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AUTUMN 2012 | ISSUE 237


IWA stalwarts honoured

WRG at Work


TRUSTEE ELECTION SPECIAL - Voting slip inside COVER v1.indd 1

IWA FESTIVAL REPORTS From Northwich & Stroud 20/7/12 2:14:39 pm

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IWA waterways - Autumn 2012 |

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20/7/12 3:13:46 pm


Autumn 2012


AGENDA The Column of the National Chairman


IWA AT WORK What’s been happening around the branches



Who received a gong in the Queen’s Birthday Honours

16. INTRODUCING ALISON SMEDLEY Meeting IWA’s new branch campaign officer

20. WATERWAY FESTIVAL REPORTS Succesful events held at Northwich and Stroud

22. NEWS A round up of the main stories from IWA and beyond

Ten Good Reasons to be an IWA Member YOUR SUPPORT HELPS IWA TO: • Campaign for properly funded waterways • Provide a voice for you • Help improve your local waterways • Defend the waterways from unwelcome development • Give practical financial and political support for waterways restoration • Provide expert advice for waterway managers and restoration groups • Organise restoration holidays for young people • Provide over 5,000 days of volunteer labour each year • Arrange affordable insurance for waterway organisations • Enable greater appreciation of the waterways through education and experience

28. FREIGHT Commercial carrying developments around the network

30. NORTHERN SOUL Exploring the under-utilised waterways of the north of England


38. WRG AT WORK An update on the activities of the Waterway Recovery Group

41. THE NEXT GENERATION Attracting young people to the world of the waterways

42. CUTTINGS What the media has been saying about waterway issues

45. INBOX Readers’ letters

COVER PICTURE Descending Linton Lock on the Yorkshire Ouse.

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WATERWAYS EDITOR: Keith Goss Tel: 01283 742951 E-mail: ART EDITOR: Kerry Hogston ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER: Ian Sharpe Tel: 01283 742977 E-mail: ADVERTISING DESIGN: Jill Brown, Johanne Ward ADVERTISING PRODUCTION: Samantha Lloyd E-mail: EDITORIAL BOARD: Neil Edwards, Jo Gilbertson, Keith Goss, Clive Henderson, Peter Johns, Jim Shead REPROGRAPHICS: Waterways World Ltd, 151 Station Street, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, DE14 1BG. Printed in England by Warners (Midlands) PLC, Bourne, Lincs Articles may be reproduced provided permission is obtained and acknowledgement made. ISSN 0969-0654 G


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Please note: All discounts and offers are entirely at the organisers’ discretion. To take advantage of these offers please go to: area/member_discounts_special_offers_public IWA has teamed up with both Navigators & General and River Canal Rescue to enable an insurance facility that is unique to the market, with the added benefit that every policy taken out and subsequently renewed helps IWA, and thus furthers our charitable work for the waterways. These specialist inland waterway insurance policies are tailored to fit your needs, covering loss and damage to your vessel, protecting you against legal claims, paying for injury and damages caused to other property and providing the security of inclusive breakdown cover. Obtaining a quote couldn’t be easier, simply fill in a few details on our online form, and one of Navigators & General team will call you back.

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Nothing printed in Waterways may be construed as policy or an official announcement unless stated, otherwise IWA accepts no liability for any matter in the magazine. Although every care is taken with advertising matters no responsibility whatsoever can be accepted for any matter advertised.

Where a photo credit includes a note such as CC-BY-SA, the image is made available under that Creative Commons licence; full details at

The policy incorporates many features that are unique including: • Membership of River Canal Rescue • Dedicated insurance cover for owners who permanently live aboard their boats (additional cost) • Personal public liability • Marina benefits • Medical expenses cover • £3 million pounds third party cover The Inland Waterways Association is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.


•Joint/Family £37.50

Details of all other rates are available from IWA Head Office – see the Directory on the address sheet.

| IWA waterways - Autumn 2012

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The Column of the National Chairman 2012 - a year to remember So much has already happened around our waterways this year but the launch of the Canal & River Trust will be seen as a major event alongside the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and Olympics Games. The final passage of legislation through Parliament went more or less to plan and the months of detailed work involved in the orderly transfer of the rights and assets and liabilities to CRT were completed, the launch parties held and the gradual rebranding and promotion to a wider community is underway. I think we can take pleasure in this and from the part that IWA played in bringing it about in such a successful way. The early fears of a drought spoiling the occasion soon dissolved into worries about when the rain might stop to allow the sun to shine. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Flotilla on the River Thames in June was spoilt to some extent by bad weather and poor coverage on television but it was still a great event for those lucky enough to take part and for those who braved the conditions to stand on the banks and the bridges of the Thames to watch and cheer the Pageant. The stamina of all concerned did them credit and, despite the cold and rain, left many happy memories of the day and the build up and practice sessions. The organisers did a great job in planning and putting it on but I apologise to the many thousands of members and my friends who told me ‘I looked out for you but didn’t see you.’ – It wasn’t my fault – I was there as promised!

Lots happening around the country Despite the focus on a few special events there has also been a wide variety of waterway events and activities going on. Some were affected and some cancelled because of the weather but, despite the absence of a National Waterway Festival this year, our branches and supporters have been actively involved in so many events and there has been plenty of media and public interest in events of all styles and sizes. Waterways under restoration have continued to have a high profile and make incremental progress towards their goals. With this edition you have been sent our Annual Review of last year and it makes me proud to see how much is done by so many members and branches around the country over a 12 month period. It really makes a difference to our waterways and how they are seen around the network. Please keep up the good work if you are involved or consider joining like-minded members in getting some hands on involvement in an area of interest to you. We mustn’t forget the unsung heroes who organise these efforts and spend hours at their desks and on the telephone coordinating and liaising; it doesn’t sound exciting but it is rewarding when it ends in success and an improved waterway.

