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Would you like to get involved with life on the Canal?

tooleys boatyard
Tooleys Boatyard – Banbury Town Centre

As most Banbury residents know, the Oxford Canal passes through the town centre. The Canal creates an attraction with visiting boats passing through the town right next to the shopping centre.

The canal also provides an important green corridor between Oxford and the Midlands, which can be enjoyed not only by boaters, but walkers, cyclists, canoeists and fisherman alike.



Gongoozlers at Banbury Lock

Reminders of the town’s canal heritage are exhibited in the museum and as living heritage at Banbury Lock where gongoozlers[1] can witness the operation of the 200 year old technology and at Tooley’s Boatyard and Drydock[2], nestling against Castle Quay Shopping Centre, which has operated there since the canal arrived in 1790.

Until quite recently, UK’s canals have been administered by British Waterways. Since July 2012, The Canal and River Trust has been responsible for about 2,000 miles of the England & Wales’ canals and rivers.

As a result of the new, charitable status the opportunity has arisen to form partnerships with The Trust and so The Banbury Canal Partnership was recently formed to draw together organisations and individuals with a common interest in canal related matters connected with leisure, tourism, industry and heritage.

The Canal & River Trust says “At present, we do not have an active group of volunteers based within the Banbury area….If a group of volunteers emerges which is willing to undertake some volunteering with CRT in the Banbury area, we would be more than willing to support them.”

The newly formed Banbury Canal Partnership is currently looking at projects to help preserve and improve this local and national asset and is encouraging individuals and groups to come and experience these treasures for themselves, and to get involved with volunteering opportunities for conservation and protection of this environment.

Would you, or your group/organisation, consider getting involved? The BCP would be delighted to arrange some time for you to explore our local heritage and perhaps experience boating at first hand.


Don’t hesitate! Please contact us now on 01295 277 477.

Best regards

Banbury Canal Partnership Or visit our web site:


[1] Boatmen’s [affectionate] name for sightseers!

[2] Tours available by arrangement