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Lunchtime Learning at Waterways Museum

Talks on a unique floating venue

Cotswold Canals Trust Chair, Jim White and Vice Chair, Val Kirby are to speak at Gloucester Waterway Museum’s innovative ‘Lunchtime Learning’ talks on board the historically important river barge Sabrina No. 5 in Gloucester Docks.

This is an opportunity to use the National Waterways Museum’s new meeting  and learning space on the recently refurbished Sabrina No. 5 now moored in The Barge Arm near the museum off Southgate Street in Gloucester. (photo below 2004)

Sabrina 5 — pictured in 2004

Dockside workers & residents

The talks are intended to attract people who reside, or work, in and around Gloucester Docks.

The 30 minute sessions are free of charge. Soft drinks are also free and audience members are invited to enjoy their lunch-time sandwiches & snacks on board during the presentations.

Sabrina 5 refurbished — 2017

Engineering Challenges

Jim White’s presentation ‘Engineering Challenges of Modern Day Restoration’ will commence promptly at 1.15 pm on Tuesday 27th June.

Jim’s illustrated talk will explain the part he has played in the research, design and development of the locally made paddle gear now being fitted to locks along the Stroudwater Navigation and Thames and Severn Canal through Stroud.

He will also reveal the current development of a novel (and potentially enjoyable!) method of swinging a heavy, broad gauge, lock gate where an immoveable lockside structure necessitates a shorter than normal balance beam… that does not balance!

Restoration For All

CCT Vice Chair Dr Val Kirby will present an illustrated talk entitled ‘Restoration for All’ at 1.15 pm on Tuesday 11th July.
The Cotswold Canals Trust is the largest canal restoration society in the country and has the greatest number of volunteers.
Val is intent on confirming the fact that canal restoration is indeed ‘for all’.

Val explains… “It is what it says on the tin, restoration is for everyone, whether actively involved or simply enjoying a walk along the towpath.

“I will describe the location and purpose of the Cotswold Canals; as well as explaining how people use canal corridors today and what those people think.
I shall use the figures of popular support from the 2015 towpath surveys carried out by our volunteers in Stroud.”

Book your place

These talks could well attract a large audience. Please call the museum of 01452 318 000 to register your attendance.


Many CCT members, and others, have previously been entertained and enlightened in the capacious hold of Barge Sabrina No. 5.
The vessel was first used as a venue for music, theatre, comedy and presentations at the Cotswold Canal Trust Saul Canal Festival and Folk on the Water Weekend way back in 2004.

Sabrina in use as a theatre at Saul Canal Festival

Click here, or on the icon below, to view Hugh Conway-Jones research into the history of the Sabrina Barges fleet.
Hugh presented this article for display in the vessel at four Saul Festivals.