Issue No 55 CHESTER & DISTRICT BRANCH
Editor: Margaret Pitney
Branch Lock Wind at Wardle Lockâ€”more inside
OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE President Richard Drake, BEM Chairman
Brian Phillips, 01244 300025. firstname.lastname@example.org
Gillian Bolt, 0151 678 9300; gillianbolt:@waterways.org.uk
Ron Evans, 01928 788673; email@example.com
Peter Bolt, 0151 678 9300; firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster & Region Committee Rep.
Mike Carter, 0151 608 6113; email@example.com
Bernie Budworth, 5 764377; firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen Forkin, 01270 650054; email@example.com
Planning & Navigation Officer
Geoff Gittus, 0151 605 1094; firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Planning Officer
Jim Mole, 01606 40955; jim-mole@16-elizabethan..freeserve.co.uk
Newsletter Editor & Programme Organiser
Margaret Pitney, 0151 608 6487; email@example.com
Lesley Taylor, 0151 342 6651; firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Sumner, 0151 420 1460; email@example.com
01244 319890; firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen Rae, 01244 325842; email@example.com Jennie Budworth, firstname.lastname@example.org
Branch Chairmanâ€™s Report Can You Hear Me Mother? When I was a child this was the catch phase of comedian Sandy Powell. Sandy did most of his communicating via the Radio; some homes had a telephone a big black instrument. When I got married and acquired a house I had a two -tone slim phone which was considered fashionable. Moving up to date the number of ways people communicate is now much wider. Mobile phones allow us to phone a person rather than a building, messages on Face book and Twitter can be seen by hundreds if not thousands of people. The same applies when information is put on a web page; it can be accessed at anytime day or night so gives greater flexibility over a programme which is only broadcast at a set time. When the Post Office was established people would write a letter in the morning and it was delivered in the afternoon. Going back to my childhood the fast way to receive news was via the Telegram, young men on motorbikes would speed to the door and even wait for a reply. Today sadly the post can take a lot longer to arrive, granted the volume delivered and the area covered has greatly increased. The alternative is email which is low cost, fast and includes pictures and colour text plus can include links to relevant information. What has this to do with IWA? Two things, firstly this magazine costs the Branch and ultimately the waterways hundreds of pounds per year in printing and postage costs. This edition will also be put on the Branch Website in a format that allows it to be read as a book, in other words you can turn the pages. Please take the time to view it online and then inform your committee as to whether you would be happy to receive it in this way or if you wish to continue with the hard copy even if it incurs the higher cost. Secondly next year BW becomes a Charity this means greater involvement in the way our waterways are run. Local waterway units will form partnerships with all interested parties, Cyclists, Ramblers, Fisherman, Conservationists, The Local Authority, Canal Societies and IWA. The Branch Committee needs to know the views of the membership and to communicate quickly any relevant information which may have a significant impact on the waterway network. IWA needs to work with these other groups; we need regular contact and exchange of ideas with them, and so it is important that the Branch can contact the membership to assess their views on a way forward. When a person joins IWA as well as the usual details they are asked to give an email address. Some people are reluctant because they fear a lot of spam and that they will be contacted by other companies trying to sell them products. I can assure you that any email held by the IWA will only be used for IWA information and will not be passed onto anyone else. The Branch Committee has always done what in its view is best for the waterways within its area but has never received any comment from the membership. It is vital with the changes in the future that a dialogue takes place to ensure the committee is complying with the membershipâ€™s wishes. Please let me know your views on the magazine and please send me your email addresses. Brian Phillips 11 Dane Grove Mickle Trafford Chester CH2 4DJ email@example.com 01244 300025 after 19.00hrs Mon to Thurs
