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1 to attempt (eg the fulfilment of an obligation) by exertion of effort; 2 archaic to strive to achieve or reach ~ vi to make an effort to do something n a serious determined effort

Northampton Branch Newsletter - August 2011

Blisworth Canal Festival is another success Even the showers couldn’t dampen the success of this year’s Canal Festival. Visitors flocked in and enjoyed all that Blisworth had to offer. Boaters couldn’t recall when they last saw so many trade boats in one place and the (continued on page 24) visitors loved all that the waterfront presented.

The IWA was founded in 1946 to campaign for the retention, restoration and development of Britain’s navigable waterways and for their fullest commercial and recreational use. The IWA is a registered Charity (no. 212342) , whose work is supported by members’ subscriptions.


AA unique opportunity to experience the delicate flavours of Indian cuisine at its best!





EDITORIAL MUSINGS I hope you all have had a good summer and enjoyed the sunshine (when it was out). After last year going to Stratford on Avon with so many locks, it was mentioned that less locks for this year might be a good idea(!), so we went up the Ashby Canal. It was the first time we had been there and really enjoyed it. We left our moorings at Stoke Bruerne on a lovely Friday evening and moored before the tunnel. On Saturday it was pouring with rain (one of the few times I have enjoyed going through Blisworth Tunnel: it was drier in the tunnel than usual). After seeing a friend at Gayton, the rain stopped and we made our way to Weedon. At Buckby Locks we eventually shared them with a hire boat. Eventually is because they thought the first lock was a single and the only instructions they had been given was a 15 minute video of how things worked. As we were leaving the bottom lock they thanked Linda and I for our help. It was then Linda told them that they had another six to go! They got the hang of things by the time we got to the top. On the Ashby Canal the scenery is lovely, very rural, with the nearest town, Market Bosworth, about a mile away and all up hill, but the walk is rewarded. The battlefield site is well worth a visit as is the steam train that runs on weekends only. The tunnel almost at the end of the canal has a roof which gets lower as you pass through heading for the winding hole. The Ashby Canal Trust is doing a great job in restoring this canal and they have a small shop at the end to help raise funds. There is a good pub, The Globe, in Snarestone village. We had a good meal there and was made most welcome. If you haven’t been on this canal, I would recommend it: it has no locks, which must be a bonus.

REGIONAL NEWSLETTER ON-LINE Members are reminded that Aegre, the East Midlands Region newsletter which features information about all the Branches in the Region, including Northampton, is available (in full colour) to read on-line on the IWA website at: aegre_online Or just go to and follow the links to Regions & Branches, then East Midlands




13th 8pm IWA Northampton Branch Meeting at The Walnut Tree, Blisworth. Speaker David Bond — Villages on the Nene 17th & 18th Foxton Inclined Plane Trust Festival (see page 23) 25th 6pm Music Festival 60’s 70’s 80’s, Navigation Inn, Stoke Bruerne 26th 7.45pm IWA MK Branch meeting at Pavilion Community Sports Club, Worelle Ave, Middleton, MK MK10 9AD off Tongwell Street A4146 (V11) (Rodney Evans 01908 376449). Speaker “My life on working boats” by Beryl McDowell 30th 8pm Boat Inn Stoke Bruerne 40’s sing-a-long


1st & 2nd 11th 8pm

Stoke Bruerne Village at War Weekend (see pages 16 & 17) IWA Northampton Branch Meeting at The Walnut Tree, Blisworth. Speaker David Blagrove — Saving the Kennet and Avon

November 8th 8pm

IWA Northampton Branch Meeting at The Walnut Tree, Blisworth. Speaker David Bond — Bridges on the Nene 12th 7.30 - 8pm IWA Northampton Branch Annual Dinner, The Heart of England, High Street, Weedon (see page 10)

Buckingham Canal Society Work Party Dates September 8th, 11th, 22nd October 6th, 9th, 20th November 3rd, 13th, 17th For further details contact Athina Beckett on 01908 661217