So everything in the garden is rosy now? Sadly all is not well in some areas. The continuous cruising licence option on CRT waterways, that we have supported and defended over many years, is being badly abused by many and the problem is getting worse. We were not naïve; we always knew there would be some who abused the trust put in them when compulsory cruising logs were not made a requirement as first proposed, but a minority who abused the conditions has now become a majority of the 3,500 odd boats who take out such a licence. I used to call them overstaying continuous cruisers until a genuine continuous cruiser told me he didn’t want his classification linked with them and suggested we call them what they are, continuous moorers in breach of their licence conditions. I was horrified at the situation I witnessed on London’s waterways this summer. Overstaying continuous moorers have taken over every visitor mooring, two or three boats abreast in many sections, leaving me to ask ‘where is a visitor to moor?’ A private boater or hire boater visiting London will find it unwelcoming I fear and there will be little temptation to moor alongside or amongst boats that appear to be the ‘hoodies’ of the waterways in terms of reactions to the general

appearance of many of the continuously moored boats. Around the country many pubs are closing their doors for the last time and waterside pubs reflect this trend and will continue to do so when the moorings outside are taken up with continuous moorers. Where can the family on the hire boat stop to enjoy a canalside pub at lunchtime or in the evening in such areas? Such trade is the lifeblood of many waterside pubs, despite being seasonal, without it they tend to close or fall into decline and we lose another piece of heritage. A glance at the ‘Boating in London – Facilities, Maps and Waterways Guide’, available on Waterscape website as I write this, now reads like a work of fiction or bad humour when none of the attractions mentioned are available to boaters if they cannot moor. If something isn’t done now to enforce the mooring regulations at these sites and the terms of the Continuous Cruising licence enforced then London will soon become a no go area as the lack of enforcement encourages others to arrive to moor four or five boats abreast, making through navigation impossible. Will developers still want to line London’s waterways with blocks of apartments when tenants and purchasers decide that their waterside view of the same permanently moored boats doesn’t justify any waterside price premium? Especially if one considers that most such boats appear to be lived on yet never move to take on water or deal with other essential living outputs, if I can leave it at that. I understand that a floating lavender boat may call occasionally whilst topping up their fuel but there are very few sanitary stations in London. The night soil man stopped calling on East London’s streets many years ago, but are its waterways moving back to those days? I need to make it clear that I support residential use of boats that continuously cruise or that are based at approved mooring sites with adequate facilities available to support such use. The continuously moored boats in London and in some other hot spots are not in this group. Others have written more eloquently on this topic and I hope that CRT will rise to the challenge of reclaiming London’s waterways for navigation and visitors before it is too late. There will be action and enforcement over the Olympic period but these must be kept up afterwards to retain vacant moorings for visitors to use.

My time as your National Chairman After four interesting and I think momentous years as chairman of the Trustee board I have advised them that I think the time is right for a successor to take over from this October. Although you will see from the trustee election papers, sent with this edition of Waterways, that I am standing for election as a Trustee for a further term of three years, the time seems right for a new chair to take on the role. I will say my farewells in the next edition but I wanted you all to read the news here first.

Clive Henderson IWA waterways - Autumn 2012 |

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20/7/12 12:59:04 pm

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| IWA waterways - Autumn 2012

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20/7/12 3:17:02 pm

IWA at Work News from around the branches

RUGELEY’S BANKSIDE IMPROVEMENTS On Sunday 27th May, 16 community volunteers worked hard to improve the Brindley Bank area in Rugeley. They were helped by an enthusiastic young volunteer, James Sherry, who was most disappointed when they ran out of litter to pick. However, he soon carried on (with the help of his parents) to clear Himalayan balsam and ivy. The work party was part of a continuing project to improve the Brindley Bank area, by the Trent & Mersey Aqueduct in Rugeley. Part of the work is aimed at uncovering the rest of the historic coal tramway which has been discovered on the site. Coal used to be transported by narrowboats down to Brindley Bank, and then put onto small tram carts. These would have been taken by the tramway into Brindley Bank Pumping Station to fire the engines. The regular work parties, both at this site and along the canal in Rugeley Town, are lead by IWA, and supported by local volunteers, including helpers from Rugeley Lions, the Landor Society, and various town councillors. Refreshments for the 27th May working party were kindly provided by Etching Hill Women’s Institute.


Rubbish galore from the Grand Union Canal.

Earlier in the year, Milton Keynes Branch once again did its bit to counter the “throw- away” habits of those MK citizens who still see the canal as a dump for their rubbish. Among the items recovered were supermarket trolleys, bicycles, motorbikes, road signs, and traffic cones, tools and implements including a ladder, lawnmower, plastic hose, buckets, spades and a wheelbarrow, building sundries including scaffold poles, plywood, tarpaulins, and wire fencing, and domestic items such as TVs, chairs, wheelie-bins, and a sledge; all amounting to over 10 tons. This is slightly less than on past clean-ups, so perhaps the anti-social dumpers are beginning to learn at last. Supported by British Waterways and sponsored by Wyvern Shipping Co, the clean-up involved some 40 people over the three days, including local residents, members of the Leighton Buzzard and Linslade Scout Troops and Swimming Club, as well as branch members. Once again, BW provided a 70ft hopper, a 40ft pan, and a dredger and crew. The young participants enjoyed themselves hugely, and all received Certificates of Achievement signed by Branch Chairman Peter Caswell, Wyvern Shipping Director James Griffin, and BW Waterway Manager Jeff Whyatt. RIGHT: The BW hopper and dredger.

ABOVE: Brindley Bank work party on 27th May – a mixed bunch of volunteers. LEFT: Trying to remove the hawthorn stumps. LEFT: Inspecting the haul.


| IWA waterways - Autumn 2012

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Pumphouse cottage.

