• launched an appeal for volunteers to raise the £29,000 necessary to build a boat

  • committee formed, roles defined, challenges, priorities and actions agreed
  • the design and layout of the boat agreed
  • discussed potential funding opportunities - some simple, some challenging and some crazy!



  • children from Seymour Road Infants School held a sponsored obstacle course which raised £300
  • committee received a letter of support from Prince Charles
  • £2000 received from the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Cllr Sheila Smith
  • 131 walkers took part in a sponsored Cheshire Ring (97 mile) Walk and raised £4,000
  • selected David Massey from Wincham Wharf in Northwich as the preferred boat builder
  • Ciba runners ran round the Cheshire Ring and raised £200
  • a race night at The Queen Anne public house in Openshaw raised over £600
  • 21 local companies made generous donations in cash or in kind
  •  volunteers put on fancy dress and push an old hospital bed around local streets raising almost £400
  • order for the boat placed and £500 deposit paid

  • a second race night at The Queen Anne raised a further £420

  • a musical evening at Openshaw Community Centre raised over £200

  • as funds reach £10,000 we received a match-funding grant from The Countryside Commission



  • registered as a charity by the Charity Commission
  • Lord Mayor of Manchester, Cllr Joyce Keller, launched the final push to raise £7,500 to complete the boat
  • a series of quiz nights at the Church Inn Failsworth raised £200
  • skipper training for RYA Helmsman Certificates began
  • in recognition of their IIP Award, Ciba Specialty Chemicals donated £4,500 to the project which enabled the engine to be purchased and fitted
  • six year-10 pupils from Droylsden High School adopted the project for their Community Service and began training for their RYA Helmsman Certificates




  • William Roach, in the presence of The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Cllr Hugh Barratt, officially launched Community Spirit at the newly opened Bridgewater Hall Marina.   Boat builder David Massey said, “When I first met these people I thought they were mad to attempt such a venture and couldn’t imagine the project ever succeeding, but I didn’t take into account their powers of persuasion, enthusiasm and determination – this is an incredible project”.


  •   volunteers spent the night in the most haunted house in England, Chingle Hall, and raised £1,000



  • ‘Millennium Challenge’ trip to London with Manchester residents was announced

  • students from Wright Robinson High School volunteered to help plan the route

  •  a ‘classical evening’ dinner raised £1,500



  • nine Prince’s Trust volunteers undertook a four-week project to re-varnish and equip the boat

  • Ciba cyclists take part in the Manchester-Blackpool Bike Ride and raised over £600

  • Ciba Employee’s Charity Fund and Ciba Specialty Chemicals pledged £4000 to the Millennium Challenge’


  • the boat was modified, the wheelhouse was removed and a tiller fitted

  • Ciba faced closure so Community Spirit moved moorings to Portland Basin


  • 16 additional volunteer skippers passed their RYA Helmsman Certificate

  • the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Cllr. Derek Shaw, gave Community Spirit an enthusiastic send off from Castlefield Basin on the first leg of her journey to London

  • a second ‘classical evening’ dinner raised £2,000



  • received the Mersey Basin Campaign’s Unilever Dragonfly Award for services to the community, plus a cheque for £500



  • re-painting and an overhaul cost £2000

  • the Earl and Countess of Wessex visited Community Spirit and met volunteers and supporters
  • the boat carried the Queen’s Jubilee Baton on the penultimate leg of its journey to Manchester’s Commonwealth Games Stadium

  • supported Greater Manchester Police’s Young Citizen of the Year

  • received a pledge of support from Elcometer Instruments Limited

  • four volunteers received the National Community Boats Association’s (NCBA) Certificate in Community Boat Management (CCBM)



  • volunteer Keith Glover, 2003 Provincial Grand Primo, Prince of Wales Lodge, RAOB, nominated the project as his ‘charity of the year’ and raised £2,026

  • Jon Rowe (RAOB) donated a hoist which was overhauled and fitted by B. Conway Limited

  • an 11-week joint venture with British Waterways, Portland Basin Marina and EMCBP ‘Canals Then and Now’, provided a day out for over 300 Year 6 school children who experienced three activities, a canal walk, role-play in the museum and a trip on a narrowboat



  • ‘Canals Then and Now’ is awarded first prize in the BURA, Waterways Renaissance Award, Education and Learning Section

  • two volunteers achieved their NCBA CCBMs and two others, already holders of the CCBM, qualified as Trainers.   EMCBP becomes an NCBA Accredited Training Centre (ATC) capable of offering NCBA training to other organisations
  • introduced Seat Sponsorship opportunities
  •  re-painted and overhauled the boat at a cost of £2,500




  • celebrated our tenth year of service with a third ‘classical evening’ dinner dance which raised £1,300
  • carried out a major re-fit to the galley and toilet facilities



  • hosted a very successful VIP/Seat Sponsors’ Day on board the boat with ten seat sponsors



  • hosted a second successful VIP/Seat Sponsors’ Day
  • carried out external CCBM training and evaluation of volunteers from Huddersfield Canal Society (HCS)
  • announced plans for a Coast-to-Coast journey from Ashton to Goole, Goole to Liverpool and Liverpool to Ashton to take place in 2010



  • passenger numbers reached 1,130 for the year
  • carried out external CCBM training and evaluation with volunteers from HCS
  • received a visit from an NCBA Moderator who assessed our NCBA training and admin procedures and suitability to act as an ATC; we surpassed the moderator’s expectations
  • hosted a third successful VIP/Seat Sponsors’ Day


  • supported Openshaw Primary School’s initiative to alert children to the dangers of canals and locks.   Over three days we took out 65 children from years 5 and 6 and they saw for themselves just how dangerous the locks were.   Feedback from the school was exceptional and the event was a great success

  • evaluated the CCBM abilities of a further four HNC volunteers

  • provided trips for Johnny Johnson Housing residents in support of their 40th anniversary celebrations



  • received an enquiry from The National Autistic Society who were so impressed with the boat facilities that they booked every Thursday, they then shared our details with colleagues who booked every Tuesday - these are commitments that we were happy to fulfil

  • received £5,885.82 from The Community Foundation for Greater Manchester (£2,485.82 from Grassroots/£3,400 from Nine Lives Community Fund) which paid for much needed equipment and running costs for 12 months

  • the boat was repainted

  • the Mayor and Mayoress of Tameside, Cllr John and Mrs. Francoise Sullivan, waved Community Spirit off on the six week Coast-to-Coast trip


  • new windows are fitted to the boat to Eastlands Homes, Wrekin Windows and Richmond Joinery



  • unveiled a new state-of-the-art sight and sound facility with music and information to enhance passengers’ enjoyment



  • launch a feasibility study into the potential for a new boat in time for the project’s 21st birthday in 2015



  • questionnaires were issued to 66 of our user groups asking them to identify the level of support and facilities they would like.   We received a 48.5% response and the feedback was an essential part of the design and layout of the new boat
  • liaised with other boating organisations with newly built boats and potential boat builders



  • the project became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)
  • received the “Pride of Tameside” Voluntary and Community Award for “Outstanding Achievement,

    voluntary and Community Group Award” from the Mayor of Tameside Cllr. Dawson Lane.

  • two additional trustees brought legal and project management experience to the team

  • a detailed specification for the new boat was agreed and sent to three potential boat builders; the anticipated cost was expected to be ca £90,000



  • a number of grant applications were successful and secured £60,000 of funding
  • a JustGiving page was launched to raise the balance and a preferred boat builder identified and the order was placed with Pendle Narrowboats
  • reached agreement to sell Community Spirit to Wakefield Scouts in summer 2016
  • a trial partnership with 2Boards and a Passion enables trips at Easter, Halloween and in December




  • the logo was re-designed
  • said farewell to Community Spirit
  • took possession of Community Spirit 2 on Friday 18th November 2016


  • Community Spirit 2 was formally launched at Portland Basin by Mr.Warren Smith JP, Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester


  • a second volunteer gains his NCBA Trainers’ qualification



  • received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service
  • welcomed two additional trustees



  • three additional trustees further strengthened the board

  • the website was taken in-house and re-designed


  • an on-line booking system was launched
  • route information was updated
  • announced the three objectives of our Green-For-Go initiative at the 21st August AGM
  •             . replacement of the diesel powered engine with an electric motor
  •             . installation of solar panels to power on-board appliances
  •             . installation of an electrical charging point on the mooring
  • discussed the potential to work with a third-party on a second boat
  • celebrated our 25th Anniversary with a candlelit black tie dinner at The Monastery, Manchester which raised over £5000



  •  trustees continued to met via Zoom and considerable progress was made on Green-For-Go, the estimated costs of which were ca £40,000
  • reviewed and implemented guidance and requirements for the safe resumption of trips following Covid with crew and passenger safety a priority



  • the boarding ramps were modified to create a “gate” to allow crew to step on and off the front deck
  • agreed to present Long Service Badges to volunteers for every five years’ service
  • Green-for-Go project continued to make steady progress:
  • identified a project manager and agreed priorities
  • continued discussions with third parties
  • considered and modified plans for better outcomes
  • identified a preferred electric motor provider, Lynch Motors, and agreed costs and deadlines
  • identified training needs
  • grants and donations received total £40,000



  • Tameside Canal Boat Trust agreed to exchange moorings for purposes of electric connection
  • received approval from Portland Basin Museum, Sanctuary Housing and Canal and River Trust to site the electrical charging point at the mooring
  • agreed a date for the re-launch
  • diesel engine removed by Portland Basin Marina
  • electric motor fitted by Lynch Motors
  • solar panels fitted and domestic appliances connected by GID Marine Services
  • electric charging point fitted by Maine Electric Ltd


  • on the 29th April 2023 Community Spirit 2 went electric!


  • trainers and senior crew members trained by Lynch Motors

  • Mrs. Diane Hawkins JP LLB, His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, officially launched a fully electric Community Spirit 2 at Portland Basin.   Also in attendance were Cllr Mike Glover, Civic Mayor of Tameside, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester Sharman Birtles, benefactors and volunteers


photos published courtesy of the Tameside Reporter 11th May 2023

  • on-going membership and volunteer recruitment and training continues

  • The trustees, with the suport of volunteers, will continue to drive this project forward in line with their five year rolling plan.   Our President will reveal the next exciting chapter/project? at our 2024 AGM to be held on Wednesday the 16th October - watch this space!

  • This project will never stand still, it will adapt and develop to meet the needs of the community and will boldly go where no other community boat has ever gone before...