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River Waveney At Beccles

Ipswich Branch Newsletter Summer 2013 No. 125 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

Pickerel Project/River Stour Trust Brian Cornell Officer Gerry Crease

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IWA Branches are a vital focal point for local activities and lobbying. Well summer seems to be coming at last, here’s hoping that it stays longer than last year. Once again I am pleased that we have quite a lot of activity to report on which I hope you will find of interest.

look to the future. Next year 2014 is the 40th Anniversary of the founding of the Branch. At this time we are planning two events, firstly a full two night weekend away, see page 16 for more details.

We have had news of a new Trust being set up to cover the Waveney, see page 14, and our front page picture shows the river at Beccles which we visited on a one of our first sunny days. An attractive town and waterfront to visit, with a river walk, boat trips, and nearby one of the few Pubs to be found actually on the river, the excellent Locks Inn at Geldeston, the head of navigation. There is a ferry from Beccles.

Secondly we are planning a Lunch event on Saturday October 4th to which our present IWA National Chairman has agreed to attend. We hope to have guests from all the Local Waterways Trust and related Authorities and Associations and we hope as many Branch members as possible will come to mark the occasion. More details will be published later in the year but please put the date in your diary. Looking further to the future we must draw your attention to the article on page 5 regarding the urgent need for new Branch Committee members to come forward to ensure the continuation of the Branch for the longer term. All your present committee have been in place for a considerable number of years and it is time for new representation and ideas. Other IWA Branches, and indeed many other organisations, are finding it difficult these days to get volunteers to come forward and commit a little bit of time and effort to the support and running of the organisation, with the result that closures occur. We hope that this will not happen to the Ipswich Branch but it is a real risk, especially at a time when so much does seem to be happening in our area. Charles Stride.

Brian Holt reports on a recent visit to one of East Anglia’s waterway icons, the Denver Sluice; we also have a report on the launch event of the RST’s John Constable and our roving photographer gives a snapshot on the success of this years weekend trip away. Most important of all in this edition we 3

CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS Committee. This was not to be and unfortunately when you look around the room at those present it was obvious that most had already done a term on the Committee at some time. If you have some spare time and would like to consider joining us this would ensure that we can keep the Branch active and support all the Waterway Trusts in our area. Please see the report on the Future of the Branch.

It has been a very quite time since the last Anglian Cuttings. Bad weather stopped progress on the restoration at Baylham Sluice but we continue to work on Pipps Ford Lock. We had a good attendance at our annual lunch at the Compasses and as usual everyone had an enjoyable time. This year the Chairman’s Tray was won by Dale Green in recognition of all his hard work and was presented to him at the lunch. His work included the loan of his vehicle for the movement of scrap metal and also in transporting large pieces of timber from White House Farm for the sluice at Baylham.

Following the AGM, Brian Holt gave us an interesting slide show on his trip on nb. Harnser along the Cam and into Cambridge, via Jesus Lock , and passing many of the University Colleges. The Committee is at present working to organize two events for the 40th Anniversary celebrations to be held next year in 2014. One will be a 3 day coach trip, see page 16, being organised by Spencer Greystrong and the second is a lunch to be held at the Cedars Hotel in Stowmarket on Saturday 4th October, 2014 with speakers including the National Chairman and representatives from IWA Head office. Our event this year, a trip to London will have taken place by the time you read this and a report hopefully included. Our thanks goes as always to the organisers Brian & Diana Holt for all their efforts in arranging another very successful trip. Bye for now. Chard Wadley

At the AGM it was hoped that volunteers would come forward to join the 4

IPSWICH BRANCH THE FUTURE? It is thirty nine years since Ipswich Branch was founded and next year we will be celebrating our 40th Anniversary with two events to mark the occasion, detailed elsewhere in this edition of Anglian Cuttings. During this time the Branch has been very successful in looking after and representing the IWA’s interests in the area. In particular it has, through its many volunteer members past and present, done much practical work in the maintenance and restoration of the River Gipping, Stowmarket Navigation, as well as supporting other waterways in North Essex, Suffolk and more recently Norfolk. In order for the Gipping restoration work to continue and, in particular to allow a wider access to funds and donations, it was necessary to set up a separate Trust to further this work. The River Gipping Trust is now well established and is actively taking the restoration work forward. There is still a major role for the Branch in supporting the River Gipping Trust, and other River Trusts in the area, many of which are regularly reported on in Anglian Cuttings, representing the IWA, protecting Waterway interests, and providing contact and social events with our large and widespread membership. To this end our winter social meetings continue to have a good turnout with a range of interesting speakers, and our almost annual outings are nearly always fully subscribed. To run the Branch and these activities it does need input from a number of willing Committee Members. Most of your present Committee have been in place for an extended number of years, our Chairman is one of the longest serving in the IWA with over 20 years in that position. Recent appeals at our AGM’s for new members have not brought forward any volunteers, and the recent letter sent out to all Branch Members did not bring any positive response. The present Committee meets about 6 times a year, usually over lunch, and there is of course some background work and arrangements to make for any events. The present Committee is dedicated to marking the 40th Anniversary next year, but after that many of them wish to pass on the baton to fresh minds and input. It is essential therefore that new volunteer Committee Members come forward over the next 12 months, or else it is probable that the Branch will have to close and all the local activities will have to cease. PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING THE CONTINUATION OF YOUR BRANCH 5

