Narrowboat ‘Cecilia’

Community narrowboat ‘Cecilia’ is owned by the Worcester, Birmingham & Droitwich Canals Society and run by a group of enthusiastic volunteers. Our aim is to offer trips to groups of people who would not normally have the opportunity of experiencing the local inland waterways.

‘Cecilia’ is fitted out as a day boat with ample room for up to 12 passengers, supported by our volunteer crew. We can offer a range of trips and can incorporate a lunch stop at one of the local pubs or even mooring up for a leisurely picnic stop. We are even able to offer groups the chance to combine a walk on part of the route and some time on the boat. Our operating season runs from March until October. We can take advanced bookings.

‘Cecilia’ has recently been refurbished inside and repainted outside.

Being based on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal (at Alvechurch) we have the Tardebigge Flight of 30 locks close by so we can arrange a ‘Lock Challenge’ for a more energetic option. This would be ideal for a team building exercise.

If you would like to make a booking or find out more then please contact:

We welcome approaches from youth groups, church groups, local societies, W.I, carers, charities and support groups in general.

All we ask is that a minimum donation of £90 or more (per group) is made to cover our running costs. ‘Cecilia’ is run solely by volunteers who give freely of their time to allow others to enjoy our waterways.

If there are any businesses who may be interested in providing some corporate sponsorship, and the goodwill publicity that this would attract, please contact us on the above email address.

If you are interested in volunteering then we would love to hear from you.

In case you ever wondered….here’s how our society inherited ‘Cecilia’….

Society Chair, David Wheeler, writes:

Around the year 1996, the Society was holding its Annual Boat Gathering at the Boat and Railway pub when ‘Cecilia’ came through the moored boats asking what was going on. The skipper of the boat was a guy called Mark Johnson and he had on board several people with down syndrome. It turned out that Mark ran a home for people living with down syndrome in Oxfordshire and had named ‘Cecilia’ with an ‘i’, because it was the goddess of music, and down syndrome people relate to music. Mark moored up and joined us for the weekend and we became friends, so much so that ‘Cecilia’ arrived at every boat gathering from then till the year 2000. The summer of that year Mark telephoned me to say sadly he had decided to close the home and was looking for a suitable recipient to take on ‘Cecilia’, which he offered to the canal society. Nobody on the committee was interested in taking responsibility, in fact I was faced with negative comments like,” what about the cost”, “who is going to look after her”, “what about maintenance?” I was convinced that it was a wonderful opportunity for the canal society so I decided to take on the responsibility. Myself and our local MP,at the time, came to the Engine House by lock 57 on the W&B Canal to take the keys from Mark and officially hand over ‘Cecilia’ to the Canal Society. I looked after ‘Cecilia’ pretty much on my own for over 15 years until the ‘Cecilia’ volunteer group was formed. The rest, as they say, is now history. It is nice to see that my original decision to take ‘Cecilia’ was the right one and she is now being used as I first envisaged.