Page 1

GOBA Great Ouse Boating Association

In this issue Ouse Fen eserve Nature Rsin ess Open for bu

Great Ouse photo competesition ur

The winning pict

Illuminated Boat Parade St Ives GOBA lights up

History of the EAWA

news Winter 2012

In this issue From the helm.................................................. 2 News.................................................................... 3 General Secretary’s Report.......................... 6 Publicity Report............................................... 6 Membership & Treasury Report................. 7 Mooring Matters.............................................. 7 Company Secretary's Report....................... 8 GOBA stands out at Ely.................................. 8

River Great Ouse Photography Competition See the winning photgraphs

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Ouse Fen nature reserve Open for business

Page 11

News from the Environment Agency.....12

GOBA lights up St Ives Illuminated boat parade

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A history of the EAWA The story of the East Anglian Waterways Associacion Page 16 Members Write...............................................18 Hign Noon on the Old West.......................19 Fight against outboard theft.....................20 Club news.........................................................21 Notice board...................................................25 Advertising directory...................................26 Editor, Beverly Jenisis Design and artwork, Simon Kotz & Marina Povey Advertising, Val Goldsack


GOBA News • Winter 2012

From the helm Ian Cox: GOBA Chairman

Yet another boating season has drawn to a close. Both Summer and the boating season seemed to be short this year, although heavy rain in the early part did move on to some better weather from mid-July to mid-September. The azolla weed in the Old West proved a major problem for many boaters, resulting in blocked suction filters and causing engines to overheat. When possible, the Environment Agency did try to flush the weed out of the Old West into the Ely Ouse, which, if the timing was right, enabled a few boats to get through relatively unscathed. Unfortunately, the rate of reproduction of the weed was greater than the counter measures. The EA did move two weed cutters into the Old West at GOBA’s request, but these were only effective in removing blanket weed. August was not a good time for GOBA, as we reluctantly had to accept the resignation of two committee members. Nigel Hanscombe had been on the committee for several years and proved a big asset with his knowledge of the river and all the hard work he put into the St Ives illuminated boat procession in 2011. David Mercer, in his position as Editor of GOBA News, produced an award winning magazine of which we were all proud. The gold award from the Cambridge Building Society was for the best specialist magazine, the second time we have won this award. Both Nigel and David were major assets to GOBA; their absence from the committee will be hard felt. On behalf of GOBA I would like to thank both of them for their effort and commitment during their time on the committee. We are fortunate to have Bev Jenisis on the committee. Bev comes from a publishing/ advertising background, and has agreed to take up the role of Editor. If any of you have stories to tell, whether of times past, comical moments, etc, I’m sure Bev would love to hear from you. The other significant event of the summer was the emergence of the Canal & River Trust at the beginning of July. This replaces British Waterways. As a registered charity the Canal & River Trust is intended to be the waterways version of the

National Trust. As with the National Trust there will be both a membership and volunteer section . Whilst at this point in time we are not directly affected by the Canal & River Trust, the possibility of the Environment Agency Navigation being included in the Trust in 2014 is very likely. To this end, GOBA representatives have attended meetings regarding the set up of the Trust throughout the year. With Christmas fast approaching, some of us will be turning to those maintenance or repair tasks that are put off during the summer. I for one have to decimate the main cabin of my Dutch steel cruiser in order to establish why I have water underneath a tank located under the cabin floor. Knowing my luck, it will be freezing cold when I come to do this. Anyway, good luck with your own repairs. Finally, it just remains to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy boating New Year.

I a n C ox Report of Special General Meeting At a special general meeting, held on Sunday 14th October, the rule changes published in the last issue of GOBA News were proposed, seconded and unanimously endorsed by those present. As usual, minutes of the meeting are available on our website at

Copy deadline for the Spring 2013 GOBA News is Monday 11th February Please send stories, comments or questions to


outright winner!

GOBA News does it again - winning its second consecutive first prize award, as ‘Best Specialist Magazine’. And this time, we’re not sharing first prize as we did last year. Local editors and publishers came together in the Summer, as The Cambridge Building Society hosted its 14th annual ‘Community Magazine Awards. Fifty local community magazines entered this year’s awards and they were judged over ten individual categories. The judges, eight in number, included a senior reporter at the Cambridge News and a lecturer in marketing at Anglia Ruskin University. Goba Chairman, Ian Cox, who collected

the award for Goba said: ‘I’m really delighted that Goba News has been recognised as useful media for the local community for the second year running. This has been down to the hard work of our Committee members, who are all volunteers, and our recently retired editor, David Mercer. I hope Goba News continues to be important to the local communities along the River Great Ouse, and we will continue to strive to make it relevant and informative to all its readers.’ Ian Cox receiving award.

Fish & Duck renovations Fish & Duck Ltd, operators of the Fish & Duck Marina, an inland marina situated on the junction of the River Great Ouse and River Cam just south of Ely, will be closing its doors for 10 -12 weeks from January 2013 in order to modernise, upgrade and improve the marina. The marina, which first opened its doors in 1985, is well known in the area for not only its tranquil location and beautiful vistas of Ely Cathedral, but also for ‘The Fish and Duck’ Inn - a local riverside public house that no longer stands but which, in its time, was popular with boaters and local people alike. The marina, famous for its ‘never-ending’ access road across the Fens, is now run by a young couple, James and Davina Harvey, who both grew up in the Fenland area. ‘Twenty five years has certainly taken its toll on the marina,’ says Mrs Harvey. ‘Unfortunately, nothing last forever and it now needs some ‘TLC’ in order to bring it into the 21st century and to keep it going for another 25 years and beyond.’ Amongst other things, the intention is to look at repairing the access road and the river banksides, as well as the possibility of creating increased mooring space. ‘Our moorings are certainly lovely to look at but the current layout is inefficient,’ says Mr Harvey. ‘Unfortunately, we cannot do this work with a marina full of boats, and we will also need to cut all the services coming into the site. We therefore have no option but to close it temporarily - it really will be “all hands on deck” for those winter months.’ Hemmed in by the Cam Washes on one side – a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’ that is protected due to its colonies of breeding waders – and farmland on the other, the marina’s location gives boaters unprecedented access to the Cambridgeshire Waterways and is on the path of numerous Fenland walking routes. In addition to repair work, they plans to plant over 800 spring bulbs as part of developing the flora and fauna at the site which will in turn encourage local wildlife, birds and insects. ‘We want to create a really special place over the few

years,’ Mrs Harvey says. ‘Somewhere that is not only fully functional as a marina, but a place that people want to visit.’ There is also hope to build up a small ‘leisure destination’ where customers can stay in basic accommodation, hire small leisure craft (including canoes and rowing boats) and dine in their eating establishment - although what form this will end up taking is still on the drawing board. The Fish & Duck Marina will close to all mooring and services from 4pm on Wednesday 9th January 2013. The couple hope to have the upgraded marina reopened in the Spring, although this is currently unconfirmed.

Liveaboard evictions When asked about the decision not to have any residential moorings when the marina reopens - and the anger this has caused, Mrs Harvey said: ‘This exercise is about pressure on the infrastructure, the longevity of the whole site and business viability.’ She continued: ‘The site banks are being worn, the road maintenance cost £50k and we are unable to increase mooring rates to cover these maintenance costs.’ One resident complained: ‘Twelve weeks is not long enough for us to find alternative moorings, especially over the Christmas period. We’re all furious and pretty disgusted.’ Mrs Harvey responded: ‘We gave three months’ notice rather than the six weeks contractual requirement, because we do recognise the difficult position some boat-owners would experience. The site is not viable as it is – it will run itself out. We were legally advised to shut the site down for renovations and, looking at the business, we made the difficult decision not to reinstate residential moorings.’

GOBA moorings GOBA’s moorings officer, Roy Wood, commented: ‘I have received several calls about this issue and we do understand that a few people will be looking for new winter moorings fairly soon. However, GOBA is not in a position to extend their 48-hour moorings, because of the agreements we have in place with landowners. Members must adhere to the 48-hour deadline, or we could find the continuation of those important benefits may be in jeopardy.’

Ducking and diving for mooring spaces The closure of the marina is likely to have repercussions along the river in that area, as some 75 displaced boats will be looking for temporary mooring over the next few weeks. Jeremy Tyrell, Director, of the Jalsea Group which owns Ely Marine and Hermitage Marina, said: ‘We realise a lot of people have been caught out by this situation, but please do come and see us and we will try to help whatever your circumstances. For further enquiries, we can be contacted at the Cathedral Marina, Ely, on Tel: 01353 664622, or’ ■ Boats having to relocate.

GOBA News • Winter 2012


Left: EBA members fill Abingdon Lock. Above: Riverside picnic on Clifton Cut. Right: Camerander,’ named after its youngest crew members Cameron and Alexander, .

Electric anniversary on the Thames The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was not the only significant anniversary of 2012, as the year also marked 30 years since the founding of the Electric Boat Association (EBA). Members celebrated in style. The EBA began with a meeting at the House of Lords on 26th January 1982, when 27 people from the electric and boating industries came together to discuss the potential for electric boats. However, a winter’s day on the tidal Thames is not ideal for boating, so the anniversary celebrations were held on 30th June, at Abingdon on the Upper Thames where there is a good public slipway and plenty of mooring space. Members, with and without boats, gathered at the Upper Reaches Hotel for a champagne buffet lunch - after which the celebration cake was cut by one of our earliest members, Paul Wagstaffe, who was awarded the MBE in 2006 for services to inland waterways. The lunch had been planned as part of a cruising weekend which, fortunately, was not one of our summer events disrupted by bad weather. The largest member of our assembled fleet of electric boats was a 60ft canal boat, ‘Free Phase,’ which came by water from its base at Welton

Haven, on the Grand Union Canal. ‘Free Phase’ and was almost christened ‘Never Ready’ by its owner, Derek Wright, after completion took 12 years and 2 months in the making. There were three cabin launches: Edwardian style ‘Adelaide,’ built by Farrow & Chambers of Grimsby in 2008; ‘Eddy Current,’ built by Pattersons of Hawkshead with an electric propulsion system by owner Ian Rutter, and ‘Stima,’ a Stelco 700 Deltic launch. They were joined by ‘Pebble,’ a 16ft Duffy Back Bay fibreglass launch built in California and ‘Maia,’ one of the very first electric Frolics built by Rupert Latham in the early 1980s. Of the open boats, the smallest were 12ft wooden clinker built, ‘Camerander,’ named after its youngest crew members Cameron and Alexander, and 12ft 6 inch, ‘Sparkle’, owned by EBA Secretary Barbara Penniall. Also trailed to the launching site were river launches ‘Mr E’ and ‘Silent Adventure’, along with 19ft canoe ‘Silent Explorer,’ belonging to

EBA Webmaster, Nick Goldring. Saturday’s cruise was upstream and a short one. We were able to completely fill Abingdon Lock with electric boats before returning for a celebration dinner in the evening. On the Sunday we were joined by EBA business member Richard Pond, in his electric boat based on a classic motor launch design and, briefly, by cabin launch ‘Lillie Langtry.’ Our Sunday cruise took us downstream through Culham, where we again managed to make it an electric-only lock, before we found a good place to moor on the Clifton Cut, to enjoy a riverside picnic lunch. Some boats then carried on to their moorings further downstream and the rest of the fleet returned to Abingdon to make their way home by land or water. So with a handful of electric boats in the early 1980s, we have now become a huge worldwide fleet. We hope that the founders of our Association would be proud to see where we are in 2012 and we are look forward to the EBA’s continuing growth in membership and reputation. For more information on electric boats see the EBA website or contact EBA Secretary Barbara Penniall on or 01491 681449 ■ Sylvia Rutter

Canal & River Trust and Inland Waterways Association sign Historic Agreement September saw the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) and the Canal & River Trust (CRT) sign a Memorandum of Understanding at the Trust’s first Public Meeting, held at the canal-side Bond Warehouse in Birmingham.

Canal & River Trust CEO Richard Evans and IWA Clive Henderson.


GOBA News • Winter 2012

The agreement is designed to recognise the mutual interests of the two charitable organisations and establish areas of cooperation as well as outlining specific commitments and responsibilities. Robin Evans, chief executive for Canal & River Trust, said: ‘We already work closely with IWA and this agreement both formalises and acts as a catalyst to that relationship. By working together and building on each other’s skills and experience, we will make a greater impact

on the waterways and peoples’ enjoyment of them than either of our organisations could have done alone.’ Clive Henderson, IWA’s national chairman, said: ‘IWA sees that there are areas of shared interest with the Trust, where pooling our resources may enhance engagement with local communities and generate support from local people in caring for and helping to maintain their local stretch of waterways. Hopefully, we can cooperate in opening up new areas for fundraising.’