THREAT TO HISTORIC PUMPHOUSE COTTAGE IWA West Riding Branch is campaigning against the proposed demolition of the Halifax Canal pumphouse cottage. A planning application has been submitted for the demolition of the cottage to allow the building of a pair of semi-detached dwellings and the conversion and extension of the old pumphouse to form two apartments. The planning application is 12/00453/FUL at Calderdale Council’s website: online-applications/. The branch, along with other interested parties, does not object to the conversion of the pumphouse from a workshop to accommodation, as that would assure its long term survival, but feels the cottage should be retained as part of a more sympathetic development. The application to demolish the cottage was originally put in last year but was withdrawn after the Halifax Civic Trust applied to English Heritage to have the cottage listed. It was then understood that the developer had agreed to modify his plans to incorporate the cottage into the scheme. However, English Heritage turned down the listing application and the planning application for demolition of the cottage has now been resubmitted. Both IWA and Halifax Civic Trust are objecting. The pumping station is an important part of Calder & Hebble Navigation history. When the canal branch was built to Halifax in the 1820s, it required 14 locks. Because of opposition from mill owners, all water for the arm had to be pumped up from Salterhebble via an adit. From there it flowed by gravity to a reservoir feeding the top pound where the Nestlé factory is today. The cottage was built in the same style as the other Calder & Hebble Navigation buildings and forms an important part of the pumping station complex. The navigation company had an employee living on site as at times the pumping engine was running 24 hours a day. After the branch was abandoned in 1942, the engine and boilers in the pumping station went for scrap and the boiler house was demolished, but the pumphouse and cottage have survived until now. Although neither building is listed, they are a feature of the Hebble Trail which follows the route of the old canal. The pumping station is situated on a loop of the Hebble Trail as it was built on the hillside above the canal.

GLOUCESTER CELEBRATES THE PAST… AND WORRIES ABOUT THE FUTURE Gloucestershire & Herefordshire Working through Branch report that Gloucester Lock. they have two major campaigns this year. The first concerns the safety of the difficult approach to Gloucester Lock (The Quay) where mooring outside the lock is to chains on a high wall – currently in a bad state of repair. This structure appears to be owned by Gloucester City Council who is reluctant to spend any money on it. The second campaign is the dredging of Gloucester Dock which is slowly filling up with silt. This is a problem that British Waterways seemed unable to solve and it has been suggested that the solution may be to send the silt down the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. The branch has also produced a guide to the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and River Severn below Tewkesbury. Contact the branch for an electronic copy or it will be available at locks and other outlets along the river and canal. Looking back, an event called ‘Lock 200’ celebrates the opening of Gloucester Lock in1812 (the canal was opened later). To mark this anniversary, the Gloucestershire & Herefordshire Branch and the Gloucester City Centre Community Partnership are to hold a celebratory weekend on 8th-9th September. This will include a re-enactment on the Saturday afternoon when local children will travel through the lock dressed for the period, followed by a parade of historic boats.

Gloucester Docks.

Is your branch doing something that demonstrates the great work that our members do? If so let us know - send your story and pictures to

IWA waterways - Autumn 2012 |

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20/7/12 1:02:43 pm

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20/7/12 3:18:09 pm

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20/7/12 3:18:53 pm

IWA Stalwarts


The Queen’s Birthday Honours, announced on 16th June, brought recognition for a host of waterways campaigners, including three former IWA trustees.

FRED BLAMPIED MBE Fred Blampied has been an active campaigner for the inland waterways in the South West, and in particular around Bristol, since 1955, when he first joined IWA. He became the inaugural chairman of the Association’s South West Branch when it formed in 1960, and has been part of, or worked closely with, its successor committee (IWA South West Region and IWA Avon & Wilts Branch) ever since. Fred became closely involved in waterway restorations with communities around the Brecon, Abergavenny & Monmouthshire canals in South Wales, with the Bridgewater & Taunton Canal in Somerset and the western half of the Kennet & Avon Canal, and particularly the River Avon in Bristol. As well as being a key contributor to local waterway causes for more 50 years, Fred co-ordinated and led visiting work parties further afield in the 1960s and ‘70s – including the Ashton Canal in Manchester and Stratford-on-Avon Canal. Fred’s greatest achievement was his work with other like-minded organisations in resisting proposals of the Bristol Docks Bill of 1971 which proposed partial infilling and restricting navigation in the City Docks. Although the Bill was passed, it was heavily modified, and the campaign caused the Council to reconsider its view of the Docks as a problem, and began to see it as a potential asset. Part of the campaign included the first Water Festival, which showed what could be done with the Docks, and Fred was deeply involved with this in 1971, and in each of the successive years until Bristol City Council took over full organisation of the growing event later in that decade. The event,


which would never have happened without Fred Blampied, has become one the largest tourismgenerating festivals in the West Country today and highlight of the Bristol City calendar. Through the 1970s Fred continued to work with the City Council on ways to improve the waterways in the City – for example organising a team of 130 local people to cleanup Totterdown Basin and tree planting on the Feeder Canal in Bristol. Without this work, the full restoration of the Kennet & Avon Canal as a sea-to-sea through route might well have been frustrated through closure of navigation in Bristol. Subsequently, Fred put up some of the funds to buy the last classic Stothert & Pitt cranes outside the Industrial Museum in Bristol; this inspired Bristol City Council to save two further cranes, which continue to stand as a major feature of the Bristol waterside today. In later years, Fred continued to work on waterway projects in his home area, inspiring newer committee members and the local community to preserve and develop their waterways for greater public benefit. In 2011, Bristol City Council commissioned a special trophy, given to Fred, with the words “Presented to Fred Blampied on the 40th anniversary of the Bristol Harbour Festival. Bristol thanks you.”

