The charity making life better by water

Amazing Women celebrated in new special event

Amazing Women through history are the focus for a new day of public celebration and exploration on Sunday 25 June at the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port.

A group of women in PPE gear outside on a sunny day

Coinciding with International Women in Engineering Day (23 June), the event will shine a light on the impact women have made in the world, from ‘Women on the Canals' to ‘Women in Engineering' to ‘Women at War'.

What to expect

We are inviting you to join one of the ‘Votes for Women' suffragette marches taking place during the day or talk to historians from the World War One Cheshire Pals who will be keeping the home fires burning in the museum's Porters Row terraced cottages, while craft and crochet groups demonstrate traditional skills of rug-ragging and lace-making.

  • Four free specialist talks will take place in the Rolt Conference Centre every hour between 11am and 2pm.
  • At 11am Dr Liz Calder will explore challenges and stereotyping for Women in Engineering and at 12 noon museum volunteer historian Cath Turpin will explore the role of Women on Canals during the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • At 1pm CH21 Home Guard historian Samantha Mellor will discuss how the wartime work of women impacted on women's rights and roles forever in Women at War.
  • And at 2pm Women's Suffrage comes under the spotlight with a talk from Susan Munro, chair of Elizabeth's Group, named after Cheshire-based leading feminist and suffragist Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy, who fought tirelessly for women's education and right to work, own property and vote.

Located at the junction of the Manchester Ship Canal and the Shropshire Union Canal, the waterways museum is the perfect location to enjoy a wide range of historical boating and canal exhibits, including steam engines working in the Power Hall and a fantastic new playground.

Fascinating stories

Ani Sutton, our visitor attraction manager, said: “Amazing Women is one of several new attractions in the event calendar for the museum this season. The untold reality for thousands of women who worked on the canals during the 19th and 20th centuries is a fascinating story. Fast forward to today and the Canal & River Trust, which cares for 2,000 miles of the nation's waterways, now employs dozens of women engineers, who are employed in a range of vital roles to keep our canals in good condition, including the challenging project to restore Toddbrook Reservoir in Whaley Bridge.

“As International Women in Engineering Day is celebrated across the world, it is fascinating to see how the role of women has changed over the centuries, examine challenges for the future and truly appreciate all that has been achieved through history by so many Amazing Women.”

All Amazing Women talks and activities on 25 June are included in the usual museum ticket price. The National Waterways Museum is open throughout the summer season, Wednesday to Sunday, 10am – 4pm. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Other special themed events include World War Two (11 June) and heritage-themed Canal Town Sundays featuring characters in traditional costume (18 June, 23 July and 13 August). We would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in volunteering at the museum.

Last Edited: 09 June 2023

photo of a location on the canals
newsletter logo

Stay connected

Sign up to our monthly newsletter and be the first to hear about campaigns, upcoming events and fundraising inspiration