Banbury Canal CIC – Your Memories

Banbury Canal CIC – Your Memories

Date posted:

Banbury Canal Community Interest Company (CIC) has received funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. We are delighted to receive this grant towards the Your Memories project. The aim is to capture stories from people in the area with memories of the canal before we forget.


The area around Castle Quay and the canal is changing fast with the new development. Banbury Canal CIC exists to celebrate the heritage of the area. We want to capture memories and stories (and pictures) of the area before we all forget.

We’re looking for local residents who would like to add their memories of the canal in Banbury. Or perhaps talk to their mum, dad, grandparent, neighbour. We’d like to hear about playing around the canal or the town centre as a child. Your memories of walking or fishing on the towpath, seeing the working boats pass through the town are interesting. Maybe you took a few risks on the ice …

National Lottery Community Fund

Banbury Canal CIC – Your Memories is delighted to have received funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. This will also help people feeling isolated by the current lockdown by offering something different to think about. They can gather their family or their own memories of the canal as the area changes fast with new development.

The fund aims to help local groups to provide Covid-safe activities, while we are all still needing to be very careful. So we’re going to provide online training and help local people to gather stories in ways that are safe.

Banbury Canal CIC director, Kate Saffin, said:

We have been wanting to capture some of these stories for ages, so get this funding is such a help. And it’s great to be offering something for local people to get involved in. It will take our minds of Covid and lockdown, even if just for an afternoon.

We know there are amazing stories out there. A couple of years ago a gentleman in his 80s visited the lock. He told us that he remembered the night it was bombed in November 1940. He and his friends came to have a look the next morning. We’d love to hear from him again!

Time Limit

The project has to be completed by the end of March. So we want to hear from people as soon as possible. Events coming up include:

  • An online session with BBC radio producer and oral history expert, Julia Letts, on Saturday Feb 27th. She will share her experience of recording memories, and show us all how to do it.
  • Later, in March, a creative writing workshop with the 2015 Worcestershire Poet Laureate, Heather Wastie.

No experience necessary, just a chance to have a go at writing prose or poetry or even a song!

Ways you can take part in Banbury Canal CIC – Your Memories project:

  • Record a family member or neighbour recalling their childhood and youth in Banbury
  • Record or write their own memories
  • We also have two trained interviewers. They are available if you know of someone who might like to take part but isn’t in your social bubble.

There will be plenty of help available from the project team. We will be sharing the stories via Tooley’s Boatyard Trust website, social media and a booklet.

Facebook: or Twitter: @BanburyCanalCIC provide more information about Banbury Canal CIC.

About Banbury Canal CIC

Three local boaters formed Banbury Canal CIC in 2019 by three local boaters. Its aims are to capture and celebrate the heritage of the Oxford Canal as it passes through Banbury. Also the ways it has shaped the town and contributed to the lives of local people.