Waterways Trust

British Marine Federation New Chief Executive

On the 2nd November, on behalf of GOBA, I attended the ‘Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust’ annual partnership conference, at the Open University, in Milton Keynes. The trusts aim is to build a new waterway between Milton Keynes and Bedford, linking up with the River Great Ouse. It was well attended with excellent speakers, including Jim Stirling, talking about the Falkirk Wheel and Richard Rutter, from the newly formed Canal and River Trust. Although work has not started on the building of the link, there is still no lack of enthusiasm for the project. The route has been finalised, except for a couple of tweaks here and there, and planning permissions obtained for 6km in Milton Keynes, through Stewartby and in Central Bedford. The waterway plan is now in all local and regional plans and sponsors are still being sought, to raise further capital. Currently there is no starting date. To raise funds, the Trust has purchased a 72 foot, wide beam, craft which will be known as the ‘Bedford Community Boat’. It will be used for corporate events and operate from Bedford with trips up to Kempston and downriver to Barford. When the waterway is completed, perhaps not in my boating lifetime, it will make a big

difference to the river and give some boaters greater access to further waterways. Further details can be found at Stuart Turvey.

Boaters pay the price for their unregistered craft Environment Agency press release Three boaters have been prosecuted for keeping their craft on Environment Agency navigations without valid registration certificates. The boaters received fines ranging from £150 to £1000 as well as court costs and orders to pay compensation.

Howard Pridding has taken up his new role as Chief Executive Officer of the British Marine Federation (BMF). He replaces Rob Stevens who retired at the end of September. His appointment marks the end of Mr Pridding’s position of Executive Director, as the BMF’s management board takes this opportunity to rationalise the organisation. The removal of a layer of management allows the BMF to continue to reduce costs whilst maintaining focused leadership for future success. Asked about these changes, Mr Pridding said: ‘I am thrilled to be able to guide the BMF on the next stage of its journey. I’m determined to make sure the organisation continues to bang the drum for the marine industry, which has over 1500 members providing employment for over 31,000 in the U.K.’

Two of the boat owners appeared at Kings Lynn Magistrates’ Court, on 11th October 2012, after being caught on the River Great Ouse in Norfolk without a valid registration certificate. They were: Mr Robert Crumish, boat name G001310 ‘Little Noah’s Ark,’ of Church Road, Ten Mile Bank, Downham Market, Norfolk – fined £150, costs £287.50 and compensation £308. Mr Roy Brentnall, boat name G5990 Whimbrel, of Station Road, Ten Mile Bank, Downham, Market, Norfolk – fined £200, costs £287.50 and compensation £308. Another one caught on the River Nene in Northamptonshire had their case heard at Corby Magistrates’ Court on 17 October. They were: Mr Kenneth Lewis, boat name G9963 Mardi Gras, of High Street, Thurlby, Lincolnshire – fined £1000, costs £230 and compensation £308. All boats kept, let for hire or used on

• •

Environment Agency waterways, including the main river, private moorings, marinas or backwaters, must be registered. Registration discs and numbers must be displayed on crafts so they are clearly visible to the organisation’s enforcement staff. It is the owner’s responsibility to inform the Environment Agency in writing of a change in ownership of the boat – until this is done, they remain the legal owner and responsible for registering it. All powered boats must also have valid third party insurance as well as a valid Boat Safety Scheme Certificate (BSSC) to be able to register. Irven Forbes, Waterways Manager, said: ‘Failing to register a boat just does not pay – not only do people risk being prosecuted and fined up to £1,000, but they still have to pay their registration charge and will end up with a criminal record.’ For more advice on how to register a boat, contact the Environment Agency’s Boat Registration Team on 03708 506 506.

GOBA News • Winter 2012


General Secretary’s Report Alistair Reid: GOBA General Secretary Database As you are probably aware, GOBA meets with the Environment Agency navigation team on a monthly basis during the season and less frequently in the Winter. These meetings are held to discuss problems and current issues with the Agency with a view to overcoming problems with navigation and to allow us prior input on future issues. To improve communications and to make current problems visible to all the membership, we have agreed to trial a database where problems and solutions can be viewed online. This database can be found on the GOBA web site and is visible without the need to log in to the members’ area. It is a read-only document with input currently restricted to the treasurer and membership secretary Mike Mackay. To access the database, go to the GOBA web site, click on the tab headed the ‘Great Ouse’, then ‘problems on the Great Ouse’. From here, there is a link to the database. There is also a link e-mail. This e-mail address sends a message to me and the chairman Ian Cox. Problems can be entered by anyone with access to the internet. These problems will be verified by one of us and at that point, they will be passed on to Mike who will enter them in the database. At the same time they will be copied to Rachael Rudd at the Agency who will then notify the relevant person within the Agency, who can take action to rectify a situation. The database is meant for problems such as fallen trees, broken locks etc., and not meant to be used for complaints about licence fees or other such issues. It is hoped that this system will be used by the membership and any suggestion on how to improve it will be carefully considered.

Good behavior While we are on the subject of the Environment Agency it has come to our attention that in a small

number of cases, the river inspectors have been the victims of verbal abuse by boaters. This is not acceptable, as with other government employees such as NHS staff, they are here to help. That help is more likely to be forthcoming if they are addressed in a civilised manner.

Cam Conservators At the August committee meeting, Irven Forbes, the Environment Agency’s Waterways Manager, attended to give us an update on the current agreement between the Agency and Conservators of the River Cam. The main area of discussion was the finances of the agreement. Just over 100 boaters have paid the extra 10% licence to the Agency with half of that being passed on to the Conservators. As less powered craft have paid the fee to navigate on the Cam this has resulted in a drop in revenue for the Agency - a suggestion was made that perhaps day tickets could be issued to navigate on the Cam. However, at present the Conservators do not feel they have the right to issue day tickets. It was also pointed out that Cambridge City Council appear not to want visiting boats, as the facilities available in Cambridge are very poor and no attempt to improve them is being made. The Conservators have at present vacant posts to fill and Geoff Parrish, a GOBA past chairman, has been put forward to fill one of these vacancies. By this goes to press, we may know if Geoff has been successful.

Denver silts A short mention of Denver lock, where almost two and a half thousand tons of silt has been removed - dredging is a highly expensive operation and in a situation where the silt is liable to build up again in a short space of time is not a financially sustainable

solution to the problem. Another solution needs to be found and a number of options are under consideration.

Mooring byelaws East Cambridgeshire District Council has now purchased three pockets of land on the river frontage which means they are now owners of the entire frontage. This now gives them the opportunity to enforce the byelaws on the full length of the town mooring. GOBA have been asked to feedback our thoughts on their proposals and as they pretty much mirror those of ourselves and those of the Agency on mooring, we are in basic agreement. Our only concerns were that it was not stated that mooring had priority over fishing, which can be a cause of friction between boaters and fishermen. The other question we asked was whether or not the council had the resources to enforce the byelaws. Reminder to flush hoses and taps at water points before filling boat water tanks or containers. This is a precaution to make sure water used is not contaminated. A number of boaters have been having problems opening the control cabinets on the locks. Before the key will operate the cabinet lock, it has to be fully inserted. Most of the locks have now been replaced by stop locks which means the key will not keep revolving, which should make them easier to operate. By the time you read this in December, this year’s season will be well over and it will be time to think about 2013, or at least what work is required on the boat before the new season. ■

Publicity Report Beverly Jenisis: Publicity Officer In addition to my role as publicity officer, I have now happily taken on the editorship of GOBA News, following the retirement of my predecessor, David Mercer, with whom I worked very well in helping him with the magazine and boat club news. In my publicity role, I have received an update from Bedford Borough Council, regarding the Bedford River Valley Park. The consultants have recently completed their work on the shortlist of ideas and presented a draft masterplan to the Borough Council. The plan sets out a number of proposed leisure, recreation and conservation projects within BRVP. Once Bedford Borough Council have considered and finalised it, it will be circulated to external stakeholders, such as GOBA, for comment. Availability of the plan can be seen on: I have made reports to you on a number of events I have attended on behalf of GOBA – that is;


GOBA News • Winter 2012

Racing from the back at the Ely Aqua

Bedford River Valley Park.

The Cambridge Community Magazine Awards and the Ely Aqua Fest and I have thoroughly enjoyed helping to judge the photos in The River Great Ouse photography competition - the pictures


were absolutely fabulous and judging them was tremendously difficult. You can see all of these articles in this issue as picture features and I hope you enjoy them. I would like thank all of you who have helped me put this edition together with your contributions. I couldn’t have done it without you. I’ve received a really funny picture – something to do with a sandbank. Can you spot it in this issue? So between now and the next issue of GOBA News please keep your stories coming. They are fantastic. Your news and contributions are always welcome at: And until the next issue of GOBA News, I wish you a Merry ■ Christmas and a Happy New Year. Beverly Jenisis,

Membership and Treasury Report Mike Mackay: Membership Secretary & Treasurer This time of year sees the final edition being posted to those members who are either retiring from GOBA for pastures new or, who are retiring from boating altogether. May I wish them all, on behalf of the committee, many thanks for their support for the association over the years - together they represent 377 years of valuable experience and support. The Summer edition saw me making a plea for more members to pay through the Direct Debit scheme. If you wish to pay subscription by this method, please complete the form found towards the back of the magazine and mark it RENEWAL. For those who like statistics! We currently have a membership of 1952. The breakdown of payment methods is interesting, This year 1236 members paid through DD, 405 members paid through PayPal, 288 members paid by cheque with 13 members paying through Bankers Order and 10 members via BACS. If you wish to pay by BACS our bank details are: sort code 20 43 63 and account 00419753. Use your membership number as the reference. Two Hundred and sixteen of our members renewed their subscription through PayPal. Please note though, that you can only do this if you originally joined and paid through PayPal or you contacted me by email asking for your record to be changed to allow a PayPal transaction. If you pay your subs by Direct Debit and have decided to give up membership please cancel your DD mandate with your bank OR cancel with me before the 1st of February. Refunds are expensive and ‘Oh I forgot’ is no excuse. Membership distribution is interesting. I have again applied some mapping skills from ‘Mapyx.’ Following rather crude postcode representations of member distribution in 2008, I used software available from Mapyx and in the Summer 2008 edition I wrote: ‘The interesting detail is that we

GOBA Membership distribution map.

now have a reasonably accurate representation of membership scatter over the UK. The importance of this? GOBA is often seen and taken to be, by higher powers, just a local group of boaters...’ Well, then and now so very far from the truth. We do represent boaters using the 135 miles of the Greater Ouse system, but as the ‘Canal and River Trust’ gains momentum, it is worth remembering

that our membership is national in composition. The end of year sees our finances in a healthy position The audited statements for 2010/11 are available on the website in the Media section. Let’s hope that next year provides us with a better season. ■

Mooring Matters Roy Wood: Moorings downstream – Stuart Turvey: Moorings upstream It was not a good season for boating. I don’t think the rain stopped until the end of June, or early July. Lots of river events were cancelled, but at least the Bedford River Festival was held. The boat was decorated in the theme of ‘Wizard of Oz’ and Jacky’s efforts were rewarded with 1st prize. Everybody seemed happy and a good time was enjoyed by all. The moorings were cut and seemed in pretty good condition. I have noticed that some river banks are becoming eroded, but there is not much we can do to prevent this. All I ask is that we look after what we have, as there is nothing in the pipeline to replace them. For our new members, we only rent the riverbank for 48hr mooring and nothing else. We try and keep them in good condition, some being cut by contractors, so please don’t expect too much. During the few times I managed to get

some boating in, I was also on the lookout for upstream moorings, between St. Neots and Great Barford. Most of the bank is unsuitable and very overgrown. Trying to get my boat in against the bank side, when I couldn’t see the depth or hard ground, was pretty difficult in most cases. I shall persevere and perhaps be successful in due course. There were a couple of complaints about stones/bricks at Hemmingford mooring. I think this occurred at mainly low water levels. The Environment Agency has looked at the problem but are unable to assist. Just be careful when mooring on the downstream, near the GOBA signage and cattle drinking point, especially when water levels are low. Roy has been in conversation with Councils in Suffolk, looking for a mooring on the River Lark near Isleham. Most of the land comes within the

remit of Natural England and Site Special Scientific Interest, which has proved a bit difficult, but he is still trying. However, mooring on the Old West by the old pumping station is to be moved. It will be closer to the old engine - the other side of the bridge. There has been comment about the positioning of GOBA signs i.e. they face the wrong way and people miss them. I am open to changing them, if required, but if they are missed, it doesn’t take much to turn around or reverse. Most of the feedback we get is positive and complimentary, but if there is something wrong, please tell us. We try to accommodate and to improve the boating experience for our members. ■ Hope to see you on the river next season.