REGION CHAIRMANâ€™S REPORT
Summer is the time of year when whatever young menâ€™s thoughts turn to, many of us are using the waterways rather than talking about them. I myself forsook our regionâ€™s home waters, except for the Shroppie by going to the National Festival at Burton the long way round via the Midland canals to Braunston and then via the Grand Union through Leicester to Shardlow and so to Burton, with a few pleasant side excursions. People seem to be put off going through Leicester as many are wary of big cities. There can be instances of anti-social behaviour in any conurbation but my general impression is that, provided one is sensible about when one cruises and where one moors, they are not too bad. All it seems to take is one relatively isolated incident to occur and be blown out of proportion by the less responsible of the waterway media, for undeserved panic to ensue. What I found daunting about Leicester was not the locals but the heavy double locks. The National itself had been moved to the end of July as an experiment and one result seemed to be fine weather. The longer evenings meant that the illuminated boat show was a late night event. There seemed to be very good crowds and excellent publicity and the general impression was of a very successful event. Many of the stalwarts of the volunteer army that makes it work come from the region and deserve our thanks. In 2012 there will be no National, and I have heard that the whole national supply of portaloos have been booked for the Olympics! There are however a number of events being planned in the region and the dedicated rally attender will have plenty of places to go. Politically the official IWA response to the DEFRA consultation was generally accepted to be excellent and I thank those who both contributed ideas for it and commented individually. From initial and informal conversations, the points made have been listened to. There are real concerns about the fledgling New Waterways Charity and the foremost of these relates to the funding; the interim trustees have a major job ahead of them. The two trial Area Partnerships have held their first meetings and hopefully there is real progress here as well, so there are positive signs here for the future of the new charity. There are still more questions than answers and the forecasts for volunteers and donations puzzle many. One thing is sure is that the next six months will be both interesting and challenging. On a personal point two valuable members of the region committee have been on hospital rations; David Smith from N Lancs slipped and broke a hip at Burton and Steve Connolly of Manchester is recovering from having a new knee fitted. I wish them both a speedy recovery. Alan Platt 26 August 2011
FEDERATION OF BRIDGEWATER CRUISING CLUBS 27th to 30th May 2011 Celebrating 250 years of the Bridgewater Canal I am always pleased to be invited as Chairman to represent the Branch at events taking place in our area. Accompanied by my wife Pat we arrived at the Bridgewater Motor Boat Club in Runcorn to find everyone in the club house tucking into breakfast provided by Pat Bromley and her team. Sadly as we had already had ours we missed out but we took the opportunity to speak to old and new acquaintances Everybody then moved across to the Marquee for the church service taken by a female cleric who is a boater and very interesting, telling us that her usual congregation were convicts in prison. We then boarded a wide beam boat belonging to the Canal Boat Adventure Project, to inspect the moored boats. An excellent turnout with many decorated, the Commodores had to vote for the best boat and award a prize. Norma Hornby was a guest as was Mike Webb; I asked him if the Bridgewater Canal Company had any concerns relating to BW becoming a charity and whether they would be replying to the consultation? He replied that basically it had nothing to do with them and they would not be commenting. I was a little surprised as the Bridgewater is between two BW waterways. Returning to the clubhouse an excellent lunch was provided by Pat and her team; we were on a table with the local bobby and the Leisure Officer for Runcorn Council who was well informed about the canal system. We then returned to the Marquee for the prize giving followed by a performance by Mikron Theatre about the Duke of Bridgewater, very entertaining. An excellent day, even the weather behaved itself, well organised and a warm welcome from all present.
