Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
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We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
Why we think canals are better with Friends
Become a Friend of the Canal & River Trust today and you’ll open yourself up to new experiences and endless opportunities.
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
George Findley has been making fenders for 40 years and is a well-known figure in the boating community. He talks to us about the art of fender-making and shows us how it’s done.
We visited 82 year-old George and his wife Carol at their home near Bawtry to learn more about fender-making. Heritage trainees Dan and Adam, along with volunteers Richard and Michael came along as well, so that George could show them his skills with the ropes and pass on some hints and tips from the trade.
George learnt his craft from two working boatmen, Jack Monk and Ike Argent over 40 years ago. His garage is entirely made over to ropes and fenders. It is a workshop from which George supplied a hireboat fleet for 25 years. Today, he still takes on private commissions and sells his wares from his boat Penny whenever they are travelling round the system.
“There’s no tricks to making fenders. It’s just one knot after another.”
It was very simple. We were out boating and we needed a fender. I saw Jack Monk sitting at the side of the towpath making one and I asked him ‘How do you do that?’ he said, ‘If you really want to know, I’ll show you.”
Well it started off as just a hobby. I worked as a miner back then and I used to take the ropes into work with me so that I could practice with them. Then different people started asking me to make a fender for them. After a while Sea Otter approached me. They were a hire boat fleet and I supplied each and every one of their boats with a fender. My wife used to tell people that you’ll never see a Sea Otter boat with a flat fender.
In today’s world people expect everything to be done at the touch of a button. If it can’t be made on a machine a lot of folk aren’t interested in learning. But there’s no tricks to making fenders. It’s just one knot after another.
Take a look at George in action, and see our heritage trainees having a go as well
It’s not just George who practices traditional canal crafts in Bawtry. His wife Carol paints beautiful canalware, which she also sells from their boat when they are out on the system.
Our thanks to George and Carol for both their time and their ongoing contributions to our heritage crafts.
Passionate about canal history?
Read more about the history and heritage of our wonderful waterways.
Last date edited: 23 February 2017