GOBA News • Winter 2012


Company Secretary’s Report Sid Fisher: GOBA Company Secretary

Regional Navigation Group – September and October The Regional Navigation Group met on 21st September and 10th October, 2012. The meeting on the 21st September was called by the Environment Agency to discuss the proposal is for licence increases of inflation plus 2% for each of the next three years – 2012/13 being 4.6% (RPI, 2.6% plus 2%). The regional waterways manager, Irven Forbes, fielded many questions from attendees. He explained the reason for the 2% above inflation was that the works to structure and building costs were above inflation. He also said that the Agency's income had dropped by £4,000 last year with the number of power boats registering dropped by 341 and 345 for unpowered boats. It was strongly pointed out to Mr Forbes that boat owners were suffering from the same difficult economic climate as anyone else, with numerous boats for sale in every marina. It was reported that the Agency itself had not made any savings and furthermore that although they had lost three staff last year, they are to increase staff by four in the coming year. The proposed increases will be put before the Agency’s main board for endorsement. The meeting on the 10th October with the Environment Agency discussed the Volunteer Programme and why it was taking so long to get it started. The Thames area already had volunteers operating locks and undertaking a number of other duties. The Agency promised to come back to the January 2013 meeting with proposals. We were given an update on capital works, although many have been put on hold due to the current lack of funds. However, drain downs and inspections are expected to take place at Upware, Denver, Relief Channel and Brownshill locks without interfering with navigation too much. The landing stages at Brownshill are expected to be

GOBA members distribution by boat length  350

300 n u 250 m b e r 200 s o f


b o a 100 t s 50

0 1




















Length in metres

updated soon. Installation of the electronic sign board is still on hold due to legal problems with the site. On the question of licence enforcement, we were told that 123 tickets have been issued out of 807 checks. Fifty of these offenders are now licensed. Houseboats from next year will be charged the full licence of £548.84, less 50%. Some of these had previously licensed their boats as manual at a licence of £32.00. The meeting received the information that the Fish and Duck Marina is to close, for at least three months, from 9th January next year, to enable essential maintenance to take place. This will result in between 40 and 50 residential boats being put onto the river with very few places

able to accommodate them and a further 15 boats with no moorings, as most of the marinas are already full. The Agency are looking at where these boats can go, it was pointed out that they should not be allowed to stay on public moorings for more than the legal staying time. However, they could be given a short-term mooring over the winter for which they would have to pay the going rate and leave by the 1st April (See Goba article on page 3). An additional item was Boatwatch; this has now become out of date due to the police changing their phone numbers to 101. A request was made that the Boatwatch committee should be reformed with the police to re-launch the initiative. The next meeting of the Regional Navigation Group takes place on 23rd January 2013. ■

National Navigation Users Forum This meeting was held at the MIC Centre Euston Street, London on 9th November 2012. GOBA Chairman, Ian Cox also attended. The meeting commenced with the introduction of the new Environment Agency’s Director of Navigation, Peter Ainsworth. The first item discussed was boat registrations, where members were told that the decision to increase the licence charges for 2013/14, by 4.6%, (2% above inflation), had already been made. All members present wanted to know why such an increase was necessary. As at the Regional Navigation Group meetings, held in September and October, we were told that building cost where running above the national inflation levels. We then asked why the new Canal & River Trust had frozen their charges, from 2014, for a threeyear period and the Agency had not done the same. (see page 9) The head of navigation for the Agency, Angela Quayle, stated that she would look at the idea for future charges.


GOBA News • Winter 2012

A discussion took place, following complaints made by myself and Ian, regarding the Ouse/Cam interchange agreement. The Agency was expecting 457 visitors to the River Cam but only 155 visited. This resulted in the Agency collecting £6,500, of which 50% went to the Cam Conservators. Cam Conservators charge 110% of the Agency licence and have given the Agency £4,000. It was put that this arrangement doesn’t make sense and the Chair of the meeting agreed and asked Mr Forbes to sort out the anomalies ready for the next season, and to find a solution at the earliest time. The Agency decided to look at the idea of adjusting licence fees for someone who purchases a boat during the season. At present, anyone purchasing a boat before the September cut-off date - for a reduced licence fee - has to pay their fee back to the 1st April each year for the Anglia region or, 1st January for the Thames & South East Area. A further discussion followed on the rolling year licence. The Agency claimed that they could

not implement it due to shortage of funds required for the appropriate software, which was liable to cost around £50,000. The members suggested that the Canal & River Trust should be approached to find out if they would handle the licences on a sub-contract basis, rather than give adjustments to boaters. The future of the navigation Paper to look at how the Agency waters can be transferred to the Canal & River Trust, was treated with some scepticism because the author included items that had no bearing on the transfer. Members at the meeting asked that the Paper be revised and simplified to show a clear and true picture. Waterway updates were given for each area but members wanted to know why the Thames area had taken on 370 volunteers this year and yet the Anglia region had only just managed to take on one. There is no forward plan yet in place. ■

Canal & River Trust licence fees 2013 and beyond Following a meeting of the Regional Navigation Group and the Environment Agency, in September, (full report can be seen in Company Secretary’s report on opposite page) the Canal & River Trust (CRT) sent out a press release confirming their decision to limit boat licence fee increases for three years from 2014, to inflation only. Their decision was made at the same time as endorsing the third and final year of the British waterways’ planned licence prices, which will see licence fees rise from 1st April 2013 by 4.6% (2% above inflation). GOBA representative, Sid Fisher said: ‘It seems that the Canal & River Trust agrees with us. There is no need for an increase above inflation. This is what we have been fighting for.

Simon Salem, marketing director of the CRT said: ‘In making a three year decision to peg licence fees to inflation, we have listened to boaters’ clearly expressed desire for certainty over future fees. We have also done what we can to limit increases recognising that the number of boats on the waterways has remained static and that boaters face significant financial pressures as part of the wider effects of recession.’ Bearing in mind that the current plan is that the Environment Agency navigations will probably by taken over by the CRT( subject to funds being agreed with DEFRA). In 2014/15. This is a good time for the agency to start listening to its customers and licence fee payers! No one has yet seen a compelling reason why

the EA should always increase the licence fee above inflation.

GOBA Stands Out at Ely Goba set out its stall at the Ely Aqua Festival this summer. The Rotary Clubs of Ely’s annual charity Riverside Gala and raft races, held in July, always proves to be a superb day out for the family, for the serious boater who doesn’t like getting wet and of course for the ‘wacky’ boat racers who do like getting wet. The Mayor of Ely, Will Burton, (pictured) stopped and had a chat at our stand, which was manned by committee members Mike Mackay, John Hodgson, Sid Fisher and Beverley Jenisis. Editor of GOBA News, Beverley Jenisis, said: ‘Events such as the Ely Aqua Festival are always a delight for us to attend, as we are able to meet and greet many of our members and other visitors who are interested in what we do. There are always plenty of questions that members and others seek answers to and hopefully we were able to satisfy their queries’. GOBA & The Maylor of Ely.

GOBA flying the flag.

Racing and getting wet.

GOBA News • Winter 2012


The River Great Ouse

Photography Competition

on 'Houghton Mill'.

Second place runner up Michael Mays

Third runner up Terry Hyde 'Cutter Inn Ely'

Fourth runner up Brian Sadler 'St.Ives Bridge'.

Winning photo by Alistair Grant 'Wreckage near Holywell'.

This year’s boating season was awash (no pun intended) with events including the River Great Ouse Photography Competition, organised by Jones Boatyard with valued sponsorship and support from Anglia Afloat, Cambridge News and Goba. First prize, going to Alistair Grant, was a £500 voucher to be spent at Jones Boatyard’s online chandlery. Second prize went to Michael Mayson, who wins a Sevylor inflatable Kayak and paddle. The competition enjoyed enthusiastic support from walkers, canoeists, boaters, fisherman and local photographers alike, resulting in a wonderful exhibition and portrayal of the river. Attracting over 1,000 entries, the judges had a difficult task deciding the winners, with photographs ranging from macro wildlife, long exposure landscapes, candid photography and the occasional humorous entry too. The seven independent judges, a mixture of professional and amateur photographers, finally decided (ironically) that first place should be awarded for a photograph of a much discussed abandoned river cruiser just downstream of Holywell. It was chosen for its striking composition that created a powerful image of the River Great Ouse. Winner, Alistair, spends a lot of time on the stretch of the river between the Pike and Eel and The Ferryboat; walking, running and cycling by the river and also canoeing in an inflatable canoe. He said: 'I first picked up a (film)


GOBA News • Winter 2012

camera when I was 10 years old and have taken thousands of pictures over the years. I now mostly shoot digital as film is so expensive. I have always been surprised that more people don’t take advantage of the Ouse, particularly along its more interesting stretches, where it changes character so markedly'. Second place was given to a dramatic shot (also on front cover) of the iconic Houghton Mill surrounded by frozen river in the depths of winter. Michael has had a life-long passion for photography and often canoes or walks his dog along the river - as well as fishing. A handful of runners-up were awarded a free Goba membership for a year; these include Jason Dales for his photograph of a clinker lifeboat travelling down the river on a hot Summers day; Terry Hyde for a picture taken from the cockpit of a Freeman cruiser heading towards the Cutter Inn in Ely; Brian Sadler for his night-time image of a boat on the Quay next to St. Ives Bridge and finally, Peter Turner for his photo of a red sky reflection of a tree at sunset. All of the finalist are being showcased online at ■

Fifth runner up Peter Turner 'Tree Reflection'.

Sixth runner up Jason Dales 'Lifeboat near Hartford'.

Ouse Fen nature reserve open for business Those who navigate the River Great Ouse and experience the often bleak and windy tidal stretch of water below Brownshill Sluice, can now look forward to a welcome distraction following the opening to the public of a brand new nature reserve at Needingworth Quarry.

Quarry processing plant behind new reedbeds.

The Wetland project is the result of a collaboration between Hanson, the heavy building materials company, who extract up to one million tonnes of aggregates from the site each year, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). They have teamed up together to transform a working sand and gravel quarry into a vast nature reserve, Ouse Fen, ultimately covering 700 hectares. It will eventually become the largest reedbed in the U.K., providing habitat for bitterns and marsh harriers amongst many other species of birds and wildlife. Ten years into the 30-year project, the RSPB have just formally opened the first stage of over 200ha of wetland habitat bursting with wildlife. Chris Hudson, Project Manager with RSPB said. ‘We’re delighted that threatened species, such as the bittern have settled at the reserve and that we’ve been able to open our doors to everyone who wishes to enjoy the wildlife and the wide open spaces. Apparently, earlier this year for the first time in over a century, the sound of booming bitterns could be heard from up to a mile away, as two males showed off their vocal gymnastics in an attempt to win the affection of a nesting female.

The RSPB advise us that apart from the reserve’s flagship species, bittern, the site is providing home for four nesting marsh harriers, 60 pairs of reed buntings, 35 pairs of skylarks, along with corn bunting, grasshopper warbler and turtle dove - a veritable cornucopia for all you ‘twitchers’ out there! Car parking at Needingworth, on the West bank of the river, provides access to the reserve via two waymarked trails. One trail leads to the reedbeds (a 10km round trip), the other to Barleycroft Lake (8km) from where you can also reach Berry Fen. These routes are quite long and a little rough in places, so they may appeal to you if you’re looking for an adventurous day out with a bit of vigorous exercise away from the boat. And don’t forget, there’s 200 metres of Goba mooring nearby! The planning for this project received a Royal Town Planning Institute National Award for Planning Achievement (2000) for planning and biodiversity, and was nominated for the 2002 European Planning Awards. All in all, it is an opportunity to go and see how the project is bringing nature back to life and to experience yet another glorious spectacle so easily available to those privileged to cruise our beautiful river. ■


GOBA News • Winter 2012


Silt ‘island’ removed again

Silt deposited at Denver following summer high flows.

