January - April 2017 / Issue 174 IWA South West Region
South West Region Committees South West Region Committee: Chairman: *Roger Holmes Members: *Bob Abbott Hon. Secretary: *Ray Alexander *Geoff Harman Sou’Wester Editor: *Joyce Potts *Peter Kelly Navigation Committee Lynda Martin Representative: *Roger Holmes (pro tem) *Tony Pugh Avon & Wiltshire Branch Committee: President: Fred Blampied Chairman: Vacant Hon. Secretary: *Tim Wheeldon Hon. Treasurer: *David Chalmers Events Officer: *Geoff Harman Assistant Events Officer: *Geoff Brown 100 Club Administrator & Publicity: *Vivienne Hook Salisbury Group: *Ron & Myra Glover Jon Van de Geer
Gloucestershire & Herefordshire Branch Committee: Chairman: *Roger Holmes (pro tem) Vice Chairman & Members: Maggie Jones Publicity Officer: *Roger Holmes David Ramsey Secretary: Sue Holmes Treasurer: Vacant
South Wales Branch Committee: Chairman: *Tony Pugh Hon. Secretary: Vacant Treasurer: Henry Brown Membership Officer: *Tony Pugh Publicity Officer: Vacant
Members: Gareth Hughes Mike Synan Gill Thomas
West Country Branch Committee: Chairman: *Bob Abbott Members: Pat Robinson Hon. Secretary: *Peter Kelly Julian Gibson Hon. Treasurer: *Ray Alexander Minutes Secretary: *Chris Jewell Volunteer Co‐ordinator: *Mike Slade *Contact details for these appear inside the back cover. 2
Region Chairman I was saddened to hear of the death of John Gornall recently. He had worked tirelessly for IWA over many years and I was pleased to have him as a friend. There is an article on page 13 with details of his IWA work It is also sad that Martin Turner has decided to resign from IWA and its committees. This has put a strain on the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire branch which I am attempting to resolve. There is a plea on page 4 for volunteers and I hope somebody will come forward. Nationally the way we are dealing with restoration is changing. The restoration committee has ceased and in its place is a restoration hub; the hope is that this will improve the way restoration is managed. I know that some restoration groups in the region have applied for a grant from the Tony Harrison legacy and I am hoping at least one will be successful although I know that a large number were submitted from all over the country. At the AGM, the Christopher Power prize was awarded to Richard Dommett for his work on the Monmouth and Brecon Canal. He was unable to collect it and it was a pleasure to present it to him on Armistice Day after a service of remembrance held at the restored Ty Coch locks. Richard is very much involved with the new style of gate manufacture there. I would recommend anybody who is in the area to go and look. They look the same as normal gates but have an expected life span of 100 years. I am sure in a few years they will be used all over the system. I have made this plea before but your local branch committee still needs more members, you can never get too many. There is also a need for the region to be represented on the navigation committee (see page 20) so please think about it. If you need any further information just contact me. I am not sure when you will be reading this but can I wish everybody a happy Christmas and a happy new year (maybe belatedly). Roger Holmes
YOUR BRANCH (and IWA) NEEDS YOU All branch committees would benefit from new members. This is a very important part of branch work, it is where all decisions are made on a day to day basis and branch policy is formulated. Branches are the life blood of IWA. Being a committee member is not an onerous task. Most branches meet 4 to 6 times a year and it is always a friendly affair. Meetings are held at venues and times to suit members and are not formal in any way. This is a plea for new members: Could you please consider joining your local committee. Whatever talent you have will be useful, for example organising meetings and social events; Meeting with CRT locally; Planning and navigation matters; and representing IWA on other local bodies. These duties do not take up too much time, in fact you can do as little or as much as you want to. Your local branch needs you. May I end up with a plea for you to consider helping IWA in this way. I am sure you will enjoy it and find it satisfying. The contact names for your local branch is listed on page 2 and their contact details on page 23. Give any of them a call or email if you are interested. You will be surprised the difference you will make. Roger Holmes
Notices FORMAL NOTICE OF BRANCH AGMs Each branch will be holding its AGM in March, 2017 Details of the exact time, venue, date and any events around the AGM can be found on pages 5 and 6. Agenda (which is common to all branches) 1 Apologies for absence 2 Minutes of 2016 AGM 3 Report of Chair 4 Treasurer’s report and accounts 5 Report of Region Chair 6 Election of Committee 7 Any other business (previously notified to Chair before the meeting) Immediately after the AGM, the new Committee will meet to appoint its Officers. 4
Avon & Wilts Branch: Saturday, 25th March, 2017
At The Swan, 1 Church St, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1LN There is no parking at the pub but public pay‐and‐display parking is available at the station, BA15 1DQ, where parking time is unlimited. There are some other nearer, but small, car parks with parking limited to 3 hours. Or come by train ‐ there are trains at least half‐hourly from Bristol, Keynsham and Bath, and hourly from Salisbury. 11am: A short towpath walk to Bradford Wharf and eastwards along the Kennet and Avon Canal ‐ no hills! Meet at the far end of the station car park, BA15 1DQ. 12.30pm: Informal lunch at “The Swan” (bookings to Geoff Harman) and tea and biscuits will be available after the meeting. Enquiries and lunch bookings to Geoff Harman on 01179 623812 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gloucestershire & Herefordshire Branch: Thursday, 2nd March, 2017
At The Warehouse, Parliament Street, Gloucester, GL1 1HY There is free parking nearby in the Docks. Drinks are available at the bar. After the AGM, there will be a speaker.
