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500 tonnes of canal boats to be craned into Crick Marina for Boat Show

MJT Cranes will be craning nine canal boats, weighing up to 35 tonnes each, into Crick Marina, near Daventry, as part of preparations for the 25th Crick Boat Show.

Crane lifting up work boat on the edge of the canal on an overcast day

Over 40 canal boats will be on display at the show, and around 25 of them (with a combined weight of almost 500 tonnes) will be craned in for the event. This will take place on Tuesday 21 May 2024,

Helping with the preperations

Crick Boat Show is organised by Waterways World in partnership with us and Crick Waterside & Marina. Now the UK’s biggest inland waterways festival, with over 200 exhibitors gathering from across the canal world and beyond, the event is expected to attract over 26,000 visitors.

As well as being the canal world’s biggest marketplace, Crick Boat Show offers a fantastic day out with dozens of boats to view, free boat trips, free boating seminars, live Music Festival in Association with Aquavista hosting 15 bands and entertainers, dozens of food stalls and a beer festival sponsored by LeeSan.

Lisa Tuckey, of MJT Cranes which specialises in lifting and transporting canal boats, explains: “Helping with the preparations for Crick Boat Show is always one of the busiest times of the year for us. Ahead of the show opening, we will be transporting and craning 25 canal boats, with a combined weight of close to 500 tonnes. They range in length from 57ft to 70ft, and weigh between 15 and 35 tonnes each. Then after the show is finished, we take them all back again.”

The perfect place to relax and slow down

Peter Johns, Publisher of Waterways World and Show Director, says: “We’re looking forward to welcoming people to our 2024 Crick Boat Show, the nation’s biggest inland boating marketplace and a fantastic day out alongside the Grand Union Canal in Northamptonshire. “During the show build-up, one of the most dramatic sights is when these huge canal boats - that have arrived by road - are winched up into the air and placed onto the marina waters or onto the land in the Show’s land based marina.

“The maximum speed on our canals and rivers is just 4mph, making them the perfect place to relax and slow down, but as our exhibitors travel to the show from all around the country, it’s often impractical to send a boat by water. And the wide beam boats can’t fit through the locks on the Leicester Line of the Grand Union Canal, as it’s a narrow canal.”


As well as new boats being craned into the marina, thanks to the Historic Narrowboat Club (HNBC), seven historic boats are travelling to the show by canal, including the Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum’s ‘Sculptor’.

One of our volunteers, Rob Westlake, explains: “Sculptor was built in 1935 for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company, and as well as transporting general cargoes between London and the Midlands, she played a key role in fighting fires in London during the Second World War. As well as helping to maintain Sculptor when she’s at the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne so that visitors can see what life was like on board for the working boat people, I’ve been taking her to Crick Boat Show for the last 10 years.”

Celebrating our fantastic netowork

Matthew Symonds, our national boating manager, adds: “Every year Crick Boat Show, the UK’s biggest inland waterways festival, celebrates our fantastic network of canals and rivers.

“Canal & River Trust cares for 2,000 miles of canals and rivers across England & Wales. Our ongoing mission is to protect and keep alive this oldest working heritage network in the world and make it available for people to use and enjoy. A 58-mile stretch of the Grand Union Canal passes through Northamptonshire, and we look forward to welcoming people to the Canal & River Trust Marquee at the Show to find out more about enjoying the canals in their area.”

On Saturday 25, Sunday 26 and Monday 27 May adult tickets are £19.00 on the gate and entry for children aged 16 and under is free. A special Trade & Preview Day, sponsored by Haven Knox-Johnston, will be held on Friday 24 May for advanced ticket holders only.

Last Edited: 23 May 2024

photo of a location on the canals
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