Wild About Waterways running activities in the Canal Museum which was offering free admission on both days. And as usual, there was plenty of activity on the water with boat trips and vintage boats, as well as trading boats selling black market cheese and delicious fudge. (above) Local MP Andrea Leadsom opens the weekend A £50 prize to the “best dressed house” in Stoke Bruerne judged by “Mr Churchill”, who toured the village by jeep, was won by Rory O’Farrell and his partner Kirsty at Rosebud Cottage who not only taped up their windows, but hung out bunting and played stirring war-
(below) The Cheese Boat
photos: Lynda Payton
time music to entertain the passing crowds. In all, the weekend was voted a resounding success and next year’s date has already been set for the same weekend in October, so put it in your diaries now! (left) Churchill and David Blagrove get ready to lead the British Legion procession (right) Lorna York and Sculptor get into the wartime spirit
photos: Anthony McCullum
SCULPTOR GETS 75TH BIRTHDAY PRESENT Thanks to generous donations from her Friends through Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne, 39 Church Street, the Sculptor Appeal and match funding from PRISM Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire NN7 3LH (cheques (Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Material) adminis- made payable to Friends of The Canal Museum). tered by MLA (Museums, Libraries and Archive), Sculptor is to get a new bottom for her 75th birthday although work Lorna’s Trip Log... will not actually start until January. Saturday the 5th of November dawned bright and sunny Built in 1935 by W J Yarwood & Sons of Northwich with a so we picked a good day to move Sculptor from Stoke Lister HA2 diesel engine, Sculptor was used by the Grand Bruerne to Braunston. Rick Thake had pumped her out Union Canal Carrying Company for on Friday afternoon but it took general cargo between the Midan hour of pumping before I lands and London. During World could start the engine, as the War II she was commissioned by water was over the fly wheel— the Ministry of War Transport as a that much water had leaked in fire fighting facility, based on the overnight. Grand Union Canal at Greenford. It We started off at 8.30am inis believed that the vessel was stead of 7.30am and the journey handed over following completion, to the bottom of the Buckby probably with its original butty Touflight was uneventful, apart can, on 29th November 1935. In from a slight hold up on the 1985 she was withdrawn from the Weedon embankment when fleet and restored at the museum another boat decided to back at Ellesmere Port and in 1986 she from one side of the canal to was moved to The Canal Museum other which took about twenty at Stoke Bruerne. five minutes to execute. Shortly after the formation of The We accompanied another boat Friends of The Canal Museum in up the flight and set off across 2005/6, the perilous state of the the Braunston summit as the septuagenarian's bottom gave sun was getting low in the sky cause for concern and in 2007 she which made seeing a bit difficult was saved from sinking by the in places. As we entered Braunquick action of Friends Chairman ston Tunnel the head light deDavid Blagrove who plugged a cided to give up on me. It is major leak in true boatman’s fashamazing how much you can see ion. In 2007 and 2008 Sculptor in the dark! As long as I could went into the dock at Braunston see the other end of the tunnel where volunteers carried out more with the cratch centred I was robust temporary repairs, but apart Sculptor coming through Nether Heyford OK and luckily nothing was from her local trip to the annual photo: Laura Sturrock coming the other way. My only Braunston Historic Boat Show, problem was when I got to the insurers stipulated that she was unfit to leave her mooring. bend when my sons came to my rescue. James with his In early 2009 an Appeal was launched by The Friends of lighter and Joseph with his phone, just giving me that the Canal Museum to raise funds for her repair and in July little bit of light to see by. I prayed to my ancestors to this year aided by a large donation of £1,000 by Tim Cogh- get me through and I was so glad to get to the end of the lan of Braunston Marina and monies given in memory of Tunnel. the late Dave Prior, the fund reached a level where By now the light was fading fast, but I could see the top £13,000 of match funding could be applied for. We are lock was already set for me. Mike Constable was waiting very grateful to Honorary Curator Mike Constable who did for us. Every thing was Ok going down the first four all the work on the grant application to PRISM. Mike said: locks, on the fifth lock James came to tell me that there “Sculptor is a vital part of the Canal Museum as she is the were two boats coming up and he would take the centre first contact that most visitors receive as they approach the line and keep me to the side of the pound. The lights on site.” these boats were very powerful, in fact they lit up the The repair work is