Page 1



Ipswich Branch Newsletter Autumn 2011 No. 120 The IWA may not agree with the opinions expressed in this publication. They are, however, published as a matter of interest to our members and readers. Nothing printed can be construed as policy or an official announcement unless stated. The IWA accepts no liability for any matter in this publication.


IWA IPSWICH BRANCH YOUR COMMITTEE Chairman Chard Wadley Secretary & Anglia Cuttings Editor Charles Stride Treasurer Spencer Greystrong Membership Clive Saville Publicity Brian Holt Social Secretary Diana Holt River Gipping Trust Lewis Tyler River Stour Trust Sue Brown Pickerel Project Brian Cornell Officer Gerry Crease

*************************** IWA Ipswich -




This edition of Anglian Cuttings is being finalised in a short period between the Editors return from nearly a month navigating the ‘Grand Ring’ and a departure to the Eastern Mediterranean, including Venice, so perhaps a few pictures of their canals next time!! So a special thanks to all the Contributors who sent their information in promptly. The Cuttings does depend on Contributors so if you have a story or items of interest please send them in. I have always wanted to do the ‘Grand Ring’, South Oxford, Thames and Grand Union, but not in a rush, so when the opportunity came for a four week voyage, and after persuading Pauline that it was not such a long time, we set off at the end of August. BW were threatening that the Oxford would run out of water in three weeks so we set off that way round. Their lock restrictions and advice had frightened off all the hire boats so we almost had the canal to ourselves, and no problem with water levels! Even the middle section of the Thames was quiet, we did not have to share a lock until we got to Reading. There were some low pounds on the Grand Union from Milton Keynes northwards, but BW had recommended the GU for hire boats!!

Part of the fascination of the Thames was the sheer variety of different types and styles of craft spotted, and a few examples can be seen below and scattered throughout this edition. The southern Grand Union also surprised us as to how attractive it is, We had not ventured there before (in over 30 years of boating!!) and expected much more urbanisation. It is worth visiting, although you do need some energy with all the locks. (The Editor lost some weight!) I don’t think Chris Coburn has taken Nb ‘Progress’ to the Mediterranean yet, so we are going on a slightly larger vessel but do hope to have the opportunity of taking a few ‘canal’ photos in Venice. Watch this space. Charles

Thames River Craft 3

CHAIRMANS’ JOTTINGS Welcome to another Anglian Cuttings. Hope you have all made the most of the Summer; I must say the weather has been fairly varied and although it is nice not to have too much rain it is playing havoc with the water levels in the canal. Are we never satisfied! The Braunston Working Boat Rally was held on the weekend of 25th and 26th June 2011 and Carolyn and I went along on the Saturday to what was a very good event. There was a procession of over 100 old working boats cruising through the marina from one end to the other and then back up the canal; it was certainly a sight to see and can highly recommend to anyone, who has not been, to give it a look next year. Carolyn and I attended the National Waterways Festival in Burton on Trent at the end of July and had a very enjoyable day. It is one of the best we have attended of late with many more interesting stands, a very good sight layout and a bonus of exceptionally good weather. We filled the whole day with things to see and do which was not the case last year when we felt we had seen everything by midday. Members of the

IWA working on site were very pleased with the event and hopefully this has encouraged new members to the IWA. There are no plans for a festival in 2012 as it is felt that with the Olympics taking place it was better to leave 2012 free and hold the next one in 2013. At the beginning of July we attended the Australian Canal Society’s gathering at the Blue Lias, Stockton. Although we got very wet on the boat coming down Stockton locks on the Friday the Saturday and Sunday were sunny and warm. (see Charles’ report). The winter programme is now fast approaching and I look forward to seeing you on the 14 October when we are having a talk on The Suffolk Punch Trust. Chard

DOUG TOMLINSON ’ S BENCH Doug Tomlinson was a member of Ipswich Branch for many years and had spent several years cruising the canals on Hotel boats. He was also very keen on model railways and many of you may remember him giving us a talk with his friend Brian Wilkinson with a model railway on an ironing board. Doug left a donation to the branch in his will and it was felt by the committee that we would like to remember Doug by putting a bench seat in a position by the River Gipping as it was somewhere Doug would have enjoyed spending a 4

