Small Bells Ring

A floating library of short stories on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Small Bells Ring by artists Heather Peak & Ivan Morison is a floating public library of short stories inviting readers & writers to step on board a sculptural narrowboat called The RV Furor Scribendi. Housing the UK’s largest collection of short stories with over 1,000 books for both adults & children, visitors can enjoy our galley kitchen, reading salons, children’s library & writers room. 

Co-created with the community of Hyndburn, the programme, the boat (The RV Furor Scribendi) and the collection has been shaped by librarians, library users, and the communities who live and work alongside the library and canal. It is the largest collection of short stories in the UK.

The boat’s name, Furor Scribendi, meaning ‘furious writing’, takes inspiration from an essay by Octavia E. Butler from her short stories, Blood Child, originally written for the Writers of the Future anthology series. On board there is a galley, library, writer’s room, bathroom, reading salon, and room for 12 passengers. The Scribendi’s steel hull was fabricated to the artists’ design by a third generation boat builder in Stoke-On-Trent, with the exterior by a specialist boat hand painter.

The artists are also open to suggestions for new books to be added in to the boat’s collection, whether it be your favourite short stories, or a donation from your own collection. Get in touch at

Artist Heather Peak’s story of how it all began is available to read on the Small Bell’s Ring website.

Over Summer 2023 Small Bells Ring will be back on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and visiting the following locations!

BURNLEY | Sat 24 & Sun 25 June open 10am – 5pm
Burnley Words Festival

Moored up just past the Inn on the Wharf, Access to the towpath just past Stanley street, off Manchester road – opposite side of Manchester rd to the inn on the wharf – turn right as you get onto the towpath and walk under the wharf. 

NELSON | Sat 1 July open 10am – 5pm
Pendle Festival of Culture & Peace Walk

Location: Nelson, BB9 8PH
Moored up between Nelson Bridge 141A & Pendle Street Bridge 141B (behind Morrisons supermarket)
Access to canal via the gate at the back of Morrisons car park       

RISHTON | Tue 11 & Wed 12 July open 10am – 5pm

Location: Rishton, Blackburn BB1 4NL
Moored up at Rishton Bridge 108A, opposite Canal View Cafe

Access to canal & towpath via the gates on Hermitage Street

BLACKBURN |Sat 22 & Sun 23 July open 10am – 5pm

Location: Higher Audley Street, Blackburn BB1 1DH

Moored up by Audley Street Bridge 102A (next to Jans Conference Centre)
Access to canal & towpath via the gates on Higher Audley St, opposite Stirling Drive 

BURNLEY | Sun 27 August 11am-5pm

Burnley Canal Festival

Location: Finsley Gate Wharf, BB11 2FG
Moored up in Burnley near Finsley Gate Bridge 130E (opposite the restaurant) 

Access to canal via Finsley Gate Wharf restaurant grounds

Good to know: Our floating library can only hold 10 guests on board at any one time, so please prepare to wait on the towpath or enjoy our comfy deck chairs during busy periods.

Access: Our floating library is not fully equipped to accommodate individuals using wheelchairs. We say this with deep regret and apologise for any disappointment or inconvenience this may cause. 

We value inclusivity and strive to provide equal access to all individuals, including wheelchair users. To discuss ways to make it possible for you to read and enjoy our collection of short stories, please email to tell us about your access requirements, because we will do our very best to make your visit relaxing, enjoyable and safe. 

To keep in touch with events and news related to Small Bells Ring sign up to our mailing list or follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. All news will also be posted here on the website!

Co-commissioned by Super Slow Way & Coventry City of Culture in partnership with Lancashire Library Services. Funded by Arts Council England