Speakers offering canal & waterway talks and presentations

We list speakers offering talks and presentations based on a range of canal and waterways topics of interest.


Some speakers will cover general topics, some offer talks within an area of expertise, others may have a regional base. Most are experienced in speaking to a range of clubs, societies and groups.


We ask speakers listed here to give an indication of the canal and waterways topics they can speak to and the areas of the country that they are able to cover. Contact details are given so you can make your own arrangement with the speakers.



If you offer talks and presentations on canal and waterways related topics please email to us details of the talks you offer and your contact details, there is no charge for being listed on this page.

Topics Notes Contact
Athina Beckett
♦ I give talks on the Heritage, History and Restoration of the Buckingham Canal. The Speaker: I am a Trustee of the Buckingham Canal Society and have run their practical tasks for many years.
Costs & Travelling: I don’t charge but would appreciate a donation to the Buckingham Canal Society.
Contact: Email address



web site


Phone 01908 661217
Stephen Booth and Andy Griffee
♦ Canal Noir – Stephen and Andy talk about the appeal of the inland waterways as a setting for crime fiction. Waterways are an irresistibly atmospheric location for authors who like to explore the darker side of life, from the turbulent history
of Canal Mania and the lives of working boatmen, through to the role of canals in a modern urban setting. The water may look peaceful, but what lies beneath the surface?
The Speakers: Stephen Booth is the award-winning author of the Ben Cooper & Diane Fry detective series, set in the Peak District. His standalone novel ‘Drowned Lives’ is set against the background of a canal restoration project in Staffordshire and a centuries-old feud between families of canal owners. Stephen has been a popular speaker for festivals, clubs and societies for the past 20 years.

Andy Griffee was Controller of BBC Regions before retiring and launching a new career as a crime novelist. His debut novel ‘Canal Pushers’ depicts a series of murders on the waterways of the West Midlands and is partly inspired by real-life news stories. It’s the first in the ‘Jumping Jack’ Flash’ thriller series starring narrowboat-living ex-journalist Jack Johnson, all with canal settings.
Format: Talk and discussion, with Q&A and book sales. Suitable for all audiences.

Costs and travelling: Stephen and Andy will travel throughout the Midlands in return for travel expenses.


More information:

Dave Calverly
♦ A Week On T’Cut – An imaginary week’s cruise around the inland waterways of Britain calling at various highlights of our
National and Industrial Heritage. Stopping off points include the Barton Swing Bridge, the Anderton Lift, the Waterways Museum,
the Huddersfield Canal, plus many more.

♦ Another Week On T’Cut – ‘A Week On T’Cut’ has proved extremely popular since its first airing some 30 years ago. Only minor alterations have been made to
the presentation throughout this time whilst more cruises have taken place in the Midlands and Southern England with, naturally,
many incidents. What is it really like going through tunnels over a mile long? Do you have to moor outside a pub every night? What happens when someone falls in [health and what]?

♦ Scouting To Llangollen – I have cruised to Llangollen many times both as a and with Scouts. This presentation showcases the highlights and mishaps whilst
on this waterway.
Cruise Into Old Age! – Now the proud share-owner of a
narrowboat, here are some tales of our exploits!
The Speaker: Dave has been giving presentations
for many years and ‘A Week On T’Cut’ is an evolved version of
his second slideshow. Over the years, Dave has built up a
portfolio of over 40 presentations.

The canal presentations are all digital ones. I
have all my own equipment.
Costs & Travelling: £50 per
session if within the boundary of Huddersfield. Beyond that
travelling expenses will come into play. [I regularly give
presentations throughout West Yorkshire with bookings also in
the Whole of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire, and
Nottinghamshire. I will even travel to Cornwall – for the right

Website link


07887 878 425

Mike Clarke
♦ The History of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, the talk can include additional illustrations for
locations along the canal if requested. 

♦ People of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal
♦ Brightwork: traditional boat decoration the Leeds & Liverpool

♦ Coal, Canal and Cotton: the L & L Canal in East Lancashire
♦ The Water Supply the Leeds & Liverpool Canal
♦ The Douglas Navigation
♦ The Duke of Bridgewater and His Canal
♦ Waterways between Liverpool and Manchester
♦ Canal Heritage: What is it?
♦ Canals of Europe – An Historical Overview
♦ Compartment Boats
♦ The Solovki Monastery in Northern Russia
♦ A French Interlude Around the Loire
♦ Old Industries of Romania
♦ Waterway-related World Heritage Sites
The Speaker: Mike Clarke runs Milepost Research
to provide advice and research on subjects related to industrial
history. He has written many books and articles on a wide
variety of subjects.
Lectures are tailored to the audience and, although some
of the subjects can be a little technical, the illustrations are
used for drawing out a wide variety of stories suitable for
most listeners.
The lectures are
illustrated using a digital projector, and all equipment can be
provided, though it is preferable for a screen to be available
at the location of the lecture. The lectures are 45 minutes to
1 hour long and questions are welcomed.
Costs & Travelling: The cost per
lecture is £50 for up to 25 miles around Barnoldswick, plus
£5 for every 20 miles above this distance.
Milepost Research
8 Green Bank
BB18 6HX
+44 (0)1282 850430
Colin Edmondson
♦ A short history of the River Weaver.
♦ The River Weaver – a proud engineering tradition.
♦ The beauties of the River Weaver.
♦ A look at the history of the River Weaver at Winsford.
♦ A detailed look at the history of a chosen section of the river.
♦ One engine, two people, 40 lorry loads.
A talk about my trips
carrying grain on the Manchester Ship Canal.