South Wales Branch: Saturday, 4th March, 2017
At the National Waterfront Museum, Oystermouth Road, Swansea, SA1 3RD There will also be an exhibition of the canals in South Wales and a talk on the achievements on the Monmouth and Brecon canal by a member of the Torfaen Restoration Team. 5
West Country Branch: Saturday, 11th March, 2017
At The Merriemeade Public House/Restaurant, 1 Lower Town Road, Sampford Perverell, Nr. Tiverton, Devon, EX16 7BJ Directions: About 2 miles off J27/M5. Take the A361 signed to Tiverton and come off at the first slip road and through the village centre (after passing the signs leading to Parkway Rail Station). The venue will be found towards the end of the village on the left hand side past the village hall.
AGM commences followed by General discussions/brief New Committee meeting followed by a Lunch Break at 1pm
2 ‐ 3pm
Presentation by Robert Hodgson, Chairman of the Friends of the Grand Western Canal, on their “Park ‘n’ Glide” plans to reinstate the “Lost/Last” 2 miles or so of a Somerset Water way into Taunton.
All members and Friends are welcome to attend. No charge but donations welcome. Light refreshments are available. Free parking is in the adjacent car park. The Canal and Towpath can be easily accessed nearby.
IWA Avon and Wilts Branch 100 Club The winners of the Winter Draw for the Branch 100 club were:
Mr L. Gibney
Mr. & Mrs. Blake
£191 was donated to the WRG Van Appeal. Thank you to all who have supported the 100 Club in 2016. Monies raised in 2017 will be given to the Wilts and Berks for their Templars Firs Extension project at Royal Wootton Bassett. For details about the 100 Club, please contact Vivienne Hook on 01179 771373 or email@example.com. 6
News Bridgwater Tidal Barrier Campaign Ray Alexander The Environment Agency continues to make progress in determining both the location of the Tidal Barrier on the River Parrett and the gate type to be used in the construction of the Tidal Barrier. Discussions have been held between IWA and the Environment Agency on the effect of neap tides on the potential for penning.
At a stakeholder meeting in September the Environment Agency announced that the number of potential locations for the Tidal Barrier had been reduced to just 2 sites, namely sites 4 and 5. The key advantages and disadvantages of both sites were explained and a broad range of the likely costs of construction given, with site 4 expected to cost some £20m more than site 5. The greater cost of site 4 reflects, inter alia, the additional width of the river at this point and the requirement for the barrier at this site to have multiple gates, compared to just one gate for site 5. IWA has submitted its comments on the two sites and has stated its support for site 4, although we have said that we would also support site 5 if multiple gates were used instead of a single gate. The number of gate types recommended for the Tidal Barrier has been reduced to just two, comprising a rising sector gate (based on the Thames Barrier Style) and a vertical lift gate (for example the Hull Barrier). A flexibly operated rising sector gate would permit half‐tide penning (impoundment) at 4.45m AOD (Above Ordnance Datum ‐ height above sea level) whereas a vertical lift gate would not. Penning at 4.45m AOD would facilitate navigation above the Tidal Barrier to the confluence of the Rivers Parrett and Tone at Burrowbridge and beyond; this would also enable navigation from the River Parrett into Bridgwater Docks, through a reopened Barge Lock at the Docks. In our initial comments on the gate types we strongly supported a rising sector gate for the Tidal Barrier.
