Boaters' Gathering 2012

Fri 13th to Sunday 15th April 2012

On the Kennet & Avon canal, near Pewsey

LILO Gathering logo

Come together for a gathering of Liveaboard Boaters - we'll be chatting, plotting and sharing skills with each other. So if you're after information about the big changes happening to BW, or advice about installing a wind turbine come along to the Boaters' Gathering!

Contact Phone

During the gathering you can contact us on xxxxxxxx

Venue and getting there

The gathering is being held at the campsite behind the Golden Swan in Wilcott, Nr Pewsey. That's halfway between Devizes and Hungerford.

Postcode and OS Grid Ref.

For satnav users the postcode is SN9 5NN.

Map: available at

OS grid ref: SU141612


The nearest railway station is Pewsey (buy your train tickets in good time to get cheap Advance Purchase offers!), after that it's a mile and a half easy walk or bus.

Cycle or Walk from Pewsey station
It's an easy 1.5 mile walk from Pewsey. Come out of the station, down to the road. Turn left, then left again into Wilcot Road. Go straight on, over the railway bridge, up the hill, down the other side, straight on over the cross roads. The Golden Swan is on your left as you get to Wilcot village. Map:

Bus from Pewsey station - Connect2 Numbers 2, 10 and 11
Buses need to be booked in advance (20mins before the journey): phone 0845 6 525 255 (press Option 1 then Option 1 again), or use the free phone at the Co-op supermarket in Pewsey.

Most buses serve the railway station, and all go from the Co-op Supermarket hidden away behind Pewsey town centre. Journey takes around 5 mins.

Fare: £1.20 single adult, 60p single child

WEEKDAYS, Pewsey to Wilcot:
0655, 0720, 0900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1400, 1630, 1720, 1840, 1940, 2050, 2205

WEEKDAYS, Wilcot to Pewsey NB times are approximate!
0720, 0800, 1050, 1150, 1450, 1720, 1810, 1930, 2030, 2140, 2300

SATURDAYS,  Pewsey to Wilcot:
0720, 0815, 0900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1400, 1600, 1820

SATURDAYS, Wilcot to Pewsey NB times are approximate!
0800, 0900, 1050, 1150, 1450, 1620, 1810, 1910,


Timetable info at:


The gathering is directly on the National Cycle Route 4, approximately 35 miles from Reading and 45 miles from Oxford or Bristol. We've set up a Cycle Route Planner, with the destination already entered. Just enter where you are starting your cycle ride from: .


The venue is just a few yards from Wilcot Bridge (No 117) 12 miles east of Devizes and 24 miles west of Newbury. You can plan your route using the Canal Route Planner (use Wilcot Bridge No 117 as your destination). Other distances: Paddington Basin: 120 miles + 90 locks; Oxford: 83 miles + 70 locks; Birmingham: 173 miles + 175 locks; Manchester: 285 miles + 186 locks.



The gathering is free to attend but we'd appreciate donations to cover the costs of organising the event. We suggest a donation of £5 to £40 per person according to income (just pay what you feel you can afford when you get there). 

Camping and Accommodation

The gathering is being held at a campsite run by a pub, but you can also make your own accomodation arrangements if you wish.

Camping costs: £4 per person per night if staying in a tent, or £10 per night flat rate for caravans and live in vehicles. You can pay your camping fees directly to the campsite owner when you get to the gathering.

Mooring: is available on the Kennet & Avon canal very close to the venue, but obviously there may be a lot of boats coming so you may have to moor a bit further away.

B&B:  the pub next to the gathering has B&B accomodation: £50 per night per double room - phone 01672 562289 to book.

Other B&Bs are a couple of miles away in Pewsey, see:


There's only a  few of us organising the gathering and so far we haven't sorted anything out for kids since this would mean doing CRB checks and dealing with other bureaucracy. Sorry.  BUT, if any parents/carers wish to make informal arrangements with other parents/carers then we would love to support them (eg try to find a marquee). If this is something that you'd be interested in helping out with then please drop us a line.


The gathering will be held at a campsite, with level access to all workshop spaces. The camping will be in a field, but it should be possible to pitch your tent or park your vehicle either on or very close to a tarmac surface - please phone  if you want to reserve this space.

Unfortunately there are no disabled toilets, but ground floor toilets are available.

Do phone  if you would like more information, or have any particular requirements.

We want the gathering to be open to all liveaboards so please phone  if you have any special needs or requests.

Workshops and Events


  • We'll be there all day Friday, come along and help us set up the site.
  • Activist and boat related films from a liveaboard film-maker.
  • Join in the acoustic jam in the evening.


  • Engine Maintenance for Diesels - a theory and practice workshop explaining how a diesel engine works followed by an overview and demonstration of the essential maintenance tasks.
  • Freegle/Freecycle/Swapshop for boaters - putting together a network for boaters to ask for and dispose of useful things.
  • Bike Maintenance. Bring your bike and learn how to keep it in good nick - making your cycling more fun and faster!
  • Practical Boat Handling.
  • Boating Law for Continuous Cruisers - an introduction to the law relating to living on a boat without a permanent mooring on British Waterways canals and rivers. (By the National Bargee Travellers Association).
  • Legal Surgery - If you are having specific problems with BW, other navigation authorities, housing benefit or other legal issues, come and talk to us individually and in confidence and we will do our best to help you find a solution. (By the National Bargee Travellers Association).
  • DIY build a PV (electric) Solar Panel from scrap. Limited numbers - registration required - please contact us if you want to take part in this workshop.
  • Setting up a local boaters' group - what we can learn from the London Boaters.
  • Low Impact Living onboard skillshare - share your questions and experiences of low impact living on boats.
  • Baddie the Pirate will be explaining how to get the best out of LEDs and how and why they are a good form of lighting for boats.
  • Creative autonomy and boats - discussion.
  • Calico Jack Boat Band will entertain us on Saturday evening.  Galloping gypsy rythmes, rawkous sea shanties, harmonious vocals and general scallywaggery.  This bunch of merry boat dwelling rogues are based on the K&C canal.


  • 12volt electrics - understanding your electrics, including how to look after your batteries.
  • Bike Maintenance. Bring your bike and learn how to keep it in good nick - making your cycling more fun and faster!
  • Skillshare / Ideastorm on building a bicycle trailer
  • The National Bargee Travellers Association  is planning to develop and widen its activities. We need more volunteers to help campaigning and giving legal advice to boaters. Come along if you want to be involved or you have skills you can offer.
  • Herbal medicine and food foraging walks - discover the medicine chest and potential dinners growing along the towpath.
  • Making simple herbal remedies at home - a participatory demonstration making simple remedies from plants collected from an earlier walk.
  • LILO networking - where next for LILO? Shall we organise another gathering? Is there information that's missing from the website? Do you want to start a local LILO group? Have you got any other ideas about what LILO can do?

Sunday evening

  • Help pack up the site.
  • Activist and boat related films from a liveaboard film-maker.
  • Join in the acoustic jam in the evening.

Boaters Free Shop

Bring (useful!) things you no longer have room for, put them on the Free Shop Table for others to take away. It's so simple, but it only works if we all bring stuff with us!