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Idle Women of The Wartime Waterways

appearing at

Titford Pump House

Oldbury, West Midlands

Saturday 28th of April 2018


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Idle Women of The Wartime Waterways Profile Pic

Idle Women of The Wartime Waterways


Live Performance
Theatre, Story, Poetry and Music


A double bill of theatre, story, poetry and music to whisk you back to the days of World War II when 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, took on the challenge of managing pairs of 72ft narrow boats and 50 tons of cargo, and this show brings their stories to life. Come and enjoy Kate Saffin’s ‘Isobel’s War’ and Heather Wastie’s ‘Idle Women and Judies’ in waterside (and nearby) venues in the West Midlands.

Before the Women’s Training Scheme started in 1942, there was one woman already working a single boat. Daphne March operated Heather Bell throughout the war, and our Spring 2018 tour follows Daphne’s route (Worcester - Tipton - Cannock), celebrating her life with new additions to the show.

“These pieces vividly bring to life the sounds, smells and texture of waterway life. .... Both women are exceptional storytellers, their performances brimming over with personality and linguistic virtuosity.” London City Nights

You can read more about Alarum Theatre and our work on the website

Titford Pump House

Venue Type

Historic Building

Titford Pump House Profile Pic


The building is an old beam engine pump house, that has been used for this purpose since the 1850s, initially as a single engine, with a second engine installed in the 1860s. Later an electric pump was used – and we have re-installed one of the old ones beside the pound between locks 1 and 2.

It is still a pump house, with an electric pump in the building, drawing water from below lock 6, out to the grills just by the junction between the Tat Bank canal (and feeder arm) and the Titford Canal.

Theatre, Story, Poetry and Music


West Midlands,


B69 4NL.

Admission Fee: £5
Click here to book tickets for Idle Women of The Wartime Waterways at Titford Pump House

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