vitally needed as the state of Sculptor’s pound from the bottom lock to the second. In the event bottom boards have continued to deteriorate to the point it was only one boat in the lock with two lights on and I thought to myself I could have done with one of them where almost continuous pumping-out was needed. earlier. Sculptor left for Brinklow Boat Services for repair at the By the time we came out of the bottom lock it was very beginning of November where she is now being cared for dark and we had to find somewhere to moor. We until work can start. In the meantime, the Sculptor Appeal squeezed into a tight spot by Butchers bridge and left Fund remains open, as money still needs to be raised to Sculptor there. The following Tuesday Ron Withey took provide a contingency fund. Donations can be made via her on to Brinklow Boats at Stretton where she is now our website at www.friendsofcanalmuseum.org.uk or by being well looked after. post to Treasurer, Laura Sturrock c/o The Friends of The Lorna York
Message from the Museum Manager David Henderson brings us up to date Financial The targets for this financial year have been very challenging after a successful previous year which benefited from much better weather (especially during the school holidays) and the reduced level of VAT at 15% which helped sales. Consequently, it has been very difficult to reach income targets, and this has only been achieved in the month of April. Visitor numbers were very low in September, recovering slightly in October. Overall, visitor numbers are only 1.7% below last year, but this has a knock-on effect on both cafe and shop sales. In retrospect, it would appear that the increased trading anticipated in the budget was somewhat ambitious, and this will be addressed in the 2011/12 exercise, which will also be affected by the further increase in VAT to 20%, which will not assist in increasing shop sales. Gift Aid Museum staff have been successful in asking for visitors to Gift Aid and as a result figures for September are 157 Gift Aids = £430.66, and in October 157 Gift Aids = £435.12. Local Business and Promotions The Museum has continued to work closely with the other local businesses in the village. Most supported the Village at War weekend by buying advertising space in the excellent VAW programme. At the VAW event the village ran out of car parking spaces at 2pm on the Sat afternoon. We contacted Rookery Farm and the owner agreed to open his field and allowed 40 cars to park. All these activities highlight the co-operation and support the local businesses provide for each other. Health and Safety There were no accidents or incidents reported in this period of time. Training I attended an internal training course on Human Resources at Ellesmere Port (21st Oct) Events and promotions On 9th September I attended a NEL seminar at Benefield Hotel and gave a powerpoint presentation on the Village at War successes. On 16th September Village at War received Best Event Award for the East Midlands at Kelham Hall in Newark. On 2nd/3rd October the 2010 Village at War event was a great success (despite rain on Sunday). The Friends will make between a £800-£1k surplus and Stoke Bruerne’s reputation as a tourist destination is enhanced throughout the County. The Village at War programme offered a 2-for-1 entry to the museum on future visits to Stoke Bruerne. This has been quite successful with 23 vouchers being used in October. Curatorial The Canal Museum has been re-accredited. Flagship MLA Course We have received a grant of £700 to attract young volunteers. The Museum has produced a leaflet which was very successful at a Volunteer Fair at Northampton University on October 14th Survive and Thrive I attended a Business Planning Course on July 29th Museum Forum I am a committee member of the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum and am involved in the production of a Forum booklet with Head of Libraries (Northampton C.C ) and the Manager of Sulgrave Manor. Also, the redrafting of the Forum constitution (linked to Survive and Thrive) and an Ancestral Working Party that is led by Northampton Enterprise Ltd.
Ancestral Tourism I represent the Museums on a committee seeking to bring visitors to the County whose families lived and/or worked in Northamptonshire. Curatorial Group The group restarted their winter work on Tuesday 2nd November. The Quilt exhibition was taken down that day and replaced with a Family History exhibition Actions for the winter The costume case is to be replaced at an estimated cost of £4k New graphic panels for Canals at War The first floor displays will be themed on boats, boating and the people of the boats. The second floor displays will be themed on engineering, maintenance and the workforce connected therewith. Sculptor The curatorial group has gained £13k match funding from PRISM towards the costs of replacing Sculptor’s wooden bottom. A contract has been placed with Rex Wain at Brinklow Boats to undertake the works starting in January for her return before the Gala Weekend Event in June.