Branch Chairman’s Jottings by Bernard Morton As I write this there are many more weeks left of the summer and early autumn “boating season”. I know this is a term which will infuriate dedicated enthusiasts and continuous cruisers, most of whom like to keep on the move (or like to think they are able to if they so wish!) in deepest winter, only to be thwarted when the ice becomes too thick. Realistically, though, a large majority do tend to “winterise” their boats around November time, patiently waiting to get going again, usually towards the end of March. So, for all you summer fine weather cruisers, how has it been for you so far? Pretty good, from all reports. Okay, it hasn’t been fantastically sunny or really hot, only in short bursts, but what it has been is – DRY. In the Northamptonshire area, we have probably missed out on most of the rain; time and again it seems to have worked around us, even the thunderstorms early in August. And (at the time of writing this) the amazing thing is that we haven’t suffered any water shortages. How has this happened? Have we all been extra careful in saving water at locks by sharing; have boat movements been less than normal despite there being more craft around; have BW found, by some magic, underground sources of water? Whatever the reason, things have kept on the move despite dropped levels which I found noticeably apparent on the Southern Oxford. I was on this canal in July after completing a memorable two-week trip which embraced the GU south to Brentford, the Thames upstream to Lechlade and then on return via Duke’s Cut onto the Southern Oxford and so back to home waters via Banbury and Braunston. No real problems anywhere and it was good to be on the Thames again, deep water, not that many boats around and little lock queuing. The last time the Morton family cruised the Royal River was in 2007 when we unfortunately coincided with the disastrous summer floods and got no further than Radcot Bridge, several miles short of Lechlade. This year we made it all the way and actually nosed Lexa into the undergrowth at the approach to Inglesham Lock. I was also able to meet former Northampton Branch Chairman Peter Payne and his wife Liz, now Chairman of the Cotswold Canals Trust – Peter is the lock-keeper at St John’s Lock at Lechlade – and present to Liz a £2,000 cheque for the IWA’s Inglesham Lock Appeal. This sum represents the

7 bulk of the surplus funds raised at the National Campaign Festival at Becket’s Park over the last May Day Bank Holiday weekend – a wonderful achievement indeed by all concerned. The local Sea Cadets, St John Ambulance and Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance are also beneficiaries of money raised at the Festival.

Liz Payne receives the Northampton IWA cheque from Bernard Morton

I have to confess that getting back onto the Southern Oxford at Shuttleworth’s Lock was like hitting a brick wall – so many moored boats, hold-ups at locks and levels which were generally well down. Progress was very tortuous at times! What did encourage me, though, was the apparent low incidence of boats not displaying a current licence, which must prove that BW’s policy of chasing up miscreants is having a positive effect. On the national scene, I understand that BW Chief Executive Robin Evans is favouring the idea of groups and organisations “adopting” a waterway in their local area - all part of BW’s now fast-approaching move to charitable status. On the surface this seems to be a logical step. As far as our Branch is concerned, the Northampton Arm would appear to be the obvious candidate for adoption. I would like to hear members’ views on this possible development which I am sure in the longer term would aim to go much

8 wider than litter picking. My contact details are on page 35 of this Endeavour. Meanwhile, the regular social scene is upon us again. As I have already noted in previous Endeavours, attendances at last year’s monthly social meetings, as well as the Annual Dinner, were well down on previous years. Your committee has still not discovered why. Please do let us have your feedback as we are here for you. The first social meeting of the season is at the Walnut Tree Inn at Blisworth on Tuesday, 13th September at 8pm when the speaker will be David Bond with an illustrated talk on “Villages on Nene”. We look forward to seeing you all from September onwards. The Annual Dinner is on Saturday, 12th November, a slight adjustment to the usual date and a definite change of venue. This will be the Heart of England pub at Weedon, which is well situated in the midst of a heavy concentration of Branch members. Shall we be seeing a few new faces amongst those there? Let’s hope so – it’s a good, convivial evening and you can moor your boat nearby which takes care of the drink-drive problem. Remember, that as your Chairman, I am always at the end of a telephone or email and I would love to hear more from you, especially on contentious issues which raise their heads from time to time.

Northampton Branch

Annual Dinner Saturday, 12th November, 2011 The Heart of England, Weedon, 7.30 for 8pm Please bring a raffle prize he menu, which will be based around the standard Marston’s menu, and prices will be available on the Branch web site (see page 3) at the end of September. If you are not on the internet and require details, please ring Eric Young on 01604 862988 or 07973 739833.


Historic Boat Rally breaks record An astonishing 113 historic narrowboats attended the ninth annual Historic Narrowboat Festival at Braunston on 25th and 26th June — the largest attendance of such narrowboats at any rally since the end of the working days on the canals. They came from all parts of the canal network, and not only broke last year’s record of 93 but also the dream of organiser Tim Coghlan of hosting 100 historic boats at one time. A delighted Tim said: “The Braunston Rally is now the event of its type on the English inland waterways. We have come a long way since our first Rally in 2003 when just 29 boats attended. Even that seemed a lot at the time.” Certainly the Braunston Rally was a remarkable sight. To accommodate the quantity, 22 historic boats were moored as tightly as possible in the historic old Oxford Arm in the marina, with the remainder on the main canal outside – in places six abrest. An estimated 7,000 visitors arrived over the two days, watching the parades that took several hours. Doubts were raised in some quarters about whether it is getting too congested, but Tim Coghlan is undaunted and wants more. “We have a data base of some 150 historic narrowboats in working order which (at one time or another) have attended this and past rallies. We are already planning for another increase!”