DID YOU KNOW THAT THIS NEWSLETTER IS NOW PRINTED IN FULL ON THE IWA WEBSITE? JUST CLICK ON THE ‘REGIONS AND BRANCHES’ TAB, THEN ON ‘NORTH WEST’ AND ‘CHESTER & DISTRICT’ TO SEE THIS MAGAZINE IN FULL COLOUR
BRANCH LOCK-WINDâ€”WARDLE LOCK In its constant efforts to raise money to meet the aims of IWA and in view of the success of last yearâ€™s lock-wind, the Branch committee decided to run another this year at Wardle lock at the end of the Middlewich Arm; we hoped to attract more members of the general public at this site and thus gain some good publicity for the Association as well as collecting funds. The weather kept fine as we prepared for a busy weekend. We set up our sales table and prepared for the queues of boats we hoped would arrive. We were right about the general public as our sales table was kept busy. The boats maintained a steady trickle on the first day and by Sunday we were winding the lock most of the day. We were very pleased to be joined by the local MP, Mrs Fiona Bruce, who promised to take back to Westminster our concerns regarding funding and lack of sanitary facilities at Middlewich
How we missed Maureenâ€”it seemed strange without her popping in and out of her cottage chatting to us all. For those who are not familiar with the Middlewich Arm, Maureen Shaw is the wife of Jack, the late BW lengthsman, and is known to all who pass through for her helpfulness and friendly advice. We wish her well and look forward to her quick recovery . Altogether the lock-wind proved to be a successful venture giving volunteers an opportunity to spread the message of IWA to boaters and passers-by while at the same time earning extra funds for the Branch.
Details of next yearâ€™s event will be in the January edition of this newsletter. Anyone who would like to join us, IWA member or not, is welcome to come along either for the whole weekend or even an hour or so. Contact Gillian Bolt on 0151 678 9300 if you are interested.
The National Festival A great mystery surrounded the preparations for the 2011 National Festival at Burton upon Trent. Where was the rain? Not even a shower fell to mar the pristine condition of Shobnall Fields this year. With no rain, wet ground or even any mud that the most dedicated “bod” (build & dismantle team) could find, the Festival volunteers put together a great show in the easiest of conditions for many years. The location of the site – near the heart of the town – has always been a great advantage but the huge swell of support from boaters, volunteers, exhibitors and visitors generated the most successful national festival since 2007. Latest figures from the festival organisers revealed: Around 25,000 visitors attended the event over the three day period 360 boats moored along the Trent and Mersey canal – stretching 1.5 miles in either direction of the festival site. A record breaking 28 historic boats were on show 350 camping units stayed on-site Over 300 volunteers were involved in staging the festival 250+ organisations exhibited - ranging from boat builders to local crafts people During the weeks leading up to the Festival, we volunteers gave out leaflets at Morrisons and the Octagon Shopping Centre to help promote the event. We also ran WOW activities at the National Brewery Centre Museum – and then catered for over 290 children during the weekend itself. Quite exhausting but very rewarding too …. One of our local boat builders, Nantwich Canal Centre, won the Lionel Munk Award for the second consecutive time (for the best commercial boat) so they were absolutely thrilled.
Harry Arnold MBE, this year’s Festival Chairman said: “It’s been a very proud few days for me. I have spent most of my adult life campaigning for the restoration of the waterways and I am delighted to have been Festival Chairman this year. The IWA member volunteers have staged a fantastic festival – they really are the life and soul of our organisation. “This year’s festival has been one of our best ever and we are looking forward to staging many more in the future.” That said – there will be no National Festival in 2012. The IWA Festival waterspace team has been asked by BW to set up and run the moorings for the Olympics which is obviously a great honour so many of the volunteers will be working there. With the Queen’s Jubilee affecting Bank Holiday days too it was felt that it would be right to have a “year off” and then re-group for 2013 – possibly in Newbury, along the Kennet & Avon. Although the National Festival is an enormous amount of work, members should not underestimate the “national” face it presents to the public. At the Burton event they had MP’s, Chief Executives, Lord Lieutenants et al. These would not necessarily turn out for a smaller local or regional event and without a national “face” the IWA, in my view, risks being seen as a disparate bunch of “bearded boaters” with no relevance to the wider community. The amount of pressure, too, that is put on the committee by local authorities to take the Festival to their area also gives some clue as to the value placed upon it by those outside the association. With some detractors suggesting that the time is past for such an event – they have yet to come up with a suitable, nationally based alternative. Members already complain that the IWA does not have a high enough national profile – so to do away with the only marketing tool we currently have that attempts to reach that wider audience would be foolhardy in the extreme. Gillian Bolt
HORSES AT WORK AT THE BOAT MUSEUM
The honoured guest of the day was Thomas Telford here seen being interviewed about his great achievements.
