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News article created on 8 August 2014

Introducing Helen

I've decided to write a blog about my time out on my boat this summer so more people can find out about what a Canal & River Trust Trustee gets up to. I’ve got quite a busy cruising schedule lined up, but I certainly won’t be racing along!

The home mooring of Helen, my 1942 built BCN tug/icebreaker, is near Stourbridge, West Midlands. She draws 3ft - so I know how close the bottom is to the top! 

This year, we’ve already got some cruising under our belt. We started up the Staffs & Worcs Canal, with one of the Trust’s team on board, and then up the Wolverhampton 21 with three of the Trust’s staff on hand - one of whom was an engineer wanting to check the lock walls from the perspective of a boat. Then it was on to the BCN Society's Titford Rally - we went into the Titford Pools where there’s lots of deep water. After a stay at the Black Country Living Museum at Dudley, it was through Birmingham and down the Tardebigge 30 locks (single-handed and all against me!) before going down the Droitwich to the Severn.

We stopped in Worcester and heard a lovely Evensong in the Cathedral before turning at Tewkesbury into the Avon. We arrived at Stratford for the Festival at the start of July to celebrate 50 years since the southern Stratford Canal was restored and 40 years since the Upper Avon was rebuilt. It brought back memories of my time working on the Avon, especially the building of George Billington Lock - the first you come to from Evesham.

About this blog

John Dodwell

John Dodwell is one of our 10 volunteer trustees, who carry responsibility for the charity’s policies and strategies. He owns Helen, a 51ft old BCN tug/icebreaker which draws 3ft and is based near Stourbridge, West Midlands. His waterways interest goes back to the early 1960s.

John’s been involved in the waterways since the early 1960s and he enjoys all aspects of the waterways. To pick out one oddity, he was pleased and surprised to see about a dozen herons this June around the BCN Main Line, including two under the M6 motorway!

See more blogs from John Dodwell