COUNCIL 2010/11 Chairman David Blagrove 01604-862174 Vice-Chairman Lorna York Treasurer Laura Sturrock Minutes Secretary Denis Atkinson Membership Secretary Sandie Morton firstname.lastname@example.org Publicity, Newsletter, Talks & Website Lynda Payton 01604-861205 email@example.com Museums Management Board Representative Roy Sears Volunteer Co-ordinator: Vacant Other David Henderson (ex-officio seat), David Griffin, Jenny Copeland, Bill Mann, John Alderson, Brian Collings Events Sub-Committees Dennis Atkinson, David Blagrove, Bill Mann, David Henderson, Barbara Everest, Jennifer Chybalski, Lynda Payton (occasional), John Alderson, Rick Thake, Roy Sears, Tim Carter (occasional), Laura Sturrock, Jenny Copeland and Michael Butler Non-Committee Posts Roger Hasdell - Joint Newsletter Editor Terry Richardson - Assistant Publicity Officer
ILLUMINATED BOATS & CAROLS
www.friendsofcanalmuseum.org.uk DIARY DATES Regular Friends talks meetings take place throughout the winter, normally on the third Thursday of the month in the schoolroom at the rear of the Museum. More details are published on our website and in newsletters. A donation is appreciated to help cover expenses. Please put the following dates in your diaries:
Saturday 11th December from 5pm onwards Illuminated Boats & Carol Singing Hot food and beverages, lantern procession, carol singing on the Museum Green with the children of Stoke Bruerne Primary School, illuminated boats and village gift shops open for your last minute Christmas presents. Prize awarded to best illuminated boat. Thursday 16th December at 8pm No talk this month. Thursday 20th January at 8pm Tim Coghlan talks about “Evelyn’s War” (as serialised in Canals & Rivers magazine) in the Schoolroom at the rear of the Canal Museum. Thursday 17th February at 8pm Speaker TBC. In the Schoolroom at the rear of the Canal Museum.
FINANCIAL UPDATE Reported by Friends’ Treasurer Laura Sturrock Current finances Currently the combined funds of the Friends charity and the Friends trading company amount to about £20,500, of which £8,548 is earmarked for the working boat Sculptor. A further £6,947 is held by the charity to be used for projects at the museum. It will be necessary to retain funds to finance the Gala weekend and the Village at War next year. The trading company currently has funds of about £5,000 which would cover the costs of the Village at War 2011. Stoke Bruerne Village at War The surplus from the 2010 Village at War is approximately £800. This year the weekend was expanded with attractions in the event field as well as the museum green. As a result the cost of setting up the Village at War was substantially greater than the year before. The weather was excellent on Saturday and the entry fees on that day covered the cost of the weekend. Unfortunately the weather was poor on Sunday and attendance lower, hence the small surplus for the weekend. Sculptor Work will start on the new bottom for Sculptor in the New Year, funded by the Sculptor Appeal monies raised by the Friends and a grant from PRISM. The Friends will assist in monitoring progress and costs as the work is carried out.
Join us on Saturday 11th December at 5pm onwards for a magical celebration of Christmas with the children of Stoke Bruerne Primary School singing carols. Bring your boat, if you have one, and make a spectacle of yourself with some colourful illuminations. You never know— you just might win a prize as three times winners Inchy have promised not to compete this year! There will be hot chestnuts and soup to keep out the chill and all the shops will open for those last minute presents. Trip boat Charlie will be offering boat trips to the tunnel and back, and will be leading the Illuminated boat Procession (leaves 5pm from outside the Museum). Topiary will be offering complimentary festive treats and refreshments. The Canal Museum will be open and serving steaming hot beverages and The Little Mermaid Shop will be serving mulled wine. A perfect start to Christmas—and not to be missed! The Friends of The Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne may not agree with opinions expressed in this newsletter, but encourages pub lication as a matter of interest. Nothing printed may be construed as policy or an official statement unless so stated. The Friends of The Canal Museum accept no liability for any matter, errors or omissions contained within this newsletter. We will, however, gladly publish corrections if notified. The editors reserve the right to shorten or modify articles published in the interests of clarity or space.