Below: Bristol City Docks - saved through the efforts of Fred Blampied. Bottom: Bradford-on-Avon on the western Kennet & Avon Canal.

| IWA waterways - Winter Autumn 2011 2012

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The Queen’s Birthday Honours ROGER SQUIRES BEM

JOHN BAYLIS BEM John Baylis has led campaigning work for IWA for over 30 years, and has been instrumental in all the major waterway development and restoration projects in the East Midlands since the early 1970s, including the Erewash Canal, Derby Canal, Grantham Canal, Sleaford Navigation and many others. He also led the restoration of four locks on the Montgomery Canal, negotiating and leading work parties, devising engineering solutions, inspiring volunteer support and making sure the funds were there.

Roger Squires has made a life-time commitment to promoting the importance of the UK’s historic canals and rivers, particularly the waterways of the London area. Roger is an IWA life member of over 30 years standing, and was its deputy national chairman until September 2009 and chairman of IWA’s Navigation Committee until 2010. He was a trustee of the Association and chairman of its London Region, from November 2000 to September 2009. Roger is a trustee of the London Canal Museum, a member of the London Waterways Commission and a UK Director of the American Canal Society. He has been a leading organiser of Inland Waterways International since its foundation, an organiser of the World Canals Conference (responsible for bringing it to the UK – Liverpool – in 2007), and ambassador for the UK waterways through Europe and America, all at his own expense and initiative. He was commodore of St Pancras Cruising Club for ten years.

Others honoured in the Birthday Awards include: Beryl Windsor BEM – organiser of the annual Angel Canal Festival in North London.

Beryl Windsor The Erewash Canal – one of the many waterways that have benefited from John Baylis’s work. John led IWA’s Navigation Committee for over ten years, was a deputy chairman of IWA, chairman of IWA’s East Midlands Region and a director of Waterway Recovery Group for 30 years (many of those years as its deputy chairman). He was awarded the Association’s most prestigious award, The Cyril Styring Trophy, at the 2011 AGM.

Di Skilbeck MBE – President of the Boat Museum Society at Ellesmere Port.

The London Canal Museum numbers Roger Squires among its trustees.

Di Skilbeck (right)


Tony Baldry (front) paddling his canoe

Tony Baldry, MP for Banbury, is co-chairman of the Parliamentary Waterways Group, a former waterways minister and long-standing IWA member. He most recently played a major role in the parliamentary hearings that led eventually to the establishment of the Canal & River Trust.

Norma Hornby MBE – Chairman, Canal Boat Adventure Project in Warrington. Shirley Beckwith OBE – chairman and co-owner of City Cruises plc, London Docklands.

IWA IWAwaterways waterways- -Autumn Winter 2012 2011 |

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20/7/12 1:05:50 pm

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20/7/12 3:19:36 pm

IWA waterways - Autumn 2012 |

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20/7/12 3:20:18 pm


Alison Smedley We talk to IWA’s new Branch Campaign Officer


really think I must have the best job in the world” says Alison Smedley, IWA’s first ever Branch Campaign Officer. For someone who has spent the past 20 years volunteering in her spare time for IWA and other waterway organisations, applying for this role when it was advertised late last year was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swap a mundane office job for something much more rewarding. The role offers support for branches to help plan and coordinate local projects and engage new local volunteers as part of IWA’s ongoing commitment to local campaign work, and reports to Campaign & Communications Manager, Jo Gilbertson. Although Alison is a paid member of Head Office staff, she works from home in the Midlands (when not out on site visits and meeting branch volunteers) and will cover the whole network of IWA branches. Alison is no stranger to the waterways network, having boated most of it over the last 24 years since she bought her first boat at the age of 19. Since then she has owned two historic boats (GUCCCo Shirley and BCN Tug Spitfire) and is now co-owner with husband Rupert of the Cowburn & Cowpar motor boat Skylark, an unconverted working boat built in 1934 and still with its original single cylinder Gardner 4VT engine. Her connection with the waterways goes back even further, with waterway enthusiast parents, David and Elizabeth Struckett, taking the family on various canal holidays as well as spending five years living on the 80ft Humber keel Tom Newbound on the River Thames at Old Windsor in the 1970s.

Welcome to IWA Her involvement as an active volunteer with IWA started in November 1992 when, in her early 20s living on her own on a narrowboat on the Grand Union Canal, she plucked up the courage to go out to an IWA meeting on a cold winter’s evening. The meeting’s illustrated talk was given by Tim Lewis of London WRG, and was the first event held by IWA London Region in Uxbridge. By the time January came around she had got herself thoroughly involved with London WRG (going on almost all their weekend digs during 1993) and had also attended the inaugural meeting of what started as an IWA Section and later became IWA Middlesex Branch. Alison was its first Secretary. A year or two later she joined the London Region Committee as Minutes Secretary, later becoming Secretary, a role she continued until leaving London five years later. Alison, who is currently Secretary of the Historic Narrow Boat Club, was converted to the idea of historic working narrowboats when she met Rupert Smedley through London WRG. Rupert