OUR REGION CHAIRMAN REPORTS The subject of recruiting and perhaps more importantly, retaining members has been the topic of a number of discussions. It is no secret that our membership is not growing, sadly quite the opposite, and is also, without wishing to be rude, generally those retired. There is a serious shortage of young new blood. This is one of those subjects that tend to go round in circles, it being far easier to identify the problem, and analyse the reasons, than come up with solutions.

raise money have not gone away, GOBA are surveying their members with a range of options and will doubtless put the findings to the conservators. Let us hope they are more receptive than E.A.

One of the best ways to interest people you meet on and around the waterways is to talk to them, mention some thing that IWA/WRG has done locally. Remind them of the Festival or a river event, and in order to help the job along, IWA have produced a credit card sized list of 10 reasons to join the IWA. These can be obtained from H.O. and through the Branch, and are a good way to spread the word. (They are also listed on the back page.—Editor) We do need new blood.

NWC Regarding the NWC, work is being done mostly “ behind the scenes” to continue to get as good a deal for the waterways as possible. Funding continues to be a concern, as is the decision that E.A. won’t be included until later, by which time any number of things, good or bad, could have happened. Personally, and I do stress Personally, I would like to have seen the Agency dragged in from day one. Then at least we would have been dealing with one body, as it is nothing will change in Eastern Region for a while yet. Alastair Chambers

Welches Dam/River Cam The Welches Dam saga rumbles on. On the Cam the plans by the conservators to

few hours. The bench seat has been put by the river at Hawks Mill,


displays plaque.




commemorative We




appropriate to invite his good friend Brian Wilkinson along to Hawks Mill to unveil the bench. 5

On the 10th and 11th of September the River Gipping Trust had two very successful days demonstrating our local activities to the wider public. Separate reports are included below. Both days took a lot of volunteer time and organisation and our thanks go to all those concerned—Editor

Suffolk Local History Council On 10th September the River Gipping Trust hosted a members’ day for the Suffolk Local History Council. The day began by Spencer Greystrong, Lewis and Mitzi Tyler meeting Local History members at the Needham lakes car park, having sorted out the logistics of the mini bus transport for the end of the afternoon As ever all good plans sometimes do not follow the intended path. What we had not reckoned on was a massive car boot sale with traffic arriving like there was no tomorrow! Trying to identify SLHC members and direct them to the meeting place was somewhat difficult. However, once folk arrived they were escorted in three groups to the start of the walk. First it was a look at Bosmere lock with its attendant stop plank store, where we learned how the Ipswich branch of the IWA had been responsible for the restoration work from 1993 to 1996. Then after braving the traffic to reach the river footpath, it was a gentle amble along the river on what is now known as the Aggregate Trail. Beautiful water meadows and flooded gravel pits made for relaxing scenery as we approached Creeting Lock. Work started here in 1997 and finished in 2004. It was the site of six WRG camps during that period. Members admired the extensive repairs to the accommodation bridge, and were told how both lock walls had been restored. Onward then to Pipps Ford lock which we learned had originally been restored by the National Rivers Authority (fore runner of the EA) to the original plans for this lock as set out in 1790. Our eventual destination was Baylham lock where River Gipping Trust members awaited with coffee. After a short rest, members were given a tour of the lock with explanations of how much work had been done, and what was still to be achieved. Home made soup, thanks to Gerry Crease, was then available to have with picnic 6

lunches. (and very good it was too) The afternoon continued with a Power Point Presentation by Spencer on the history of the River Gipping, as well as there being a display of photographs recording work achieved. This was comfortably enjoyed in the marquee and followed by tea and cakes. Then it was time to return guests by minibus to their cars. All agreed that it had been most enjoyable and informative day. Mitzi Tyler **********************************************************************