In recent meetings with the Environment Agency it has become evident that we need to modify our vision in relation to how much penning can be achieved in practice, as the tidal regime and silt management requirements will act to limit the number of occasions that water can be effectively penned and thus the upstream benefits obtained. In addition it has become evident that neap tides where the water level fails to reach 4.45m AOD occur quite often on the River Parrett and can sometimes last for extended periods, thus effectively preventing 7
penning on these occasions. Analysis shows that 441 out of the total 695 tides in 2015 reached 4.45m AOD and the longest continuous period when penning would not have been possible exceeded 7 days.
Westport Canal Ray Alexander The Westport Canal runs for some 2 miles from Westport, north of Ilminster in Somerset, to the River Isle. The Canal is no longer navigable throughout, although light craft that can be portaged around the obstacles can still do so. A mile from the confluence with the River Isle is the disused Midelney Lock and Midelney Pumping Station, which pumps the Westmoor Drain up into the river. Immediately beyond here the River Isle joins the River Parrett on its way to Langport and Bridgwater. The Canal plays a small role in helping to drain the Somerset Levels and Moors. As part of its preparation for the 2016/7 winter the Environment Agency has recently used a long reach excavator to undertake a weed cut to clear the Canal, in addition to which the bank has also been cut back. The photograph below illustrate the extent of the work undertaken. Photo taken by Julian Gibson 8
Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Compelling reasons for change at Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust by Carolyn Pascall, Communications, H&G CT It all started in March when a new member of H&G CT volunteered his services to conduct a management review of H&G CT. 33 years since the formation of H&G Canal Society and 24 years after becoming a Canal Trust seemed a sensible watershed for re‐evaluation. The HR consultant of more than 30 years' experience and a Herefordshire resident, Clive Weston, has conducted interviews throughout H&G CT with the leaders of all the key disciplines. Following his presentation to Council of Management, a series of day‐long workshops was organised with everyone involved. In particular, there was much discussion about the vision for H&G CT and the associated mission, in terms of the quantitative measures needed to make progress towards achieving the vision. We have also considered the many challenges H&G CT faces in accelerating that progress. Since its inception in 1983, H&G CT has restored some four miles of the H&G Canal, a major achievement alongside others behind the scenes, including the protection of the entire route in local authority plans, the precedents set by decisions in favour of H&G CT in public inquiries, and the building of capital assets and sources of income to support restoration and maintenance into the future. But with only 4 of the 34 miles completed, simple arithmetic shows the completion of the Canal at the rate so far would take almost three more centuries! Part‐way through this review process, we agreed that moving to a two‐tier structure would be the better option to cater for the fast‐increasing workload ahead of us: a Council, which is the board of trustees, and an executive board to which Council delegates responsibility for H&G CT’s day‐to‐day activities. This kind of arrangement is in accordance with our Articles of Association and is increasingly common in charitable organisations like ours which are seeking to improve their operational effectiveness. The first step is to recruit a chief executive, on a volunteer basis, to lead the executive board, and Clive has enlisted the help of a senior head‐hunter, John Macleod, who has offered to lead us in finding the right person for this vital role. If you are excited by the challenges and rewards of this voluntary leadership role, it could be for you, and an information pack is available by emailing chiefexecutive@h‐g‐canal.org.uk. The first task for the new leader will be to refine our ideas for the new structure formulated to equip ourselves for the next thirty years of restoring the Hereford & Gloucester Canal. 9
IWA West Country Branch Outing By Mike Slade, Volunteer Co-ordinator An outing for some 40 Members and Volunteers took place on Sunday, 11th September on what was a fine and sunny summer’s day. An early start for most involved a coach trip from Bridgwater or Taunton to Exmouth, followed by an 11am boat trip from Exmouth Marina on Stuart Lines’ 200‐seater “Pride of Exmouth” up the River Exe Estuary, passing a number of French Seals basking on a sand bank (no immigration controls here, then?) and a steam train excursion hauled by ‘Tornado’ on its way from Bristol to Paignton. Arrival at Turf Lock was followed by entering the Lock and then passing up into the Exeter Ship Canal for the 5‐ mile trip to Exeter. Throughout the Canal we were kept company by Exeter City Council employees who operated the swing bridges and the Locks at Double Locks. They also opened the Swing Bridge and Lift