In July 2012 we took over responsibility for 2,000 miles of canals and rivers in England and Wales. The transfer of the waterways from state control to the voluntary sector was the largest of its kind ever to happen in this country.
Our head of Museums and Attractions, Debbie Lumb, says: “The creation of the Canal & River Trust was a historic event in the life of the waterways and we are opening the museum doors for free so people can come and find out more about the important, but often hidden story, of our canals and rivers.
“The canals are wonderful working pieces of our nation's heritage. It's amazing to think that when we walk along the towpath we are still enjoying the hard work of thousands of men and women who created the canals over 250 years ago.”
Gloucester Waterways Museum will be offering free entry to visitors on Sunday 30th June. The National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port and The Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne will be offering free entry to visitors on Tuesday 2 July and free 30-minute boat trips will be available from Standedge Visitor Centre on Tuesday 2 July. Visitors to Anderton Boat Lift who purchase a hot drink will be offered a slice of birthday cake to help celebrate the first birthday of the charity.
The doors at Ellesmere Port will reopen to visitors on the 9 July, when the Trust's Annual Meeting will be hosted by the National Waterways Museum. To make the 9 July an extra special day, entry to the museum will again be free so visitors can take advantage of seeing the museum putting on a real show – with special art workshops, archives open, engines running in the Power Hall, guided tours of the museum and a rare chance to take a behind the scenes tour of the Heritage Boatyard.