owned the 1934 full length BCN motor Ben. One of Alison and Rupert’s favourite annual boating events during the 1990s was the IWA BCN 24-Hour Marathon Challenge, and it is a little known fact that the date of the 1996 event was changed to allow for Alison and Rupert’s wedding (as otherwise neither Ben nor Fulbourne, with its London WRG crew, would have taken part). Alison was extremely glad she had chosen a long sleeved wedding dress, as after spending hours in the water doing her turn in trying to clear the prop (no weed hatch on working boats!) on the Perry Barr flight, she had bruises on both arms when she walked down the aisle a week later! In 2000 Alison and Rupert moved to Staffordshire to be closer to the canal network (in fact they have the Caldon Canal at the bottom of their garden). Very soon they both joined the committee of the Caldon Canal Society (as it was then, now the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust), and Alison joined the IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch committee after seeing an appeal in the magazine for a Branch Secretary. Alison has spent most of the last 12 years as Secretary of Stoke-on-Trent Branch, as well as two years as Chairman. She was also Work Party Organiser for the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust during the Destination Froghall project, and oversaw the volunteer input into the restoration of the first lock and basin of the Uttoxeter Canal. Alison spent six years as a directly elected trustee of IWA, followed a couple of years later by a short stint as a Region Chairman. At that time she was active on the Navigation Committee and also served a couple of years on the Restoration Committee, so she is no stranger to the way IWA and its committee structure works. During her time as a directly elected Trustee for IWA, Alison gave birth to a son, Peter, thus becoming the only Trustee to have had a baby whilst in office.

Boating with baby Boating with a baby on an unconverted working boat with just a back cabin (no running water and a solid fuel stove for cooking on) was interesting! In fact, boating with a baby was easy

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The Interview

LEFT: Being photographed by local press on a recent Himalayan Balsam work party.

ABOVE: Alison steers Skylark, the narrowboat she owns with husband Rupert. RIGHT: Clearing the prop on the BCN 24-Hour Challenge in 1996.

enough, boating with a toddler proved to be more challenging, but it gets easier each year and Peter, now seven, enjoys opening and closing lock gates and is looking forward to being able to wind up the paddles too. The fact that she continued with most of her waterway involvement (though not quite all – at some point before Peter was born she was on seven committees and taking the minutes of six of them!), and the fact that she has by now written up probably in excess of 300 sets of meeting minutes, probably contributed to Alison being awarded an MBE for services to the inland waterways in the 2010 New Years Honours List. Attending the investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace and being presented with her medal by the Queen was quite an experience. Alison took up the post of Branch Campaign Officer in the middle of April this year, and immediately set to work talking to people at a national and local level both in IWA and at British Waterways (as it still was then). Her remit was to start working in the Midlands initially, with a view to getting some projects up and running over the summer. She started working primarily with Birmingham, Manchester and Stoke Branches, after first having some useful sessions with members of Lichfield Branch, to find out how and why their Rugeley Project has been so successful.

The first work parties organised by Alison actually took place in her home branch on the Caldon Canal, partly because she already had all the contacts in place. It took a little longer to get hold of the right people both within other IWA branches and at British Waterways/Canal & River Trust, but quite soon she had work parties planned on the Trent & Mersey, Lower Peak Forest, Staffs & Worcester and Worcester & Birmingham canals. In the meantime, early summer and the Himalayan Balsam growing season gave her the opportunity to start working with branches further afield, such as Chiltern and Chelmsford branches, as well as more locally with Stoke-on-Trent and Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire branches in setting up work parties to tackle this invasive plant.

Branching Out Typically Alison has met up with a branch committee (or sometimes just a few people from a branch committee) to discuss what opportunities there are in a branch area and how she might be able to help them. Then Alison has set up a meeting between branch representatives, herself and the local Volunteer Co-ordinator (for branches with C&RT waterways in their patch) in order to progress actual projects and to set dates for work parties. Alison is looking forward to this challenge of working with branches with Environment Agency waterways in their patch, and has made a start on other navigation authorities with IWA’s own waterway, the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation. The projects are very much about working in partnership with local groups, such as canal societies, boat clubs and community groups. It is also important to get the right publicity for each event, both beforehand to ensure enough volunteers turn up (and not just IWA members – anyone can come on an IWA branch work party), and afterwards to ensure people get to hear what has been done. Once a project site, task and date has been set, Alison has been able to help branches by assisting with the health & safety paperwork, creating posters to advertise the event, contacting branch members, getting details onto the IWA website and helping with publicity. Eventually Alison will work her way around all IWA branches, so if you haven’t heard from her yet you are likely to over the next few months. But in the meantime, if you have a particular idea for a work party or project for your branch that you would like some help with, do let her know. Alison can be contacted by email (alison.smedley@waterways. or by telephone on 01538 385388 or 07779 090915.

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20/7/12 1:08:27 pm

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20/7/12 3:24:59 pm

Crowds flock to

The Weaver


ith shining brasswork and bunting fluttering in the breeze, the large number of craft visiting the Northwich River Weaver Festival created a great spectacle between the two distinctive black and white swing bridges in the centre of town during the weekend of 23rd/24th June. An impressive flotilla cruised up the Weaver from the Anderton Boat Lift, carrying David Briggs, the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, as well as Graham Evans, MP for Weaver Vale, and other local dignitaries. The flotilla included both wide and narrow historic boats, leisure craft of all shapes and sizes, and was headed by the Robert’s Bakery Brass Band, carried on the top deck of MV Princess Katherine, a cruise boat from Manchester. The band played throughout the journey, bringing locals out onto the riverside to watch the show. Traders of all kinds reported brisk business during the weekend but one of the most important was the jubilee mug stall – selling a specially commissioned, limited edition bone china mug made in Stoke-onTrent and carried by narrowboat Lindsay up the Trent & Mersey Canal and down the Anderton Lift. As this was the first cargo down the lift since reopening in 2002, it was an event to be celebrated as well as a


rare opportunity to buy a piece of history. Katherine Dewar, the ten year old schoolgirl from Chester who won the Blue Peter competition to design the jubilee logo, was presented with a set of the mugs at the Grand Opening by the Lord Lieutenant. Over 200 children took part in the Wild over Waterways (WOW) activities so there were plenty of duck headdresses and boat horse face masks running around the site. With a variety of live music throughout the weekend, puppet shows, circus skills and good refreshments, there was something for everyone. Aspiring boaters of all ages also took the opportunity of getting afloat on the Bell Boats provided by Lets Go Adventure of Ellesmere Port. Organised by volunteers from IWA’s Chester & District Branch working with members of the River Weaver Navigation Society, DAN (Development of the Arts in Northwich) and the Broken Cross Boat Club, the aim of the festival was to raise the profile of Northwich as a tourist destination and to highlight the potential of its waterside environment. The festival site is now scheduled for redevelopment to include housing and a supermarket as well as a riverside promenade. However, funding is still needed to improve the Baron’s Quay area, next door, which would make Northwich’s whole river frontage an attraction and