local amenity fund provided us with the sum of £ 450.00 towards the re-printing of the two MARPA Walk Leaflets – No 1 – Ipswich to Needham Market and No 2 – Needham Market to Stowmarket. We are most grateful for this, and extend our thanks to Mrs Truelove.

In the Winter 2013 Edition No. 124, I mentioned the Museum of East Anglia Life at Stowmarket and our 18th century Survey map of the River Gipping.

Our Annual General Meeting is to be held at the Needham Market Community Centre at 7.30 pm on Thursday, 13th June 2013 and we are fortunate in being able to welcome Dr Charles Beardall, Area Manager of the Environment Agency as our Speaker – we should be pleased to welcome all current, as well as prospective members of the Trust, to this important meeting.

Thanks to the efforts of Spencer Greystrong and Les Howard, our display in the Boby Building is now complete and as you can see from the attached

Lewis Tyler

RESTORATION REPORT New Bridge for Pipps Ford!

photograph is very impressive. This alone makes a visit to the Museum very well worthwhile and there is much else to be able to spend a considerable amount of time having a look at all the other exhibits.

Although the start of the year was unusually wet and then very cold, we kept our Wednesday work parties running through the bad weather thanks to regular breaks for hot tea and an almost continual bonfire, through clearing some unwanted Leylandii trees from around the river bank!

‘Realising the Dream’ is progressing satisfactorily – our figure in the last edition of a cost of possibly £ 12,000 – £17,000 appears to be reasonable, though slightly on the optimistic side, – quotations are currently being obtained. At the same time, investigations are being made of how to obtain this funding. Through the good offices of Suffolk County Councillor Julia Truelove, her


Our latest project to re-instate the old bywash around the lock at Pipps Ford is now well under way. This bywash channel, which is in fact the old river bed, will need to be fully functional when we return this stretch of river to navigation. Over the years the channel has become partially filled with silt and now only sees water at times of flood.

The original bridge over the old river course has long since disappeared, and has been replaced at some time with a rubble causeway, partially blocking the old water course. The weir that controlled the water level above the lock has been removed, although traces of the old brickwork remain. We now intend to replace the old bridge , remove the modern causeway and open up the full length of the river bed, before reinstating the weir at a later date. This winter we have taken out a number of

Ford, arrived at the site hut with a scale model of the proposed bridge. What was especially surprising was that even though they had not seen Colin’s final drawings, the model matched our proposals in all but a few details.

The next steps involve getting a digger and dumper on site to clear out the silt and remove the remaining tree stumps, then laying the concrete base for new bridge abutments and weir. The digger has been booked for the week starting 29th April, so by the time you read this, work should be complete.

trees that had grown up through the old bridge abutments and are now demolishing the remaining brickwork as carefully as possible in order to re-use as many of the historic bricks as we can in the re-build.

Back at Baylham, the high water levels this winter have prevented any progress with the installation of the new sluice gates. We had hoped to use a temporary coffer dam to seal off the working area, but this has not proved possible. We will return to this project in the early summer, once the machine work at Pipps Ford has been completed and the water levels have stabilised.

While all this manual work has been going on, Colin has designed the new bridge along the lines of the Mathematical Bridge over the Cam at Cambridge, albeit it on a slightly smaller scale. We plan to source the timber from White House Farm, Great Glemham again, and to use their facilities to set out and pre-fabricate the bridge.

In the meantime, work parties continue every Wednesday and first Saturday of the month at Pipps Ford Martin Bird

We were a little surprised at our last work party, when Mr.Greatrix and his son Simon, the landowners at Pipps 7


Brian & Diana Holt, our Branch Weeken included Tower Br Greenwich passing visit to the restore stay at Brentford L had a visit to the K with a Science week the Musical Instrum organs of all types an

Many thank superb and t

A full set of pictur ble to see on our future.