We removed around 2240 tonnes of silt from the tidal approach to Denver lock over the Summer. This removed much of the island of silt that had formed there for the second time this year. The silt is deposited by incoming tides and, when the tides were low, boats were at risk of becoming grounded on the island. This meant craft could

Keep your boat and its contents safe It is important that you take the security of your boat as seriously as you would the security of your home. Thieves are attracted to all kinds of things on your boat, with outboard engines currently being the main target (see also: ‘Fight Against Outboard Theft’ page ???. It is advised that you purchase a good quality outboard engine lock. Visibly mark the engine to identify it as belonging to you using your home postcode and house number decreasing the value to a thief. You should also: Keep records of all serial numbers Lock anything valuable out of sight in a strong locker using a strong padlock Keep your curtains closed or use net curtaining so that no-one can see inside Keep unused rope, fenders and other equipment out of sight Do not leave any personal paperwork on board If you hear any useful information, rumour or gossip which you feel may assist the police investigations and prevent further offences, please contact the Police on 101 (non-emergency number). If you suspect you are observing a crime happening, call 999.

• • • • •


GOBA News • Winter 2012

Denver lock after recent dredging.

only be locked through on a very high tide. A suction pump machine and dredger was used to pump water and silt out of the river before it was separated. The water was then pumped back into the river and the silt deposited into a lagoon at the top of the river bank. The dried silt will be used to maintain flood banks in the area.

All the work was carried out at low tide. The lock remained open on high tides to minimise disruption to boaters. Work is underway to find a sustainable solution to the issue and catch silt as it comes in on the tide to prevent the island forming in future. ■

Paralympic Flame on the Great Ouse On Saturday 25 August, the Paralympic flame visited Ely. More than 20 boats formed a convoy on the Ely Ouse and escorted the flame. Mervyn Day and Andy Hubble, Environment Agency River Inspectors, occupied spot number seven in our Patrol Boat ‘Ouse II Know’. Thousands of people turned up to watch the event and to enjoy a good afternoon. Convoy through Ely.

New canoe portages installed Boaters using Cardington lock may have noticed that new canoe portages have been installed next to the lock and also near the canoe slalom. They were installed over the Summer months and made of concrete for a long lifespan. As part of the work the back channel was also cleared to improve the access to the new portages. Waterways Engineer said: ‘We have been working closely with the Priory Country Park Rangers and the paddle sport community to get the design right for this location. The feedback we have already received has been very positive. We hope they will be a great asset for many years to come.’ ■

One of the new canoe portages

at Cardington lock.

News from the Make sure you are signed up to SSA The high river flows during Spring/Summer 2012 were a reminder of the risks of navigating on the River Great Ouse when flows and water levels are above normal following periods of heavy rainfall. At certain flows we ‘reverse’ the locks with guillotine gates; an operation that pins back the pointing doors and sets the lock ready for discharge, if required. This effectively turns the guillotine gate into an additional sluice, which for safety reasons closes the affected locks to navigation. The lock is isolated and padlocked to stop any unauthorised use whilst it is ‘reversed’. Red warning signs are displayed and at many of the guillotine gate sites we switch on a LED light, warning any upstream river traffic that the lock is either set ready for discharge - or is actually being used for discharge. A red flag is displayed at Hermitage Lock and also at some marinas. When we ‘reverse’ the locks we issue our Strong Stream Advice (SSA) message informing river users that locks are ‘reversed’, flows and river levels are above normal and we strongly advise against attempting to navigate. We will call your landline/mobile phone (or both) free of charge informing you via an automated messaging system when Strong Stream Advice has been issued or cancelled. Text and email facilities are now also available.

We strongly recommend all river users to sign up and receive this free service for the rivers Great Ouse, Nene and Ancholme (or all three). If you would like to receive our Strong Stream Advice message please contact Mandy Doolan on 01522 785943 or email mandy.doolan@environment-agency. Further information can be obtained by telephoning our Floodline Information Service to hear a recorded message, which will inform you if Strong Stream Advice is issued by following these three simple steps: 1. Call Floodline, on 0845 988 1188 – You will be welcomed to Floodline and offered different touch-tone options. 2. Choose option ‘1’ to ‘listen to prerecorded information for flood warnings currently in force and information for boaters’. 3. Then simply enter one of the following quick dial Strong Stream Advice numbers: River Ancholme 031212 River Nene 032112 River Great Ouse 033211

Water point up and running

One of the red SSA signs displayed when locks are


Trees a crowd During the winter months the Environment Agency carries out a lot of tree and bushing maintenance across the Great Ouse catchment. However, from time to time we do need to deal with fallen trees or other hazards during the Summer months, because they may present a risk to boaters and other river users. Approval is required to carry out work during the ‘bird nesting season’ for conservation reasons. This Summer a large tree near Hemingford lock presented a risk to river users and once the appropriate approvals were in place our workforce cleared the tree. Tree near Hemingford being removed.

Priory Centre water point.

The Environment Agency has been thanked by GOBA and many other river users for helping to resolve the issue with the water point at the Priory Centre, St Neots. As a ‘one-off’ gesture we installed a water meter and repaired the tap so that it can be re-opened to the public. Andy Hubble, Waterways River inspector worked closely with all parties concerned to ensure this important facility was once again available for boats to take on fresh water. ■

GOBA News • Winter 2012


This year’s August bank holiday saw the town of St Ives enjoy its third annual Illuminated boat parade. The parade, organised by GOBA, was the culmination of a day of events coordinated by local organisers, ‘Fest’. He continued: ‘Who can ever forget that canoe, powered by a couple of Muppets, Miss Piggy and her reluctant paramour, Kermit the frog - later discovered to be Pip Noon, the river Manager of the Cam and her other half. Or ‘Kevin the Swan’ pedal-powered with astonishing vigour by Dave and Diane Mole, ably assisted by Mike and Julie Webber who peddled as if their lives depended on it. And what about ‘Kiribati’, an Ocean 29 that was completely festooned with so many lights that it was said that she must be connected to the national grid.’ ‘Kiribati’ turned out to be the overall winner as judged by the mayor of St Ives, Councillor Debbie Townsend. The evening culminated in a spectacular firework display, kindly supplied by L.H. Jones Marina and admirably ignited by Mick Jones from a boat on the water.

The day’s events started with an ‘Artsfest’ in the Corn Exchange, with displays of local art, photography and poetry readings. The evenings’ festivities kicked off at 8 o’clock on the town’s historic Quayside with music from the ‘Steel Invaders’ steel band, who kept everyone entertained until the main event - the parade of illuminated boats. GOBA’s organisers of the parade this year were committee members, Sid Fisher and David Mercer who helped to make the parade a success with fourteen boats taking part Sid Fisher said: ‘I would like to extend many thanks to Nigel Hanscombe, who started organising the arrangements earlier in the yearand to those of our members who exercised their splendid imagination and hard work to create such a wonderful spectacle on the river’.



Order of parade Boat name

Crewed by


St Johns Ambulance team


Lloyd Brown


Tony Goodwin


Simon and Sam Wells

Muppets’ Canoe

Pip Noon and Shawn Chapman

The Kevin Swan

Dave and Di Mole


Nick Heath


David and Pam Mercer

Bo Diddley

Mark Wright, Tony Eager and John and Sara Hindry


Sam Jones

HMS Corn Exchange

Chris Morgan


John and Carolyn Glenn


Sid and Christine Fisher


GOBA News • Winter 2012

Geoff Parrish who provided the commentary on the Quayside said: ‘It was an extraordinary evening for the family.’ He thanked all those who spent a wealth of time organising this event. In particular, GOBA for awarding a year’s free membership and a new burgee; Waitrose of St. Ives for providing each boat with a bottle of red and white wine; Anglia Afloat who donated a year’s subscription to the winner; the St. Ives Masonic Hall for the supply of electricity for the P.A. and L. H. Jones Marina for the firework display. Special thanks also went to the Fest Committee of St Ives and to David Mercer and Sid Fisher, from the GOBA Committee, for organising the whole parade.

Ghost a 16ft day

boat ‘Bella’ ‘Kevin the Swan’

‘Muppets’ canoe


eysian 27

Keisha, an El

‘1934, 24ft

amara’ ng cruiser ‘T

Olympic fla

me, Ocean 29





Reeves, sb y by Simon Photograph KOJAK SAFE oreeves@gm


Overall winner, ‘Kiribati’

GOBA News • Winter 2012


A History of the

East Anglian Waterways The East Anglian Waterways Association (EAWA) was formed on 18 April 1958, at a meeting in Peterborough to take the place of the defunct Fenlands Branch of the Inland Waterways Association (IWA). In turn, the Fenlands Branch had been formed on 30 October 1949, at a meeting in Huntingdon to become the second in a series of IWA branches covering the country. The main concern of the Fenlands Branch had been the continued closure of the River Great Ouse upstream, from Tempsford to Bedford. An early success was the setting up of the Great Ouse Restoration Society (GORS) in February 1951. This led to the restoration of the first lock at Bedford in the Autumn of 1955. The lack of further progress and internal dissention within the IWA, led to the Fenlands Branch holding its final meeting in January 1958. This led to Teddy Edwards, the IWA’s General Secretary, who had always had a special interest in East Anglia, setting up the EAWA. One of its first tasks was to help rejuvenate the GORS with work parties being arranged at two of the lock sites, to try and help preserve the structures and also to raise public awareness about the continued closure. This led to the re-opening of the second lock at Cardington in May 1963. This was a time of fundamental changes on the Great Ouse, with work starting in July 1954 to create the Cut Off and Flood Relief Channels, which culminated in the opening of the Lark


GOBA News • Winter 2012

Sluice at the head of the Cut-Off Channel in September 1964. Another major scheme, against which EAWA and many others petitioned Parliament, was the creation of Diddington Reservoir - subsequently opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in July 1966 and renamed Grafham Water. With Teddy Edwards’ connection, the EAWA became involved in a unique scheme at where the army agreed to dredge out the Old West River over the winter months of 1964/5. This stretch of the river was in very poor condition at the time and barely passable. However, by Easter 1965 Sir Geoffrey De Freitas, EAWA’s President, performed a ceremony marking the successful completion of the work. EAWA kept on pressing for the resumption of restoration work on the main river and in June 1971, work started on the construction of a water-measuring station and a completely new lock at Roxton, just upstream of where the River Ivel tributary joins the main river. The Duke of Bedford performed the lock opening ceremony

in August 1972. Most of the cost was borne by the Great Ouse River Authority’s land drainage budget and included removing the remains of the old Tempsford Staunch and deepening the river up to the new lock. A year later the IWA’s newlyestablished Tempsford Staunch. Cambridge Section ran a successful national rally of boats at Ely in which EAWA participated. This led to work starting at Great Barford in March 1974 to provide a new lock. There was no land drainage benefit from the work but a significant financial contribution from Bedford Borough Council from the sale of gravel-bearing land, and the offer of voluntary working parties jointly from the GORS and EAWA - what had become the IWA’s Cambridge Branch, led to the project going ahead. Over a six-month period the volunteers cleared the remains of the old lock and sluices, rebuilding the salvaged materials into gabions (wire baskets) to provide the new river wall. Meanwhile the river authority laid

Association the foundations for the new lock and this was duly opened on 8 May 1976. On that same day, a new lock was opened at Willington with the intervening derelict lock at Old Mills being bypassed and the river deepened up to Willington. This left the final obstacle at Castle Mill, Goldington. A short distance downstream from the derelict lock was the last surviving staunch on the Great Ouse. This was removed and major deepening work had to be carried out up to a new lock, which is now the deepest on the river. The work was completed for a low-key opening in April 1978 with the completion of the restoration work being celebrated at the Bedford River Festival on 28 May 1978. EAWA has much wider interests than just the Great Ouse, though this region has very high priority. On the River Nene, the locks had all been restored and fitted with guillotine gates before the Second World War - but they were something of a deterrent to visitors - needing strength and energy to operate. Latterly, most have been electrified or have had the guillotine removed and reverted to mitre gates at both ends. The Middle Level Navigations link the two main rivers and here, EAWA had a leading role in arranging for three of the locks to be

lengthened to enable full-length narrow boats to use them, rather than them having to go out into the Wash. EAWA’s work came under the heading of ‘Project Hereward’ and the project has gone on to become the Fens Waterway’s Link to provide an inland route from the River Witham at Boston through to the River Glen, across to the River Welland and across to the Nene, with improvements to the Middle Level waterways. Waterways such as the Chelmer & Blackwater up to Chelmsford, the Stour up to Sudbury, the Gipping up to Stowmarket, the Ancholme up to Bishopbridge, the South Level Rivers off the Great Ouse, and the Cambridgeshire Lodes all come within EAWA’s sphere of interest. And there has always been a very strong involvement with the Norfolk & Suffolk Broads where, in 1967, EAWA acquired a half-mile long canal leading off the Smallburgh River up to Dilham Staithe. To

Great Barford 1974.

acquire this, EAWA had to be incorporated into a limited company in 1967 to enable it to control the freehold. Subsequently, the canal, which was virtually impassable, was cleared out and re-opened and has since been dedicated by the Association, as a public navigable highway. It now forms a small but important part of the Broads system. Nearby, is the North Walsham and Dilham Canal, extending from the river Ant northwards to just north of the town of North Walsham. It has been derelict for many years but work parties, organised by EAWA and the newly-forward North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust, are working miracles. The northernmost section has recently been acquired by an owner who intends to reinstate water to a restored working water mill. The canal faces an exciting future and we will endeavour to keep you posted on progress as and when made. ■ Alan Faulkner

Photograph by Marina Povey

Middle Level – Well Creek

GOBA News • Winter 2012


. . . e t i r w s r e b Mem

Your page to share Great Ouse news, views and pictures with other members IWA Great Ouse Branch

What was it that lock keeper said again?

