Who are we?

Friends of President was formed in October 1983 and is a group of individuals who have come together to support the preservation and operations of President and Kildare either by simply being a member or by volunteering in their free time.

For those who are able to, we perform a variety of tasks as volunteers which all come together to keep the boats on the canal for all of the public to take in and enjoy the sight and sound of a working steam narrow boat.

Volunteers carry out such tasks as:img_0728

  • Maintenance work parties
  • Crewing
  • Fund Raising
  • etc…

During the summer time, you will see our crew with both President and Kildare out on the canal promoting both the Museum and the waterways, when we are not out you can find us on the Castlefields dock at the Black Country Living Museum.

The Objective of Friends of President

Formed in October 1984 it is the objective of “Friends of President” to preserve and promote the use of the steam narrow boat “President” and the butty “Kildare” on the inland waterways for the Black Country Living Museum Trust. It is our responsibility to ensure that money is raised for the Trust for the preservation of the boats.


Why wear costume?  The decision to wear “traditional” costume was made after a number of years of crewing in modern dress.  It was felt that whilst we were proudly demonstrating historical craft, we were ruining the image by wearing totally inappropriate “jeans and beach shirts”, to quote an early criticism.  We like to be able to present a complete historical image when we are out on the canal.  We do, after all, represent our owners, The Black Country Living Museum, all of whose volunteers are required to wear early 20th century costume – and do so with pride.

Are you Interested in helping us?

We are always happy to welcome new members , whether you are only able to help us financially or 13115939_994757593943391_5954304939523493435_oexplore the delights of crewing the boats out on the cut or just talking to the public at shows we attend. Also we are always looking for help maintaining the boats over the winter, any time you could give us would be welcome.

We also try and keep our supporters informed as to what is happening with our newsletter “195”.

So, if not a member, please think about supporting these unique boats by visiting the ‘Join Us’ page