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
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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.
Almost every town and village in the UK has a First World War memorial. They can even be found in odd corners of the waterway network.
Notable examples are at the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port and at Fearns Wharf (moved here from the original Aire & Calder Navigation office a few streets away). A smaller marble memorial is mounted on the wall inside the Mariners’ Chapel at Gloucester Docks. A framed list, in handwritten ink, of staff who served with the Colours in the ‘European War’ 1914-1919 is at Ellesmere Yard.
Elsewhere, names of canal company employees appear on war memorials like those at Goole and at Euston Station, where the LNWR memorial includes Shropshire Union Canal staff.
All of these memorials are poignant with familiar English names, often common to their locality. But two stand out, for different reasons. One is the impressive chimney-piece memorial at Ellesmere Port; a sombre Classical design of seven ‘honour boards’ that were originally part of an oak-panelled room in a sports club in Stretford. The boards were moved to the National Waterways Museum in 1985 and commemorate Manchester Ship Canal Company staff who fell in both world wars. For the Second World War there are 46 names; for the First World War a staggering 243 names are recorded.
The other memorial is the stained, faded list in its plain wooden frame at Ellesmere Yard. This gives the names and occupations of 36 canal company men and what regiment they served in. Here are joiners, painters, a boat-builder, a sawyer, a fitter. And they served in regiments as diverse as the Royal Horse Artillery, the Shropshire Yeomanry, the Royal Air Force, the Royal Engineers and the Loyal South Lancs.
It is not entirely clear what became of these men, nor how many were killed. This intriguing, list is the subject of on-going research and it is hoped to be able to have it conserved and placed in the Trust’s permanent collection in a fitting tribute to those canal men who served their country in the depths of the First World War.
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.