Ipswich Branch Newsletter Autumn 2012 No. 123 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 email@example.com Secretary & Anglia Cuttings Editor Charles Stride firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Treasurer Spencer Greystrong firstname.lastname@example.org Membership Clive Saville email@example.com Publicity Brian Holt firstname.lastname@example.org Social Secretary Diana Holt email@example.com River Gipping Trust Lewis Tyler RGTRep.firstname.lastname@example.org
Pickerel Project/River Stour Trust Brian Cornell
email@example.com Officer Gerry Crease firstname.lastname@example.org
*************************** IWA Ipswich - http://www.waterways.org.uk/ipswich
C H STRIDE
When is a Drought not a Drought? When it is the wettest summer on record!! seemed to enjoy it and were soon picking up some of the skills required.
Back in March, when we were out in our shirtsleeves, we were certainly not expecting the ’summer’ that we have just had but I hope that you were not too badly affected. Certainly our part of East Anglia did not seem to get quite as wet as the rest of the country, and now our garden is dry and the grass going brown! We were also lucky with our holidays. The week or so before we were due to set off on our round Iceland voyage, no not on Black Swan, on the slightly bigger ‘Boudicca’ from Fred Olsen, the Weather Forecasters were gleefully advising that The Jet Stream was at last moving north and should take the bad weather above Scotland—Thank You very much! As it happened we sailed seas that that for much of the time were as smooth as glass and calmer than most canals. Then in August, when we were out with family on Black Swan, although we had three lots of heavy rain, two of them were overnight so only the one damp day, not bad for this year.
The Next Generation In Training We have now said Farewell to BW and Welcome to the Canal & River Trust, we will have to wait and see what benefits this move does bring to our Waterways. The Waterways in our area are, of course, not affected at the moment so we all continue to liaise with the EA, as is shown in two of the four reports, included in this edition, covering the local activities. Thank you, once again, to the Authors for your input, it very much helps to keep us all up to date on the efforts and successes of all our local volunteers. Well done, also, to all of them. Charles
August was a special occasion for us, the first time that two of our Grandchildren came with us and we were able to introduce them to narrow boating. They
Front Picture - 'Bridge, West of Stoke Bridge, Suffolk'. Painted by Robert Burrows c. 1847 and owned by the Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service. http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/bridge-west-of-stoke-bridgesuffolk-12129 3
CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS Summer is now coming to an end and our winter meetings will soon be starting with the first meeting being on 12th October with a talk titled ‘World Circumnavigation’ from Peter Hesketh. A complete list of the winter programme is at the end of this magazine. working at Pipps Ford and Baylham Locks making reasonable progress. If you have not seen the progress at Baylham Lock then please come along and visit at one of work parties either on a Wednesday or the first Saturday of each month (you never know we might make you a cup of tea). I am looking forward to catching up with you all at our first winter meeting in October. Enjoy the late sunshine it may prove to be an Indian summer. Chard
As I am sure you are aware the Canal and River Trust formally took over the work of British Waterways on 2 July 2012. Several events took place at various locations around the waterway network on the 12 of July as a formal launch. Hopefully this will prove to be a change for the better with people being inspired to volunteer within their areas and make a difference to the canal system. Carolyn and I have already experience volunteers at certain locks on the system helping boaters where necessary. An example of this happened when we were at Audlem Mill on the Shropshire Union Canal. Two volunteers, who we were speaking to, took a call to assist a lady through the locks as her husband had been taken ill. Despite the wettest drought we have had for 100 years we have managed to keep
BRANCH OUTING MAY 11/12 2013 With many thanks to Brian & Diana Holt, they are once again planning a Branch Weekend Outing for May. The trip hopes to include Tower Bridge, a boat trip to Greenwich, a visit to the restored Cutty Sark, and then on Sunday a visit to the Kew Pumping Station and a Musical Instrument Museum. Costs still to be confirmed.
Initial Booking Enquiries to Brian & Diana Holt. 4
River Stour Trust Restoring and conserving the River Stour Navigation
More boats on the Stour The River Stour Trust can report two major events this year, and both are causing extra interest in the Stour. Both also highlight the restrictive nature of the Stour boating byelaws.
enthusiastically used by visitors, and shows once again the potential for appropriate use of the river. The second event is due to happen at the end of September. A wooden River Stour lighter, sunk in the mud in 1914, dug out and refloated by the River Stour Trust in the early 1970s, and named John Constable, has been lovingly restored by craftsmen of the The Pioneer Trust at Brightlingsea,(See Article Cuttings 122) She is due to go on display at Ipswich docks over the 25/26 September before being taken to Sudbury for trials and final adjustments. It is planned to operate her as an electric powered trip boat based in Sudbury and starting in spring 2013. The restoration, largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has been one part of a group of works called “Managing a Masterpiece”, all with the aim of understanding, conserving and celebrating the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This brings together many local statutory and volunteer organisations with a significant interest in the area. The website www.managingamasterpiece.org has more details. The original plan had been to operate the lighter at Flatford, but the restrictive nature of the byelaws made it impossible. The inclusion of Stour lighters in so many of John Constable’s paintings makes this restoration an event of international significance.