Denver Sandbank Following your warning and photo in the latest GOBA News concerning the shifting sandbank downstream of Denver Lock, I thought you might like to see this photo, taken on the morning of 16th August. It’s of a Fox’s Hire Boat, which did not heed the instructions

of the lock keeper. The boat, and its highly embarrassed crew, was stuck there all day until high tide later that evening. Judy Bell G 700 - La Sirena III

Boat Collision I thought I should let members know that back in August my boat, a Seamaster 23, hit an Environment Agency ‘fish refuge’ which had broken away from its mounting site at, Westview Marina, Earith. Fish refuge. The impact was enough to stall the engine and damage the steering gear – the total repair bill came to £660. When I contacted the Agency and asked if they would pay for the damage, I


GOBA News • Winter 2012

I note that in the summer edition of GOBA News the question was asked if the change in the name of our branch from, ‘Cambridge’ to ‘Great Ouse’ was in any way connected to the recent decisions effectively discouraging navigation of the Cam. Whilst, locally, the IWA is equally dismayed at the way the navigation authorities have gone about attempting to raise much needed additional income for the Cam - the matter is not connected to the change in name. It was considered that the ‘Cambridge’ label did not truly reflect the fact that the branch area includes the whole navigable length of the River Great Ouse, extending from Bedford in the West, right through Cambridgeshire, parts of Norfolk and Suffolk in the East - this includes its tributaries. Although members can belong to a branch of their choice, we have found some are left a bit confused as to which branch covers their local area. Hopefully the new name will clarify the situation. Needless to say, we await developments on the Cam with interest and look forward to the introduction of a more equitable, cost effective licencing system that will encourage more boaters to visit Cambridge in future. Keith Alderton Branch Chairman.

{Stop Press...} Houseboat crashes into weir

am delighted to say they emailed me, on 4th October, to say they would pay for the damage. Stephen Gurney

Couple’s retirement dreams sunk after £50,000 houseboat crashes into weir because they forgot to sign up for flood warnings. GOBA members, Peter and Marian Sycamore were travelling along the River Nene, when conditions became difficult as their 60ft houseboat was pulled under the surface due to heavy rain and rising water levels. The couple said they had received no flood warnings despite torrential rain making the stretch of river unsafe. They thought they’d been added to the warning system – but didn’t realise they had to sign up for every river they travel on. An Environment Agency spokesman said: ‘Signing up for advice on one river does not give up updates for every Anglian waterway. A message was sent to every person signed up for River Nene strong stream advice service at 9.30am on Thursday, 1st November.’ (EA News on page 13)

Knots –

should we be tied up with them?

It seems perverse that the speed limits on the river are given in miles per hour when most marine instruments are calibrated in knots (nautical miles per hour), 4 knots is equivalent to 4.6 mph so to keep to 4 mph you would need to restrict your speed to 3.48 knots or for 7 mph to 6.08 knots. Furthermore, if the boards provided by the Environment Agency to check your speed on the Old West are any guide, the limit is the boats speed over the ground rather than through the water. Whereas it is more common for speed logs, unless you have a GPS, to measure a boats speed through the water than over the ground. Why are there speed limits on the river anyway? Certainly not for the purpose of avoiding accidents as is the case on our roads speeds of 4 or even 7 miles per hour are unlikely to have fatal consequences. So why do we need speed limits restricting our freedom of using the waterways? Most likely they are to avoid erosion of the banks, to minimise the effect on the wildlife and to avoid causing damage to moored and passing craft. That would seem perfectly sensible and as most boaters moor bank side at times, you would think and expect that everyone would respect the limits - but we all know some do not. Recently I was nearly rolled out of my bunk by a boat going past very early in the morning at about 10 knots. Perhaps one reason the limits are ignored is because they are not measurable with the instruments commonly available. The most important reason of restricting our speed is to avoid creating excessive wash because it is a boats wash, not its speed that causes the damage. It is worth noting that the amount of wash at a given speed varies considerably with the design of the boats hull and displacement, so some boats would need to go slower to reduce their wash. Furthermore, a boat’s wash, at a given speed over the ground is more going upstream than downstream, as it is the speed through the water that is relevant. For example, if you are going downstream at 4mph through the water and the current is flowing at 2mph, your speed over the ground is 6mph conversely travelling upstream your speed over the ground would be 2mph. With the amount of water and the high flow rates experienced this season, this is quite relevant. So let’s keep it simple, forget mph, knots and even kilometres per hour, we can even forget speed over the ground and speed through the water. Just look over the stern of your boat, at no time should you create a breaking wash and when passing moored boats your wash should be no more than a gentle ripple. When the river is deep and wide then you can get a bit more speed without creating unacceptable wash. Peter Hendrick MB Charlie Brown

High noon on the ‘Old West’ August always sees us taking a leisurely travel around the system, the main aim, well apart from the shear enjoyment of boating: to attend the August GOBA committee meeting at Hemingford. This year was obviously no exception, so fuelled and watered the crew, dog, new iPad and I set off for our midsummer adventure. Our first stop was at the new GOBA mooring ‘Stretham’, just down stream of the Lazy Otter. This is a well placed mooring to visit the Pumping Station which is open only on limited days during April to September. Now, oddly, we had noticed that the river was covered by a rusty bloom of duck weed. This particular invasive variety, called Lemna turionifolia Landolt and first seen in this country in 2008, is a native of North America. Duck weed in the past had posed little problem as we motored through it. In fact we had only ever come across serious infestations on the Little Ouse. The following morning on checking the weed trap cage, I was very surprised to find that nearly the whole cage was jammed full. This discovery made us move on with some caution. We soon found that we were sucking in quite large quantities of the stuff. A constant check was made of the exhaust ‘spit’ which as soon as it showed signs of rapid diminution, caused us to stop and clear out the cage. We stopped for a clean out some 7 times during the tortuous trip up the 11 miles of the Old West. We met several other boaters having the same problem, one with twin engines, complaining bitterly that ‘it’ had knocked one of them out. The only happy boater we saw was in a rather long keel cooled narrow boat. My crew who was unusually on steering duties was heard to mutter ‘that’s what I’m going to have next time’. Me... I stuck my head into the engine compartment and feigned total deafness. Clogged weed trap cage.

What a relief to pass through Hermitage, clear waters at last with a vow that as soon as we could we would purchase a second and spare cage to help speed up the de-weeding. Our return later in the month was just as eventful, even though the weed was apparently not as thick or wide

Old West duck weed.

spread. The Environment Agency (EA) had dispatched their two Berky weed cutters into the Old West and they had done an amazing job of clearing out huge masses of both duck weed and blanket weed. Our spare cage proved invaluable in reducing the time spent drifting with no power. In fact, because we were with a following wind we took to killing the engine at the worst spots and allowed the boat to drift through. We all know that an engine does suck in buckets full of water quite quickly and we expect to gather some weed. ‘Camargue’s’ cooling water inlet is 35cm below the water line. It made little difference whether we moved slowly or quickly through the weed. I expected a minimal clog at slow speed, but not so. I can only assume that the blanket is quite thick and although the boat wake appears clear, the weed is very resistive to being pushed aside with it quickly re-establishing total cover. On the bright side, duck weed is high in protein, a very good water purifier, makes excellent cattle and fish food, as well as excellent compost. In many parts of the world it’s farmed commercially. Nike Mackay

GOBA News • Winter 2012


Fight against Outboard Theft There is nothing worse than arriving at your boat ready for a day’s cruising, to find your outboard motor missing. Aside from the loss, you also have to deal with the insurance, replacement and fitting of a new engine and of course, probably worst of all, missing out on a good part of the boating season!

With outboard theft on the increase in East Anglia, the Environment Agency (EA), Cambridge Constabulary and Cambridge Marine Industries (CMI) are working together to tackle the problem. It is impossible to do this, however, if the crimes go unreported. The first point of call, if you see any suspicious behaviour or are the victim of outboard theft, is the police initiative ‘Boat Watch’. All outboards should be insured and you should keep a copy of the serial number (usually situated on the outboard leg or transom bracket). You can register your outboard and serial number with the Boat Watch at crimeprevention/boatwatch. This will aid in the recovery of your outboard. New schemes are also under discussion with the police, including invisible marking and recording outboards, together with the introduction of ‘Boat Watch’ stickers. In addition to registering with the scheme, it is important to have your outboard properly secured. Most insurance policies dictate that outboards must be securely attached to the vessel using an anti-theft device. Whilst smaller outboards up to 20hp can be secured using cable locks, they are best protected using a good quality clamp lock over the outboard handles. These retail for £28.50. Larger engines should be bolted through the transom, and the nut securing the outboard should be either tack welded or fixed using a good quality outboard motor bolt lock. This is available for less than £50. A combination of the two

Outboard motor lock.


GOBA News • Winter 2012

Outboard lock.

Pacific bolt lock.

types of lock will provide additional security for larger engines. Aside from making the outboard more difficult to steal by using anti-theft devices, you can also consider ways to make the outboard less desirable to the thief. A very successful deterrent is removing the hood of your outboards when the boat is not in use. By removing the hood the outboard is much more difficult to sell on, and you can easily protect the outboard from the elements using a canvas or PVC outboard engine cover, which can be purchased for less than £10 from your local chandlery. It is recommended that portable outboards on tenders are removed and stored out of sight when not in use. Other deterrents to consider are marking your outboard with your postcode using indelible marker or Smartwater. If your boat is out of the water over the winter period, removing the hood and lower unit from the outboard is a strong deterrent. If you have any other suggestions we would be grateful if you would share them on with GOBA on and help in the fight against outboard theft. ■

Outboard engine cover.