BRANCH MEMBERS WELCOMED We extend a warm welcome to the following IWA members who have joined Northampton Branch since the last issue of Endeavour Mr R Rawlings, Kettering Mrs L Holden, Long Buckby Mr R Stonebridge, Anston, Sheffield Mr W P Carey, Wellingbrough Mrs T Moore, Northampton Mr C Toomer, Northampton Members who have moved to the Branch

Mr G & Mrs H Lane, Braunston M & Mr D P Reed, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

We look forward to meeting you all at Branch events


“BEER AND CANALS SHARE THE SAME INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE” Over thirty working or historic boats, trading boats and fifty or so modern craft converged on Stoke Bruerne for the Canal Museum’s Annual Gala on 10th-12th June. The weekend kicked off early with an evening performance on the canalside by the waterborne Mikron Theatre Company with their production of Hell and High Water on the Thursday. On Friday evening there was a get-together for boaters and lovers of traditional music with entertainment from the Stony Stratford Folk Ensemble and their guests, a visiting group of musicians and dancers from Hungary. The event continued over the weekend with a full programme of events on the canalside. Early on Saturday morning a delivery of beer arrived on traditional working narrowboat Nb Cassiopeia from Marstons Brewery at Burton-on-Trent and seventeen barrels were duly offloaded to the villages two pubs, The Navigation and Boat Inn, in

Andrew Woodward, proprietor of the Boat Inn, Stoke Bruerne, takes a delivery of Marstons beer carried by traditional narrowboat Cassiopeia crewed by Mick Poyser. (Photo: supplied by Marstons Brewery)

11 readiness for the festival. Rachel Whillock, Marston’s brand manager, said: “Beer and canals both played a critical role in the industrial revolution, and share the same industrial heritage. We are delighted that we could step back in time to support the Friends of the Canal Museum to experience this traditional and forgotten method of transport.” The Museum Green hosted a number of stalls, including the ever-popular Towcester Ladies Market with their home-made produce; Back Cabin Antiques; a tombola; children’s face painting; sweets; cakes; jewellery; greetings cards and many more. There were also traditional craft demonstrations, including roses and castles painting with Sue Woodward and Brian Mayland; signwriting by Colin Dundas of Spiderworx; traditional clothing and dress of the canals and on Saturday, for one day only, there was a display of artefacts and memorabilia from the Stratford-on-Avon and Midland Junction Railway, which once had a station at Stoke Bruerne. On both days there were demonstrations of model boats and working boat handling skills on the water, a chance to board a trip boat to the tunnel and back, buskers were performing on the waterside and the local Pitsford Home Guard were on parade. Saturday evening saw performances of two one-woman plays by Kate Saffin of the Roundham Lock Theatre Company. These told the story of Isobel, a "trainee" boatwoman delivering essential cargoes during wartime and also the real life antics of two "ladies of the night" who set up shop on a canal boat moored on the Oxford Canal just after the war. Early on Sunday morning the Sunbeam Vintage Motor Cycle Club rallied with pre1931 motorbikes at the Museum car park before setting off on the 17th “Rose of the Shires” run touring the Northamptonshire countryside, returning to Stoke Bruerne in the afternoon. Sadly the poor weather conditions caused the suspension of some activities on Sunday, but allin-all the Gala was a great success. Photo by Shepherdmoon


Treasurer’s Report: It was agreed to donate £40 to the IWA Chelmsford Branch in lieu of expenses for Colin Edmond, who was the speaker at our April meeting.

Branch Dinner There had been no response from members as to suggestions for the Annual Dinner. Following discussion, it was agreed to investigate alternative venues and also change the date so as not to coincide with half term. Saturday, 12th November, was agreed upon. Entertainment was also discussed, such as a singer or a disco, but costs would be an issue.

Boat Gathering /Campaign Festival The festival committee deemed it a success in attracting boaters, but disappointed in numbers of the general public attending despite good publicity in newspapers, radio and posters. Beneficiaries to be Inglesham Lock Appeal £2000, Sea Cadets, St. John Ambulance (Crusader boat) and Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.

Planning Plans for new house fronting onto canal at Blisworth were reviewed. No objections. Blisworth Marina: conversion of part of existing building to flats discussed – no objections Cosgrove: 7 dwellings to be erected on wasteland near footpath tunnel on same side of canal as Barley Mow – no objections

GRAND JUNCTION BOAT COMPANY Boat Building and Fitting, Marine Engineers, Electricians, Agents for Yanmar Diesel Engines CANAL MAINTENANCE YARD, BLISWORTH ARM, NORTHAMPTON NN7 3EF Tel: 01604-858043