First off was the low-key inauguration of a Saturday waterbus service between Dedham and Flatford, using the Trust’s electric powered launch Trusty 2. This is the only powered craft allowed to operate on most of the river under the Stour byelaws. Following agreement with The Boathouse restaurant at Dedham and despite some opposition from the usual suspects, the Trust has built a new jetty purely for the waterbus.
The aim is to provide a quiet and regular waterbus facility for the weary and less able between these 2 notable beauty spots, and runs from Easter until October. It is hoped that in a small way some reduction in car movements around Dedham Vale will be achieved. Despite some highly unusual flooding in May, this service has been
Continued page 14 5
What a relief! After several Wednesdays of drilling and chiselling at White House Farm to hand carve the mortice and tenon joints, a small sub group of the workparty were there to see the massive timber frame for the Baylham sluice gates completed.
Raymond Hopkins. The next job will be to make the sluice gates themselves, and fit the running channels to the frame. All we have to do then is take the whole thing apart , transport it to Baylham and re-construct it on site, like a rather large lego kit
With the kind help of a high loader from the farm, and a lot of muscle power, the oak uprights were fitted into the ground beam, before the top beam, complete with winding gear, was lowered onto the uprights.
Meanwhile over the Summer the main work party successfully completed the work to the Pipps ford overbridge, with all four flank walls re-built, the deck cleared, new wooden handrails constructed and the exposed metal beams treated. The land owner is still keen to see the work here extended to return the immediate area around the lock to its historical setting and we are
With a bit of jiggling from the high loader, all the timber joints slotted into place perfectly, and tests with levels showed the frame to be square and true. Quite an achievement for our first venture into massive joinery, and much thanks for our resident advisor, 6
surface. This is where we are concentrating our efforts at the moment. We recently had a visit to site by the senior trustee of the landowner that owns the lock and its surrounding area, and he has expressed an interest in restoring the mill itself to working order. Whilst work on the mill would be both outside our remit and our skills, we have offered our assistance in clearing the mill race and the enormous amount of silt that has accumulated above and below the mill. To see the mill back in working order alongside the restored lock would be a real treat.
now in the throes of making our submission to the Environment agency for the further bye-wash work , weir and footbridge that would make this possible. With the need to get these approvals in place, we won’t be doing any further substantial work here until next Spring, which will fit well with the planned winter work at Baylham .
So we have quite a lot of work on our hands at the moment, and some exciting projects planned for the near future. As always, we would welcome any volunteers who would like to come along to either our work parties, any Wednesday or first Saturday of the month. Martin Bird
Back at Baylham, the water levels finally dropped enough for us to press on with re-enforcing the bank below the bridge, ready to take its final brick
TRUST NOTES The Trust Directors continue to meet on a regular basis and following the ‘Realising The Dream’ proposal, reported on in the last edition, useful and helpful meetings have been held with the Environment Agency, and other bodies. It is clear that in order to progress the Trust will need to commission a formal Survey, which will not be cheap, and investigations are underway in this regard The Trust continues to get requests from a range of other Bodies and Associations throughout the region for their Presentation Talks. These are proving successful, not only in raising funds, but also in raising the profile of the Trust. We are seeing the evidence of this as the Secretary is now being contacted by members of the General Public on various ‘Gipping’ matters. Recent enquiries have concerned footpath clearance, road signage and drainage problems! All items are passed to the appropriate Authority. Please do let us know of any other organisations that you are connected with that would like to have a presentation. We have 45, 60 and 75 minute versions. We do look for expenses and a contribution to funds. Lewis Tyler 7
