Brass Rubbing

Canal brass plaques are souvenirs of a waterways event and often show a picture of a local waterways structure or landmark with commemorative text. By taking rubbings of the plaques children can learn more about waterways and associated structures around the country as well as the events that take place on them.


  • Brass canal plaques
  • A4 sized boards (a clipboard would work)
  • Blue Tack
  • Bulldog clips
  • A4 Paper (possibly with a title to remind the children of the activity)
  • Crayons
  • Waterways map


  1. Attach the canal plaques to the centre of the boards using the Blue Tack.
  2. Place a sheet of paper over the plaque and secure in place with the clipboard clip or bulldog clips. This way the children can take a rubbing without the plaque or paper moving.
  3. Get the children to use the side of a crayon to rub over the plaque, creating the image of the plaque on the paper. Be careful to get good definition on the edges and the detail.
  4. Have a waterways map alongside the table so that the children can look at the places that the plaques represent.  Explain the purposes of the plaques and events that are held around the waterways.

IWA Branches

IWA Branches can order WOW kits to help with running activites like this. The kit contains equipment for the activities and WOW banners so that you can run a number of WOW activities across an event site. Contact Gillian Bolt for more information.


WOW Safety

Always remember to
stay SAFE near water -
Stay Away From the Edge

WOW Overview
Activity guides and resources
Activity guides for branches
Wildlife resources
Working boat resources

Contact details:
Contact the Marketing Team for more information.