10% discount on all outboard security products using voucher code GOBA3, can be found at


Whitehouse Boating Club thought I was in Blackpool. Then it was the turn of Jock McBlow, with his bagpipes – he played Amazing Grace (not sure where the band came from though). Just when it could get no better – it did – Frank Spencer turned up and the club members were laughing so much that it hurt. Then our amateur dramatics person Diane, along with Chris and Karen, did a sketch from a health farm - absolutely side splitting. Our next event in May was ‘Party Night’ with Roman Night. ‘Rok the Boat’ disco plus ‘Open the Box,’ followed by a ‘Boat Jumble sale’ on the Sunday. I think everyone went away with something they did not know what to do with. June 2nd was Her Majesty the Queen diamond Jubilee weekend – street parties everywhere. The WHBC held their street party, mainly for the children, which was incorporated with our Fun Day. This included lots of games, a BBQ and a Pimms stall during the day and a curry in the evening with live music from soul singer Uche Eke. The Club was filled to bursting and it was great to see some of our old mates from the Ouse Valley River Club (OVRC). It was another great day and fantastic night, which ended with ‘Open the Box’. The ‘Annual Model Boat Race’ was our next event. This saw many entrants from offshore racers to scaled model tugs. The competition was fierce but out of the total chaos, I think Dave Sinclair won. Now words cannot describe our ‘Lady Commodore’s’ night. The theme was Diamonds and Tiaras and Sally, our Commodore, took the reins and assumed full control from the decorating flowers, food and the disco. The marquee was erected, the chandeliers and fairy lights put up, tables laid, champagne on ice and a photographer ready. We had cold meats, cheeses, salad and much more, plus homemade desserts. Then the disco turned up. Two ‘very late in their teens’ persons (past middle age in fact) and I thought ‘here we go’. But they were the best disco I have ever heard. They played old and new and did not want to go home. We . finished about 3.15 am and it was team ' '118 the ies Answering all quer a fantastic night. Thank you Sally, from us all, and if you’ve never had a Lady The month of May started out with the Commodore at the helm, try it, trust me, it ‘Open Mic Night Crosshalls Got Talent’. really works. Thinking the worst – that no one really wanted July - and well into our summer. First was to get up and have a go – was I ever more the ‘Pig Roast’. We all know a roast pig can’t wrong! Tony, at the organ, played and sang – I Well, what can we say? What a season – rain, rain and yet more rain. Sometimes it felt as if the weather belonged in a rain forest and not an English summer. Those brave enough to venture out were then faced with lock closures. First St Ives and then the Paper Mill, which were both scheduled for completion by early April, but were still incomplete by mid-July! Anyway, on to more memorable events that is cheerful. We finished last year with a great New Year’s Eve party. I cannot remember the time it finished but do know it was early morning. In April our first event, after the spring clean, was the ‘Welcome Night’ for renewing memberships and more importantly for meeting friends we had not seen throughout the winter months. Food, drink and conversation, together with ‘Open the Box,’ made a lovely evening. The ‘Easter Egg Hunt’ for the kids and parents was well attended. Lots of children, lots of Mums and Dads, lots of eggs and lots of rain! The children did not mind this, however, and really enjoyed the day. Even the ‘118’ team turned up to assist with any information that was required. The ‘Music Quiz’ was a good night, run by our very own ‘Rok the Boat’ – Clive.

be beaten. Well done to the cook – great food. In the evening, we were entertained by the fabulous Alan Jay who was booked till late and stayed even later. He certainly got the girls going. We also had ‘Open the Box’. Next, on our calendar, came the ‘Away Weekend’ with 14 boats turning up at Brampton for a weekend BBQ. The weather wasn’t too bad, although we were wrapped in blankets watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics on the Saturday evening. August came upon us and our first event at the club was the ‘Race Night’ with many gambling members turning up to lose a few pennies. The next event was a big worry, as it was my ‘Vice Commodore’s’ night. The theme was ‘Romans’ and the trouble was how could I match our Commodore’s night. I should not really because as it is our members that make the events and, as usual, senates, centurions, gladiators and legionnaires started to turn up. The Roman Empire was here, the scenery was as good as the food. Shayne came from Bath to entertain us with Elvis, Buddy Holly and lots more. This was all followed by our mad head banger ‘Dobbo the Disco’ and also ‘Open the Box’. What a night and many thanks to the OVRC for loaning us the Roman columns. September, started with a heavy metal local rock band ‘Soulweaver’ who rocked the night away followed by ‘Rok the boat’ disco. I am not sure if it was the beer or the music that gave me the headache in the morning, but who cares it was a great night. We still have a ‘Night of Pub Games’ to look forward to in September and in October we have our ‘Laying up Supper’ at the Eaton Oak, followed by the AGM on the Sunday. December we have our ‘Noggin’ and also our - always well attended – New Year’s Eve Party. That’s another year gone by. Good health, keep well and see you all on the river next year. Tony Digby Vice Commodore

GOBA News • Winter 2012


Bedford Boat Club

I was wrong! I freely admit it; after all I’m no meteorologist. After I suggested in my last missive that there was only so much water up there, it transpired that there was substantially more. And it felt free to dump itself on poor unsuspecting boaters! Some of it came in time for the Dinghy Run on June 24th. Six hardy dingy crews ventured upstream to what has become our traditional venue, Jan and Dave Bouttell‘s garden in Kempston. It’s the only opportunity many have to venture upstream, so some made the trip against a river running fairly quickly due to the additional water! Those who braved it - joined by the ‘not so brave’ arriving by car - enjoyed an excellent barbecue and our thanks are extended to Jan and Dave for their well known generous hospitality. Of course, there was rain on the run home and the bridges en-route provided welcome shelter while it passed over. Closely followed on July 7th was the ‘Annual Summer Barbecue’. Whilst there was heavy local rain in the morning, this event escaped with the afternoon being fine, although cool. About 100 members and friends attended for a highly convivial menu of barbecued selections of meat, salads, vegetables and puddings. Later there was a disco in the clubhouse for the hardy souls who stayed on later – but those outside, of course, did catch some rain! This was the year of the ‘Bedford River Festival.’ It was preceded by the now almost mandatory heavy rain! The river was not navigable for some time beforehand - strong stream advice (SSA) being in place. This meant that boats needing to travel a distance to attend this event could not move. Only boats based relatively locally could get there in time

as the SSA was withdrawn only a few days before the due start date of July 21st. Unfortunately, only about 50% of the boats booked in could get there. The Environment Agency (EA) did all they could to minimise river levels in time for the event, so a feather in their cap is due on this occasion. All this still meant that a number of boats that were able to get there and booked onto the top river could not pass beneath the Engineers’ or town lock footbridges. So they were limited to the bottom river. Despite this, the event was a huge success, presenting all the usual shows, stalls and charity events. If those two bridges could be raised in time for the next festival - if levels are high again - at least more boats will be able to pass onto the top river, as the EA had already raised the lock guillotine gate. This is suggested in the Council’s ‘Riverside Strategy’ report - so perhaps they will act on that. As I so confidently, and rightly, predicted in the last edition, (that wasn’t difficult I hear you say) that Bedford Boat Club entries did, indeed, win both the decorated and illuminated boat prizes in the relative Grand Parades! In the evenings, members got together for their own events on Mill Meadows, overlooking the Embankment. On one occasion they were joined by a few of the stall holders, who were camping on site. Naturally a few drinks were taken and crumpets toasted! The second cruising weekend was on the bank holiday of the 26th to 27th August. Again the weather was dreadful and the barbecue on the field at St Neots was washed out for the eight boats who did manage to get there. One hardy soul did try it in the rain, but it was a battle against the elements under an umbrella! John Ludlow probably wouldn’t thank me for telling you who this was, so I won’t.

The rest of us ate on board and most gathered on one boat for a get together in defiance of the outside conditions. The boat handling competition followed on September 8th, which was a little down on numbers this time - with only five entrants. This was a little puzzling as the course was an interesting one. A barbecue followed, when the 49 present cooked their food and enjoyed a disco afterwards. Of course, I cannot publish the results here, as the prizes are awarded at the ‘Laying Up Supper’ but I’m personally not confident! The fishing competition followed on September 22nd. As always, this was not a major challenge to the fish, to avoid taking part in the final weighins, and most of those that were actually caught managed to escape through the holes in the keep nets! The usual suspects took part but, again, the results are kept under wraps, until the specified time. The evening, on this occasion, was a little different. Instead of a meal presented by our social ladies - they took the evening off - it was prepared by our Commodore, Dave Bouttell, and yours truly! It was a simple fare of meat pie, beans and potato followed by a home made rice pudding. Some might tell you that the less said about the rice pudding the better, whilst others expressed their appreciation by coming back for more - there really is no accounting for taste! Dave and I served the 28 assembled - one attired in a dinner suit the other in tails! John Hodgson 01234 344884

Ouse Valley River Club Well, that was the shortest boating season I can remember. But when the weather finally broke towards the back end of July, it was gratifying to see most of our boats disappear from the marina, en masse. About a dozen of our members’ boats even managed to meet up for a weekend at the Five Miles from Anywhere Inn, early in August. Rain, wind and floods aside, boating this summer presented other challenges. Those of us who struggled with fouled propellers, blocked filters and hot engines on the Old West could be forgiven for being a little puzzled by the GOBA Committee’s apparent commendation of the EA’s handling of the weed problems this year. This is now being waved in our faces each time we raise an issue with the EA. It’s a pity when it comes down to point scoring. It threatens to get in the way of the genuine concerns we raise on behalf of our boating members who are simply seeking safe passage on the river system. Whilst August was quiet at the OVRC, social activities really started to kick off again in September. Our Rear Commodore, Dean and


GOBA News • Winter 2012

his team organised an excellent ‘Competition Weekend.’ Participation was particularly high and went beyond our traditional boat handling events, including darts, pool and petanque. On the Saturday evening, a barbecue was served to 183 members and guests and we were entertained by a professional Elvis tribute act. It was one of the best evenings we have had for some time and we were particularly pleased to welcome guests from the Whitehouse Boat Club, some of who returned for our fishing competition the next day. Come back again soon! In a break from music and dancing, our next event, the ‘Rear Commodore’s Party’ saw us all dressed in bow ties and diamonds for a casino evening and a ‘night at the tables’. It made a nice change. We are hurtling towards another ‘Laying up Supper’ and round of Christmas Parties and as the Secretary, I’m in the middle of preparations for our Annual General Meeting and the election of our 2013 Committee and Officers. Whilst there is no shortage of interest in filling the committee places, this year sees the end of an era in the Club’s history. Our Club President, Simon Adlam

has decided to stand down after nearly 20 years in the role. But Simon’s association with our Club goes further back than that. In 1983 as Vice President of the OVRC and in his professional capacity as a local solicitor, it was Simon who steered us through the negotiations to purchase Tuzzy Muzzy Meadow, the land we occupy, and to place it in Trust. The security we enjoy today, as a Club wholly owned by its members, owes everything to the foresight shown back then. Since then, we have called on Simon to chair our general meetings and we have valued his hands off approach, his impartial advice and not least his sense of humour. Thank you Simon! We will miss you. On behalf of everyone at the OVRC I wish all GOBA members a great Christmas and safe and healthy 2013. Martin Wilcox Hon. Secretary OVRC ‘Moonshine’ For Membership Enquiries visit Or call: 01480 210131


Cambridge Motor Boat Club

As we descend into the autumn, the evenings are drawing in and the nights are cooler – so there are fewer hours in which to enjoy the river - but that need not stop us. With modern boats, one can still enjoy the delights of the changing seasons. We have had a very good second half

Flooding at club

Here we are again – October already - the dark mornings and nights are drawing in and whilst I don’t mean to depress you all, it is nearly Halloween, quickly followed by the 5th November and of course who can forget the countdown to Christmas, with every supermarket already full of festive goodies! So that’s it then, another season done and dusted - well for most of us I guess. The weather this year has been dire, yet another blistering heat wave of a summer anomaly! I cannot believe the amount of flooding we have had, which has meant a number of us at the PEBC have had their boating season almost cut in half and I am sure there are a number of boaters, who have also been affected this season by the relentless rain. Hard to believe that in the Spring issue of GOBA News, low water levels were raised as a concern. Well, personally, we’ve have had to cruise with tops, arches and even windows unbolted and laid flat on more than one occasion and even then, have not been able to make back to the Pike. Thank God other marinas are willing and able to help you out when in dire straits. More latterly, last weekend the lock at St Ives was so low you would need to ‘limbo’ your boat under it, unfortunately we couldn’t. Some poor soul was already stuck in the lock, but fortunately there were a number of willing bodies around to help weigh the boat down. We, and I am sure the other number of PEBC boats who were stuck the wrong side of St Ives lock last weekend, are very grateful to Mick Jones for finding space for us to moor temporarily. I suppose it cannot always be plain sailing, or should that be cruising.

of the year, despite the poor weather. One note-worthy occasion was when a number of our members went to the Upware regatta, at Denver. Whilst we were there enjoying acceptable weather, there was a huge downpour at Cambridge, which caused some flooding at the club grounds. Because of the high water levels, it prevented us returning to the club and my car was almost flooded out. Our thanks to the Denver Cruising Club for their offer of moorings until the levels were safe again. We also had a tremendously sporty weekend with games that were both water and shore based. This was rounded off with a BBQ and a couple of barrels of real ale - just for good measure. The next event is the ‘Laying up Supper,’ which will be my second season as Commodore. So it is with some sadness that I will hand over the helm, to Geoff Parrish and I wish him all the best. But – hey ho - it will give me more time to enjoy the club and


the river system that I always look forward to explore. Finally, I do hope our club’s contributions to GOBA news has not only been enjoyable for members to read, but has also been an insight into CMBC. I would also like to wish you, on behalf of CMBC, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Steve Fell Dream Weaver

Pike and Eel Boat Club

While on the subject of St Ives lock, I am sure many of you have experienced the issue with the right hand gate as you head upstream. For some reason, it just will not stay completely open, which is less than ideal - especially as the lock has recently been upgraded. Despite the unpredictable and changeable weather, PEBC has had another successful year of Events, not least the ‘Barn Dance’ in July. Thankfully, it was a lovely warm evening. This was followed by our usual trip to Hemmingford, mid-August, which was well attended. Early September saw some of us venturing to Ely, for our annual ‘Bowling’ event. Sadly, it was the same old story - hardly anywhere to moor, even though we got there late Friday morning - very frustrating! Nonetheless, it was lovely to see Peter & Dianne Mead enjoying their new boat and being able to make it to Ely. Following Di Mole’s charity auction last October, six of us at last managed to collect our prize and venture to waters new. Jed & Sally Love – ‘Solstice II’, kindly provided a day trip on the Thames. This was a trip that was meant to happen in the summer but had to be cancelled due to strong stream advice and continual downpours. However, we rescheduled for September and lo and behold the boating gods were with us - the sun came out. We started our trip from Benson nr Wallingford, going through a couple of locks which are manned and have easy access (delightful) before mooring up and taking a stroll to a local hostelry, where we sat in the garden (yes garden) and drank Pimms - well the girlies anyway - the men were men and had to taste the real ale.