♦ Not so solid ground. This talk is based on a guided walk from
the Lion Salt Works to the Anderton Lift along the Trent &
Mersey Canal.
Salt and Subsidence. Looking at the story of salt mining and
brine pumping in the area around Northwich and the catastrophic
effects of the subsidence that this caused. Lavishly
The Speaker: Colin Edmondson has been researching the history of the Weaver
and the local salt industry for the last ten years, in archives
all over the country, and given the chance could talk for days!

Format: All talks are illustrated by means of a digital projector.
Costs & Travelling: Area normally covered – a 30 mile radius around Northwich.
Charge – £40 plus fuel costs

Andy Griffee
♦ Canal Noir – crime fiction and canals. The Speaker: Andy is the author of the Jumping Jack Flash series of crime thrillers which are set on the canals and waterways of the UK. The first book in the series is Canal Pushers and was inspired by rumours of a serial killer at large on Manchester’s canal towpaths. It is set on the Stratford and the Worcester & Birmingham canals and was published by Orphans Publishing in May 2019. The second in the series is called River Rats and is set on the River Avon at Bath and on the Kennet and Avon Canal and features a small community of boats fighting to retain their moorings in the face of intimidation by local property developers. More books featuring journalist Jack Johnson and his one-woman crew Nina are to follow as he moves his narrowboat around the country.

Andy is a former BBC TV reporter, producer and senior manager who gives regular talks about his books and about the wider world of crime fiction, especially the work of writers who are inspired to use canals as their settings.
Format: A projector and laptop can be provided
and Andy only seeks a contribution to petrol expenses and the
opportunity to sign and sell his books afterwards to anyone who
wishes to purchase them.



Tony Hirst
♦ The saving of the Daniel Adamson.
steam powered tug/tender, was built in Birkenhead in 1903 for
the Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company. She was rescued
in 2004 from being broken up and is now being restored to her
former glory. The full talk lasts up to about 75 minutes but
there is a shorter version lasting only 30 to 40 minutes.

♦ LTC Rolt – Engineer, Campaigner, Conserver, Innovator,
Researcher, Author & Family Man. 1910 – 1974.
This talk illustrates Rolt’s life and
achievements from his early days in Chester through his varied
career involving railways, cars, canals and becoming an eminent
researcher and author. The talk lasts about 75 minutes.

♦ There is more to canals than just boating.
From conversations with boaters and others interested
in canals I believe that many do not appreciate the relevance
and importance of many buildings, structures and objects that
can be seen alongside our canals. The presentation talk is in
part interactive with the audience and depending on this lasts
from an hour to an hour and a quarter.
The Speaker: Tony Hirst has been interested in inland waterways since the
1950s and was for nearly 30 years involved first as a volunteer
and then as full time Executive Director of The Boat Museum at
Ellesmere Port. He has been involved with a number of societies
involved with waterways and was the founding Chairman of the
Daniel Adamson Preservation Society and is now their President.
He has been a boat owner for nearly 20 years and cruised much of
the system.
Format: All talks are in Power Point, I will provide the computer and
projector but would appreciate if possible the organiser
providing a screen. Alternatively a blank white wall of the room
may provide the best image.
Costs & Travelling: I normally seek a donation for giving the talk which I the value
of which leave to the host organisation. I will donate to the
society any contributions from the Daniel Adamson talk along
with Gift Aid to assist in its restoration.
I am happy to travel up to 40 miles from Nantwich without any
additional charge, beyond this I request an additional amount
for the additional traveling.
01270 666047

Cath Turpin
♦ The History and Development of the National Waterways Museum,
Ellesmere Port.
♦ Ellesmere Port Docks – Development, dereliction and
♦ Lives of 20th Century Boat People.
♦ Thomas Clayton (Oldbury) Ltd., carriers of fuel oil, gas tar
and related products.
♦ The British Waterways hire fleet.
♦ Fire boats on the inland waterways during the second world
♦ History of the tunnel tugs on the Worcester & Birmingham
The Speaker: I have been a volunteer at what
is now the National Waterways Museum (formerly known as the Boat
Museum) since work started on creating a museum at Ellesmere
Port in the mid 1970s. I have edited the research publication,
Waterways Journal which is published by the Boat Museum Society,
since 2008. The society supports the work of the NWM in many

I can offer a number of illustrated talks,
suitable for general and more specialist audiences.
Costs & Travelling: I charge £50 for talks
within 20ish miles of Ellesmere Port, including Wirral and
Merseyside. Longer distances by negotiation.
Cath Turpin, 1 Market Street, Hoylake, Wirral. CH47 2AD

0151 632 5446

Ian Wilson
♦ I give canal talks on most canals and inland waterways of UK The Speaker:  I have been involved
with canals since 1966 and have over 8000 slides from the leeds
and Liverpool to the Kennet and avon and most of the other
waterways in between.
Format: I supply all the equipment needed for a
talk all PAT TESTED, I also supply literature for viewing at
every talk.
Costs & Travelling: I travel any where in the UK up
to 25 miles free and after that it is 0.25p per mile there after. My cost per talk is £50.00.
Please do not hesitate to contact me for more details , on email
or tel 07517381225 i look
forward to hearing from you.

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