Local children were fascinated watching this beautiful horse being shod by a local farrier.
Plenty of activity at Portersâ€™ Row as the horse-drawn bread van delivered his wares to housewives in the cottages.
What a delightful day this was—and how good to see it so well supported by the public. Horses were everywhere ranging from tiny miniature ponies to great shires, with all sizes in between. The trip boat was kept busy throughout the day, MATE street theatre and Graham Bellinger’s folk singers provided entertainment and Sue Day gave fascinating demonstrations of harnessing for towing. Parkgate Pony Sanctuary brought along several of their horses and ponies and gave a demonstration of Horse Whispering—amazing! Later in the day Gifford was crewed up by volunteers and Sue Day’s horse Bilbo, having been harnessed earlier, was brought along to tow her out of the museum and along the canal. All-day events included horse and waggon displays and Victorian games at Porter’s Row, Pony Sanctuary display and pony rides, leatherwork display and photographic exhibition. In the island warehouse were children’s crafts and dressing up. Altogether this was a superb day out and if you missed it, keep a lookout for next year. Great credit must be given to the members of the Boat Museum Society and the museum staff, as like all these events, some very hard work had gone into its organisation.
Sue Day leads Bilbo along the tow path towing Gifford
Gifford crewed by volunteers with Sue and Bilbo under the bridge
BW CUSTOMER FORUM 14 APRIL 2011
Due to the limited space in our Spring Flyer this item had to be omitted. Below are a few of the points which were raised relating to our Branch area. Q. A.
Rubbish Disposal and Recycling availability? We do have a list of sites along the canal where there are refuse disposal facilities for use by our customers. A list of local recycling points which are near to BW Customer refuse disposal sites will be loaded onto BW Waterspace website shortly. BW is looking into installing its own recycling facilities for a trial period at Henhull Moorings and Stoke Hall Moorings. If this trial is successful we will look at other waste sites across the local canals.
Navigation of the Dee Branch and the River lock. In the light of our current funding constraints the estimated cost of dredging the branch will not be considered a priority at the moment. We are considering what other options are available to enable the silt to be removed and the branch to be navigable. We will be seeking to arrange a meeting with interested parties in the near future to explore our options. We are in discussions with the EA and Cheshire West and Chester Council regarding the Dee Lock gates.
Ellesmere Port bottom wide lock/bottom retaining wall. Funding has not been allocated to this work within the 2011/12 budget due to current constraints within our major works budget.. We will continue to discuss the repairs with our National engineering team and the Boat Museum to look at alternative funding sources. Cheshire West and Chester Council have been contacted with a view to possibly carrying out a joint scheme to undertake the repairs.
Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge—latest plans? The design for refurbishment is almost complete but as yet full allocation of funds for a definitive start has not been agreed.
Mooring Overstay Questions were asked regarding the local lack of enforcement of mooring overstay. The feeling expressed was that this is totally out of control. It was explained to the meeting that enforcement action is time and legislative constrained so it can seem to bystanders that nothing is happening but this is often not the case. BW went on to say ‘due to the Data Protection Act we are unable to divulge detail of individual cases so it is difficult for us to dispel the view that we are ‘doing nothing’. Untimately licence holders who fail to comply are at risk of having their licence revoked and when this happens they then must remove their boat from our property. If they fail to do so, we commence proceedings to remove it ourselves. The contact for our area is Sheila Shaw Enforcement Supervisor Tel: 07748 658040 Email: Sheila.firstname.lastname@example.org’.
