Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
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.
Siegfried Sassoon, the great writer and war poet famously hurled his Military Cross into the River Mersey in 1917 in a ‘paroxysm of exasperation’ over the First World War. Except that he didn’t. He threw in just the ribbon; the medal turned up in someone’s attic, unexpectedly in 2007.
Just recently a Victory Medal was found in the bottom of a lock on the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation, inscribed with the name W. Clarke. Presumably Clarke did not throw his medal away in a grand, Sassoon-like gesture, but how it came to be there is something of a mystery.
Nearly six million bronze Victory Medals were awarded in the War and the same basic design of a Classical winged figure of Victory was adopted by many of the Allied Nations. Interestingly, the Victory Medal was never awarded by itself and was accompanied by the British War Medal or the 1914-15 Stars. Men receiving it who were also ‘Mentioned in Despatches’ were entitled to wear an oak leaf on the medal ribbon. As collectable antiques, Victory Medals are not worth much (apart from the incredibly rare Brazilian ones) but that’s not the point. Behind every medal was a soldier and his experiences of one of the worst wars in history.
W. Clarke was not a great writer like Sassoon, but he has a story behind him and our North East heritage adviser, Judy Jones, is hoping to find out more about what he did and where he came from. In the meantime, the finding of his medal in the centenary year of the First World War continues to move and intrigue us.
As national heritage manager, Nigel’s role is to lead the Canal & River Trust’s team of regional heritage advisers in England and Wales. He has over 25 years’ experience of working in the conservation, archaeology and interpretation of historic buildings and places. He is a member of the editorial board of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation. He has written numerous articles concerning heritage conservation and is the author of several longer published works, including the English Heritage Book of Canals.