Bridge at the A379 bypass, although most annoyingly the bypass was closed for road works so we didn’t cause any traffic jams! Arrival at Exeter Quay was at 1.45pm where the 450th anniversary of the Ship Canal was being celebrated by a good crowd, with stalls and a Jazz Band in the Transit Shed in addition to the usual tea shops, restaurants and other attractions at the Quay. In the afternoon the trip moved on to the Stover Canal where we were given a guided tour by members of the Stover Canal Trust of the northern half of the canal, from Ventiford Basin to Teignbridge. We were particularly interested to hear about the remains of three former barges which have recently been unearthed (a fourth remains to be investigated) and also the granite rails of the former tramway at the basin which have also been re‐discovered, although some remain buried under a recently completed cycle path. Further along the canal we saw the restoration work being carried out at Graving Dock Lock, where the trust has been helped by the Waterway Recovery Group over a number of years. The day was rounded off with a Devon Cream Tea at MT Tums, a small café at Teignbridge, when the raffle was drawn and a donation made by the Branch to the Trust as a thank you for hosting the visit. Verdict? A great day out! Photo: The “Pride of Exmouth” on the Exeter Ship Canal ‐ courtesy of Stuart Line Cruises 10
How The IWA Works By Roger Holmes, Region Chairman The Association is governed by a Board of Trustees who are partly elected on a regional basis, and partly elected on a national basis. The procedure for election of nationally elected trustees is covered in IWA's Articles of Association, and for regionally elected trustees is set out in rules devised by the full board of trustees. There are a number of national committees, each reporting to the board of trustees. For each committee there is an agreed role and operating arrangements, with areas of delegated responsibility. The current national committees are:
Waterway Recovery Group
Promotions and Communications
Remuneration (decides remuneration for senior employees)
Restoration is now via the Restoration Hub based at Head Office Awards Panel (produces recommendations for national awards from nominations received) The members of these committees are appointed by Trustees, usually by approving recommendations from the committees themselves following advertisement for members. Appointments are usually for three‐year terms. Some committees have sub‐committees or working groups. The main ones are: Inland Waterways Freight Group, which is a sub‐committee of the Navigation Committee; and Investment Working Group, which is a sub‐committee of the Finance Committee. For historical reasons, the Waterway Recovery Group committee is known as the “WRG Board”, and there is a wider 'WRG Committee' of active WRG organisers and volunteers. WRG maintains a distinct image with its own logo, with the 'WRG Board' delegated by trustees to run WRG's operations, financed from within IWA's budget, with the support of a full‐time member of staff at Head Office. WRG also has regional groups, which operate similarly to IWA branches, but without any fixed rules or byelaws. 11
IWA Events Committee organises and runs some of the Association's major festivals and events. The committee reports to the board of trustees. Canalway Cavalcade is run by a sub‐committee of the Events Committee. The Association has one subsidiary company, Essex Waterways Ltd, which manages the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in Essex. This company is run by a Board of Directors appointed by IWA's trustees, but otherwise operates independently of IWA. Geographically, IWA is divided into eight regions, with the membership in each of these regions electing their own region chairman, who consist of the eight regionally elected trustees. Within each of these regions are between four and six branches (plus any groups and sections, which have similar activities to branches but are not formally constituted as such). The operations of regions and branches are covered by byelaws formulated by trustees. The Association employs a Chief Executive, appointed by trustees, who heads a staff, mostly based at the Association's Head Office at Chesham. The Chief Executive has responsibility for the day‐to‐day management of the Association, and the staff undertake work in running the Association's administration, including the collection of membership subscriptions, general enquiries, running the web site, e‐mail arrangements, receiving and banking income, making payments for expenditure throughout IWA and Essex Waterways Ltd, arranging insurance for IWA non‐profit making corporate members, running the mail order shop, and providing support to all parts of the Association including WRG. Much of the Association's campaign work at a national level is undertaken from Head Office, once policy is set by trustees and relevant committees (mostly Navigation Committee). The team at Head Office also look after publication of Waterways Magazine and other IWA publications and promotional material and lead on membership recruitment for IWA. The Finance Manager at Head Office is also the Association's Company Secretary.