The Thames Jubilee As the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee approached we were caught up in the excitement for the mighty pageant on the Thames being planned for her. We could not decide whether to be there to watch the procession pass by our chosen viewpoint on the riverbank, or should we watch the TV coverage which would surely show us everything along the route with an informative commentary about the vessels taking part. Finally we decided to go to the Thames to see the event live and record the TV programme to watch later! On the day before the pageant we went to Teddington Lock to see a few of the participants pass through. Here a man told us he was waiting for a local Thames skiff which had lost a rowlock overboard that morning when the crew practised tossing oars (raising the oars to the vertical in salute to the Queen). When the boat passed through the lock we saw its unusual 6” high, elegantly curved brass rowlocks and noticed the one odd “normal” one which could only take a shorter oar. The man told us his diver son had been summoned to find the missing one, and he also admitted guiltily that he was hoping for a rower to be poorly next day as he was the first reserve for all the man-powered craft. I wonder if he was lucky? A group of ladies had been at Richmond earlier where they had seen the Royal Barge,
Gloriana, leave for the event. They told us it is not only rowed but also has a powerful electric motor and bowthrusters! However, our biggest smile
was caused by a long-serving Thames passenger boat passing upstream through the lock with passengers on board. As it entered the lock the crewman in paintspattered navy blue overalls leapt ashore with a line to work it through. The boat was obviously being painted while travelling, but only to look respectable from a distance! Close to, it resembled a chimp’s handiwork! On the great day we caught an early train into London and claimed our spot by Covent Garden to wait for the parade to start. The day was grey, with a chilly wind and showers becoming heavier later in the afternoon, but the crowds were cheerful, good-humoured and in party mood. The old Flanders and Swan song sprang to mind: “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midsummer rain”, although many around us were not speaking English. The river was closed to boats except the Thames Clippers which zoomed past during the morning until they too moored up and the river was empty of traffic apart from a few security boats.
At last the parade appeared upstream of us, led by bell-ringers on a bargemounted floating belfry which was to be answered by church bells along the route. With a stiff breeze from behind us it was disappointing not to hear them, nor the bands which led each section, but we saw the river full of boats of every shape and
by Susan Brown
size. Of course the spectacularly beautiful Gloriana, rowed by a team of oarsmen including Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent, was a highlight of the event, and the sight of the Queen standing on the deck of Chartwell attracted an extra loud cheer.
and now the oldest working passenger vessel on the Thames. A horde of pleasure craft completed the parade,
However, most of the boats were not extravagantly grand but were a miscellany of little and large, old and new, pleasure craft and working vessels which gave people from every quarter of maritime life the opportunity to join the tribute to Her Majesty. For instance, there was a contingent of Dunkirk Little Ships – the private pleasure craft which went to Dunkirk in 1940 to help evacuate retreating British troops from the beaches, a smart parade of Scout boats, each flying the flag of a Commonwealth country, RNLI lifeboats, wartime RAF rescue launches and the familiar yellow “Duck” tour boat. Three Cory tugs processed line abreast across the river (without their normal
with cruisers, narrowboats, launches and commercial riverboats (including yesterday’s paint job!) crowded with partying passengers.
Despite the day being marred by the awful weather, we were filled with admiration for the Queen who stood on Chartwell’s deck for the entire cruise. More disappointing than the weather was the BBC’s appalling coverage which preferred to show their tedious everyday “celebs” rather than the highlights of this unique event, or to give an informative or interesting commentary. Never again will we see such a spectacle of boats on the Thames. Thank goodness we went to see it.
string of refuse containers!); there was a vast fleet of man-powered boats of every description filling the river, fireboats played their jets on the water, and elegant Salters’ steamers including Nuneham and Alaska, their first (1888), 9
Bure Navigation Conservation Trust
A Grand Day in August
My association with the Aylsham Navigation began one autumn day some years ago when I was in the front room of an old lady's house in the village where I live which nestles in the Bure valley. In one corner was an old grandfather clock made by a clockmaker in Great Yarmouth which I remarked on and she nonchalantly said “oh yes it came up on the wherry”.