OLD STAGER writes…. “THE MOST MAGICAL NOSTALGIA CURE” The Sunday Times regularly produces a delightful column entitled “From the Archive.” One, awhile ago, particularly caught my eye. “We cruise, and Britain’s mouldering glory slips by” was the headline. Published originally in June 1965, the article, by Nicholas Tomalin, told of how he “sailed” London’s canals and found himself “visited by the ghost of our industrial past”. He began: “The trouble with England, some people say, is that we are crippled by romantic nostalgia, condemned to half-hearted progress by our sneaky worship of quaint old-fashioned charm. The most magical nostalgia cure is to be found in the secret, anachronistic world of the canal system. I am now wild for progress after a week on the inland waterways in and around London.” Nicholas Tomalin — sadly he was killed aged 41 while covering the Yom Kippur war in October 1973 – cruised for five somewhat rainy days and met only five pleasure cruisers actually moving and seven working narrow boats. As a result, he asked: “Why thousands and millions of people don’t spend their free time sailing the canals is inexplicable. And why the British Waterways Board, cherishing a wasting industrial asset, doesn’t spend more time and money wooing paying pleasure customers seems to me a scandalous waste of the most beautiful, mysterious and moving open-air exhibition of honest industrial design in Britain.” He tells of how the owner of Cumberland Basin had to bully BWB to let her develop the place, concluding: “There is something about the mechanical logic of water and the largely abandoned tow-rope that seems to have forced canal makers to build beautifully. All canal shapes are simple, solid, rounded and elegant. The bollards, the characteristic bridge shape, the way the sluices in the locks spray the stinking water into white hygienic beauty – it never goes wrong. For the mature, the content, the nostalgic and the welladjusted, the canals are indubitably the best kind of messing around with boats.” The mid-sixties was when I became seriously interested in canals. I recall several occasions giving way at locks to working pairs and, on the straighter stretches, drawing to one side to allow them “a clear road ahead”, always receiving a courteous nod of thanks. Birmingham, admittedly, scared the family stiff from a distance, but we experienced nothing untoward when we finally got there (in a hire boat which required a measure of “roughing it” -- those were the days!) apart from the obligatory detritus around the prop, and even that was cleared relatively easily. And then, of course, there was all the industrial activity lining the canalside – boy, was it atmospheric! As we all know only too well, BWB (as it was then), constantly chivvied by IWA, eventually got its act together, generally in an acceptable direction although sometimes to the extent that enthusiasts worried that the whole scene we loved so intensely was being destroyed! Then realism took over and it was recognised that the trend towards pleasure and amenity usage was inevitable, within reason. But today it’s nice to recall that we were just about there before this bandwagon began to roll.


Cosgrove’s 200 Year Old Iron Trunk Aqueduct wins public vote Wolverton and Greenleys Town Council announced during the summer that the project to restore the Iron Trunk Aqueduct on the Grand Union Canal has won a £60,000 award from Big Lottery Fund’s: The People’s Millions 2011 public vote. Hilary Saunders, Chair of Wolverton & Greenleys Town Council, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that we have won this award and really want to thank everyone who supported the project and voted for this fantastic project. This is a huge amount of money for us and will go towards restoring and repairing our wonderful 200 year old aqueduct” The Council entered the Iron Trunk Aqueduct on behalf of a local partnership and was fully supported by British Waterways, owners of the aqueduct, and other local organisations. The Council was one of 2,000 applicants nationally, making it through to the final six in the Anglia TV region. The project will involve cleaning and repainting the aqueduct in its original colours and returning it to its former glory. The project will also include replacing information boards around the site for visitors, school children and canal users, as well as clearing vegetation to make the aqueduct more visible and to encourage more visitors. James Clifton, British Waterways’ Enterprise Manager said: “We are really grateful to everyone who has taken the time to support this unique local project. The local community really has pulled together to help us secure this fantastic award. Now we have this money in place we can get on with starting the restoration which we hope will be finished by the end of the year”.



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Friday 30th September – Sunday 2nd October For the fourth year in succession, Stoke Bruerne is preparing to go back in time some seventy years to the days of the Second World War. Although it is not uncommon for such an event to take place at such sites as Heritage Railways or similar enclosed locations, Stoke Bruerne is unique in that its re-enactment of history happens in a village to which the public have unfettered access and at the same time it encompasses a present-day working canal. This has the effect of giving the event an atmosphere second to none which has enabled it to win multiple awards in 2009 and 2010. David Blagrove, Chairman of the organisers, The Friends of The Canal Museum said: “Little development has taken place in the last seventy years along the canal side that has altered the aspect significantly, so the event has a setting that is unrivalled for both its intimacy and its ambience.” This year visitors to the event will be able to enjoy forties tribute artistes, singer Lola Lamour and George Formby look-alike Paul Casper, while the Village Hall will be hosting a Tea Dance provided by Ruzzit Buzzit (with full instructions for novices). A visit is expected (subject to security clearance) from the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Winston Churchill PC and Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and security will be provided by a detachment of the local Pitsford Home Guard Company. There will also be a demonstration by the Women’s Land Army and members of other 40s living history groups. On the Friday night there will be a forties sing-song round the piano in The Boat Inn, and on Saturday evening a Swing Dance at nearby Roade Community Centre (coach from Stoke Bruerne).