The next BW Customer Forum is to be held on 14 October. Two members of each organisation are invited to attend. BW guarantee an answer to all questions so if any of our members have a question relating to Chester & District Branch area our representatives will ensure that they are received. Contact our Vice Chairman, Bill Sinclair, or any Committee member. The editor is pleased to receive contributions to the newsletter from any of our readers. Please contact email@example.com or ring 0151 608 6487 or 07850 278719. Photographs are particularly welcome. It should be noted that the views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the IWA. They are published as being of interest to our members and readers. The IWA is a registered charity No. 212342
CHESTER BRANCH WELCOMES THE FOLLOWING NEW MEMBERS: Mr J Kummer, Ellesmere Port Mr and Mrs R Nicholas, Birkenhead Mr A Cross, Deeside Mr D Haslam, Shotton Mr N Payton, Connah’s Quay Mr A Ramsay, Prenton Mr Brian Love, Axminster Devon We look forward to meeting you all at our monthly meetings at the Ellesmere Port Boat Museum and on our Branch walks. LIKE TO JOIN IWA? CONTACT PETER BOLT ON 0151 678 9300
WATERWAYS ACTION SQUAD
This project is a youth engagement programme from British Waterways and The Waterways Trust, working with NEET (Not in Education Employment or Training). It involves a cohort of 5 young people from Cheshire who are currently unemployed undertaking 24 hours per week for 24 weeks of voluntary work and learning. This is known as the 24/ twentyfour Project The new tenants of Taylor’s Boatyard in Chester have an enormous job on their hands so it was felt they could probably do with some help. The group has cleared the area alongside the dry dock, uncovering a historic track and has weeded and tidied the area round the workshops. They have also been working at the Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port. As some of these young people are ex-offenders, some have disabilities of one kind or another and some have been in care, projects such as the Waterways Action Squad can make a real difference to their attitudes and self-esteem.
BOAT MUSEUM SOCIETY—Diary Dates Meetings are held in the Rolt Centre at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port,
Friday 16th September Wolverhampton Corrugated Iron Company. Cath Turpin will look at the development of this local company and its water transport links Friday 21st October T.E. Lawrence and his Waterways Connections. Andy Wood will speak about a relatively unknown aspect of Lawrence of Arabia's life Friday 18th November How the Museum came to Ellesmere Port. In this, the 40th anniversary of the beginnings of the Museum, founder members Harry Arnold & Tony Lewery will describe the rationale and early history of NWMIN, the predecessor of BMS, which set up the museum in the 1970s. Friday 16th December An Obsession Shared John and Sue Yates will relive 34 years of canal involvement. Also the BMS Christmas social evening.
CHESTER CANAL HERITAGE TRUST Chester Home Guard, Canal Street, Chester, at 8pm, in the function room Wednesday 2 November Coal Gas in the UK- An illustrated talk by Bill Aldridge about the industry and how it used the canals for transport Wednesday 7 December Historic Villages of the Wirral's Dee Coastline - Local Historian Gavin Hunter on the story of these villages many of which operated as part of the Port of Chester. All are welcome—non-members £1.50 admission
MEMBERS OF CHESTER BRANCH GET EVERYWHERE! We hear from our boating members that there have been some exciting cruises this summer. Ray and Pauline Moore, and Peter and Jenny MacGillivray were brave enough to cruise their narrowboats across the Wash from Wisbech to Boston sailing 7 miles out to sea. Ray writes that they cruised for 5 hours from Wisbech to Roger Sound where they had a barbeque, then a further 2 hours to Boston. They were lucky with the weather and with the sea like a millpond—a day they will never forget. Ray’s photograph of part of the convoy crossing the Wash
Peter and Lesley Taylor were equally adventurous when they joined the Cotswold Canal Trust’s Centenary Cruise across the Severn Estuary. Lesley writes:- We have been fortunate to go on the above cruise which has been absolutely superb. We made our way to Saul, for a change we had excellent weather, where we met up with all the other crews and have met some wonderful fellow boaters of like mind. We opted to go on the Southern Routeothers chose the Northern Route. We went to Sharpness but had to wait 5 days before being allowed to go out on to the River Severn. However, the day we went was perfect – calm and sunny. We stopped over in Portishead for about 4 hours before going out again and into the River Avon and moored in Bristol - in the dark - for the night. Stopped in Bath for two days – wonderful City. Weather has been mixed and we are now on the Thames – lovely and sunny – and making our way to Lechlade for the final celebrations and where we will meet up with the Northern Route boats. We will then make our way back to base. A wonderful trip and we will give a full report in the next edition of the Chester Packet.
