What's on at the London Canal Museum

Walks, talks, boat trips, and more

What's On

There is plenty going on at London Canal Museum. We have regular monthly illustrated talks in the evening, aimed at adults with an interest in industrial heritage and canals. We have a programme of towpath walks on occasional dates, and summer boat trips through the long Islington Tunnel on certain dates. We have occasional special days of activities for families or adults. We also occasionally offer roses and castles painting courses, and other events.

Illustrated Talks

Illustrated talks are held at 7.30 pm, on the first Thursday of each month except August. Most speakers illustrate their presentations with photographs. The museum is open 1000 to 1930 on the first Thursday of each month. Admission to talks and museum is charged at the usual museum admission charges. The programme is given below. In the event of any last minute changes to lectures or other events the site will be updated if sufficient notice is available.

Go to full events list

Events coming soon

A short narrowboat entering the mouth of Islington Tunnel on one of our guided tours.

Temporary Exhibitions

Full List of Events

Date Event
March 2019
7th March 2019 Illustrated talk: The Shrewsbury and Newport Canal by Brian Nelson. Brian, from the local restoration society, will detail the history of the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals. These were built in stages,initially from Shrewsbury to Donnington and subsequently extended, via Newport, to Norbury Junction, on the Shropshire Union Canal, in 1833 . There were two branches, linking with the old Shropshire Canal at Wappenshall. Brian will explain the history and what is being done to revive these old waterways.
April 2019
4th April 2019 Illustrated talk: The Thames River Police: Forefathers of Modern Policing by David Wells. David will give an illustrated talk on the Thames river police. This force was the forefather of modern policing and was London's first police force. It was founded in 1798 by two men, Patrick Colquhoun and John Herriot, to deal with the rampant pilfering that was occurring in the corrupt and chaotic Port of London. Eventually the River Police became the Thames Division of the Metropolitan Police and continues to operate from its base at Wapping.
May 2019
2nd May 2019 Illustrated talk: The Basingstoke Canal - Heros and Villains by Roger Cansdale. Roger will give an illustrated talk on The Basingstoke Canal. The presentation identifies the many people who, over the years, have been involved with the canal during its colourful existence. It explains its trade and those who worked on the waterway, its demise and subsequent rebirth under the ownership of the two County Councils through whose area it runs.
31st May 2019 London History Day. We will take part in London History Day 2019 - details to be announced.
June 2019
6th June 2019 Illustrated talk: The Suez Canal by Dr. Roger Squires. Roger will tell the story of The Suez Canal. He will explain the early attempts to create a canal linking the Red Sea to the Mediterranean and how the modern Suez Canal came about. Ferdinand de Lesseps masterminded the project, but lost control when the finances of the canal company came under pressure. The presentation will detail the works and also explain the background to the recently competed enlargement project.
July 2019
4th July 2019 Illustrated talk: World War Two - Women Canal Boaters by David Padfield. David will explain how, when the canal boatmen went off to the war, women were recruited to fill the gaps and keep the canal traffics running. Susan Woolfitt and Emma Smith subsequently recorded their exploits in their respective books, Idle Women and Maidens' Trip.
27th July 2019 Carlo Gatti's Birthday Programme to be announced
28th July 2019 Ice Sunday - the opportunity to descend into the ice wells arises occasionally. Details to be announced.
August 2019
1st August 2019 Guided Towpath Walk from the museum to Camden Town, led by one of our guides, who will explain the history of the canal and point out reminders of its working past as we walk. FREE with a museum admission ticket - visit the museum beforehand. Museum open 1000-1930. The walk will leave the museum at 1830 and takes about 90 minutes.
September 2019
5th September 2019 Illustrated talk: The Grantham Canal by David Lyneham-Brown. This 33 mile wide waterway opened in 1797, with traffic mainly of coal and agricultural products. The canal was abandoned in 1936 but generally kept in water to supply agriculture. The Grantham Canal Trust are coordinating plans for its restoration. A new route will be needed to connect with the Trent near Nottinham. The final section into Grantham was truncated by the improved A1 road. David will explain the progress made to date.
27th and 28th September 2019 Otherworld A London-wide festival of evening activities in museums and cultural venues. Details of the London Canal Museum programme to be announced in due course.
October 2019
3rd October 2019 Illustrated talk: Brindley and the Reading and Isleworth Canal by Victoria Owens. Victoria is one of the leading experts on James Brindley. She has done much research into his works, including the projects he planned but was not commissioned to undertake. This scheme was aimed at improving navigation on the middle Thames. Various river improvements were subsequently organised by the Thames Navigation Commissioners.
November 2019
7th November 2019 Illustrated talk: The Chelmer and Other Essex Waterways by John Pomfret (of the IWA). The history of the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation is an interesting case study. Here the private navigation company failed, and, to keep the navigation open, the Inland Waterways Association stepped in. Now the waterway is in good shape. Sadly the same cannot be said for some of the other Essex waterways .
December 2019
5th December 2019 Illustrated talk: Boston's Waterways by Simon Judge. Simon, during the past two years, has had his boat moored over winter in Ely and has explored the many waterways of the area, collectively called the Fens. He also has crossed the Wash, in both directions, and is planning another such trip next year. He will tell us of his various cruises in the area.

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