Welcome to the web site of Waterways Museum Society.

It is with sadness that the Waterways Museum Society will be ceasing activities at the end of September 2020 prior to being formally wound up early in 2021 due to a significantly reduced active membership.  However, the Society has much to be proud of in terms of the legacy it has left in the form of the National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port with its extensive collections and archives which is now operated by the Canal & River Trust.  Discussions are underway with the Trust to see how other activities and assets of the Society might also be maintained by the museum in the future.

The aim of the Waterways Museum Society is the preservation of the historic boats, skills, knowledge and way of life of the waterways. Some forty years ago the society founded the Boat Museum (now the National Waterways Museum) in Ellesmere Port, which it continues to actively support. To find out more about the Society, its history and its aims click ABOUT US on the main menu.

News posts about the Society and National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port are posted on the NEWS page. Or alternately you can use the links in the sidebar to the right to see the more recent posts, or search the archives by date or by category.

The Society now owns just one of the historic vessels at the Museum: the horse drawn tar boat Gifford which is looked after and operated by WMS members. All the other craft have been handed over to the Canal & River Trust for their ongoing maintenance and preservation. To find out more about Gifford click on the GIFFORD link on the main menu.

The Society’s newsletter Re:Port is published on line four times a year, though hard copies are available. The most recent issue is only available to WMS members, however older newsletters can be accessed by everyone via the RE:PORT link in a sub menu of PUBLICATIONS on the main menu.

The Waterways Journal is also published by the WMS annually. Details can be found by clicking on Waterways Journal link in a sub menu of PUBLICATIONS on the main menu.

Meetings are held once a month from September through to May. They are held in the Rolt Centre at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port and usually consists of a talk or lecture by experts in various waterway topics followed by a short social period of catching up with likeminded friends over coffee or beer in the lounge. Details of these meetings and other museum events can be found on the DIARY page 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 Society supports and is supported by a number of Traditional Craft Groups. To find out more about these please click on CRAFTS on the main menu.

3D crocheted castle panel

To visit the Canals and Rivers Trust’s National Waterways Museum web site click on NATIONAL WATERWAYS MUSEUM.