17 Various items of military hardware will be on display and there will be an assortment of working boats tied up along the canal. A representative of the Ministry of War Transport will be on hand to ensure that traffic is kept moving and that boatmen do not spend valuable working time in the licensed premised beside the canal. It is hoped that a fly-past by a vintage Hurricane aircraft from the Shuttleworth Collection will take place on the Sunday afternoon as a finale (weather permitting). Refreshments, hopefully off ration but not Black Market, will be available on both days. Because of the open nature of the village, all this is provided free, with the exception of some of the indoor events, but a donation of £5.00 per adult would be greatly appreciated to help cover the cost of the event. All surplus proceeds go to the organisers, the Friends of the Canal Museum, a Registered Charity, who thereby manage to support the Museum and its work. A car parking charge of £2.00 per car will also be levied by local operators For further information please see Boaters wishing to attend will find an entry form on the website.

Book Review “Jess Carter and the Bolinder,” by Geoffrey Lewis (Soft back,£6.99, SGM Publishing, This follows on from his first book about Jess Carter and the Oil Boat. It covers Jess and Luke Kain collecting a new boat with a diesel Bolinder and its workings on route from Uxbridge Gas Works to Birmingham with a load of tar during the last days before the Second World War. It revels the problems encountered with a Bolinder diesel engine, such as the difficulty starting it and reversing, and gives details of the route covered. A good book that allows you to imagine that you are actually travelling the route, with overnight stopping places. It also has a twist in it from the crime days of Geoffrey Lewis and the policeman D.I. Russell. A excellent book with fiction and facts combined throughout. TC The IWA may not agree with opinions expressed in this magazine, but encourages publication as a matter of interest. Nothing printed may be construed as policy or an official announcement unless so stated, otherwise the Association accepts no liability for any matter in the magazine. Neither the editor nor IWA can accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the magazine, and opinions stated are those of individual contributors. We will, however, gladly publish corrections if notified. The editor reserves the right to shorten or modify articles published in the interests of clarity or space. The Inland Waterways Association is registered as a charity (No. 212342)


Northampton Dragon Boat Race A TEAM including a Ju Jitsu sensei and black belt members from a Northampton martial arts club rowed their way to victory at the annual Dragon Boat Race on the River Nene in Northampton’s Midsummer Meadow.

This popular event, organised and run by the Rotary Clubs of Northampton— this year it formed part of the Nene’s 250th anniversary celebrations— saw 36 teams take to the river to raise money for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and other local charities. After 36 gruelling heats and two semi-finals, a team of electrical contractors from Earls Barton locked horns with a team of firefighters from Brixworth and members of the GODO ju jitsu club in a closely fought final. Tony Epps, aged 29, a black belt at the GODO club and a member of Team Tonbo, which won the race for the second time in two years, said: “It is fantastic. We are really, really pleased. We had a couple of injuries, one or two people got hurt on the mat before today, so we have chopped and changed and

19 come along for a laugh and to have a barbecue and we are now very happy.” The second placed team was Zero Seven Papa One, a team of firefighters from Brixworth. Tony Reid, aged 47, a firefighter, said his team had been looking forward to the event all year. He said: “It has been an absolutely fantastic day. We came here last year for the first time and have obviously come back again. It is a fantastic event, with a wonderful atmosphere and we are raising money for the air ambulance which obviously works very closely with us and is a very worthwhile cause. We have been looking forward to this all year.” The third placed team was Row Die, a team from Earls Barton-based firm E7 Contracting Ltd. Wayne Butler, aged 46, from the team, said: “We now have the full set of medals. We have won, we have come second and we have now come third.” Away from the racing, children enjoyed a funfair, while teams defied the weather by having barbecues and young local singers and bands played on the Y Factor stage. The air ambulance also made an appearance and flew overhead. Organiser and chairman of the Rotary Clubs of Northampton Dragon Boat Festival Committee, Colin Caldicott, said organisers were hoping to have raised £30,000 this year, adding to the £210,000 raised in previous years. He said: “It has been a bit wet, we got saturated on Saturday setting up, but today we have been so lucky and it has been another great day.”

The winning team GODO Ju Jtsu


IWA responds to HS2 consultation IWA has submitted its response to the Government’s consultation on the preferred route of the new HS2 railway line. IWA’s interest is where the construction or tunnelling work might affect the existing or prospective waterway network. On in its proposed route from London Euston to Birmingham, the preferred route crosses the canal network 12 times, one of these being a crossing of a current and viable canal restoration project. IWA has said that the project should employ construction methods that would allow works to take place without closing the canal or alternatively minimum disruption during the winter stoppage season. There are additional concerns that the crossing of the Lichfield Canal at Cappers Bridge might not be high enough to prevent the newly built bridge having to be demolished and the consequential affect on the restoration of this canal. IWA has recorded its surprise and disappointment to see from the ‘Environmental Features Legend’ on the maps that whilst other heritage and nature conservation sites have been identified, there is no recognition of the significance of Conservation Areas. Consequently there is a concern that the route may have been planned without any attempt to avoid its adverse impacts on Conservation Areas. Download the full document that forms IWA’s official response to the HS2 consultation