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IWA Festival Reports bring significant economic benefits to the town. With IWA’s National Chairman Clive Henderson and representatives of the organising committee travelling with the local MP, VIPs and sponsors during the flotilla, the arguments for regeneration and investment were pressed home and it is hoped that the campaigning will bear fruit in the near future. Gillian Bolt


Katherine Dewar on the jubilee mug stall.

The Cotswold Canal Trust’s Perseverance and Wilts & Berks Canal Trust’s Dragonfly trip ABOVE: Boatsamong and bunting at at IWA’s National boats were 30 boats IWA’s 2012 Trailboat Festival. National Trailboat Festival, both providing rides for the public. The festival was part of the Stroud on Water event, designed to highlight the pace of restoration with clear evidence of work recently completed or in progress. While the newly reopened Wallbridge Upper Lock and A46 Brewery Bridge section were not part of the festival site, the half-mile of canal from Wallbridge Lower Lock through to the festival site had been dredged to full width only days before the event, and was accessed down a steep ramp. Below the nearby Dudbridge Locks, currently being restored to take a hydro turbine, the channel is now complete for over two miles to the brand new swing bridge at Ocean – in place, but not yet swinging. Overtopping of the Dudbridge temporary bund on Saturday evening, following heavy rain, led to concerns for its stability and the moored boats were moved to downstream of the new Ebley floodgate – although the bund held. The Ryeford Double Locks staircase pair were not quite complete, but in use for the festival. They were essential for getting craft from the temporary slipway at Stonehouse to the moorings at Dudbridge below the event site. In addition to the canal work there was plenty of towpath in various states of restoration in many places, even where the canal itself is still just a reedbed. For all the liveliness of the Stroud on Water Festival, it was perhaps the boats cruising and decked out with bunting which brought home the message to the town that its canal really is returning to life. Stuart Fisher

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20/7/12 1:10:27 pm


Canal & River Trust gets Parliamentary go ahead


anal & River Trust (www.canalrivertrust. and Scottish Canals www. formally took over the work of British Waterways on Monday 2nd July. The Transfer of British Waterways to Canal & River Trust was debated in committee in both the House of Lords and the House of Commons on the 25th and 26th June respectively and given the go ahead by both houses. The Second Delegated Legislation Committee (Lords) and the First Delegated Legislation Committee (Commons) both considered the draft British Waterways Board (Transfer of Functions) Order 2012 and the draft Inland Waterways Advisory Council (Abolition) Order 2012. IWA had undertaken to make detailed briefings to key members of both committees and had written openly supporting the move to all of the Commons Committee, as well a providing a detailed briefing to Sir Tony Baldry, MP for Banbury, who is the current co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group and who spoke at length in favour of the transfer during the Commons Committee debate. One of the key concerns of members of both houses during the debates was the briefing against the formation of CRT by the National Association of Bargee Travellers who were concerned that the formation would allow Canal & River Trust to undertake forced removals of improperly moored boats used as residential accommodation. It was made clear by the Minister that this was not the case, and that improperly moored boats were subject to the rules and the 14-day rule would be applied, but that county court judgements would be obtained, as before, for any boat used as a residence. As IWA members will know, The Inland Waterways Association, as the largest national charity for the waterways, was formed over 65 years ago to save the

Dignitaries celebrate the launch of CRT at Fradley on 12th July.

inland waterways from extinction. IWA believes in an independent charity as the way forward for the management of the waterways and has promulgated this idea for over 60 years, our co-founder Robert Aickman then called it a Conservancy. IWA therefore fully supports the formation of CRT as a further step in the safeguarding of a national asset and believes that the trust should be further enhanced and invigorated by the incorporation of Environment Agency navigations and culture. Canal & River Trust has been described as the most exciting project in the public or voluntary sectors. It is certainly the most important development for the waterways of this country in over a generation. A formal launch of the new Trust was staged on 12th July, with several events taking place at various key locations around the waterway network.

Essex Waterways lock-keeper in dramatic rescue


n 8th July Essex Waterways lockkeeper Martin Maudsley saved the life of 69-year-old boater Michael Coleman at Heybridge Basin. Following a locking procedure, Mr Coleman was pushing his boat away from other moored boats in order to move off when he fell overboard. Martin was about 75m away at the lock-side. Hearing the shout that there was a person in the water,


he sprinted to the vicinity of the boat, and seeing only a hat above the water, dived in. Mr Coleman was wearing a heavy coat but no life-jacket. Martin pulled him to the surface and as he was not breathing, immediately commenced cardiopulmonary recusitation (CPR) in the water. Luckily Mr Coleman responded fairly quickly and Martin then ensured that he was brought out of the water and onto his boat.

At this point he was becoming conscious, but blue. He eventually recovered to some extent, but Martin oversaw the appropriate calling of the emergency services and Mr Coleman was subsequently taken by ambulance to hospital. After a brief period of observation, he was released from hospital with no ill-effects, his life having been saved by the swift â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and brave â&#x20AC;&#x201C; response of Martin Maudsley.

