NCBA Starts Social Revolution!

Peggy writes blogsWelcome to our blog. The NCBA is an umbrella organisation supporting and representing inland waterway community boating organisations.

My idea is to create a hub of information where community boating projects across the UK can share their latest news and pictures. We’ll be able to do that with our new blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

A typical view of community boating is that it has something to do with disabled people or troubled teenagers. I’d like to share information that shows it to be so much more than that.

As use of the canals and rivers for leisure has grown in popularity we have seen decades of effort go into updating the physical structure of the waterways. The exciting thing about community boating is that it is supporting both community and waterways regeneration.  The NCBA offers training and support for community boating projects, promotes social cohesion and safe access to community boats.

The canals and waterways are the love of my life; I’m passionate about the idea that they should be accessible for all, regardless of ability or personal finances. Let’s get Britain boating!

The launch of the Canal and River Trust presents an exciting time and an opportunity for change. Our members engage with some of the hardest to reach communities and provide access to the water for disaffected and disadvantaged members of our society.  A lot of people cannot afford to go boating on their local waterway; this is where community boating can help. Communities live alongside canals that they currently cannot use.

The canals were at the heart of the Industrial Revolution; let’s put them at the heart of a social one!

What do you think? Do you know of a community boating project near you?

Peggy Melmoth

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  1. thewharfproject 11th July 2012 at 14:29 - Reply

    Busy time of year for us all and hopefully projects around the country are making the most of the gorgeous sunny weather !!!! (think positive its on its way)

    join me in welcoming to the world of BLOG the NCBA and its organisational heads who are monitoring their incoming blog

    Well done Peggy

    • Peggy 11th July 2012 at 15:09 - Reply

      Thanks, yes I was so excited to launch this blog today! There is always loads of news to share from the community boating projects.

  2. Water Wytch (@waterwytche) 11th July 2012 at 15:23 - Reply

    Will this extend to organizations that encourage people onto the water, like sailing clubs and kayaking/canoe clubs? Sounds like a great move.

    • Peggy 11th July 2012 at 22:45 - Reply

      Hi Water Wytch. Trevor Roberts, chairman of the NCBA has replied;

      “I feel that the overriding ethos of community boating is to enable those
      excluded groups or individuals the opportunity to access the waterways.
      The current membership consists of organisations who do that by the
      provision of a multi occupancy boat thereby encouraging social interaction
      in addition to the other benefits that they provide. The specific clubs you
      mention usually operate under their own ‘organisational banner’ and they
      themselves do not see themselves as a ‘community boating’ activity. What we
      are also seeing is that other boat organisations do not see themselves
      perhaps as a community boat – particiualrly historic craft.

      The aspect that is unique to community boating is that it is the activity –
      it is what you do with the boat – that is important.
      The important thing is to create a conversation about access for all which
      is wider than physical barrier restrictions. – Any one can join in that

      • Ryan 9th September 2012 at 14:01 - Reply


        I would have hoped you looked at your member list before stating blanket statements like “What we are also seeing is that other boat organisations do not see themselves perhaps as a community boat – particularly historic craft.”

        I’d like to refer you to the Wooden Canal Boat Society a member of the NCBA and the owner of 6 boats that do various community based work or are awaiting restoration to do so. Specifically “Hazel” who is currently undergoing a full rebuild so that she will be capable of providing wellbeing trips for people suffering from stress and depression. She was built in 1914 and is the last of her kind, most definitely a historic craft and most definitely a community boat.

      • Peggy 10th September 2012 at 10:29 - Reply

        Hi Ryan

        I’m pleased that you’ve contacted me as I visited your website recently with the idea to feature your society in my next blog post. The comment you have quoted was the NCBA chairman’s response to a question asked by Waterwytche about what sort of organisations are members. I imagine what Trevor meant is that there are historic boat organisations that do not see themselves as community boats. But of course in your case the Wooden Canal Boat Society is very much a community boating organisation.


  3. Damian Kemp 17th July 2012 at 16:35 - Reply

    Hi NCBA! It’s a great, and commendable, objective that you’re working towards. I’m sure you’ll get in touch if you want us to get involved, help in some way, with particular projects or schemes.
    Damian Kemp
    Boating Comms Manager
    Canal & River Trust

    • Peggy 17th July 2012 at 17:33 - Reply

      Thanks for visiting Damian 🙂
      Yes, it would be great if we could work together on some things. Will keep in touch.

  4. Barbie Coulson 10th January 2013 at 14:44 - Reply

    Fantastic blog on the social revolution – have shared it on our facebook page (Peterlemarchanttrust) with a long comment. Well, long for facebook anyway!

    • Peggy 10th January 2013 at 15:18 - Reply

      Thanks Barbie 🙂 Peggy

  5. Canal & River Trust 21st February 2013 at 10:38 - Reply

    Good luck with your blog, please let us know if you have an update you would like us to tweet about! 🙂
    (Canal & River Trust)

    • Peggy 21st February 2013 at 16:35 - Reply

      Thanks Anja! Would love it if you can retweet our articles. We just want to raise awareness of community boats nationwide 🙂

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