RGT –Heritage Open Day The long-range forecast was dire, the short-range not much better but Sunday, 11th September 2011 dawned bright and sunny and so it continued all day. Which was good as we were taking part in the national Heritage Open Day for the first time by opening and manning Baylham Lock. Lewis Tyler adopted a ‘Meeting and Greeting’ stance on the river bridge and welcomed our visitors – they then watched the continuous PowerPoint Presentation and had a look at the static display of photographs, old and new. After which Chard Wadley, Spencer Greystrong and Colin Turner explained the workings and work being carried out on the lock. During the course of the day, in excess of 75 attended from as far afield as Felixstowe and Newmarket and included the Deputy Mayor of Needham Market, Kay Oakes and County Councillor Julia Truelove. Various members of the Trust, including Brian Annis, Don & Shirley Brazinski and Trevor Chatting were in attendance during the day and the general consensus of opinion

was that it was an excellent event and well worthwhile the effort. We are also grateful to Mark Murphy of Radio Suffolk who broadcast an interview and details of the day which helped to draw visitors in. Perhaps it should become a regular fixture for the Trust? LewisTyler See Pages 10/11 for Restoration News 7

AN AFRICAN WATERWAY SAFARI Earlier this year in March Pauline and I set off on a return trip to Southern Africa. Pauline had spent much of her early years in Northern Rhodesia and my first job was on the Union Castle mail boats to South and East Africa. We had been back in 1999, but when our friends decided to pay their first visit , this gave us the opportunity to return once again to this fascinating continent. Parts of the trip took us to new destinations including three nights on the Riverboat ‘Zambezi Queen’ based on the Chobe river, where the four countries of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia meet, and before it flows into the mighty Zambezi above Victoria Falls. In order to reach our destination from the previous stop at Victoria Falls we had to pass through three sets of African Border Posts, and they still use paper forms out there! The last stretch of our journey was by launch until the ‘Zambezi Queen’ appeared round a corner of the river. We were welcomed on board with traditional African singing by the crew.

number of Africa’s wildlife. Most of our viewing was done from the launches and an excerpt from our travel diary illustrates this clearly: ‘A late lunch/high tea and then we set out on our first ‘Sundowner Cruise’. Charles sat on the roof of the launch as

At this time of year it is the end of the wet season for central Africa and the Chobe is in full flood and spread over miles of water meadows on either side, so the ‘ZQ’ itself does not move very far; in the dry season she sails further up river to a second base. The river in this area borders a major National Park and provides water for a huge variety and we spotted Hippopotami, Elephants, Buffaloes, Giraffes, Kudus, and scores of birds of many colours such as Bea-Eaters, African Fish Eagles, Egret, 8

on mounds just above the river flood levels around a large Baobab tree. We were shown around the huts, mud walled with tin or thatched roofs: the Chief’s hut did have a generator and a satellite television! The river provides the access route, to and from, with the villagers mainly using canoes, and the children all travel down river to the school by boat each Monday, returning on Friday. Heron and Oxpeckers. Beer, G & T’s, etc. served. Returned to the ZQ at sunset for a superb dinner.’ We had a ‘Sundowner’ Cruise every evening and each time the number and variety of animals differed. On one morning we battled our way back through two sets of immigration, (more paper!) to undertake a Game Drive in the National Park in Botswana. More variety of animals seen and photographs taken, of the rare Sable Antelope, Impala, baby Crocodiles, Warthogs, Mongooses, more Giraffe and many more Elephants, but no ‘Big Cats’. In the wet season they use the waterholes further inland and usually only appear at the riverside in the dry season, but we had many memories and photos of them from our previous visit.

The other spectacular sights on the river are the African Sunrises and Sunsets, as well as the cloud formations when an afternoon storm passed around us This was a superb return trip to Africa, providing us with many more memories and photographs of old and new places to bring back, and this river safari on the Chobe river was certainly one of the highlights. Charles & Pauline

On another morning we travelled upstream to visit the local village of Kaseru in Namibia. The village is built


RESTORATION REPORT With the return of a number of regular members of our team from various cruises and holidays we have been pressing on with the repair of the west wall of Baylham Lock. Our Grey Wagtail family fledged quite early, and so we were able to return to pumping out the lock in June, which let us put scaffolding against the wall and get on with replacing the damaged outer brickwork skin.

identified in the report however, it became obvious that the problem was more widespread, and by process of taking out brickwork around the few sound areas we quickly realised most of the facing would have to come down.

