Introduction to Beatrice

We've produced a brand new video to give potential users a brief introduction to the boat.  In the video one of our skippers, Clive Stagg was at the helm, the filming was kindly done by a professional drone pilot, Tim Vickerstaff, and another of our skippers, Mervyn Gamage, provided the voiceover and production.
You can view the video by clicking on it.  We hope you enjoy it and maybe we'll see you aboard soon.

We're back

For the past year, in the interest of the safety of our crew and our guests, and in line with Government legislation and guidance, all our trips have been suspended.  The cabin on Beatrice is a confined space where social distancing would be difficult.

However, we are delighted to announce we are now re-open for bookings.  Trips will resume on 21 June, subject to their being no change in the current Government plans.   You can check availability and request a booking by clicking here. Or ring 01538 710566 0r email

Canal Maintenance

Contractors have been working to improve our home stretch of canal, the Caldon Canal between the bottom of Hazelhurst Locks and the Cheddleton Flint Mill, where the boat is moored during the summer season.  Where banks on the off side (the side opposite the towpath) have crumbled they have been reinforced using soft pilings made of wood and fabric.  They have then been back-filled by dredging silt from the canal, so it is a win-win for the navigation.  Work has also re-commenced with the eventual object if replacing the bridge at the foot of the locks.  The bridge had to be demolished after it partially collapsed during repairs to the adjoining lock during the winter of 2019/20.

Our squatter

A water bird took advantage of the pause in Beatrice’s operations to take up residence on board. While Beatrice was stationary on her winter mooring due to the Coronavirus pandemic, a Moorhen built her nest on the front deck of the boat, enjoying the peace and quiet and lack of interruption.  She laid and hatched an egg.  She was discovered as one of Beatrice’s skippers visited to carry out a check.  Our squatter and her brood have now flown the nest and departed, but we wonder if she will return this year.

Queen’s Award

Beatrice received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service at a ceremony on 4 October 2019. The Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Ian Dudson CBE KStJ, presented us with a domed crystal and a certificate signed by HM the Queen. This award recognises over 40 years of service to children with special needs, and to adults with disabilities.  It is a reward for the wonderful work of many volunteers who have given their services freely and cheerfully. The picture shows The Lord Lieutenant on the boat with a party from the Meadows School, Leek and two of our trustees.