ANCH NG 2013

, once again arranged nd Outing. The trip ridge, a boat trip to HMS Illustrious, a d Cutty Sark, and a Locks. On Sunday we Kew Pumping Station kend, and then finally ment Museum full of nd sizes.

ks to them for a d memorable trip.

res should be availar website in the near


River Stour Trust Restoring and conserving the River Stour Navigation


We previously reported on the restoration of the Stour Lighter ‘John Constable’ and on Sunday 12th May, 2013 this 160 year old craft returned to service Mr Rhys Jones, who lives beside the River Stour, and who is Vice– President of the River Stour Trust is a Champion of access to our countries’ network of rivers and waterways and is particularly passionate about the Trust’s aims to preserve the river and provide access to it for the general public.

In front of a crowd of invited guests, including Geoffrey Van Orden, MEP for the East of England, Comedian, Actor, and Television Personality Griff Rhys Jones performed the inauguration duties to re-launch the ‘John Constable’ into Public Service. Griff Rhys Jones with Geoffrey Van Orden, MEP for the East of England

Griff Rhys Jones at the wheel of the lighter with Brian Cornell of the River Stour Trust,


The ‘John Constable’ originally was owned and operated by The River Stour Navigation Company, but was scuttled in 1914 to avoid any use by possible foreign invaders. She was rediscovered in 1976, raised and finally restored by the Pioneer Sailing Trust in Brightlingsea with the support of a lottery grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund as detailed in our earlier editions. The craft will now be operated by the River Stour Trust, which was formed in 1968 to fight to maintain the right of navigation on the river and will carry passengers from the Trust’s base at The Granary in Sudbury, down through Great Cornard Lock and on to the Dedham Vale and Constable Country. As an Historic Vessel the ‘John Constable’ is entitled to fly the ensign of the National Historic Ships Register, here being unfurled by Griff Rhys Jones.

Full details of the available river trips and their summer events can be found on the Trust’s website:

Pictures by Emrhys Barrell, Vice President , River Stour Trust and Linda Barrell. 11

THE DENVER SLUICE PART ONE The Denver Sluice is one of East Anglia’s major waterway structures which plays a vital role in the drainage and flood protection of the Fens. Recently Brian Holt had the opportunity to visit the site and his report starts here and will continue in our next editions. The Denver Sluice Complex On Saturday 13 April we joined members of the Gt. Ouse IWA for a guided tour of the Denver Complex. The Denver complex is much more than just a lock to get from the Middle Level to the Ely Ouse, it’s a complete water control and flood alleviation scheme originally planned by Sir Cornelius Vermuyden over 350 years ago and influences water levels as far away as Essex. It started in 1630 when Vermuyden was employed to drain the Fens. His first task was to dig a straight channel 65 feet wide from Earith to Salter’s Lode so bypassing a large section of the Gt. Ouse, from Earith to below Denver and drain the headwaters much faster. This was to be known as The Old Bedford River as it was commissioned by the Fourth Earl of Bedford. The bypassed section of river would later to be known as the Ely Ouse.

Denver and divert the incoming tide up it so avoiding flooding Ely and the surrounding land. This runs parallel to the Old Bedford River for 20 miles and in times of high flow the 5,600 acres of land between them, know as the Hundredfoot Washes is allowed to flood and hold the excess water.

Then in 1651 Vermuyden built Denver Sluice and dug a second channel to Earith known as the Hundredfoot River or New Bedford River. This was to bring the fresh waters from above St Ives, straight down to the Gt. Ouse below

The sluices that Vermuyden built were destroyed in a flood surge exactly 300 years ago and were rebuilt 12

by a Swiss engineer named Labelye. In the 1830’s. These works were rebuilt for the third time by John Rennie to include a lock with double mitre gates at each end, as at times the water level below the sluice is higher than that above. The sluice and lock that exists today is the one Rennie constructed with only slight modifications. The double mitre gates on the lock have been removed and replaced with a guillotine gate at each end. A second lock, called the “Big Eye” with only one guillotine gate was built at the west end of the structure to allow large

barges to pass at level water. This is no longer used and concrete stop planks have been fitted below the gate. This was the extent of the Denver Complex until after the 1947 floods when the rest of Vermuyden plan was put into action. What happened after 1947 will be in part two of the article in the autumn edition of Anglian Cuttings. Brian Holt