which is now a rural idyll was once far more industrial with marl pits, brickworks, mills and coal-yards – all it seemed linked to the availability of transportation by water. Fast forward some years and I am by now a Parish Council chairman who is completely besotted with the local history. I was acutely aware that the 100th anniversary of the Navigation's closure was approaching and I felt sure that somebody was doing something. Then I looked at a calendar and realised that August 26th 2012 was the Sunday of the bank holiday weekend – it was too good to be true. Realising that nothing was happening I wrote a letter to Aylsham Town Council to seek their support for a project to commemorate the Navigation and this was followed by a public meeting in September of 2010. From this point onward the whole thing became a collaborative effort involving individuals and organisations – too many to mention individually but very quickly a number of strands began all aimed at coming together on or near the anniversary in 2012. The following were the strands -: 1. A definitive history of the Navigation was to be researched and written by the Aylsham Local History Society with the support of a grant from the UEA. That has now been completed and “Sail and Storm”, a history of the Aylsham Navigation will be formally published on September 16th 2012. 2. An embroidery would be made of
I had not long moved to Norfolk at that time but until that day I had only known the Bure to be a river that flowed in the valley that the village lay in but I had not known it was navigable this side of Roman times (I knew that archaeology had proved that it was back then). I have a long time interest in Britain's inland waterways and here on my doorstep was something I knew nothing about. It was easy to find out some basics but there was a real lack of hard information. Obviously the landscape clues were there and the lock chambers were pretty much intact at Oxnead, Burgh and Horstead. It was also quickly obvious to me that the Bure was completely manmade throughout this stretch and that 10
an illustrated map of the Navigation (designed by Mike Sparkes of the NWT). This has been completed and the embroidery will be available to see in the Aylsham Heritage Centre. 3. A Trust would be established (Bure Navigation Conservation Trust / BNCT) not to restore the navigation but to conserve and preserve the history, flora and fauna. It was also to promote responsible public access to the river and eventually to promote a footpath along the entire length of the navigation. This was formed in early 2012. 4. A DVD was proposed and produced by a local film-maker entitled “A wherry for Aylsham”. This was completed in 2012 and is now available to buy from BNCT at the very reasonable price of £7.99. It is a true televisual feast. 5. A competition would be run to design a logo for BNCT and this was won by a young man who is a pupil at Aylsham High who was only 13 years old when he submitted his entry. He won in the face of very stiff competition. 6. Finally an event would be held on August 26th to commemorate the Navigation and the flood. The event was designed to celebrate the history. It was agreed at a very early
stage that the wherry Albion would come up to Coltishall Common carrying a token cargo of beer, and would meet with a flotilla of canoes (which turned out to be 39 in number)
carrying a token cargo of grain from Aylsham.
Canoes are really the only practical craft for navigating on the Bure now as they can be relatively easily carried around the obstructions such as lock chambers. This would also be a fund raising opportunity and it was decided to hold a number of exhibitions around the Albion and to incorporate some traditional English fete type games. Albion was joined on the day by the Houseboat Heather an undoubtedly quirky but 11
unique member of the heritage boat community but one that grew on me the more I saw of it. Also present was the Museum of the Broads, Broads Beat, The Broads Society, Ramblers, Health Walkers, North Walsham and Dilham Canal Society along with far too many others to mention.
regaled throughout by traditional Norfolk folk music that really set the event off with a swing.
Albion arrived the day before having cleared Wroxham Bridge by just 1.5 inches and then made its way sedately to Coltishall in a thunder storm which, given the reason for being there, was portentous. The rain continued most of the night and the field got a little sodden but the weather took a turn for the better just in time and a great event was had by all. A unique feature was the use of car parking two miles away and the gap being made up by a shuttle service operated by a 1959 Bedford Duple coach.
The event was the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people and I wish to record my gratitude and admiration to them but there are too many to mention and I wouldnâ€™t want to run the risk of inadvertently dropping one name and thereby causing offence. A final note relates to the return journey when Albion would not have made it under Wroxham Bridge without flooding her bilges to lower her in the water. This solution is identical to that employed by wherry skippers faced with the same problem 100 years previously. The circle it seems is complete. The Bure Navigation Conservation Trust can now start its real work of being a friend to the history, flora and fauna of this, our river. Stu Wilson
Albion had a good day looking resplendent dressed overall and was
Photographs with thanks to Margaret Bird, Stu Wilson & Brian Holt. To keep up to date on progress see http://aylsham-navigation.norfolkparishes.gov.uk/legacy-charitable-trust/ & Stuart Wilson is the Branch Speaker On Friday 9th November 2012 12
NORTH WALSHAM & DILHAM CANAL During the summer months, work parties have moved to the northern stretches of the canal, where work has concentrated on the structures. At Ebridge the spillway has been cleared and is now a working part of the Ebridge Reach, helping to control the levels of water. At Bacton Wood Lock, scaffolding has been dismantled and measurements taken for the building of the bottom set of gates. Further upstream, the spillway at Royston has been piled with help from the London WRG. EAWA/NW&DCT work parties have continued the work by mixing the concrete for the cappings. Later in September the LWRG are to return for another weekend, with the aim of rendering the slip itself. Also at Royston, the work parties have started on the quay heading at the former Wherry Inn to protect the former staithe and ultimately the building, and the turning basin has been cleared, as seen in the picture below:
Later work parties this year are planned for September 9 th at Royston. The venues for those on Sept 23rd, Oct 7th and 21st, Nov 4th and 18th, Dec 2nd and 16th, will be arranged nearer to the event â€“ with further structural work, and the clearances of the summer vegetational growth high on the agenda. Please contact David Revill on 01603-738648 or email@example.com for further details. Ivan Cane Invasive Plantsâ€”The EA is asking people to help them track down invasive plants ( Japanese knotweed, Himalayan Balsam & Floating Pennywort) by downloading a new smartphone application. "The PlantTracker app will help to form a comprehensive picture of plants in the UK, enabling users to submit geo-located records of their sightings, Free from iTunes App Store and Google Play Store by searching for PlantTracker" (EDP 25/8/12) 13
Stratford lock. We are still in negotiations with the Environment Agency about some of the details. Also, the state of the locks at Dedham and Flatford is giving rise to concerns that they need major works, and that we may need to give them priority status. Again we are in discussions with the Environment Agency about these locks, but following cut-backs in DEFRA funding any progress is slow. The details of any future transfer of navigation responsibility from the Agency to the Canal and River Trust is awaited by us with interest.
