First Volunteer Day Report

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A very big thank you to those volunteers that came along to our first ‘Volunteer Day’.  9 of us in total and we achieved  a lot!

A good start was made on replacing the piquet fence at King’s Sutton Lock, the flower bed against the lock cottage wall was weeded and ‘de-nettled’.  Hedges were trimmed and we halved the pile of ‘flotsam’ that was piled up by the sluice.  We dodged a few rain showers but after a chilly start we were in t shirts by noon.

Miriam, from C&RT, looked after us all and ensured that we did not fall in the lock!  Thank you.

We are due to meet next Tuesday, 20th May, at The Old Barn at 9.30 and spend our second day completing the fence and painting.  So more the merrier please.  Start off with bacon rolls, tea, coffee to ensure you are ready for the working day!

Once again, many thanks to all the volunteers that came along this Tuesday, it was fun.

Kind regards to all,


Volunteer Day

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We are pleased to announce our first Volunteer Day at Tarver’s Lock (King’s Sutton Lock) on Tuesday 13th May at 9.30 am
Programme for the day:
09.30 meet at The Old Barn, Twyford Wharf, OX17 3JN (Twyford Wharf Narrow Boats), parking available and walk on down to King’s Sutton Lock and see what’s to be done.
  1. Painting of the lock beams, etc.
  2. Some vegetation clearance and flower bed renewal
  3. Replace/repair the old wooden picket fence on the offside
  4. Clear the pile of debris over the sluice gate and either burn or load into CRT work boat. Currently one is sitting by the lock for this purpose.


If you would like to be involved please contact us or ring Colin 0n 01295 816 025

Our next project, hopefully, will be to ensure that the path form Banbury lock going South is cleared of vegetation and in some places it will need new surface.

Cropredy lock is also in need of some attention.   If anyone would care to suggest any other areas where an uplift is needed please do let me know.

The next Volunteer Day will be on Tuesday 27th May and where we are will depend on how we get on at King’s Sutton Lock.

We hope that many of you can come along – please  me know –  (we need to know how many ‘sticky cakes’ to get!!)

Please note that we do have a Banbury Canal Partnership Towpath Taskforce page on Facebook where we can communicate with one another and post items, photos, etc. as well as this web site.

Kind regards



Provisional dates for future Volunteer Days


13th May, 27th May

17th June, 24th June

15th July, 22nd July

19th Aug, 26th Aug

16th Sept, 23rd Sept

21st Oct, 28th Oct

18th Nov, 25th Nov

16th Dec, 23rd Dec






Arbour Project Submitted to CRT for Approval

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DSCF2732In mid-January the Arbour Project to rebuild the towpath hedge along a section of the Oxford Canal was submitted to the Canal and River Trust at Milton Keynes.

This project would involve schools in collection of hedging and tree seeds like the Dog Rose and Oak to grow in schools and later be planted along the canal either on the towpath side or the off side.

The project also includes making the carbon sequestration value of the towpath forest available as a fundraiser for CRT. The project also suggests collection of the towpath tree trimmings for sale as a further source of income for CRT and BCP projects.

Follow this link for more details or contact Greg on 07831 631 671

Boater & his dog die on board boat

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samaraLocal Boaters we shocked to learn of the death of Spike & his dog Millie on board their canal boat Samara at Banbury.

His brother Shaun has asked us remind people to check they have a working Carbon Monoxide alarm and adequate ventilation.

Spike & Millie were well known throughout the boating community both locally and by those travelling through our area.

Our sympathies are with his family and friends at this sad time.

The cause of death is still being investigated but Watch Manager John Calloway of Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue issued a statement saying:

“Although the cause of this tragic incident has yet to be determined and is an ongoing investigation by the police, there are a number of appliances common to both boats and caravans (as well as houses) that have the ability to produce toxic fumes.

“It is our advice that all such equipment is professionally installed by a qualified technician and serviced regularly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

“We also recommend that both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are fitted and tested weekly.”

The Banbury Guardian reports

Mr Mason who was 63-years-old, and his Staffordshire Bull Terrier Milly were found dead by neighbours on board their canal boat Samara on the Oxford Canal shortly after 1.30pm. Ambulance crews were called to the scene followed by fire-fighters who checked the boat for toxic gases before retrieving the bodies.

The cause of Mr Mason’s death is still being investigated but information released last week by Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue service suggested he may have died after breathing in toxic fumes, most probably from an on-board solid fuel stove.


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The BCP is working to make the Banbury Canal better for you and for the local community.
We are a volunteer group and so we need your support.

Public support is one of the most important assets for the Banbury Canal Partnership
and membership is the best way to demonstrate this.

We value each and every member immensely, not least because when the Partnership applies for grant funding, we are always asked about our current membership figures.

There are three key ways you can help:

  1. Become a Member to share your views and influence the direction of BCP Download Membership Application Form
  2. Share a little of your time to help us achieve our objectives
  3. Make a donation.  All donations are welcome, however small, but a small regular commitment would be ideal. You can send a cheque to:

Banbury Canal Partnership
c/o Fort Locks Self Storage
Lower Cherwell Street
OX16 5AY

If you would like to become a member of BCP, please contact us on 01295 277 477 or fill in the Membership  Form here. We’ll be in touch with you to confirm your membership and to let you have further details of our current projects and upcoming meetings.

As with many things in life, many hands make light work. ‘Little and often’ is one of our watchwords when it comes to membership – so please don’t feel shy; please help us in any way you can!

Every member counts! Your membership is truly valued.


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Press Releases

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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

Inaugural AGM

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Banbury Canal Partnership was formally constituted at the inaugural AGM last evening (11th December 2013)

Along with the business of electing a Chairman, Membership Secretary and Committee Members there followed a discussion about the proposed development of Castle Quay 2 and how it would affect the canal, and a decision was made that our first volunteer project should be painting and tidying up at Kings Sutton Lock. (Watch out for the date in our Events Calendar!)