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Ipswich Branch Newsletter Summer 2014 No. 128 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

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




The Branch has left its mark on our local waterways over the last 40 years and we do have much to celebrate so hopefully we will see as many of you as possible at our Anniversary Lunch where the IWA National Chairman will be joining us together with our Guest Speaker , Steve Hayward, whom I am sure will be as controversial as ever on Waterway matters.

Regretfully I missed the AGM this year as we were away in New Zealand at the time.. However I did discover that New Zealand does have purpose built canals, the Tekapo, the Pukaki and the Ohau for example; not for the movement of boats but for the movement of water for their Hydroelectric schemes.


Another recent success was, that after some three years of trying, some of us managed to at last make it through the Standedge Tunnel on our ‘Chairmans Cruise’. This is the highest, longest and deepest tunnel on the Inland system and is it is situated on a very attractive and interesting canal. —well worth the visit. Thank you Chard for all your efforts and arrangements and thank you also to all the other halves who let us go and even provided home baking to sustain us.

Tekapo-Pukaki canal I also have to admit to disappointment that despite all the publicity, letters and items in Anglian Cuttings that we have not managed to persuade anyone to come forward to the Committee to ensure the longer term future of the Branch. There is still time, so please think about it.

Finally, thank you once again to all the contributors, without whom this Newsletter would be much thinner. Charles Stride


CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS The recent warm weather has enabled members of Ipswich Branch and the River Gipping Trust to get on with clearing fallen trees at Pipps Ford which came down during the wet and stormy weather over the winter. With the trees now cut up and removed we will be concentrating on erecting the new bridge over the by-wash. The bridge is now complete and arrived on site on Wednesday, 21st May. Once the bridge is erected and we have opened up the bywash we will start repairing the wing walls; so there is still plenty of work at Pipps Ford to keep us and the Trust busy.

not at the AGM the award was presented on-site at Pipps Ford at a Wednesday working party. Trevor has been a constant member of the restoration group for many years and is our ‘chief bonfire lighter’.

Moving on to the 40th Anniversary the celebrations are well underway starting with the September Coach Trip and following on with the October Lunch. Should you wish to join us at the Anniversary Lunch and have not put your names forward then please let me know as soon as possible and I will add you to the list. The lunch is being held at the Cedars Hotel, Stowmarket on Saturday, 4th October 2014 at 12.30 for 1pm. It is to be a Carvery and will cost £20 per head.

On a more serious note, unfortunately, we had no volunteers come forward at the AGM in February to join the committee. We have until February 2015 when I and other committee members will be retiring but we are willing to help anyone if they feel able to take on any of the positions which are becoming vacant. So please do not hesitate to contact any one of the present committee members. I hope you all have a good summer either on water or land and look forward to seeing many of you at one of our 40 th Anniversary events.

Normally at the AGM in February I present the Chairman’s Tray to a person in recognition their contribution to the branch over the past year. The award went to Trevor Chatting and as he was

Chard Wadley


Available from Chard Wadley 4

IPSWICH BRANCH THE FUTURE? It is forty years since Ipswich Branch was founded and this next year we will be celebrating our 40th Anniversary with two events to mark the occasion, details 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 , 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 few 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

-using much of the original steelwork lifting gear, salvaged from the site. The gates were fabricated off site at White House Farm, where workspace and power were kindly supplied by the owner. The gates were installed in August, taking advantage of low river flow to minimise disruption in the area.

As we are just about to hold our Annual General Meeting this article gives us an ideal opportunity to review of our activities over the last 12 months. This year we have adopted a dual approach to the restoration of the canalised River Gipping. Firstly we have taken forward the Trust’s long history of successful and skilful restoration of the locks and bridges of the original navigation with the two main projects underway in the year. Our second approach has been to widen the scope of restoration activities to start a project which we hope will see a limited level of navigation over a substantial length of river.

An open invitation to eve mem

The formal business of the meeting will be followed by a presentatio Cro

As well as these major projects we have carried out a number of ad-hoc maintenance projects to ensure our earlier schemes are still working efficiently.

Nigel Crowe is Head of Heritage for th years of experience working in the cons of historic build He is the author of the Engli

BAYLHAM SLUICE GATES When the navigation was in use, the water level above Baylham Lock and below Pipps Ford was controlled by a set of sluice gates located behind Baylham Mill. These allowed the miller to control the flow of water through the mill and the water level in the pound between Baylham and Pipps Ford lock. These gates had deteriorated to the point where only the frame remained in situ. Funded by the Onians Trust, we constructed a new set of frame and gates utilising locally sourced green oak and re

His talk will describe the work of the C& many and varied historic waterways tha PIPPS FORD Previous repairs to the lock chamber carried out in the late 20th Century had blocked off the original river channel, 6

which had been used as the by-wash for the lock, thus diverting the full stream through the lock chamber.