Sunshine and Success for The Waterways Festival 2011 The huge swell of support from boaters, volunteers, exhibitors and visitors has generated the most successful National Festival for IWA since 2007. The Waterways Festival, staged in Burton-on-Trent from 29th to 31st July, also enjoyed beautiful weather for the three day event which was a welcome return after a run of mixed weather for the last four years. Latest figures from the festival organisers revealed:

• • • • • •

Around 25,000 visitors attended the event over the three day period 360 boats moored along the Trent and Mersey Canal – stretching 1.5 miles in either direction of the festival site. 28 historic boats on show 350 camping units stayed on-site 100s of volunteers were involved in staging the festival

Over 250 exhibitors - ranging from boat builders to local crafts people Commenting on the success of The Waterways Festival 2011, Ian West, IWA Festivals Chairman, said: “It’s been a delight to return to Burton which has been a beautiful site for us to stage this year’s festival. We have been really encouraged by boaters, local authorities and of course, the general public, who have attended and supported the IWA’s longstanding campaign for the use, maintenance and restoration of Britain’s inland waterways. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us this year – it’s been a truly spectacular event.”


Thank you your approach to selling was so much more professional than the ‘other’ boat company

along the canal. Barbara O (seller) Just like to say thanks for not only selling my Dad’s boat, but the kindness, for keeping me in touch with the whole process and helpfulness you showed. Linda D (seller) Again may I offer deepest thanks for your kind encouragement and patience over this drawn-out procedure. Richard & Pat F (buyers) Many thanks. It was a pleasure working with you and you have made what was a bit of a traumatic experience for us both as painless as possible. In particular we have appreciated your good communication and very professional style. Andy & Julie W (sellers) Thank you for doing a great job of keeping in touch with us. All the very best and thank you again for your excellent service Gloria & Norman L (sellers) Just wanted to say thanks for everything – you have helped our little dream to happen. We can recommend you as a broker 10 out of 10 . Helen & Pete K (buyers)

rugby boat sales

We don’t need to shout about it. Others do it for us. At Stowe Hill Wharf, Weedon –also diesel, pump out, gas chat, smile ….…01327 342211



Foxton's even bigger Festival, 17th & 18th September, 2011 The Foxton Inclined Plane Trust ( is looking to restore the Inclined Plane, a major part of our historic Victorian heritage on the Grand Union Canal, Leicester Section. The Trust, together with their partners on the Foxton Locks Partnership, have, since 1980, made great progress in clearing the site, reinstating the canal arms servicing the inclined boat lift and progressing a major feasibility study for the remainder of the restoration; but they do need to do a great deal more. As part of raising awareness and their funding, FIPT are again organising a festival at Foxton Locks. This will be held over the week-end 17th and 18th September 2011 and builds on the great success of last year’s event – it will be bigger and better. During Saturday and Sunday there will be over 100 covered stalls, a variety of catering concessions, beer tent, Viking village re-enactment, a large array of canal boats, vintage vehicles, children’s rides, inflatables, pets corner and many other attractions. As a major enhanced attraction there will be a high-quality programme of musical entertainment, including, on Saturday evening (10pm finish), a programme involving leading tribute bands featuring; The Paul Weller Experience, Stereosonics, The Boobytraps and Live4ever. There will be something to suit every taste for the low, low price of £2.50 (accompanied children free) or £5 after 5pm. Foxton in September attracts a great many visitors and lots of boats are expected to stop over or pass through. This is a great time to visit as the site is in an excellent condition following several years of improvement and maintenance. FIPT Chairman and festival programme manager Steve Bowyer said: “Our volunteers are working really hard to make this our best ever event. We are catering for all tastes, including a new evening musical event. All we need now is support from the public. We say ‘Enjoy the delights of a summer weekend at this major event at Foxton Locks!’” Foxton Locks, Gumley Road, Foxton, Leicester, LE16 7RA Stall holder and festival enquiries to Festival Director, Ann Bushby at Enquiries regarding boat moorings to Andrew Shephard at


Blisworth Festival is another success Jan Andrews reports:Villagers next to the boats opened their gardens and the local allotment society added colour to the event at Candle Bridge with their display of produce … and chickens! Their 200 jars of home-made chutneys and jams sold out before the end of the first day! Our focus on the word ‘free’ was enthusiastically received with so many positive comments about is being a refreshing change. There was no charge for parking, mooring or entry with free walks, talks and children’s activities. People did just what we intended. They came and enjoyed our canal and village, and they used the extra money to donate to the variety of national charities that we invited and treated themselves at one of the 100 trade stands on offer. Our local groups and organisations were out in force. The Heritage Society provided a wonderful guided walk which received rave reviews as did their census record boards around the village and display on an old work butty. These offered an insight into the history of some of our historic buildings and dwellings and drew the attention of countless visitors. Blisworth Art group transformed the Village Hall into a welcoming gallery, showcasing the amazing talent in the village. The Scouts sold cakes, stitchware and bric a brac, the WI plants and the Church and Chapel teams kept visitors fed, watered and entertained. These alongside the many craft stalls, trade stands and exhibitors spread around seven village venues kept visitors enthralled. This was a truly community driven event with all of the money raised going back into

25 As a not too insignificant aside and as resistance to name dropping is low, Tony Hales, Chairman of British Waterways had unknowingly decided to attend the event and tracked down one of the Directors of the Canal Partnership. He showered praise on the high standard of the


event, particularly singling out the fantastic whole village approach and the strong community involvement. There is an old saying that there is no rest for the wicked — traders and exhibitors are busy trying to book for next year and new ideas are already being put forward by villagers! Thank you to all who came and supported us this year — see you next August.

