Tooley’s Boatyard to bring more book reading boat trips to Banbury waterways

Following the huge success of the sold out ‘kids on the canal’ event last week, Tooley’s is bringing two more ‘stories from the Great British Waterways’ events to Banbury, aboard its own narrowboat, ‘The Dancing Duck.’

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 10:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 10:20 pm
The Dancing Duck which will continue to take visitors on trips along the canal in the Banbury town centre through October. (Image from the Tooley's Boatyard website)

Families have another chance to experience the charming Muddy Waters story-time boat trip, with children’s author Dan Clacher, on Saturday October 2. While adults can enjoy a historical journey with salient points from Matt Armitage's book Forging Ahead: A History of Tooley's Boatyard, read by the author himself, on Saturday September 18.

Just two trips are available on each date, with room for 12 passengers aboard the 40-minute literacy journeys, departing at 11:30 am and 13:00 pm.

Dan Clacher, author of the Muddy Waters children’s books, said: “I’m honoured to be able to share the adventures of Muddy the narrowboat, and his friends, with even more families next month. Join me to find out how this truly unique and special yard in the heart of Banbury inspired me to write the Muddy Waters children’s book series.”

As well as a budding author, penning Forging Ahead, Matthew Armitage has been the director of Tooley’s for the past 19 years. His very personal account of the yard’s past is brought right up to date with a distinctive insight into how age-old practices still prevail and thrive to this day. Anyone with an interest in the waterways will be in awe of his knowledge and passion for this much-loved jewel in Banbury’s crown.

John Madden, chair of Tooley’s Boatyard Trust, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support and excitement the story time boat trip received from local families.

"To see so many delighted faces aboard The Dancing Duck after such a tough year was truly a delight - I’m sure we will see just as many adult smiles on the upcoming Forging Ahead trips too!

“The Saturday boat trips have also proved so popular that we have extended the season through to October, so be sure to secure one of the last trips of the season.”

Tooley’s Boatyard Trust, is a charitable organisation run by a group of local waterways enthusiasts, who are passionate about sharing the dry dock's rich history with fellow boaters and the wider community.

Following the summer boat tours, it is working towards new visitor attractions in 2022. Revamped exhibitions and new events will create a fantastic experience full of rich local history and exciting activities, with something for visitors of all ages.

To reserve a seat on the Muddy Waters or Forging Ahead boat trips, or for more information about Tooley’s, visit or call 01295 272917.