stream entrance to the by-wash and creating a new exit point downstream of the lock chamber, the removal of a rubble causeway blocking the by-wash and the re-instatement of a bridge. As at April 2014 we had cleared the route of the bywash, constructed new brickwork abutments for the bridge, constructed a new bridge off site and obtained approval to the removal of the causeway. The bridge has been built using green oak supplied from White House Farm and has been constructed on their premises. It is planned to install the bridge in June this year

Whilst repairing the overbridge at Pipps Ford, we identified that further repairs are required to the upstream chamber walls, but, as there was no available bywash, there was nowhere we could use to

We are involved in further negotiations with the Environment Agency over the opening up of the by-wash channel itself and anticipate work will start on this element of the project in autumn 2014. Once the channel is available, we will be able to seal off the lock, drain the chamber and complete the repair works.

ery Ipswich IWA branch mber.

g will be over quite quickly and this on from our guest speaker窶年igel owe.

The materials for the work to the bywash and the bridge construction have been funded by the landowner, with the owner of White House Farm again providing power and working facilities.

he Canal & River Trust. He has over 25 servation, archaeology and interpretation dings and places. ish Heritage Book of Canals.

THE FUTURE As the built structures along the course of the river from Needham Market to Baylham are now either restored , or under restoration, the Trust has identified that there is now an opportunity to look forward to a limited level of navigation along this stretch of waterway . Such a proposals would open up educational access to a wider public and allow the Trust to demonstrate how the canal system was used in the past, as well as providing an additional tourist attraction

&RT in managing and conserving the t the Trust is responsible for. divert the flow and drain the chamber. After consulting the landowner we decided the best approach would be to reinstate the by-wash to its original function. This involves re-opening the up7

for Mid Suffolk

two-axle trailer and yesterday, May 21st the move was completed.

Such a project will require substantial funding and the co-operation of a number of third parties and we are still in the early stages of developing this idea. As a first step we have held exploratory meetings with Mid Suffolk District council and are seeking advice over the availability of Grant funding to undertake a feasibility study for this proposal.

The main frames were loaded at the farm by Mick the farm manager using a forklift, under Ray’s careful eye. The unloading was a less straightforward business as we had to rely on muscle power and some careful reversing by the chairman.

PIPPS FORD BRIDGE DELIVERED The new timber bridge for the bywash at Pipps Ford was completed off-site at White House Farm, Great Glemham in time to take part in the Alde Valley Festival this April. The bridge was displayed in Raymond Hopkins’ workshop as an example of using locally sourced materials in local situations and drew a lot of interest both for the bridge and for the Gipping Trust. Raymond even had an offer to purchase the bridge on the festival opening day, an offer he had to refuse. The question of how to transport the

However, by the end of the day we had the main frame of the bridge in position across the bywash and ready for concreting in position next week. Once again Colin’s design (he said he had made it easy for amateurs to build!) and Raymond’s patient supervision paid off and the bridge fitted just about

bridge to site was solved by our chairman, Brian Annis, offering the use of his 8

nel itself and remove the old causeway so that the bywash can once again function as an overflow for the lock as it was originally intended.

perfectly onto the brickwork abutments on site. Over the Summer we will be finishing off the bridge installation, replacing coping stones and building up the bridge approaches.

As always, any volunteers are welcome to join us at Pipps Ford every Wednesday and first Saturday of the month.

Our work for the Autumn, subject to final agreement by the Environment Agency, will be to re-model the bywash chan-

Martin Bird

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: 9

Up North (Part 1) By Ivan Cane

For many years, as we passed through Gargrave on the A65, crossing the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, my wife, Terry, and I had said that we really must “do” the L&L one day. Twice, on my former school camping boat trips, Darren, Kev and I had planned to take the narrowboat pair Collingwood & Ash over the Rochdale Canal, but on both occasions had been thwarted, the first time by the collapsed Irk Aqueduct, and, in 2006, by vandals emptying the canal. So, for NAVI’s main trip in 2013, it was decided to go “Up North” and combine the two. Terry & I took NAVI across the L&L, with Darren, Kev and I returning via the Rochdale.

pushed, and it moved a yard. Nothing else would work and pedestrians were starting to queue, remarking that it always seemed to be happening. Then a man came along, jumped over the gate, crossed the bridge, jumped to the far bank and proceeded to unlock the power box. The bridge keeper had arrived, and soon all was sorted and we were on our way again. The S&K is a wide canal, and the area fenlike, so the winds were proving difficult at times. Little did we appreciate that they would worsen as the week progressed. As we went up Bramwith Lock a keel turned from the New Junction Canal – this was the first moving craft we had seen.

The very cold winter had prevented some of the maintenance work on NAVI being completed. One task was to have the roof re-sheaved with glass fibre, and that needed a minimum of 6oC. We did not reach that temperature until early the week before we left, leaving the handrails, vents and everything else to be refitted at the last moment.

