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BEAR ESSENTIALS The Newsletter of : -

IWA Warwickshire Branch Issue No. 35 – December 2012.

Our Winter/Spring Programme The Sports Connexion, Ryton Coventry CV8 3FL January 9th 2013 7:30pm. Annual Dinner, The Tom of the Wood, Rowington A few places remain. Ring Tina Jackson 01788 891545

February 13th. 2013 7:30pm. 'Jewels on the Cut' by Graham Fisher MBE. Graham brings his strong Black Country roots and long experience on the waterways to give an amusing talk about the relationship between the development of the Stourbridge Glass Industry and the adjacent canals.

March 13th 2013 7:30pm Branch AGM followed by: 'The Avon Navigation' by Clive Matthews, ANT General Manager. After a year in which the weather has changed from one extreme to another, Clive will present on the ups and downs of managing our local river trust.

April 10th 2013 7:30pm. 'Wildlife on Warwickshire's Waterways' by Tim Haselden, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. Canals and rivers form a vital green corridor linking up areas of habitat – key to creating a living Landscape. Tim will explore the variety of fascinating wildlife found along the county's waterways and highlight some of the conservation work being undertaken by the Trust.

Walks 

Sunday Dec 30th Meet 10.30 am Bridge 41 Lowsonford for a walk along the Stratford Canal.

Sunday Feb 24th Meet 10.30 am at Bishop St Basin (by James Brindley statue) for a walk along the Coventry Canal

Sunday April 21st From Over Basin on the Hereford &Gloucester Canal nr Gloucester. For those interested we hope to share transport. More details nearer the time.

Editorial For reasons I won’t bore you with now I am resuming the editorship of Bear Essentials and would like to thank Ian Fletcher for the three editions he edited this year. Our Autumn programme included two talks from The CRT. In September Lynne Berry presented a “confident future for the Waterway’s under the CRT although judging from the questions some of us are perhaps nervous of the place of boating in the Trusts Priorities. But the November talk from Adam Comerford on water supply convinced us that they are striving to maximise the water availability at least and that 2012 rainfall pattern was way outside that ever seen since levels have been monitored. The Autumn programme ended with an excellent quiz devised by Richard Sanders and Anthony Davies which amongst other things had us trying to identify boating related objects tied up in sacks.

Sue Roy King's Norton Clean-up Warwickshire Branch members had a busy weekend th in November: On Saturday, 17 November we walked the far reaches of the Ashby Canal (more of that later) and on Sunday 18th November participated in the clean-up centred around the King's Norton Junction. The clean-up was in preparation for the open day, hosted by the Canal and River Trust, to show the progress on restoration work on the iconic guillotine lock at the northern end of the Stratford Canal. This event was a joint activity organised by the IWA Birmingham, Black Country and Worcestershire Branch and involving members of the Stratford-uponAvon Canal Society, the Worcester & Birmingham and Droitwich Canals Society and IWA Warwick Branch as well as local youth groups and history societies. The work carried out included:  Removal of detritus from the towpaths and adjacent countryside.  Vegetation clearance to improve access  Dragging of the canal bed to remove obstructions such as motor scooters, wheelchairs and bicycles.  Painting of railings, gates and signposts While working on these tasks we were able to make good use of the interest generated by the passing public and we were able to acquaint them with the aims of the IWA and the activities carried out by our members during the year.