River Stour Trust continued. The annual canoe event S2C - where many people celebrate the public right of navigation by travelling the whole navigable length by canoe – has grown enormously in popularity in the last 10 years. So much so that the River Stour Trust has had to limit numbers to 300 boats for safety reasons. And of course more canoes than ever use the river during the rest of the year. Meanwhile the usual boat trips at Flatford and Sudbury continue to show the public the quiet beauty of a lowland river made famous by painters over many years.
We always have room for more volunteers – there never seem to be enough – more details on our website www.riverstourtrust.org Mike Finch
We have not been able to make any progress this year on the restoration of
********************************************************************* Like so many events this year, the annual coracle regatta organised by the RST at Bures on 4th August was blighted by the weather. A heavy downpour at lunchtime deterred many from coming down to the river where coracles were offered to any brave soul who dared try. The highlight of the day was the racing – straight to a buoy, round it, and back. Simple – but have you tried steering a coracle?! And to really test your skill – a slalom course with fish to catch and bring ashore! Susan Brown
Coracles at Bures
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE We gladly welcome all our new members From Essex: Mr J. & Mrs J. Magerum, Mr T. Adams, Mr S. & Mrs A. Nichols, Mr R.H. & Mrs M. Boyd From Norfolk: Mrs M. Helliwell, Mrs A Cormie . From Suffolk: Mr P. Teaque 14
DATES for your DIARY
BRANCH MEETINGS & EVENTS 2012/13 Branch Meetings held at the Community Centre, School St., Needham Market At 7.30, unless otherwise stated. FRIDAY 12TH OCTOBER World Circumnavigation—Peter Hesketh FRIDAY 9TH NOVEMBER The Aylsham Navigation—Stuart Wilson FRIDAY 14TH DECEMBER Essex & Suffolk Boatyards & Boat builders—Mike Davies FRIDAY 11TH JANUARY 2013 Fish & Chip Supper FRIDAY 8TH FEBRUARY 2013 Branch AGM SATURDAY 9TH MARCH 2013 12PM —Compasses Holbrook Annual Dinner Bookings to Chard Wadley SATURDAY 11th / SUNDAY 12th MAY 2013 Members Annual Outing - See Page 4 for more details. Contact Brian & Diana Holt for Bookings.
WORKING PARTY DATES Working Parties are held by the River Gipping Trust 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 15
39TH 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 7.30pm on Friday 8th February, 2013 AGENDA 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7)
Apologies for absence Approval of the 2012 AGM Minutes Matters arising from those minutes Chairman’s report Treasurer’s report and presentation of accounts Adoption of the accounts Election of Committee members
USEFUL WEBSITES IWA Head Office - http://www.waterways.org.uk Waterway Recovery Group - http://www.wrg.org.uk River Gipping Trust - http://rivergippingtrust.org.uk River Stour Trust - http://www.riverstourtrust.org East Anglian Waterways Association –http://www.eawa.co.uk Aylsham Navigation - http://aylsham-navigation.norfolkparishes.gov.uk River Waveney Association -http://groupspaces.com/RiverWaveneyTrust/pages/our-aims IWA Peterborough Branch - http://www.iwapeterborough.org.uk The Broads Society - http://www.broads-society.org.uk The Australian Canal Society - http://www.auscanal.org.au/ The Canal & River Trust - http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/ DEFRA Dept. for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs - http://www.defra.gov.uk
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: www.waterways.org.uk Registered in England No. 612245. Registered as a Charity No. 212342