Peter and Lesley Taylor were equally adventurous when they decided to Mooring Overstay join the Coltswold Canal Centennial Cruise across the Severn Estuary. Questions were asked regarding the local lack of enforcement of mooring FOR YOUR DIARIES Lesley writes:overstay. The feeling expressed was that this is totally out of control. It was explained to the meeting that enforcement actiis time and legislative constrained so it can seem to bystanders that nothing is happening but this Make sureBWyou keep 22,23,24 JuneAct is often not the case. went on to say ‘due to the Data Protection we are unable to divulge detail of individual cases so it is difficult for us 2012 free! Untimately licence holders to dispel the view that we are ‘doing nothing’. who fail to comply are at risk of having their licence revoked and when this happens they then must remove their boat from our property. If they Peter and Lesley Taylor were equally intrepid on the Navigation other side of the with River failIn to doconjunction so, we commence proceedings toWeaver remove it ourselves. The concountry, cruising their boat across the Severn Estuary on the tact forSociety our area is and Development of the Arts in Cotswold Canal Trust Centennial Cruise. Lesley writes:-
(DAN) the Chester & District SheilaNorthwich Shaw Enforcement BranchSupervisor of IWA will be holding a Festival on Tel: 07748 658040 the site of the Flotel, London Road, Email: Sheila.firstname.lastname@example.org’. Northwich, on the River Weaver. This
The next BW Customer Forum is to be held on 14 October. promises be aorganisation great Festival with more BW Two members to of each are invited to attend. From: Margaret Pitney guarantee an answer to allthan questions so ifbefore! any of our members attractions ever have a question relating to Chester & District Branch area our representatives will ensure that they are received. Contact our If you are a boater or or a any trader contact Mike Vice Chairman, Bill Sinclair, Committee member.
Carter on 0151 608 6113 or mobile 07795 617803 or e-mail him on email@example.com The editor is pleased contributions to the your newsletter from any of ourform. readers. Please contact marforto receive details and entry firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0151 608 6487 or 07850 278719. Photographs are particularly
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 4:35 PM
welcome. It should be noted that the views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the IWA. They are published as being of interest to our members and readers. The IWA is a registered charity No. 212342
If you are not a boater make your way to To: Lesley Taylor Northwich next June—admission is free. Subject: Re: Your Cruise
CHESTER BRANCH ENTERTAINS MEMBERS OF IRISH IWA On Thursday, 21 April, members of the Newry & Portadown Inland Waterways Association of Ireland visited our area. Peter Bolt, Membership Secretary for Chester & District Branch co-ordinated a varied programme of activities for them. They were transported to Anderton and enjoyed lunch and some retail therapy in the excellent gift shop there. Following lunch they were carried down to the River Weaver in the Anderton trip boat - courtesy of British Waterways who kindly sponsored this for us. However - there was more to come as four craft owned by Chester Branch members were waiting to take them for a cruise up the river. As one of the visitors put it - the cruise really was "the icing on the cake". In the evening we all adjourned to the Stanley Arms in Anderton for a meal where Brian Phillips, IWA Chester Branch Chairman, was presented with a Green & Silver Burgee (adopted following Tom Rolt's book about Ireland, entitled "Green & Silver") and then plaques from the two local Councils involved in the Newry & Portadown canal project. There was a serious side, however, to all this jollity, as the IWAI branch members have a real restoration project on their hands - the Newry & Portadown canal was actually built before the Duke of Bridgewater's canal - and the line still exists but there's no water in it. They were keen to engage with IWA members as they really feel "we are ahead of the game" in canal restoration and were very interested to hear about ways in which they could start to get the local population involved as well as potential funding sources. They will be keeping in touch and we hope to be able to offer further support as their project progresses.
