The principal aim of the Boat Museum Society (BMS) is the preservation of the historic boats, skills, knowledge and way of life of the waterways. The society founded the Boat Museum (now the National Waterways Museum) in Ellesmere Port, which it continues to actively support.

One of the major activities of the society’s members is to work as volunteers to support the museum in all day to day administrative and operational activities on site. This includes assisting with the repair, restoration, and operation of the boats and engines in the museum’s collection.

A40 years anniversary group of waterway enthusiasts formed the North Western Museum of Inland Navigation Ltd in 1971 to prevent the working craft and traditions of the waterways from disappearing. This developed into the accredited National Waterways Museum which the Boat Museum Society (BMS) is committed to supporting, in preserving the museum’s nationally important collection of historic boats, artifacts and archives. It works together with the Canal & River Trust in encouraging the public to appreciate and treasure the canals, their traditional skills and way of life.

The Society’s long standing involvement in waterways heritage means that many of its members are held in high regard, contributing their knowledge and advice both locally and nationally.

BMS now owns just one of the historic vessels at the Museum: the horse drawn tar boat Gifford which is looked after and operated by BMS members. All the other craft have been handed over to the Canal & River Trust for their ongoing maintenance and preservation.

The Society’s newsletter RE:PORT is published on line four times a year. This keeps members informed about the activities of the Society and the National Waterways Museum as well as other snippets of inland waterways related information. These newsletters can be accessed via the RE:PORT link a sub menu of PUBLICATIONS on the main menu.

A meeting is held once a month from September through to May. These are held in the Rolt Centre at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port. The evening programme usually consists of a talk or lecture by experts in various waterway topics followed by a short social period of catching up with like minded friends over coffee or beer in the lounge. See DIARY on the main menu.

Whilst members’ financial support is essential in enabling the Society to continue its work, it also likes to welcome individuals who may be interested in becoming more actively involved in the work of the society, for example, by being involved in its governance, or representing its interest on external bodies involved with waterways.

The BMS supports and is supported by a number of Traditional Craft Groups. To find out more about these please click on TRADITIONAL CRAFTS on the main menu.

Last updated 22nd June 2017

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