Walk through the Chandlery at Tooley’s boatyard through the door at the back and you will find a unique collection of canal artifacts. There are stories of the people who worked on the Oxford Canal, the very first leisure boaters and what they did to save our canals for the nation. The story of competition with other modes of transport – railways, motor vehicles, motorways etc.

Some of the exhibits can be studied here on this website. The story of Tom Rolt’s journey across the canal network starting in Banbury in 1939 described by himself in his book Narrow Boat. See the letters he wrote to Herbert Tooley between 1943 and 1947.
Rolt’s letters to Herbert Tooley

Herbert also received requests from people inspired by Tom Rolt’s book. See letters-from-readers-of-narrow-boat.

Also when you leave you can see the Tom Rolt Bridge (the road bridge over the canal just beyond the cinema).