BRANCH WATERWAY WALKS October 2011-January 2012 All walks take place on the 4th Thursday of the month commencing at 10.15 am and are open to IWA members and non-members alike. Each walk starts and finishes at a pub. Anyone requiring lunch at the pub at the end of the walk can book their meal just before we set out on the walk. Halfway through each walk we stop for welcome ‘bring your own’ refreshments.
October 27th – Christleton
The Old Trooper on the A41, Whitchurch Road, Christleton (CH3 6AE) is the meeting point for the first of our latest series of walks. The walk leaves Christleton in an easterly direction across open fields before heading south to join the Baker Way, a long distance path named to commemorate the life and work of Jack Baker, onetime footpaths officer for Cheshire County Council. The path leads to the Shropshire Union Canal, passing first along one side of it, then the other to return to the pub after a walk of about 4 miles. Map reference 436 656 OS Explorer 266. November 24th – Grappenhall From the Parr Arms in the cobbled and picturesque Church Lane, Grappenhall (WA4 3EP) just over two miles south east of the centre of Warrington, this walk follows the towing path of the Bridgewater Canal in a north easterly direction to join the Trans Pennine Way which (if you are feeling energetic) will take you from Southport on the west coast to Hornsea on the east coast via Liverpool, Manchester and Hull. We will follow the route for just a short distance for a peep at Latchford Locks on the Manchester Ship Canal before returning via the Bridgewater to the Parr Arms after a walk of 4.4 miles. Map reference 639 863 OS Explorer 276. January 26th – Winsford A winter’swalk on hopefully well-drained surfaces. Leaving the Wharton Park Hotel, Weaver Valley Road, Winsford (CW7 3DB), this walk drops down through the wooded Weaver Parkway to follow the right bank of the Weaver Navigation in a northerly direction, passing the Meadowbank salt mine en route before returning on a higher level route to enjoy, after a walk of 4 miles, a carvery or other meal of your choice at the pub. Map reference 650 670 OS Explorer 267.
There will be further walks in February, March, April and May 2012 which will be detailed in the next edition of the Chester Packet. Further information can be obtained by ringing 01928 788673 or 0151 608 6487
CHESTER & DISTRICT BRANCH PROGRAMME OCTOBER 2011—MAY 2012 All meetings, except April 2012, are held at 7.45 pm on the second Tuesday of the month in the Tom Rolt Conference Centre at the Ellesmere Port Boat Museum
‘The RNLI – Doing Something Amazing Every Day’ Alan Banks from the North Regional Office Education Unit of the RNLI.
‘LTC Rolt – Engineer, Campaigner, Conserver, Innovator, Researcher, Author and Family Man’ Tony Hirst, Waterway Enthusiast.
‘The Anderton Lift from Past to Present’ The talk will include the history of the lift through to how we manage the Boat Lift and Visitor Centre today. Tim Turner, British Waterways Boat Lift and Attraction Manager. This will be followed by sherry, mince pies and a bumper raffle.
2012 10 January
‘The Beautiful River Weaver and some more Glimpses into its Past’’ Colin Edmondson from Weaver Navigation Society and member of the Railway and Canal Historical Society, writer and historian.
‘Chester and its Canal – an Ambiguous Relationship’ John Herson, Chairman of Chester Canal Heritage Trust
‘How the IWA Saved the Route to the Canal Port and What Happened Next’ Norman Stainthorp, former Conservation Officer to Ellesmere Port Council, and Boat Museum guide
‘The Yangste River before and after the Dam’ Audrey Smith, IWA Vice President and former Chairman
*Please note this is the third Tuesday of the month due to avoidance of Easter week
‘A Good Day for doing the Wash’
Jennifer and Peter MacGillivray from IWA Chester & District Branch