Visitors enjoying the waterfront The pictures on these pages were taken by Tony Marsh


Another council pledges support for Buckingham Canal restoration project South Northamptonshire Council has pledged its full support for the restoration of the disused Buckingham Canal, which closed down in the 1960s. The Buckingham Canal Society (BCS) would like to see the waterway restored and reopened, using the original route wherever possible, and is seeking to develop partnerships with landowners, local authorities and other organisations to help it achieve its aims. At a meeting of South Northamptonshire Council’s Policy Review and Development Committee in July, following a report from council officers, members gave their backing to the restoration plans and approved a partnership agreement with the BCS. The council will now work to:

Keep BCS informed of any consultations on plans and strategies, or other opportunities for the canal society to contribute to the development of its plans;

Provide advice on grant funding opportunities and assist BCS in applying for funds;

• Consider opportunities to provide the canal society with equipment and materials; and •

Introduce the canal society to other organisations that may assist its restoration plans.

The project is expected to have a positive social and economic impact on the area as well as being of environmental benefit. Restoration of the canal would provide new employment, create a range of leisure opportunities, increase the diversity of the natural environment and preserve important structures and artefacts. Terry Cavender of the Buckingham Canal Society said: “The support for the restoration from the district councils through this partnership enables us to further demonstrate the community support for the project. This support is essential when making fundraising applications to grant giving bodies to enable the progression of the restoration project. “Along with our existing partnerships, such as those with British Waterways, Continued on page 28


SUPPLIES Northamptonshire We are a family run, customer friendly business based adjacent to Bridge 32 at Nether Heyford. Our service point is clear of moored boats making your stop quick and easy. We offer the following services:

• • • •

DIESEL – always competively priced PUMP OUT – no meter clock here BLUE TOILET FLUID ODORLOS – organic waste tank treat-


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SOLID FUELS – all types of smokeless fuel or coal. Plus firelighters, sticks and logs.

CHARNWOOD STOVES – all sizes of multi-fuel stoves with or without boilers

MORRIS OILS – popular grades of engine oil plus water resistant grease FUEL SET FUEL CONDITIONER Most major credit cards accepted. Open: 8.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 1.00 pm on Saturdays

RESTAURANT º BARS º BOAT TRIP DINE IN STYLE IN WOODWARD’S CANALSIDE RESTAURANT 01604 862428 The Little Mermaid Canal Shop Stoke Bruerne Danish Gifts, Glassware Wooden Toys, Jewellery, Candles, Canal Prints and Flower Decorations **

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Buckingham Canal Society Buckinghamshire County Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council and Buckingham Town Council, the support of South Northamptonshire Council is viewed by the society as a major step forward as we move further into the delivery phases of the restoration work.” Councillor John Townsend, Chairman of the South Northamptonshire Council’s Policy Review and Development Committee, said: “The restoration of the canal is an exciting and ambitious project, and one that the council feels is worthy of its long term support. During, and on the completion of the restoration of the canal, it will enhance the existing environment bringing real benefits to those living and working along its route from Cosgrove through to Buckingham and the surrounding area. We look forward to working with the canal society to help take the project forward.” Since its opening in 1801, the canal has been used to transport bricks, coal and manufactured goods as well as imports from the London Docks. It also provided transport for agricultural produce from the farms and villages along its route. The waterway to Buckingham ran a total of just under 11 miles from the Grand Union Canal at Cosgrove Lock along the Stony Stratford and Buckingham Arms. The original route passed through Old Stratford, Deanshanger, Thornton, Leckhampstead Wharf, Thornborough Mill, Maids Moreton Mill and Bourton Meadow. Much of the canal is now dry, and parts have been built over. Certain sections of the route would need to be created anew due to the development that has taken place in and around villages since the canal’s closure. Early in 2010, BCS commissioned an outline feasibility study regarding the restoration of the entire length of the canal arm. The report concluded that it was a feasible project, although significant funding and commitment will be required. BCS is actively seeking new members and welcomes participation at all levels from the community. For more details, please visit or email