Branch Reports IWA Avon & Wiltshire Branch Report John Gornall
We have sadly to report that John Gornall passed away quietly at home on the 22nd October aged 70. He had fought a long battle with cancer but throughout he remained his usual positive and cheerful self. John had been chairman of the Avon and Wiltshire Branch of the IWA from 2011 until he retired because of his health in March this year. He had been active in the IWA over many years and he became Publicity Officer on the old South Western Branch Committee in May 1972 in a period of great activity in Bristol trying to persuade the City Council that the City Docks should be regarded as an asset and not a liability. He was involved in the work parties such as the one organised by Fred Blampied, our President, clearing and improving Totterdown Basin in March 1973. However, his job took him to London the late 70`s and it was not until 1995 that he returned to Bristol and he was elected to the SW Region Committee in 2001 as Sou`Wester editor, a post he held for 6 years. He also joined the Branch committee, holding several posts until finally becoming chairman, so John`s involvement in IWA, albeit with a break while he was away from Bristol, spanned a remarkable 44 years! Besides the waterways John had a wide range of interests, including photography and music and he was also very active at St Mary`s Church, Stoke Bishop in Bristol. A memorial service was held on 11th November at a packed St Mary`s , including a good turnout of his IWA friends. John was an unfailingly helpful and friendly person and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Our sincere condolences go to his wife Rosemary and his sister Margaret. Geoff Harman Photo taken by Alastair Cuthbertson
Gloucestershire & Herefordshire Branch Report As you will have seen elsewhere, Martin Turner, our branch chair resigned suddenly at the end of October. Therefore I have assumed that mantle until somebody comes forward to replace him. A branch cannot exist without a chair so it is important that a replacement is found ASAP. It is not an onerous task and the few remaining committee members will give all the support needed. If you are interested please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org The branch has continued its successful socials with three very interesting talks on River Severn from the air; Travels in a Druscombe lugger; and the Monmouth and Brecon Canal. In 2017, there are more arranged and details are elsewhere in this issue. The trial automation of the bridge at Sandfield is continuing but further problems have come to light and it is expected that it will now not be in operation until late 2017. The committee has not met since the last Sou’wester but will begin again in early January and hopefully with new members will become fully operational again. There is a Tall Ships Festival in Gloucester in 2017 and I hope the branch will play its part as usual. Roger Holmes
IWA South Wales Branch Report On 11th November, Richard Dommett was awarded the “Christopher Powell Award” at Ty‐Coch Flight, Richard’s home from home for the last four years. It is made each year by the IWA to the person who is considered to have made the most important contribution to Inland Waterways in the South West of Britain and consists of a Trophy and cheque for £1,000. Richard’s dedication to the regeneration of canals and communities is well known and recognised with an MBE in 2003. However, since his retirement from British Waterways in 2004, he concentrated his efforts on the Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals and the Somerset Canals, later concentrating only on the Monmouth and Brecon canal, to our infinite gain. Over the past four years, he has been absorbed in the regeneration of the Ty‐Coch area: the restoration of the Ty‐Coch Flight of eight locks; and the manufacture and installation of the Modular Lock Gates, of which five sets have already been fitted. In partnership with the Kennet and Avon Trust and Swansea University, 14
Richard has championed for this type of lock gate for years, oak is not sustainable and will only last twenty‐five years, these will last one hundred and can be assembled on site. Please refer to the local canal websites in South Wales for the most up to date information. The Monmouthshire, Brecon & Abergavenny Canals Trust http://www.mbact.org.uk The Neath & Tennant Canals Trust http://www.neath‐tennant‐canals.org.uk/ The Swansea Canal Society http://www.swanseacanalsociety.com Friends of the Montgomery Canal http://www.montgomerycanal.me.uk/mwrt.html Tony Pugh, Branch Chairman
IWA West Country Branch Report This Branch keeps very busy indeed and a précis of some of its’ activities are as follows: The Bridgwater & Taunton Canal continues to be a challenge to us all. No sooner do our growing bands of Volunteers attack a section that is in need of a serious towpath litter pick or waterside debris collecting, then an Observer reports another area in need of attention. If we delayed long enough for downstream current or wind direction it would all probably end up in Bridgwater’s Dock. Here it would join that which drifts naturally (or intentionally!) from the surrounding suburbs but either way we collect enough to fill a Working Platform so much so that CRT have now provided a full sized locked skip for us to fill at least every other week! Variable water levels have also been a problem, especially at the Taunton end where, due to silt build up, the bottom is far too close to the top! Recently we used CRT’s Usk Valley Work Barge to ‘plough’ our way up to Firepool Lock but with a draught of only 22” we only just made it! We also checked out the depth of the link channel from there to its confluence with the River Tone only to find that since this Branch ‘deep cleaned’ this cut some 3 years ago the silt bar has returned (as we guessed it would). We did estimate that shallower craft could still possibly get across this into the River and to the pontoon by the Town Bridge for shopping and coffee at Morrison’s. Regarding Taunton, it’s good to note that 15
