we spend much more time these days in maintaining contact with public organisations and agencies to promote waterways and our restorations. It is some years since a council officer had to tell me that not only had 'they' 'changed the goalposts' but the pitch had been moved as well! So we have to keep our eye on the ball – and the pitch! Boats are an essential part of the waterway scene. I am not a boat-owner, but have travelled many waterways over the years – and a number were not even open when I first discovered canals. Most of my colleagues on the branch committee have much more boating experience than I. It is important to continue the focus on boating: do you know any boater who benefits from the work of the IWA but doesn't belong? So what might happen during my spell as Chairman? In the first place, the branch has a committee of volunteers who give a lot of their time for the benefit of our waterways. Have you noticed that there are more names in the committee page at the front of SFP? Extra help means we can be more effective in what we do, and do more. And actually, I think we all derive some pleasure from meeting regularly as friends and from joining activities which benefit our waterways. (There may be many definitions of 'pleasure' of course!) What would I like to achieve? I would like the branch, its committee and its members – • to engage with public bodies and the general public to ensure that our waterways, navigable and under restoration, are valued, • to be aware that the branch and the IWA itself is part of a larger world of people who want the same as we do, • to encourage people who care for our canals to support events which improve or promote them, • and to encourage canal users to value and support what the IWA does for them. Michael Limbrey - Branch Chairman Editor's note: In his opening sentence Michael alludes to the fact that this is not his first term of office as branch chairman. In fact he has served the branch in this role on two previous occasions: first around 1980 and more recently from 1994-1997. With his many other waterways commitments, including the chairmanship of the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust, we are fortunate that Michael could be persuaded to lead the branch for a third term.
Shroppie Fly Paper