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THE FIFTY-THIRD ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of THE INLAND WATERWAYS ASSOCIATION Will be held at The King Edward VI Grammar School, 63 Broomfield Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 3SX

At 2.00 p.m. on Saturday 29th September 2012. Agenda 1. To receive, and approve the minutes of the fifty-second Annual General Meeting. 2. To receive, and approve the Report and Financial Statements for the Association for the year ended 31st December, 2011, and the Report of the Auditors thereon. 3. To re-appoint Saffery Champness as auditors of the Association in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Acts, and to authorise trustees to fix their remuneration. 4. To hear the result of the ballot for the appointment of nationally elected trustees. 5. To hear the results of the ballots for the appointment of Region Chairmen for North West, South West and West Midlands regions. 6. To consider, and pass a Special Resolution confirming trustees’ recommendation that: From 1st January, 2013, the subscriptions shall be amended as follows: Ordinary Member Joint Membership (two members at the same address) Corporate – non-profit making bodies Corporate – profit making bodies – up to 20 employees Corporate – profit making bodies - more than 20 employees Under 18 (all communications are electronic)

Additional AGM Information A pre-AGM meeting will be held on Saturday 29th September at 10am – your chance to interrogate the Trustees, discuss the future of the Association and meet old friends. Chelmsford’s Everest Gurkha Bar & Restaurant is offering a ‘Nepalese Night’ on Saturday evening subject to a minimum of 20 people attending. Cost is likely to be in the region of £20 per head. Overnight accommodation is available in a number of Chelmsford hotels and guesthouses at a wide range of prices – full details from Head Office.

£31.50 £39.00 £54.00 £59.00 £115.00 £1.00

Life membership rates are calculated at 20 times the standard rates. Monthly rates are calculated as one tenth of the annual rates. The concessionary rate for senior citizens (age 65+) is calculated at 80% of the standard rates (the final adjustment being made in 2013). The reduced rate for electronic membership is 80% of the standard rates (available for Ordinary and Joint Membership categories only) 7. To hear an address by the national chairman, Clive Henderson, followed by questions. By Order of the Council HELEN ELLIOT-ADAMS Company Secretary

Notes to the Agenda Directions to the Annual General Meeting: A map and full directions are available on the Association’s web site ( or from Head Office.

Lunch Arrangements: A hot lunch will be available at £6.50 per head provided that it is booked in advance. Full details and a booking form are available from on the Association’s web site ( or from Head Office.

Minutes of the 2011 AGM: Copies of the minutes of the 2011 Annual General Meeting are available on request from Head Office (Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA – Tel: 01494 783453 – e-mail: and on the Association’s web site at information/minutes_of_meetings/minutes_of_meetings.

On Sunday 30th September we will join a vintage 1962 Eastern National bus at Wharf Road car park for the journey to Paper Mill Lock on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation. Here we will board the passenger vessel Victoria travelling upstream through the glorious Essex countryside, passing Little Baddow Mill, Stonhams, Cuton, Sandford and Barnes locks, before arriving at Chelmsford.

Proxies: Any person being a member of the Association is entitled to appoint a proxy to attend and vote on his behalf at the Annual General Meeting. A proxy need not be a member of the Association. Forms for nominating a proxy may be obtained from Head Office, as above, to which they should be returned by 2.00pm on Thursday 27th September 2012, in order to be valid.

Subscription Rates: Subscription rates were last revised at the Annual General Meeting held in 2011. It is trustees’ policy to propose that subscription rates rise each year by the level of the previous year’s Retail Price Index to the 12 months to the end of the previous April. The intention is to avoid any large rises caused by ‘catching up’ and to maintain a steady rate that simply adjusts with inflation. The Retail Price Index for the 12 months ending 30th April 2012 increased by 3.6%. Concessionary rates, life membership and monthly rates are calculated on fixed percentages of the standard rate. The adjustment to bring the senior citizen rates to the level of 80% of the standard rates was phased in over a five-year period concluding this year.

Trustees Ballot Form: All completed Ballot Papers must be received at Head Office by 2.00 pm on Tuesday 25th September 2012.

Election of Region Chairmen: The posts of region chairmen for North West Region, South West Region and West Midlands Region are open for election this year. There was just one nomination for each of the three posts, so there is no ballot. The nominations were for Alan Platt (North West Region – nominated by Dawn Aylwin), Patrick Moss (South West Region – nominated by Chris Birks and Peter Kelly), and Vaughan Welch (West Midlands Region – nominated by Brian Kingshott).

On Monday 1st October there will be an opportunity to join the Victoria for the trip back to Paper Mill Lock, but no return travel will be provided back to Chelmsford.

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Election of Nationally Elected Trustees 2012 Les Etheridge and Clive Henderson retire by rotation, and there is a third vacancy caused by the resignation of Jerry Sanders mid-year. Nominations have been received for John Butler, Les Etheridge, Clive Henderson and Gillian Smith. Thus, there are four (4) nominations for three (3) vacancies. Voting Procedure Only one vote may be placed against each name. You have the right to vote for as many candidates as there are places. THIS YEAR THERE ARE THREE VACANCIES AND ANY BALLOT PAPER WITH MORE THAN THREE VOTES WILL BE INVALID. No ballot paper will be invalid because FEWER than three votes have been cast. Ballot papers must have your name and address in legible writing so that it may checked off against the register of members. A Joint Membership is entitled to two sets of votes. If voting together, both names must be shown in full on the ballot paper - it will then be counted as two sets of votes. An electronic version of the ballot paper is also available on the website at

Vote by post Please complete the ballot paper forming the last section of this notice, placing an X opposite the names of the candidates for whom you wish to vote. Ballot papers may be sent by post to: Trustee Ballot, The Inland Waterways Association, Island House, Chesham, HP5 1WA – or Vote by e-mail to If voting by e-mail, either (a) complete the form (either the electronic version on the website, or scan a paper copy) and attach to an e-mail – or (b) send a simple e-mail making clear which three (or less) candidates you wish to vote for, and include your name and address, including postcode, and your membership number (if known). If a joint member, state whether or not you are both voting together for the same candidates. An e-mail acknowledgement will sent for ballot papers sent by e-mail. In order to be valid, the ballot paper must arrive by 2.00pm on Tuesday 25th SEPTEMBER 2012.