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IWA submits response to Government consultation – a new era for the waterways The Inland Waterways Association has submitted its detailed response to Defra’s consultation document – A New Era for the Waterways – on the Government’s proposals to transfer the canals and rivers managed by British Waterways into a charitable body. The 25 page response by IWA not only answers the questions posed by Defra in its consultation document, but raises other issues that Government has, in IWA’s opinion, missed and that the interim trustees need to additionally take into account. It also offers practical advice and solutions for many of the issues raised. Clive Henderson, IWA National Chairman, said: “IWA still sees clear advantages for Britain’s navigable inland waterways being managed by a third sector body. However, several concerns to the consultation proposals remain, primary of which is the apparent lack of funding necessary to maintain the waterways in a safe and usable condition, a matter on which IWA recently gave evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group chaired by the Rt Hon Alun Michael MP. “We believe that the indicative funding currently does not appear to stack up in delivering a sustainable charity. It appears conservatively to be some £15- £45 million p.a. short of what is required. Incidentally, by way of comparison, that is between around 180- 550 metres worth of the Government's proposed High Speed rail project. Additionally, BW has already revised its figures for charitable giving down from £8.5m as stated in the consultation document to £5.5-6m. We always thought the figures were too optimistic, and they still may be. “IWA believe that much of the overall funding deficit could be ameliorated by adopting simple solutions such as Government retaining the liability for the pension fund for current retired BW employees and simple indexing of the Government's funding settlement. “We additionally hope that our response document will inform and aid others in their efforts to respond fully to the consultation.”


Northampton Borough Council Making it easier to enjoy the riverside at Becket's Park The Northampton Chronicle and echo reported the following a few weeks ago: Work has started on improving the riverside walk running through Becket's Park linking Midsummer Meadow with the new Northampton Marina. In the last few years the riverside has been transformed with new a new 80berth marin, public art and improvements to the pathways running from Sixfields to Midsummer Meadow. This new phase of work will see the final section of the riverside walk completed just in time for the Riverside Festival in August. Northampton Borough Council is investing almost £300,000 in improving the Becket's Park promenade. Park goers will be able to walk along the new resurfaced footpath or enjoy watching the world go by on one of the new park benches. The project will also see new bins and lighting added to the park. Councillor Tim Hadland, Northampton Borough Council's cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise said: "For years the Nene has been one of our town's hidden treasures. But more and more people are discovering that the river is the perfect place to relax thanks to the new marina and improvements along the riverside from Sixfields to Midsummer Meadow. "With a number of major new developments planned on the south bank of the river, the walk will no doubt become an easy and attractive pedestrian link to the town centre." The footpath will reopen at the end of July in time for the Riverside Festival, a free family event celebrating the past, present and future of the River Nene. Editor’s note: The new footpath is now completed. No report of the Riverside Festival was available as Endeavour went to press.




All advertisements must comply with the requirements of the Trades Descriptions Act and avoid misrepresentation of goods offered for sale. The Business Advertisements (Disclosure) Order 1977 requires that businesses seeking to sell goods must clearly indicate this in an advertisement.

COMMERCIAL RATES (suggested donations) 1/4 Page (box) £12.00 1/2 Page (box) £25.00 Full Page £40.00 Discount of 10% for 4 issues Other sizes by arrangement

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BRANCH SOCIAL MEETINGS Regular Branch Social Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month from September to May inclusive at

THE WALNUT TREE INN, BLISWORTH at 8pm All members and non-members welcome. Food and drink available

Next meetings: Tuesday, 13th September David Bond -Villages on the Nene Tuesday, 11th October David Blagrove - Saving the Kennet and Avon Tuesday, 8th November David Bond – Bridges on the Nene Tuesday, 13th December Richard Thomas – A day in the life of a Thames Tug The next edition of Endeavour will be published November 2011


WHO’S WHO IN NORTHAMPTON BRANCH 2011/2012 Bernard Morton

Branch Meetings

07785 375787

Graham Treagus

E-mail: bernard.morton

E-mail: graham.treagus


Branch Secretary Sandie Morton E-mail:sandie.morton

Membership Secretary & Planning Officer Geoff Wood E-mail

Deputy Chairman & Police Liaison Officer Eric Young E-mail:

Treasurer & Planning Officer Alex Madisons E-mail alex.madisons

Boat Gathering Sub-Committee Members John Pomfret (Chairman), Bernard Morton, Catriona Butler, Michael Butler, Peter Canfield, Jenny Copeland, Peter Copeland, Kevin Cousins, Roger Hasdell, Sandie Morton, Jenny McCalman, Eric Young, and Sam Samuells (also occasional member:Ian Bekusch)

Newsletter Editor Tony Clarke 07939 977859 E-mail tony.clarke

Non-Committee posts Sales: Catriona Butler 01604 473756

Website & Publicity Officer Lynda Payton E-mail:lynda.payton

Archivist, Endeavour Advertising & Distribution Roger Hasdell 01604 767212

Profile for The Inland Waterways Association

Endeavour - August 2011  

Newsletter of IWA Northampton Branch

Endeavour - August 2011  

Newsletter of IWA Northampton Branch