MEMBERSHIP UPDATE We gladly welcome all our new members From Norfolk: Mrs. K Mortimer, Ms. S. Palmer From Suffolk: Mr. J.A. & Mrs. M.H. Fletcher, Mr. R. Hopkins, Mr. L. Reynolds, Mr. K. Rothley, Mr. F. & A. Tuck, Mr. I. & Mrs. J. Williams, Mr. P. & Mrs P. Stone. From Essex: Mr. I. R. Aldred, Ms. L. Wakely Clive Saville


One of the most exciting projects is the old Otter Trust at Earsham. Closed 6 years ago, we are currently refurbishing the buildings and 32 acre site, complete with river frontage. The site will not only be our HQ and the base for our river catchment planning and work but will be renamed the River Waveney Study Centre. We will be offering a number of courses related to habitat and water quality education as well as entertaining film screenings and lectures.

These are still early days for the Trust. From our highly successful launch as the River Waveney Association on 29 March 2012, we have recruited a membership of over 360 and a management committee working on many projects. We have also created 5 local groups based on the market towns along the river, each with a local coordinator to focus on our local members. These are Diss, Harleston, Bungay, Beccles and Oulton Broad. We have received full charitable status for The Trust.

Things are moving quickly and early discussions with the main organisations having statutory powers along the river have proved that both the Association and the Trust will be a very welcome addition to their activities and projects. We will essentially become the "eyes and ears" of the river. Our members are able to offer volunteering effort to support the growing number of projects earmarked. These include channel clearance at Wainford, maintenance of the 2 pocket parks a Homersfield and Scole and a very active clean-up project in Diss.

We have been successful with funding bids and grants to help set up our organisation and are getting on with delivering real activity on the river. Notable are the £5k grant from the Rivers Trust charity, £10k "Awards for All" funding from Big Lottery for equipment and educational projects, a grant of £2k from South Norfolk DC to renovate the boardwalk at Homersfield, a grant of £11k from the Waveney LAG (RDPE) to publish a Guide to the River Waveney and funding from the Environment Agency to help the organisation get established and start delivering key projects. Total funding achieved or allocated is £63k (as at March 2013). In addition we have contributed over 2,000 hours of voluntary effort worth £20,000 - in our first year we have contributed a value of £83,000 to the River Waveney, a fantastic achievement for a young organisation!

We welcome all local residents and visitors who celebrate our beautiful but vulnerable river to contact us and become members of the Association. Membership is free and can be completed online at . Copies of our popular new guide Discover the River Waveney from Source to the Sea are available from many local outlets, TICs and libraries or by sending an SAE with £1 stamp to Geoff Doggett, River Waveney Trust, Old Harleston Road, Earsham NR35 2AF. Geoff Doggett



DATES for your DIARY


BRANCH MEETINGS & EVENTS 2013/2014 Branch Meetings held at the Community Centre, School St., Needham Market At 7.30, unless otherwise stated. FRIDAY 11TH OCTOBER Talk by Peter Minter. Bulmer Brick & Tile Company FRIDAY 8TH NOVEMBER Talk by Brian Dyes, Ipswich Transport Museum ‘Made in Britain’ FRIDAY 13TH DECEMBER Tba FRIDAY 5TH SEPTMBER 2014—SUNDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER 2014 Branch 40th Anniversary Outing See Back Page SATURDAY 4TH OCTOBER 2014 Branch 40th Anniversary Luncheon—Stowmarket Details to come. OTHER DATES

THURSDAY 13th JUNE 7.30pm - Needham Market Community Centre River Gipping Trust AGM

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: 15

IWA Ipswich Branch 40th Anniversary Coach Trip Friday 5th September—Sunday 7th September 2014 Includes: Biddenden Vineyard Kent & East Sussex Railway Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Narrow Gauge Railway Dungeness ‘B’ Nuclear Power Station Dungeness Lighthouse Yesterdays World, Battle ‘Allington Belle’ River Medway Trip All This Plus: Wine Tasting Ploughman’s Lunch Cream tea Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners Hotel and Coach For an estimated cost of £175 INTERESTED?? Contact Spencer Greystrong by 30th June 2013 Email: Tel: 07957862793 25 Ambrose Avenue, Colchester, CO3 4JY USEFUL WEBSITES IWA Head Office - Waterway Recovery Group - River Gipping Trust - River Stour Trust - East Anglian Waterways Association – Aylsham Navigation - River Waveney Association - IWA Peterborough Branch - The Broads Society - The Australian Canal Society - The Canal & River 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


Anglia Cuttings 125 Summer 2013  

The magazine of the Ipswich Branch of the Inland Waterways Association