On the NJC, three men in a cruiser sped past us, leaving us to operate the swing

On Sunday 7th April, 2013, we set off trailing from Fakenham, across the A17 and up the A1 to the Blue Water Marina at Thorne, on the Stainforth & Keadby Canal. We slipped in easily, with the help of Colin and Brian, two friends of Eric Firth, and parked the Landy and trailer. Stocking up at Sainsbury’s, we spent the first night at the marina’s fuelling wharf. Next day was chilly, with a brisk wind. We set off west and soon came to the first swing bridge. Key inserted, buttons


was on her way back, and they didn’t want anyone to meet her on the corner.

bridges by ourselves. The bridges are easy, all push button, but what was not so easy was mooring to let me off to operate the bridge, and, then, Terry having taken NAVI through, moor the other side to collect me –the wind was really strong by now. At Sykehouse Lock, we caught the cruiser up. The lock is about 70 m long, with a swing bridge in the middle. The three men could not work out the logistics; so we had caught them up. The secret is, although there is a manual footbridge in the middle, it has to be open to navigation, and not traffic, even though you only take up a little bit of the lock. Soon, turning onto the Aire & Calder, with waves following us in the stiff wind, and a temperature of 5o, with the engine threatening to pack up at any moment and watching out for the big sand barges – we wondered why we were not at home in front of the fire! That night, we moored below Whitley Lock.

A strange thing happened at Bulholme Lock. I was inserting my key to lift the bottom paddles, when suddenly the machinery started to operate itself, and resisted all my attempts by me to take control. It transpired that the lock-keeper had arrived, and she had just taken over control from her cabin without warning. The River Aire was quite bleak as there was no sign of any greenery, with the river low and the banks and trees full of debris.

Next morning, 6.45, we awoke to NAVI bouncing around – looking out of the window we saw what appeared to be a never ending sand barge passing. Later, we came to Ferrybridge Flood Lock which is enormous, you seem to walk a quarter of a mile from one paddle to the other, with hardly any rise. Whilst stopped at Castleford for fuel and local shop, the flood gates suddenly closed to stop traffic, as the now empty Ferndale

We moored in Clarence Dock overnight, but Leeds Sanitary Station was closed due to “drainage problems”, so no showers then! The next day was bright, and we visited the city and Armouries, mooring that evening above Lock 2 on the L&L. Here, on the non-towpath side, a gate is closed by 7pm hence the very secure city moorings. We arranged for an early start with the neighbouring narrow boat, so as to get through the bandit country the next morning. Although I’m usually happy sharing with a metal narrow boat, this one had strange ways of holding itself in locks, and on one occasion had the centre line fixed as 11

boat during the evening. Apparently a better mooring would have been at the pub a bit further downstream. I will add that this was the only time we had problems overnight (or during the day) on the whole month’s cruise.

it rose, of course it started to heel over. I was pleased when the lockie at Newlay 3 (all triple locks have a lock-keeper) said he wouldn’t pass plastic and metal boats together, as it gave us an excuse to travel by ourselves. The lockies had horror stories of what occurs at their locks late in the day, when the schools finish. I wondered why C&RT don’t do more to “protect” their workers. However, when you go through Newlay Bridge and the character of the canal suddenly changes back to normality. We moored at Rodley, next to Sue Day with her horseboat Elland. We also had John, at the boatyard, and a renowned outboard specialist, to look at the engine, which was continuing to cut out. He performed the magic needed.

The wind was so bad in the morning that one kept away from the sides of the locks. Soon, though we were up the Three, and then to Bingley Five, where

L&L swing-bridges soon started to be a regular occurrence the next day – at one I counted thirty vehicles patiently queuing for us. Each swing bridge is different, in that some are fully manual, and some only partially – you push a button, and wait for it to open, only to find that the button purely operates the lights and barrier! Others are fully electronic with coloured LED screens. For just one, Dock Swing Bridge, where I had walked ahead, you need a windlass! You stand on the bridge and wind it round. That Friday night, we moored at Ashley Lane visitor’s moorings, which are convenient for Shipley’s shops, and to walk to Saltaire the next day, which also happened to be their World Heritage Day. A day’s exploration of Saltaire, including a trip up the tramway (inclined plane) in the company of “steampunks” and chatting to alpacas. We stopped overnight at the Bingley Three visitors mooring, having visited Damart. Sadly, we were twice disturbed by banging on the side of the