Bear in Mind: The timing of this newsletter inevitably leads to reflection on what has been and what is to come. A year ago BW was due to disappear at the end of March and be replaced by CRT, although the change was delayed until July for legal reasons. The waterways especially in the South faced a major shortage of water due to continuing drought conditions with reservoirs literally empty. The end of March brought a huge change to the weather and at a time when we all saw no prospect of the reservoirs filling they rapidly filled to capacity, but by then many of us had given up the idea of boating holidays, but perhaps the prolonged wet weather proved an even better reason for choosing alternative holidays. At our national AGM, retiring National Chairman, Clive Henderson, opened his address with a visual displaying a leopard, an animal reputed not to change its spots. It will take time for such a large Government Department as BW to adapt to operating in a similar way to charities such as the RNLI or National Trust. The all important things are that funding is now secure and the way is open for the CRT to start to change the way it operates. Very near to my home we have watched two accommodation bridges on the Northern Oxford Canal being restored rather than demolished and replaced with modern structures. A significant input to the external appearance of the structures was from our own WRG, structural repairs being completed in partnership with CRT contractors May Gurney. Turning to our own Branch, you should have read that the efforts of both committee and branch members resulted in Warwickshire Branch winning the 2012 Branch Achievement Award. I personally have been lucky in being able to retain a very active committee, but as a number of us feel we have “done our stint” and the time is nigh when we intend to retire and hand over the reins to successors and there’s the problem – where are they? The Branch AGM in March will soon be upon us and we desperately need new branch members to come forward to replace retiring committee members or work with your Committee in the background. There are many individual tasks which the committee can delegate, such as organising a particular work party, a specific walk, getting a speaker for a talks evening or distributing IWA literature to the many IWA supportive canal-side businesses. With regard to this publication may I remind you that whilst we ensure everyone gets a copy of “Bear Essentials” either by post or e-mail, we cannot post out

Notes from the chairman. copies of urgent updates to branch events, so it is only those of you who have given us your e-mail address or who access our branch website who we can reach between our published editions.

Finally, may I wish you all “Happy Boating” in 2013. Ian Jackson

Working Parties The King's Norton Clean-up, is just one example of the volunteer work carried out by members of our branch. . Throughout 2012 members have been involved in activities contributing to the well-being of the waterway network. These fall into two main groups: Special events, such as joint working parties with local communities to improve the canal and its environment adjacent these communities. these events It’s to happened again! The Typically, Branch has exceeded involve towpath clearing andsale canal dragging and cards take last year’s total on the of IWA Christmas place and during the Winter months when the stock undergrowth calendars. Pre-orders and extra ordered has died downenabled and thea rubbish is more visible to and and sold grand total of £247.00 be accessible. occasion will becauses in January raised The for next midlands waterway (2011or February 2013 Again along all theitems Grandwere Union in £210.00). sold Canal by early Leamington Spa. Peter Webb is coordinating. December. A big THANK YOU to everyone for Another activity may involve clearing yourpossible continued support in raising such the an evasive species, Himalayan Balsam, Branch. from our admirable sum for IWA Warwickshire waterways should any be found locally. The most effective time for this is during July. Alison Smedley, the IWA volunteer co-ordinator, is hoping to make this a national campaign so if anyone has seen large patches in Warwickshire on their travels, please let Peter Webb or Nick Nicholson know. Regular activities include participation in Canal and River Trust working parties: Lapworth:- Third Thursday and Saturday each month Hatton:Mondays and Wednesdays. (The volunteer lock-keepers have taken on this area but would like help from anyone available) If you would like to help or need further information please contact Nick on:

Thank You

Thank You


It’s happened again! The Branch has exceeded last year’s total on the sale of IWA Christmas cards and calendars. Pre-orders and extra stock ordered and sold enabled a grand total of £247.00 to be raised for midlands waterway causes (2011 - £210.00). Again all items were sold by early December. A big THANK YOU to everyone for your continued support in raising such an admirable sum for IWA Warwickshire Branch.

The IWA may not agree with opinions expressed here in this newsletter, but encourages its publication as a matter of interest. Nothing herein may be construed as a matter of policy, or an official announcement, unless otherwise stated. The Association accepts no liability for any material contained herein. The IWA is a registered charity ( No. 212342 ), founded in 1946. Supported by donations & members’ subscriptions, it campaigns for conservation, use, maintenance, restoration, development of the inland waterways of Great Britain for the benefit of all. Registered & General Office: - Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, Herts. HP5 1WA. Phone: 01494 - 783 453

Editor : Sue Roy, 46 The Butts, Warwick, CV34 4ST Phone :- 01926 – 49 78 45.

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Profile for The Inland Waterways Association

Bear Essentials Issue 35  

Newsletter of the Warwickshire Branch of the Inland Waterways Association

Bear Essentials Issue 35  

Newsletter of the Warwickshire Branch of the Inland Waterways Association