Our survey report , carried out a few years ago now, had indicated that the brick skin had become detached from the structure in just a few discrete areas, and recommended patching and pointing below the coping stones. Once we had taken out the patches of brickwork

In turn this meant that it would have been unsafe to continue working with the coping stones in place, and what had started off as a simple patching operation ended with the coping stones removed, and the outer skin pretty much stripped off for a depth of 6 feet along three quarters of the lock. With the good weather through the summer however, we have made significant progress in re-building the skin and tying it back in to the main wall structure to the point where at the time of writing we are now ready to replace the coping stones. We even remembered to make a nesting space in the new brickwork for our Grey Wagtail family. Unfortunately when we moved the stones at the start of the operation we discovered that two had been split by frost damage, and these will need to be repaired or replaced.


As a bit of light relief from wall building and brick cleaning, our work group on Wednesday 7th September used the day to clear part of the footpath between

Pipps Ford and Baylham, in preparation for the weekend walk by the Suffolk Local History Council planned for the following Saturday. We were a bit surprised to be overtaken in our efforts by a guy from the council pushing a mower! Apparently they had the same idea, but I’m not sure how he was going to cope with the 8 foot high nettles, brambles and burdock that were blocking the route.

We think the work on the lock chamber will take another three to four sessions to complete, and we will then be moving below the bridge to secure the bank and re-lay the paved area we discovered last spring. The Land owner also has asked us to investigate replacing the sluice mechanism above the mill. If we get the go-ahead for this work, we will be at Baylham for a little while yet. Martin Bird

More Thames River Craft 11

9TH OVERSEAS GATHERING On July 10th the Australian Canal Society Flag flew over the Grand Union Canal at the ‘Blue Lias’ for the 9th biannual UK meeting. A total of 50 ACS Members from Australia and the UK attended. The Australian contingent were once again led by their very enthusiastic and hardworking President Jan Roden, ably supported by John Colville, Membership Secretary for ACS, and his wife Anne. Sonia Rolt was the very welcome Guest of Honour. Ipswich Branch Boats were well represented with ‘Bruizer’, Chard & Carolyn; ‘Fringilla’, John & Joan; ‘Treivalic’, Rita & Clive; and ‘Tixal’, David & Mary Following the Gathering Lunch Roger Squires gave a very interesting update on the proposed BW Charity changes and Colin Edwards gave a fascinating presentation on the 2012 Olympics site and the effects on the surrounding waterways. The main UK organisers for the event were Chard and Carolyn, who put in a lot of work prior to and on the day to ensure another very successful occasion, and now we all look forward to the 10th Anniversary Meeting in July 2013. Charles Stride Formed in May 1988, The Australian Canal Society (ACS) is a society of people with an enthusiasm for canals and other inland waterways around the world, particularly those of the UK and Europe. Many of our members cruise canals and inland waterways whilst overseas. The unique ACS was established to develop this interest in canals. It offers very different experiences for Australians when they travel in other parts of the world. The ACS welcomes all who are curious, fascinated, addicted, or who just wish to reminisce or dream about waterways!


IWA and the Internet I’m sure many of you will be aware that the IWA have a web site and I hope you know about your own branch’s contribution to that site. For those of you who may not have seen either, perhaps this article might tempt you to have a look. Our Home page has three columns – on the left are links to the rest of our site and in the centre are the plans for our winter meetings. Most of the links on the right hand side will take you to a brief history of the various waterways in our area. The link to the Broads will open to a more detailed view. The links in the left hand column will take you to a wide and varied view of what we’ve been up to in the Ipswich branch, particularly the ones headed Anglian Cuttings, Branch Awards, and Weekend Breaks.

Although you can just browse the site by going to if you would like to go further, as an IWA member you can login using a name and password. If you haven’t yet registered on the site you can click on Login at the top of the page and then choose ‘Register here’. Put a tick in the box marked ‘I am an existing member’ and choose your Membership type from the drop down box. It will say how much your membership costs but you don’t have to pay again! Click Continue and you’ll be asked to enter a few details about yourself on the next 2 pages. Don’t forget to record your user name and password before moving on. Once you’ve completed the login procedure you will get an email from HQ confirming your login details.

