This club is a member of the Association of Waterways Cruising Club (AWCC) and as such can offer secure mooring to members of AWCC affiliated clubs. Enquiries for mooring space availability should be made by contacting the Club AWCC Rep on 0161 427 9906 or by email to the Club AWCC Rep An AWCC card and insurance declaration will be required prior to arrival.

In 1943 a number of pleasure boaters’ who moored on what is now the Club Arm were advised by their landlord, the London and North Eastern Railway to form a club who would negotiate the terms of their tenancy collectively.

During the intervening years, pleasure boating has grown significantly along with the amount of leisure time we have at our disposal. Modern canal boats incorporate most of the home comforts, , enabling the cruises we undertake to be more ambitious.

With this in mind, the Club is affiliated to the Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs (known as the AWCC), a fraternal self-help group operating throughout most of the inland waterways in England. Also, on behalf of its member Clubs’ the AWCC consults with the canal authorities and where necessary the government. In some respects  this represents an extension to the original benefits that were obtained when the Club was formed.

Finally, I wish you good sailing wherever you may choose to venture!

John Suggitt, AWCC Representative, narrow boat ‘Evenlode’

A History of the AWCC

While mooring at an attractive remote spot on any waterway is one of the pleasures of cruising, breaking down miles from anywhere can be a daunting prospect. Forty years ago, the late Dennis Cole, who was then Commodore of the St Pancras Cruising Club faced this problem when his outboard engine broke down at Marsworth on the Grand Union Canal.  In those days Boatyards were few and far between but Dennis who was aware of the Dunstable and District Boat Club based at the nearby Pitstone Wharf telephoned the Club’s Commodore who in turn alerted an Engineer and Dennis was soon under way once again. This incident prompted him to arrange a meeting between St. Pancras, Dunstable, Uxbridge and Lee & Stort Boat Clubs’ to discuss a scheme for a formal Inter Club arrangement to provide an emergency service for boaters’.

This resulted in the Association of waterways Cruising Clubs (AWCC) being formed during 1964. Its purpose was not only to give practical help to boaters’ of member Clubs but also to offer overnight moorings if a berth were available. Its growth was rapid in that by 1969 membership had increased from 4 to 18 Clubs, each of its boaters’ flying the AWCC’s blue and yellow burgee and having access to the first Handbook offering details of Club locations and the contact telephone numbers of their serving officers. During the 1970’s when the number of clubs passed the half century mark, it was decided to form the regional structure which remains to this day. By 1979 the number had risen to 80 Clubs and the AWCC had become a recognised consulting authority on boating affairs. Although the membership growth curve then flattened out due to the demise of some Clubs and the amalgamation of others, the AWCC which continued to take on board more Clubs, now numbers ninety Clubs country wide from Lancaster to London, Boston to Bristol and Ripon to Reading, representing around 10000 members in total.   

The AWCC has also grown in status. In addition to providing breakdown assistance and temporary moorings, it has become an influential boaters’ lobby, consulted by the Canal and River Trust, the Environmental Agency as well as District and Local Councils. The Association also works closely with navigation user groups’ including the Inland Waterways Association, the Royal Yacht Association and the Narrow Boat Owners group (NABO).

Mindful that local issues concern boaters’ as much as national developments, the AWCC lends its support to individual Club’s through six regional committees’ covering London, the Midlands, the North East, the North West, the South East and the South West. Each member Club has a vote at National level and is represented on the local area committee. Apart from regular regional meetings the AWCC has its own website. The AWCC Handbook published annually is available both in hardcopy or electronic forms.

The Association has supported comprehensive insurance for boats and also offers professional and legal advice to member Clubs on a range of topics related to boat Clubs and boating.

Now that more boaters’ are able to enjoy extended cruising and are ‘weekending’ their craft around the waterways network, Members of any particular Club who undertake longer journeys have the option of an immediate entry to other affiliated AWCC Clubs ‘en route’. Club’s fortunate enough to have their own premises often welcome visiting boaters’ to share their facilities, have a drink at the bar and, like all boaters’ do swap stories about their adventures afloat. Thanks to this unique arrangement a number of new and long standing friendships are being made all around our extensive waterway system.