Lunch on ‘Solstice’ and then a gentle cruise back to her berth. Such a different experience, one that we all agreed we would like to do on our own boats. All too soon it will be time for our ‘Laying Up Supper,’ held again this year at Oliver’s Lodge, in St Ives. In closing I would like to say a big thank you to our good friends at Upware and Cambridge Motor Boat Club who have supported us again this year and have also extended a warm welcome to their own events. I would personally like to thank you for all your offers of help during the ‘rainy season’. Last but certainly not least, again this year thank you to John & Janette Coulson for keeping everything at the club ticking over, and a big thank you to all of those Committee Members, who put so much time and effort into making things run smoothly for everyone concerned. There is also one person I would particularly like to mention and that is Dave Mole ‘Latest Flame’ who, as a lot of you will know, is always ready to help any boater in distress. He will hate me for saying this, but what a nice man. Most recently he helped guide the emergency services, in the early hours, to a boat moored on the GOBA mooring just outside of the Pike & Eel Marina. Unfortunately, it was an extremely sad and traumatic situation, but Dave as ever, did whatever he could to assist. I wish you all a good end to the season. I know I said it last year, but let’s hope 2013 brings an opportunity to enjoy many more hours of cruising. Julia Lindley

GOBA News • Winter 2012



Upware Boat Club This will be my last Goba report as Commodore of Upware Boat Club. I have really enjoyed reporting on events that the UBC have held over the past 2 years. I hope it has been an interesting read for you all - especially the report on the Club’s History in the last issue of GOBA News. My last report finished back in June 2012 - the months have flown by! We unfortunately had to cancel an event in June due to bad weather (the second event this year). But our Regatta was held at The Denver Sailing Club and as usual it was very well attended by the members of UBC and other Clubs. The Venue suited all of our needs and everyone had a great time. It was a very memorable and emotional event. As you are probably aware, a lot of hard work goes into organising a Regatta and it is very rewarding when it all comes together and everyone enjoys themselves. For years now we have been holding a Rock & Pop weekend at, Brandon creek

Fancy Dress gathering.

picnic moorings, and it has been getting more and more popular. We’ve also held our BBQs, Fancy Dress, Quizzes, and this year even our own version of The Olympics – not forgetting of course the usual beverages. This year we decided to go back to our old stomping ground and birth place of our club, yes you guessed it, The Five Miles at Upware. I was very impressed by the time and effort that has been put into improving the grounds and moorings. It showed that others were also impressed by the jam packed moorings on that weekend in August. As most clubs, we have our events that are more popular than others, and the annual event we hold at The Denver Complex is without doubt one of our best events, simply because relaxing with your friends, and enjoying a BBQ and drinks together and being overly competitive on the quiz and staggering back to your boat in the early hours of the morning - in my

humble opinion - is what boating is about. In September, we held an event at The Lazy Otter, which our dogs always enjoy, because they can walk for miles off their leads. And, of course, it’s always fun with everyone ‘mucking in’ with the BBQ cooking, whilst enjoying the odd alcoholic beverage or two. All that is left of this year is our ‘Laying up Supper,’ where Trophies and presentations will be awarded. I get to hand out the coveted ‘Wally Award,’ to the biggest Wally in UBC this year - and there are quite a few! My wife and I have really enjoyed the last 2 years, and we have made many new friends as well as strengthen the friendships we already have with fellow boaters on the river - long may it continue! Terence Read – ‘Sayonara’ Commodore Upware Boat Club


Denver Cruising Club Looking back over the last three months, a lot has happened. Our ‘Fun Weekend’ in July, was one of the best events we have held in recent years. The car park was full to busting and the moorings where overflowing with visiting boats from the Upware Boat Club and the Middle Level Boat Club. The weather man got it right just for once - the sun shone with light winds all weekend. We had that many people wanting to enter some of the events that we had to carry the ‘Rope Throwing’ and ‘Welly Throwing’ event over to the Sunday afternoon. The evening’s social was a great success, with a DISCO for all to enjoy.


GOBA News • Winter 2012

In September, we had a work party weekend. This was well supported by our members, with a lot of the jobs being crossed of our list. Our car park had a deep clean with all the trees and bushes being cut down and burnt on a bonfire. With the weather we have had this year; it has been good growing condition for all the weeds and with two gangs of workers, three new stages have been built. I would like to say a thank you for all the hard work carried out by our members, including one visitor from the Pike and Eel Boat Club. By popular request, our September social was another Bar-B-Q. We had two

(press ganged) volunteers to cook the meat - Darren and Tony. With Sue and Roger in the kitchen doing the salads and desserts every one present expressed the view that it was another excellent Bar-B-Q. Our next social event is the Fish and Chip supper, the number of people booking a place to come, is growing as I type this out. Finally I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all the members at the Denver Cruising Club. Carol Warburton

N O T I C E B O ARD s on ti ic tr es R n io at ig av N d an s re su lo Lock C Autumn and Winter 2012/13

bruary 2013 (inclusive) Willington Lock – 21 January to 6 Fe n Lock between the above dates. s will be taking place at Willingto Please be aware that maintenance work uctions issued on site. and take notice of signage and any instr on Please approach the area with cauti on 07717423512 le Hubb Andy ctor, ct the River Inspe For any other information please conta 8 506 506 0370 on cy Agen ent ronm Envi the For further information please call Anglian Region. the in Team s y and ask for the Waterway between 9am and 5pm Monday to Frida

Castle Mills Lock – 7 January to 29

January 2013 (inclusive)

area with the above dates. Please approach the g place at Castle Mills Lock between takin be will s work ce tenan main that Please be aware ns issued on site. take notice of signage and any instructio Andy Hubble on 07717423512 ctor, Inspe River the ct conta e For any other information pleas cy on 03708 506 506 Agen ent Environm For further information please call the rways Team in the Wate the for ask and y Frida between 9am and 5pm Monday to Anglian Region.

caution and

caused. The Agency regrets any inconvenience Irven Forbes Waterways Manager, Anglian Region 19 November 2012

The GOBA PO Box 244 is cl osing with immediate effect please


send any mail to the PO Box numb


All mail should in future be addressed to: GOBA Meadowview Flegg Green Wereham King’s Lynn Norfolk PE33 9BA

GOBA News • Winter 2012





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Moorings • Floating pontoons • Electricity • • Chandlery • Diesel and gas • AA•CC OO UUTTB OA OA•RR DDSS • ���������������� • Cranage Boat repairs •BRefits Repaints ����������������������������� ����������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������� • Blacking and Antifouling • ��������������������������� �������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������� • Welding and engineering services • ����������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������ ����������������������������������� • EA���������������������������� pump out and water • ����������������������������

��������������������������������� ���������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������� ������������� Westview Marina, High Street, Earith, ��������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� PE28 3PN ���������������������������� ���������������������������� ������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������� Tel 01487 841627 / 01487 740900 ������������������������ ������������������ ��������������������������� ��������������������������� ���������������������������������� �������������������������������������� ������ ��������������������������� �������������������������������������� �������������������������������� ��������� ����������������������� ������������������������������ ������������������������������ �� ���� ���� � �����������



�������������������������� Special Special Offer Offer

A C aOasmall U T Bquantity OA R D Sofof We We have have small quantity GOBA GOBAClothing ClothingininStock Stock

����������������������������������������� �������������������������� Rugby Rugby Shirts Shirts GOBA NEWS (WINTER 2011) 27 Short Short Sleeve Sleeve £20 £20plus plusp&p p&p (Marine) Limited �������������������������������������������������� Hartford Marina, Banks End, Huntingdon, Cambs PE28 2AA TTShirts Shirts £8 £8 plus plus p&p p&p �����������������������������������������������������������

First Firstcome come first firstserved served ���������������������������������������������

BOAT SAFETY SCHEME EXAMINATIONS ���������������������������� MARINE SURVEYS ����������������������������������������

Call Call Mike Mike McKay: McKay: 01480 462735 ���������������������������� email: 01353 01353 664229 664229 ���������������������������


GOBA News • Winter 2012

�� ������ �������� ����� ������������ ����������� 26 GOBA NEWS (WINTER 2011)

Special Offer



���������������������� Surveying properties in the Ouse,


Nene, Cam and other local areas for boat and homeowners alike

Reduce Boat Costs - up to 50% savings Long Term Storage offer.

Unit 8

We now do Fuel Polishing & Fuel decontamination Cauldwell Court, Bedford

Engine Replacement Bow Thrusters Fitted Inboard and Outboard Servicing - Boat repairs in GRP, Wood Heating Fitted Engine Servicing - Antifouling and Blacking - Accessories supplied and fitted Outdrive servicing - On Site 20t Mobile Crane - Heated Workshop for Craft up to 30 feet - Slipway with Towout Facility - Professional ( Mercruiser-Volvo-Enfield-Sonic etc )Marine Engineers with over 60 years combined experience at your GRP Hull / Superstructure Repairs Electrical services Cranage Antifouling Slurry blasting Compound and polishing

������� �� Boat Safety Examinations ������ & Marine Surveys ●Fast, efficient and reliable service. ●Privately owned, residential & hire-boats. ●Gas Safe Registered. IIMS & NABSE member.