Details of Candidates



(nominated by Jerry Sanders)

(nominated by Alan Platt)


am a boater, a photographer, a cyclist and a walker, all good reasons to be concerned about the waterways. I’ve been a member since I bought my boat – joining the IWA seemed the natural thing to do. At present I am on the committee of the Birmingham, Black Country and Worcestershire Branch and I am a member of one of IWA’s national committees – the Promotions and Communications Committee. I think the Association is facing a difficult period adapting to BW’s metamorphosis into CRT. We shall be walking a tightrope between supportive and critical, and it is vital that we get the balance right. Too supportive and we could appear irrelevant, too critical and we might seem negative. I firmly believe that the association has a future at the centre of the waterways movement. No other body has done so much to encourage the renaissance of the waterways since the war, and no-one else has the Waterways Recovery Group! Since I qualified as a Chartered Accountant, I have worked mostly in retailing and leisure, but I also have some experience of manufacturing and publishing, both as an accountant and in more far-reaching roles. I hope that some of this experience can be of value to the IWA if I am elected as a trustee.



have been our National Treasurer since 2008 and a Deputy National Chairman since 2007. I joined IWA in 1982 and my first detailed involvement came when I joined Finance Committee in 2004. Other current national roles include chairing Finance Committee and the board of IWA’s trading subsidiary. Locally I am Treasurer of the Kent and East Sussex branch and am also chairman of the branch organising committee for the 2013 National Trailboat Festival at Bodiam Castle on the River Rother. We will be using the Festival to promote IWA to a different audience and to encourage more use of the river. During 2011 I took on leadership of the Inglesham Appeal and have been working with WRG and the Cotswold Canal Trust to ensure that the sum of over £100,000 now raised is used to maximum effect in progressing the restoration. My interest in our Inland Waterways goes back to a holiday on the Norfolk Broads in 1971 and I discovered the canals during the 1976 drought. After my trip on the Oxford Canal a work colleague lent me a copy of Tom Rolt’s Narrow Boat and that lead to IWA membership and over time an increasing involvement with the waterways and extensive cruising of the network.

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In 1979 I qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries. A large part of my career was spent working for a mutual life assurance company in Tunbridge Wells. I took early retirement in June 2006 from the position of Chief Executive having been on the board of the company since 1985. I maintain an interest in the industry as a Non Executive director of a life company with around £10 billion of funds under management. It is my firm belief that IWA is responsible for there being the fantastic inland waterway system we are all lucky enough to enjoy today and that IWA needs to continue its work both to protect the system and to further develop it. Whilst Robert Aickman’s vision of a Waterways Conservancy may now be starting to become a reality IWA has much work to do to ensure that this is properly achieved. The job is a long way from finished and we must work hard to ensure that CRT grows to meet our long held vision. There is much for IWA still to do in terms of protecting and enhancing our inland waterways.

■ Elected Private Boater member of the Council of the Canal & River Trust ■ Member of The Russell Newbury Engine Register & Director of The Russell Newbury Property Register Limited ■ Past member of the Black Buoy Cruising Club, its AWCC Representative and the founder Editor of the Club’s Newsletter Buoy’s Own Paper ■ Member of the British Canoe Union Non Waterway involvement: ■ Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England And Wales ■ Elected Parish Councillor ■ Vice Chair of Governors, South & City College Birmingham (Further Education) with 20,000 students and £60m revenues

GILLIAN SMITH (nominated by Audrey Smith)

CLIVE HENDERSON (nominated by Vaughan Welch)


y IWA committee time began with the Warwickshire Branch in 1988 and then the West Midlands Region Committee, becoming chairman of each and a member of IWA’s Trustee Board from 2003 and National Chairman for four years since 2008. I stand for re-election as a Trustee to continue to offer you, the member, the benefit of my wide waterway and business experience to help develop and deliver IWA’s key strategies and priorities. I believe that through engaging, supporting and encouraging our membership we can continue our vital role in shaping the future of our waterway network, protecting and valuing all that it represents and opposing anything that may be detrimental to its sustainability or accessibility now or for future generations. To do this we must continue to maintain and grow our membership, to evolve and modernise to meet our challenges and the changing environment in which we operate and to widen and improve our communications. Modestly, I think that in my time as a Trustee we have maintained and enhanced IWA’s reputation as a respected, influential and responsible organisation that Government and Navigation Authorities have wanted to work with at a strategic level as well as providing leadership and support to waterway societies and restoration groups. Some key waterway facts: ■ IWA Life Member ■ Narrow boat owner since 1984 with extensive experience of navigating the network and I still get some time to relax in this way ■ Supporter of waterway societies and restoration groups and the role of waterway festivals to promote their activities to the community ■ IWA Navigation Committee 2003-09 ■ BWAF Heritage sub committee 2007-09 ■ BWAF member 2008-12 and chairman 2010-12 ■ Observer on the Board of British Waterways 2010-12 ■ Membership Secretary of The Stratford upon Avon Canal Society, having been a Committee Member for nearly 20 years

aterway interests: I have been part of a waterways family since I was “knee-high to a grasshopper” boating extensively all over the waterways network. There are so many waterway memories which are embedded with family life – the freedom, the fun and laughter, the sheer hard work, the sense of achievement, the dramatic changes from the silence and tranquillity of the countryside (almost a sense of isolation) to the glorious industrial heritage. