Vlog 250: Trow Believers

Built in the late 1700s but abandoned in the mid-20th century, the Stroudwater Navigation and the Thames & Severn Canal are currently undergoing a mammoth, volunteer-led programme of restoration. This is their story.

For those curious about the video title, a Trow was the type of boat that used to sail up the River Severn and along the Stroudwater Navigation to unload at Stroud, so the title is a gentle play on the phrase “True Believers” and references the dedication of all the volunteers making this project happen.


Cotswold Canals Trust www.cotswoldcanals.org.uk

Stroudwater Navigation Proprietors www.stroudwater.co.uk

Stroud Valleys Canal Co www.stroudvalleyscanal.co.uk

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  1. Very much liked this video. Exciting to see the rebuild of the canal system.

  2. How do you get a bloke from the other side of the world absolutely enthralled with a canal restoration project in a country he’s never been to ?
    Have David Johns make a mini doco about it of course!
    So interesting and well presented, thank you David.

  3. Another very interesting vlog David. I used to be a working volunteer for the Wendover Arm Trust (you cruised along there in an earlier vlog) until we moved to Norfolk some years ago.
    Now I’m going to have a moan, not about your goodself or the vlog but the new distance signs shown in the vlog. Why oh why do some organisations insist on using km and not miles? We measure distances in miles in the UK not kms! Very frustrating!
    Keep up the good work work. Another most informative vlog.

  4. Awesome. I would hope you’ll be doing a follow up when those precast bridge sections go in – that would be the cream on the cake. What a great overall project!

    • Unfortunately, they’re doing the work at Christmas and overnight so I won’t be there but I suspect someone will run a timelapse camera…

  5. Tony Mears, Palm Harbor, FL, US

    Excellent, professional-grade production as always. And what a project! If I was only 5,000 miles or so closer, I would love to volunteer some time. But a donation is on its way.
    When this is all complete, will the CRT take responsibility for the ‘new’ waterway? Or is that another item on the ‘to be negotiated’ list?
    Great job, David.

  6. David, honestly . . . I really do believe you could approach the BBC and simply NAME YOUR PRICE ! To say this documentary is exceptional in every way, is an understatement of your ability, research and hard work. I so much enjoyed this one and I truly applaud all those involved in reopening this sedentary canal. As an American, I an deeply impressed time and again, at just how good of a job England does with preserving and restoring its’ rich heritage, this project is a fine example of that. So looking forward to your next installment and thanks again for this one.

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