Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways:

Summer 2016 Tour

A double bill of theatre, poetry and music to whisk you back to the days of World War II. A shortage of crews to keep the working boats going brought a new breed of boater to the canal; young women, later nicknamed Idle Women, who took on the challenge of managing a pair of 72’ narrow boats and 55 tons of cargo. A summer evening at a waterside venue featuring Isobel’s War (Kate Saffin) and Idle Women and Judies (Heather Wastie).

We’re on the Staffs & Worcs and Shropshire Union canals in June and July – with a couple of hops off to other parts of England’s extensive inland waterways network: Stourbridge and Dudley.

Kate Saffin (left) and Heather Wastie on tour with Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways

Kate Saffin (left) and Heather Wastie on tour with Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways

Here are all the details…

16th June The Camp House, Grimley CANCELLED (flooding) will now be 7th September
21st June Ashwoord Marina, Kingswinford
22nd June Eagle and Spur, Cookley*
27th June Dudley Canal Trust*
29th June The Bonded Warehouse, Stourbridge*

4th July Fox and Anchor, Coven
6th July The Bridge Inn, Brewood
7th July The Navigation, Gnosall
11th July The Junction Inn, Norbury
12th July The Anchor Inn, High Offley
19th July The Shroppie Fly, Audlem


15th September The Folly Inn, Napton

Early October (dates to be confirmed) Theatre in the Dock, Tooley’s boatyard, Banbury

All shows 7.30pm (approx 1hr 45m with interval). Unless otherwise indicated (*) these are unticketed events, donations welcome

Details of all the venues and where to find them are here
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Read more about the backgroud to Idle Women and Judies and Isobel’s War


  1. Hello. I saw IW&J at Ellesmere Port so I hope this tour goes well. I might try to get to the Audlem performance so I can catch Isobel’s War too.

    You might know them already but I’ve listed below a few folky Facebook pages in case they might be handy if you are looking for places to promote the tour.

    Best regards

    Musicians On The Cut



    -Stafford Folk and Dance

    StaffsArts Magazine


    Cheshire Folk Group  

    Cheshire Folk Musicians 

    Cheshire Folkies… 

  2. btw (& you don’t need to leave these as comments…)
    On the map, if you wish, you can display the dates if
    in the left menu you click
    …the paint roller > Individual Styles > Set Labels > description

  3. Tracey Forrest says:

    I have seen one of you leaflets and am interested in coming to the show
    At the Bonded warehouse on the 29th June are there any tickets still available ??
    Thanks Tracey

    • adminks says:

      Hi Tracey, there are – I’m just sorting out a small glitch as they are only showing the full price tickets and there are concessions available as well. I’ll post a new link as soon as I can.

  4. adminks says:

    All glitches now sorted! The link to book is

    And tickets are £8/£6 with no additional booking fees

    Let me know if you have any problems with the site and I’ll make sure we set aside tickets for you to pay on the door.

    All the best and look forward to seeing you there.


  5. Peter says:

    Note that while the pin on the map on the Google Maps page ( for the Anchor Inn is in the correct location, the website URL given if you click on that pin is for a different Anchor Inn, not the one in High Offley. The URL is for a pub and restaurant on the River Ouse in Sussex.

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