Barry popped us up gently and smoothly in 55 minutes. The café at the top provided welcome refreshments. So, a lockfree length all the way to Skipton. We looked forward to the gentle cruise to that night’s venue. What I hadn’t taken into account were the 16 swing bridges, with each one competing to be the windiest as you moored to alight, open bridge, push off and boat through, Terry then moored singled handed on the other side, whilst I closed the bridge, and then set off again! Bridge 192 was one I couldn’t close at all, and was stuck until another boat arrived. At Kildwick, we decided that enough was enough and called it a day. After six days, we were at last back to a rural landscape – with sheep! Now a half day behind schedule, we missed a planned morning’s walk around 12

past us. On Thursday, as the wind appeared to have lessened, we set off on a quiet journey until we emerged from Foulridge Tunnel. Luckily, a friend had rung to offer help on the locks, and we were glad of his assistance, because, as soon as you shut one bottom gate, and walked to get to the other one, the wind was blowing the first one open again. The eventual methodology was to open the

Skipton before friends arrived in the afternoon. Instead, we were still heading for the town, and, en route we were called over by two C&RT men, who wanted to know why we hadn’t a licence, for their machine had us registered at Heron’s Nest, which was on the B&A in 2010! I showed him my up-todate 30 licence in the window, and all the supporting paperwork. Their computers can’t be updated with 30 day information! We arrived at Skipton midmorning stocked up with food and petrol from Morrisons. Then, after our friends had arrived, we popped to the end of the Springs Branch, in the sun! On the way back I collected fresh pork pies from the famous butcher by the bridge. We then cruised up to Bridge 175, where we decided to stay overnight. Next day was sunny again, and we cruised to Gargrave – only to find an empty pound. Two hire craft then came and moored behind us, and a wide hotel boat was waiting to come down. We rang C&RT, but the hotel boat was already letting water down. Two hours later, I decided to try and get through – all went well, until just below the bridge, the prop hit something hard and stalled the engine. Meanwhile, the wind was rising, and so gusty that it was rocking the boat, with waves hitting over the top gates of Lock 33. Whilst we were walking through the village, a workman’s ladder was blown down in front of us across the road! By the evening, it had quietened down, and we moved on and found a lovely mooring by the Aire aqueduct (Br 168A). The next evening saw us at Salterforth, where we met friends for a pub meal at the Anchor Inn – and lovely it was, too! What wasn’t so good was a man, singlehandedly bowhauling a full ex L&L craft

top gates of the lock below, come back and hold the bottom gates open. Terry would then leave the lock above at top speed, so as to reach the next lock before the wind pushed her onto the bank, whilst we walked alongside to fend off if necessary! Luckily, after the bottom of Foulridge Locks, the hills now offered some shelter. We headed for the facilities at Barden Mills, only to find they were nonexistent, so moored below bridge 134 instead. On Friday, changeover day, we first stopped on the Burnley Embankment, which is as impressive as “advertised”. We then partook in a large shop at the more mundane massive Tesco. After lunch we cruised to the C&RT visitors moorings at Rose Grove. Here, our daughter collected Terry and our dog, to take them back to civilisation . The first part of the Cruise completed.. 13

River Stour Trust Restoring and conserving the River Stour Navigation

We have the following events coming up  Sat 3 Aug - Coracle Regatta at Bures Recreation Ground, 12pm -5pm Watch the races or have a go!  Bank Holiday Mon 26 Aug - Pirates on the Stour at Granary Tea Room, 11am-4pm Free boat trips for young pirates!  Sat 13 & Sun 14 Sep - S2C (Sudbury to the Sea) Weekend canoeing event, pre-booking is essential MORE EVENTS INFORMATION – Call 01787 313199 or visit

MEMBERSHIP UPDATE We gladly welcome all our new members From Norfolk: Mr. & Mrs. J. Plummer; Mr. & Mrs. B.J. Kirton; Mr. T. Quantock; Mr. R. Elton & Family From Essex: Mr. R Baker & Ms. A. Hoy Clive Saville



DATES for your DIARY


BRANCH MEETINGS & EVENTS 2014/2015 Branch Meetings held at the Community Centre, School St., Needham Market At 7.30, unless otherwise stated. THURSDAY 12TH JUNE River Gipping Trust AGM—7.30 pm Speaker– Nigel Crowe Head of Heritage C&RT FRIDAY 5TH SEPTEMBER —SUNDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER Branch 40th Anniversary Outing Fully Booked SATURDAY 4TH OCTOBER Branch 40th Anniversary Luncheon—Cedars Hotel Stowmarket Guest Speaker STEVE HAYWARD Contact Chard Wadley for Bookings FRIDAY 14TH NOVEMBER Presentation by Geoff Doggett—Chairman River Waveney Trust FRIDAY 12TH DECEMBER Members Evening—Fish & Chips FRIDAY 13TH FEBRUARY 2015 AGM NEW COMMITTEE MEMBERS REQUIRED


41ST 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 13th February, 2015 AGENDA 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7)

Apologies for absence Approval of the 2013 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 - 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


Anglian Cuttings No. 128 Summer 2014  

Magazine of the Ipswich Branch of the Inland Waterways Association

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