For something a little different, try the two called Audio Links and Video Links. The Audio page has a recording of the radio play ‘A Maidens Trip’ which tells of a journey in a working narrow boat and butty during the 2nd World War. The Video page has links to ‘The Golden Age of Canals’ and ‘Julia Bradbury’s Canal Walks’. Please enjoy your browsing around our web site. Spencer Greystrong

Even More

Now you’ve done the boring bit it’s time to have a look our own part of the website. You can either click on Regions & Branches followed by Eastern and finally Ipswich or you can type in

Thames River Craft 13

37TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Notice is hereby given that the AGM of the Ipswich Branch of the Inland Waterways Association will be held at the Needham Market Community Centre, School Street, Needham Market at 8pm on Friday 10th February, 2012 AGENDA 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9)

Apologies for absence Approval of the 2011 AGM Minutes Matters arising from those minutes Chairman’s report Treasurer’s report and presentation of accounts Adoption of the accounts Statement of committee size Election of Committee members Regional Chairman’s report

The AGM will be followed by an Illustrated Talk By Francis Hart VENICE PAST & PRESENT

MEMBERSHIP UPDATE We gladly welcome all our new members From Norfolk: Mr J Sharples From Suffolk: Mr & Mrs B Arnkels-Webb; Mr & Mrs J Robinson; Mr & Mrs M & E Fish; Mr & Mrs A & N Breen; Mr & Mrs B & S Phillpotts; Mr & Mrs P & S King; Mr & Mrs R & J Spencer; Mr R Thurlow; Mr & Mrs J & L Grainger; Mr G Talbot & Ms M Allen. From Essex: Mr & Mrs F B & H Wilkinson; Mr A Southgate; 34th Colchester Scout Group


Clive Saville


DATES for your DIARY


BRANCH MEETINGS & EVENTS 2011/12 Branch Meetings held at the Community Centre, School St., Needham Market At 7.30, unless otherwise stated. FRIDAY 14TH OCTOBER Talk by Chris Miller—The Suffolk Punch Trust FRIDAY 11TH NOVEMBER Talk by Brian Cornell—The River Thames FRIDAY 9TH DECEMBER Illustrated talk by Hugh Turner—Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation FRIDAY 13TH JANUARY Members Evening FRIDAY 10TH FEBRUARY AGM/Illustrated Talk by Francis Hart—Venice Past & Present SATURDAY 3RD MARCH — 12PM FOR 1230 Annual Lunch - Compasses Holbrook Pre-Booking with Chard Wadley OTHER DATES River Stour Trust Events commence again in March 2011 See their Website There will be no IWA National Festival in 2012 due to the Olympics and Queens Jubilee Events It will be back in 2013

WORKING PARTY DATES Working Parties are held by the River Gipping Trust at Baylham Lock from 0900 to 1700 every Wednesday and on the first Saturday of each month, unless that Saturday is a Bank Holiday in which case it will then be held on the second Saturday of that month. For further information and to confirm dates contact Martin Bird Tel: 01394 380765 Email: 15

TEN REASONS FOR JOINING THE IWA Campaigns for properly funded waterways Provides a voice for you Helps improve your local waterways Monitors planning applications Supports waterways restoration Provides expert advice on restoration Organises restoration holidays for young people Provides over 5000 days of volunteer labour per year Arranges affordable insurance for waterway societies Educates people about the waterways

USEFUL WEBSITES IWA Head Office - Waterway Recovery Group - River Gipping Trust - River Stour Trust - East Anglian Waterways Association – Aylsham Navigation - IWA Peterborough Branch - The Broads Society - The Australian Canal Society - British Waterways/Waterscape - Waterways Trust - DEFRA Dept. for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs -

The Inland Waterways Association is a non-profit distribution company limited by guarantee. Registered Office; Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, Buckinghamshire. HP5 1WA Tel: 01494 783453 Web: Registered in England No. 612245. Registered as a Charity No. 212342


Anglian Cuttings No.120  

The magazine of the Ipswich Branch of the Inland Waterways Association. No. 120 Autum 2011

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you