Winter Talks Programme

Our Winter Talks are open to everyone whether or not you are an IWA member (but it helps us if you become one!). Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month from October to April. EVERYONE WELCOME! If you have friends who are interested in canals please ask them along.The talks starts at 7.45pm prompt and whilst free, a donation to speakers costs and branch funds would be appreciated.

Our Open Meetings are held onboard the trip boat, Emmeline Pankhurst, moored on Potato Wharf, Castlefield, Manchester - see our Venues Page for details. Emmeline Pankhurst belongs to City Centre Cruises in Manchester who are offering a 10% discount to IWA Members for their Sunday lunch cruise. Read more (requires IWA member login).


10 February 2020 The Lancaster Canal Northern Reaches by Audrey Smith OBE

This talk will cover the past and present of the Northern Reaches and the plans and campaigns for their future.

Our Speaker:
From 1994 to 1998 Audrey was national chairman of The Inland Waterways Association. She became IWA North West Region Chairman in 1987 and in 1998  was appointed IWA NW Region Vice-President. Audrey has been involved with the campaign to restore the Northern Reaches since its early days.

9 March 2020  The Wooden Canal Boat Society by Chris Leah 

Chris will talk about the history of the society and its work including the boats it cares for,  the uses to which they are put and future plans. 

Our Speaker:
Chris is one of the founders of the WCBS and came to us in May 2015 to tell us about the restoration of Hazel. Hazel is now used as a "Well being" boat, helping  people suffering from poor mental health and any other local need.

6 April 2020 Exploring Manchester's Hidden Heritage by Martin Zero 

Important Note: The 2nd Monday of April is Easter Monday so we have re-arranged this to be 1 week earlier than usual.

Martin will share his personal experiences and adventures while exploring the rivers and canals etc. around Manchester. Lots of pictures (and some video clips).

Our Speaker:
Martin is well known for his explorations all over Old Manchester. He has a big following on You-tube with videos covering his visits to Manchester's forgotten or hidden heritage. This includes canals and rivers (above and below ground), buildings and railways. Martin rarely gives talks so this will be a really special evening.


13 January 2020 The Warrington Transporter Bridge by Margaret Ingham

Warrington Transporter Bridge (also known as Bank Quay Transporter Bridge or Crosfield's Transporter Bridge) across the River Mersey is a structural steel transporter bridge with a span of 200 feet (61 metres). It was built in 1915 and, although it has been out of use since about 1964, it is still standing and visible from the West Coast Main Line. It was originally one of two such bridges across the Mersey at Warrington, the other having been erected in 1905 slightly to the north of the existing bridge..

Our Speaker:
Margaret is a leading member of the Friends of Warrington Transporter Bridge formed in March 2015 to be the independent voice of the last rail transporter bridge in the world.

11 November 2019  Archaeology at Worsley  by Dr. Mike Nevill

Mike talked about the recent archaeology work at Worsley Delph and further survey work at RHS Bridgewater. The excavation of some workshops on Worsley Green will be included if time allows

Our Speaker:
Dr. Mike Nevill is Head of Archaeology at the University of Salford and before this was Director of the University of Manchester Archaeology Unit. Since 2009 he has  run the Centre for Applied Archaeology, an academic enterprise centre which focusses on industry links, consultancy, and community engagement. A landscape archaeologist with more than 29 years’ experience in archaeology, his research interests include the archaeology of industrialization, community archaeology and historic buildings and has have written extensively on industrial and landscape topics.

14 October 2019  Freight on Inland Waterways  by David Lowe

David covered current freight working on the rivers and canals in Britain and future possibilities.

Our Speaker:
David Lowe is Chairman of the Commercial Boat Operators Association. He has over 40 years’ experience owning, managing and advising others on water freight businesses, passenger and hire vessels, restaurant boats, boat builders and boat yards.