Contact Tony Pope on 07833 393928 or email:

�������������� �������������������� Have a look around our used ������������������ boat sales

Cruisers, Widebeam, Dutch ������ Barges and Narrowboats on display �������������������������� SOLD



Get a Home Survey now! Kindly note - Boat surveys NOT undertaken

Inboard and Outboard Servicing - Boat repairs in GRP, Wood



Under Offer

- Antifouling and Blacking - Accessories supplied and fitted - On Site 20t Mobile Crane - Heated Workshop for Craft up to BOATFacility SALES- Professional Marine 30 feet - Slipway with Towout Chartered Surveyors Engineers with over 60 years combined experience at your

More Boats needed to sell - very competitive JG Property Consultants The Estate Office, Abbotsley rates Country Homes Drewels Lane, Abbotsley, St Neots, PE19 6XF

t: 01480 474704 � m: 07973 187884 � - Buckden Marina, Mill Rd, Buckden. Cambs PE19 5BH Tel : 01480 812225

������� ������������������ ������ �������������

A. Chapman Tel: 01234 268455 Mobile: 07885 658462 Unit8 8Cauldwell CauldwellCourt, Court,Bedford Bedford Unit

������������������������������������������������������������ ������������������������������������������������������������ J ������������������������������������������������������������ Since 1946 ones oatyard ������������������������������������������������������������ ������������������������������������������������� T: 01480 494040 �������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������




��������������������������� ��������������������������� ������������������������������������ ����������������������������������� ��������������������������������� ������������� 160 premium moorings in a natural setting ������������������������������������������� Boat Sales - over 170 boats sold in 2011 ������������������������ ������������������ Chandlery - well stocked at competitive prices ������ ��������������������������� Specialists in ����������������������� engineering, GRP, and boat building �������������������������������� ���������

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������������������������������ Special Special Offer Offer C aOUTBOARDS We WeA have have asmall smallquantity quantityof of

GOBA GOBAClothing ClothingininStock Stock

Rugby RugbyShirts Shirts

Inboard and����������������������������������������� Outboard Servicing - Boat repairs in GRP, Wood

Short ShortSleeve Sleeve £20 £20plus plusp&p p&p �������������������������������������������������� - Antifouling and Blacking - Accessories supplied and fitted TTShirts Shirts £8 £8 plus plus p&p p&p ����������������������������������������������������������� - On Site 20t Mobile Crane - Heated Workshop for Craft up to 30 feet - Slipway with Towout Facility - Professional Marine ���������������������������� Engineers with over 60 years combined experience at your ����������������������������������������

First Firstcome come first firstserved served ��������������������������������������������� Call Call Mike MikeMcKay: McKay: ���������������������������� 01353 01353 664229 664229 ���������������������������

������ ��Offer �� �� Special ������� ������������������ We have a small quantity of

������ ������������� Rugby Shirts GOBA Clothing in Stock

Short Sleeve £20 plus p&p A. Chapman T- Shirts £8 plus p&p

Tel: 01234 268455 Mobile: 07885 658462 Unit8 8Cauldwell CauldwellCourt, Court,Bedford Bedford Unit

First come first served

Call Mike McKay: 01353 664229

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A. Chapman Tel: 01234 268455 Mobile: 07885 658462 Unit8 8Cauldwell CauldwellCourt, Court,Bedford Bedford Unit

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Special SpecialOffer Offer

GOBA NEWS ����������������������������������������� Rugby Rugby Shirts Shirts ADVERTISING Short Short Sleeve Sleeve £20 £20plus plusp&p p&p �������������������������������������������������� TTShirts Shirts £8 £8 plus plus p&p p&p GETS RESULTS ����������������������������������������������������������� A C aOasmall U T Bquantity OA R D Sofof We We have have small quantity GOBA GOBAClothing ClothingininStock Stock

First First come come TO FIND OUT MORE CONTACT first first served served VAL GOLDSACK: ��������������������������������������������� ���������������������������� ����������������������������������������

Call Call Mike MikeMcKay: McKay: ���������������������������� 01634 234443 01353 01353 664229 664229 ���������������������������

28������ GOBA News���� • Winter 2012 �� ���� ���� � ������������ �����������


Special Offer

We have a small quantity of


HARTFORD MARINA Leisure marine services in the heart of Cambridgeshire Tel: 01480 454677

 Over 200 moorings  40 acre marina  Electricity & water  Showers & WC

 Laundrette

    

Petrol & diesel Calor Gas Pump out Cranage Slipway




    

New boat showroom Outboard sales Dinghies & canoes Inflatables Used boat sales

All you could want 92 acres of unspoilt, tranquil countryside Extensive cruising options 240 berths with new narrowboat moorings Secure site Full boatyard services First class facilities – wifi access, gym, pool, café & bar Just 20 minutes from Cambridge

River Great Ouse

For more information T: 01480 812660


GOBA News • Winter 2012


������������ � ���������� ���������������� ����������������������� ���������� ������� ������������ ������������ ������������� ������������ ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������� ������������������������� ������������ ������������ ������������������������������������������� � ������������������������������������������ ���������������� � ����������������������� ���������� ������������������������������������������������������ ��������������������������������������������������� ���������� ���������������� ������� ������������ ������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������� ������������� ������������ ������������������������� ������������ ������������������������������������������� ������������ ������������������������������������������ � ���������� ����������������������� ���������������� ������������������������������������������������������ ��������������������������������������������������� ��� ����������������������� ������� ������������ ���������������������������� ��������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������� ������������� ������������ ������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������� ���������������� ������������������������������������������� ������������ ���������������������������������������������������������������������� � ������������������������������������������ ���������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������� ������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ ��� ������������������������������������������������������ ��������������������������������������������������� ����������������������� ������������������������������������������������������ ��������������������������������������������������� ���


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INSTRUCTION TO YOUR BANK ������������� � Ouse Boating Association Great Ltd ���������������������������� ��������� �������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������� OR BUILDING SOCIETY TO PAY PO BOX 244 ����������������������������������������������������� ���������������� ������������������������� BY DIRECT DEBIT Huntingdon ������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������� Cambs ������������������������������������������ Instruction to your Bank or Building Society PE29 6FE ����������������������� Please pay Great Ouse Boating Association ������������������������������������������������������ ��������������������������������������������������� ��� Ltd Direct Debits from the

Name(s) of Account Holder(s)

account detailed in this instruction subject to the safeguards assured by the �������������� Direct Debit Guarantee.

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���������������������������� ��������� ��������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������� �������� I understand that this instructionTO may remain with Great Ouse Boating INSTRUCTION YOUR ������������������������� Association Ltd and, if so, details will be passed electronically to my ����������������������������������������������������� Great Ouse Boating Association Ltd ����������������������������������������������������� BANKSociety. OR BUILDING SOCIETY Bank/Building account number Bank/Building ������������������������������������������� Meadowview,Society Flegg Green ���������������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ TO PAY BY DIRECT DEBIT Wereham Originators Identification Number � ������������������������������������������������������ ��������������������������������������������������� ��� King’s Lynn Branch Sort Code Instruction to your Bank or Building 4 1 4 2 5 7Society �������������� Norfolk PE33 9BA

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The Boathaven, Low Road, St. Ives, Cambs, PE27 5ET. Tel: 01480 494040 Please pay Great Ouse Boating Association Ltd �������������� ������������� � � Ouse Boating Association Ltd Reference Number. Your membership number Direct Debits from the account detail in this INSTRUCTION TO YOUR BANK ������������� Great ���������������������������� Name and full postal address of your Bank/Building Society instruction subject to the ��������� �������� safeguards assured by �������� OR BUILDING SOCIETY TO PAY PO BOX 244 G O B A the Direct Debit Guarantee. Name(s) ofManager Account Holder(s) ����������������������������������������������������� ���������������� To The Bank/ BY DIRECT DEBIT Huntingdon Building Society ���������������������������������������������������������������������� Signature(s) Cambs I understand that this instruction may remain with AdInstruction to your Bank or Building Society � Great Ouse Boating Association Ltd and, if so, �� ���� PE29 6FE ���� � ����������� dress Please pay Great Ouse Boating Association Ltd Direct Debits from the

www. j onesboatya rd.c

Name(s) of Account Holder(s)

details will be passed electronically to my account detailed in this instruction subject to the safeguards assured by the Bank/Building Society. �������������� St.Direct Ives, Cambs, 494040 Debit Guarantee.PE27 5ET. Tel: 01480 Date

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The Boathaven, Low Road,

���������������������������� ��������� w ww. jonesboatya ���������������� rd. c o. uk The Great Ouse Boating Association subscribes to the Direct Debit Guarantee scheme �����������������������������������������������������

Bank/Building Society account number Post� code

Bank/Building Branch Sort Code

Society account number


�������� I understand that Originator’s this instruction may remain with Great Ouse Boating Identification Number Association Ltd and, if so, details will be passed electronically to my 4 1 4 2 5 7 Bank/Building Society.


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Reference Number Number Originators Identification

Your membership number

G O B A – Branch Sort Code 4 1 4 2 5 7 �������������� 30 GOBA NEWS (WINTER 2011) Boathaven, Low 494040 Boathaven, LowRoad, Road,St. St.Ives, Ives,Cambs, Cambs,PE27 PE275ET. 5ET. Tel: Tel: 01480 01480 494040 Name andThe fullThe postal address of your Bank/Building Society �

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The Boathaven, St. Ives,subscribes Cambs, 5ET. 01480 494040 The GreatLow Ouse Road, Boating Association toPE27 the Direct DebitTel: Guarantee scheme Date 30


w ww. jo n es The Great Ouse Boating Association subscribes to the Direct Debit Guarantee scheme

GOBA News • Winter 2012


NEW AND USED SALES CENTRE Thinking of selling your boat? We buy used Viking Cruisers. Call us for more information on 01480 468666 or email

NEW prices from £18,800 ��������� ������ � �������

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Kings Lynn Buoys

Moorings – conditions of use

• • •

The use of GOBA moorings is free to members and hirers of craft owned by members of GOBA There is a maximum stay of 48 hour. Boats take priority over fishing, for which you need a licence. Moor as close as possible to other boats and close up gaps if necessary. Help fellow members to find space or raft onto your boat at busy times. Keep children and animals under proper control. There are often farm animals where moorings are on fields Do not light ground fires. Pick up litter and dog mess. Do not tie ropes to GOBA mooring signs. Members are reminded that the use of GOBA moorings is at ‘own risk’ and you are advised to have third-party liability insurance.

• • • • •


Non-EA public moorings are available at Bedford, Huntingdon, St Ives, Ely, Clayhithe and Cambridge.







1 5

1 3 3


3 2




St Ives


10 12








1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Hundred Foot Drain

Stoke Ferry


25 26 23



Little Ouse (Brandon Creek) 22

22 21 18


Ely 9 14







Old West River




24 28






River Lark 20




Judes Ferry

Wicken Lode 11 19

River Cam 19


GOBA Moorings 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25




Bedford Cardington Castle Mills Willington Barford Roxton Eaton Socon St Neots Offord Brampton Godmanchester Houghton Hemingford St Ives Brownshill Hermitage Upware Bottisham Baits Bite Jesus Green Isleham Brandon Denver Relief Channel Salters Lode


River Wissey



Downham Market






Denver Sluice23



33 Relief Channel


Middle Level


St Neots


1 2








Tidal Ouse

Fenlake Meadow Priory Marina (One night’s free mooring) Goldington Great Barford Little Paxton Pits Offord Mailers Meadow Brampton Hemingford Noble’s Field Ferryboat One Pound Pike & Eel Brownshill Aldreth Drain Lazy Otter Stretham Wicken Fen Reach Lode Waterbeach Ten Mile Bank Stop Lock Santon Downham Railway Bridge Whittington


Burwell Lode

Reach Lode

EA Moorings 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Sovereign Quay Old Mills Great Barford Eaton Socon Offord Godmanchester Houghton The Dolphin – St Ives Earith Hermitage Reach Lode (Upware) Burwell Lode Hundred Acre Goldsmere Little Thetford Queen Adelaide Diamond 44 Toms Hole Farm Prickwillow Mile End Farm Sandhills – Littleport Black Horse – Littleport Brandon Creek Station Road – Littleport The Ship Little Ouse – Brandon Brandon Town Windmill Denver Complex Silt Fen Farm Hilgay Downham Market Stowbridge Wiggenhall St Mary Fidwell Fen

Useful Contacts General Secretary and general enquiries Alistair Reid – 01480 493582; 15 Willow Green, Needingworth, Huntingdon, Cambs PE27 4SW Membership and Treasury Mike Mackay – 01366 501365; Mooring – upstream from St Ives Stuart Turvey – 01234 303589; Mooring – downstream from St Ives Roy Wood – 01353 663585; GOBA News Editor Beverley Jenisis – 01234 296698;

Publicity Beverley Jenisis – 01234 296698; Bulletins John Hodgson – 01234 344884; Navigation problems and EA Liaison Alistair Reid – 01480 493582; River situation EA at Brampton – 08708 506506 Floodline – 0845 9881188 Cambridgeshire Boat Watch Telephone 101 quoting BW

GOBA News is published by the Great Ouse Boating Association Ltd, which is registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act in the United Kingdom. Number 22120R. GOBA is run entirely by a committee of seasoned boaters, who volunteer their free-time for the benefit of the Great Ouse boating community. Opinions and statements of contributors and endorsement of advertisers published in GOBA News are not necessarily supported by GOBA. Reproduction in whole or part is strictly prohibited. GOBA is a registered data user. Application forms for membership can be obtained at most marinas on the Great Ouse; from our website –; by post – GOBA, Meadowview, Flegg Green, Wereham, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE33 9BA or by email –

GOBA News Winter 2012  

Tri-annual in house members magazine

GOBA News Winter 2012  

Tri-annual in house members magazine