the new ‘COACH’ project, with its new building sited on the banks of the Upper Tone opened its doors for business on the 20th. October. It is offering training on kayaks, canoes, paddle boarding, archery, cycling, and other activities. With meeting rooms and a café, we would like to support it even if only as customers. During our regular working parties and observations along the canal we have built up a list of where it may be possible to turn the 43ft workboat as it is likely that this canal never needed winding points it being only a one‐day trip from one end to the other with no need for any Tran‐shipment facilities. This is very much “work in progress” and we have also supplied it to IWA‘s Navigation committee who are collecting said info in order to build up a national picture for eventual wider issue. CRT would also like to see it as will our local boaters in due course. We continue our essential lobbying to the authorities for the correct solution in the design and location of the new Tidal barrier which is planned to be operating by 2024. It needs to maintain Navigation to/from the sea, into the River Parrett with the ability to contain a water level that will allow the Bridgwater Barge Lock to be used again which is vital in our view. This could then allow access towards Langport and beyond and once past Oath sluice offers a continuous route of about 35 miles which would be very attractive for recreation, tourism and boat business in general. Langport itself sees the future and the Town Council has just purchased their Town centrepiece, namely ‘Cocklemoor’ frontage onto the River along with the defunct but repairable slipway, both from the Environment Agency. They already actively encourage boaters to use these non‐tidal waters and in fact seven boat owners at Riverside properties and an active kayak club already exist. Our involvement with CRT continues to build up with the occasional hurdles as we try to fit our work parties to their maintenance plans and policies they operate within. There have been, and will be, various liaison and user group meetings with an important one last 27th October which finalised our joint application that we prepared for the IWA’s Tony Harrison Legacy Fund. This is for the funding and building of a new Slipway within the Bridgwater Docks which we are promoting to help increase the B&T Canal’s future usage and give easier access for all. I finalise this report by wishing all Readers a Healthy Christmas and an Active New Year. Bob Abbott, Branch Chairman
IWA Avon & Wiltshire Branch Salisbury Group
Our October meeting had to be cancelled due to the speaker being ill.
“CRUSING THE BRITISH WATERWAYS IN THE 1930’S, 40’S AND 50’S” : We had an excellent turn out for our November meeting when one of our own members, Nick Grundy, gave us this fascinating talk based on the adventures of his Grandparents, Reg and Marjorie Grundy, who were pioneers in exploring the inland waterways for leisure purposes. Nick has been able to carry out this research by using old family photos. Amazingly his Grandparents had thought to take many photos of their boating expeditions, many of which are labelled and dated, together with the surviving log books written in school exercise books by his Grandmother. The first photo we saw was of a homemade canoe built in 1898 by his Grandfather, Reg Grundy, followed by a rowing boat on the River Dee taken in 1927. Reg must have been one of the first people to hire a boat for pleasure; we saw pictures of their hire boats “Rambler” in 1934 and “Roma” in 1937 and 1938. There is now a gap between 1939 and 1945 due to WW2, but then we saw pictures of the first boat that they purchased. “Heron” was bought by Reg in 1945, a clinker built narrow beam cruiser, converted from a ship’s cutter. Heron was moored on the Montgomery Canal below Frankton Locks; they brought the boat up the locks just before they fell into dereliction in the mid 1940s. We saw pictures of the Grundy family on board “Heron” in 1946 on the River Thames and in 1947, 1948 and 1949 on the Llangollen Canal. At this time the Llangollen Canal was virtually disused and under severe threat of closure. What was so interesting was that Nick even has pictures of “Heron” on the Llangollen Canal together with the famous “Cressy” with Tom Rolt on board. Nick’s Grandparents were there at the start of the IWA and were actively involved in the early campaign to save the waterways. Nick’s Father, Martin Grundy, together with his brother Crick Grundy were children in the 1930s but soon appeared in photos on board Heron, and later on as young men. They explored many waterways, including the River Avon, the River Dee and the Oxford Canal. It was interesting to see photos of “Heron” struggling along almost derelict canals and read Marjorie’s comments about the state of these waterways, most of which are now popular cruising routes. For this talk Nick found some contemporary photographs to compare with the historic photographs. Some places have changed very little while others are barely 17
recognizable. In 1950 “Heron” cruised to the first IWA National Rally of Boats at Market Harborough, in 1952 to the Llangollen Rally with 20 other boats, then in 1953 to a rally on the Macclesfield Canal. Sadly, Nick’s Grandparents died in 1955, three years before he was born. Nick’s talk finished with photographs of him with his parents as a baby on “Heron”. ”Heron” was then sold in 1962. Many of the photos that Nick found were tiny and in poor condition; others were old negatives. However modern technology enables these to be seen clearly for the first time. They were brilliantly shown on the screen together with notes in his Grandmother’s hand writing from the log books. Martin Grundy, Nick’s Father, subsequently bought a converted commercial nar‐ row boat “Beatty” with iron sides and elm bottom which has been altered, modi‐ fied and reconstructed on several occasions. Nick is now the owner of “Beatty”. With his family he has cruised extensively around the canal system and “Beatty” had the honour of representing the County of Merseyside in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames in 2012. Together with Nick’s sons, there have now been four generations of the Grundy family involved in the Inland Waterways of Britain. These photographs and log books that Nick has inherited are a valuable record of the waterways history of that time. Picture: Martin steering with Reg and Marjorie, just after the 1953 Macclesfield Rally Ron & Myra Glover
Situations Vacant West Country Branch Dear Member, IWA West Country Branch is extremely active, working across the four counties of Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset, aiming to generate new, and support existing members, whilst working hard to campaign and lobby for the wider benefit of our waterways, towpath and bank‐side users. To help us perform an even better job across our local waterways, we hare hoping to find volunteers who might be able to help us out with the following roles on our friendly, committed branch team: Membership Officer: A new position and, therefore, the volunteer interested in this role can make it their own. You will be able to analyse basic membership reports, respond to monthly statistics of members lost/ gained and make contact with those members to establish their preferences. You will be part of a team but will also need to carry out the role independently, reporting to your fellow committee members and officers. Assistant Secretary/Minute Secretary: This is an increasingly active position supporting the current Hon. Sec. in an overarching administrative role dealing with correspondence in its various forms. Advising other committee members at and between Committee meetings, this person will also need to record and circulate minutes plus initiate new ideas and interests. Website Editor/Social Media Co‐ordinator: A new and increasingly important post to support the promotion of the work of West Country branch via our website and email communication. The role could be developed further to include Publicity and Press Liaison. A key aspect is to be seen supporting and advising the Committee as well as our membership and growing volunteer workforce. Website and social media training will be offered by IWA to support you in the delivery of your role. If you are interested in any of these roles, please do get in contact with me, Bob Abbott via my email address: email@example.com Bob Abbott, Chairman IWA West Country Branch 19
The region needs a representative on the national navigation committee (navcom). They meet about 6 times a year on a Saturday morning and discuss diverse subjects. For example recently the transfer of EA waterways to CRT winding holes, licence fees and HS2. Interested? Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org for a chat. Roger Holmes, Region Chairman
Forthcoming Events IWA Avon & Wiltshire Branch Salisbury Group Programme Venue: The Green Dragon, Old Road, Alderbury, Salisbury, SP5 3AR Thursday, 19th January 7.30pm “Canal and River Trust Work Parties on the Kennet and Avon Canal” ‐ a talk by Derrick Hunt. Thursday, 16th February 7.30pm “Crofton Pumping Station, its preservation and the challenges ahead” by Peter Turvey, Chairman on the Crofton Branch of the Kennet & Avon Trust. Thursday, 15th March 7.30pm “Boat Safety” by Andrew Phasey, Technical Officer of the AWCC (Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs). All enquiries to Ron & Myra Glover ‐ contact details can be found on page 23. Or Jon Van de Geer ‐ 01722 412841 20
IWA Avon & Wiltshire Branch Programme Venue: Saltford Hall, Wedmore Road, Saltford, BS31 3BY Access from the main Bath Road, where there are regular bus services from both Bristol and Bath, is via Norman Road. th Thursday, 5 January, 2017 7.30pm “Canadian Watery Adventure” a talk by Ron and Myra Glover. Cruising on the west coast of Canada. 7.30pm Thursday, 2nd February “The Design and Development of Wilderness Trail Boats ‐ a 45 Year Obsession” a talk by Ian Graham. Saturday, 4th March 2.30pm Branch AGM. See details on page 5. All enquiries to Geoff Harman ‐ contact details can be found on page 23.
Gloucestershire and Herefordshire Branch Meetings Venue: The Warehouse Climbing Centre, Parliament Street, Gloucester, GL1 1HB which is just by Gloucester Dock ‐ There is a bar where simple food is served. Free parking nearby. January, 2017 No meeting Thursday, 2nd February 7.30pm The River Severn from the air Worcester downstream and the canal. Part 2 of the excellent talk we had in September, 2016. Thursday, 2nd March 7.30pm AGM followed by a speaker ‐ details on page 5 Thursday, 6th April 7.30pm To be Advised Parking: Recently there have been problems with the car park being full but there is an alternative at St Michael's Square Car Park ‐ Gloucester GL1 1HX which is just a couple of minutes walk past the Warehouse and always has spaces. 21
Waterways in the IWA South West Region
Avon & Wilts Branch Rivers Avon & Severn: Tidal navigation that is the responsibility of the Bristol Haven Conservancy, downstream of the second Severn crossing Avon Navigation: Hanham to Avonmouth, including River Avon & Bristol Docks Kennet & Avon Canal: Hanham Lock to Froxfield Bridge North Wilts Canal Somersetshire Coal Canal Wilts & Berks Canal: Kennet & Avon Canal to County Boundary 1m West of Shrivenham Gloucestershire and Herefordshire Branch Coombe Hill Canal Gloucester & Sharpness Canal Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Leominster Canal Lydney Canal River Severn: from Mythe Bridge, Tewkesbury to a point on the tidal navigation which is the seaward extent of responsibility of the Gloucester Harbour Trustees, downstream of the Second Severn Crossing Stroudwater Navigation Thames & Severn Canal River Wye: Hay‐on‐Wye to Severn Estuary South Wales Branch Brecon & Abergavenny Canal Glamorganshire and Aberdare Canals Monmouthshire Canal Neath & Tennant Canals Swansea Canal River Usk River Wye ‐ Hay‐on‐Wye to source West Country Branch Bridgwater & Taunton Canal Bude Canal Cann Quarry Canal Chard Canal Dorset & Somerset Canal Exeter Ship Canal Grand Western Canal Liskeard & Looe Canal Par Canal River Parrett Somerset Navigations Stover Canal Tavistock Canal River Tone Torrington (Lord Rolle’s) Canal Westport Canal 22
Contacts Bob Abbott Roger Holmes email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Ray Alexander Vivienne Hook email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Jewell Geoff Brown email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Peter Kelly David Chalmers email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Joyce Potts Myra Glover email@example.com 01722 710322 firstname.lastname@example.org Tony Pugh email@example.com Ron Glover Mike Slade firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Geoff Harman Tim Wheeldon 01179 623812 firstname.lastname@example.org 01225 723890 email@example.com
Next Issue of Sou’Wester The next issue of Sou’Wester is due out in May, 2017. Please send all copy to the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org by
Saturday, 1st April, 2017. Front cover image: Richard Dommet, recipient of the Christopher Power Award; and Lord German, the IWA Parliamentarian of the Year. Photo taken by Gareth Jones, Torfaen County Borough Council. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of IWA. The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) is a non-profit distribution company limited by guarantee. Registered Office: Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, Bucks, HP5 1WA. Tel. 01494 783453 Registered in England no. 612245. Registered as a Charity no 212343. www.waterways.org.uk 23
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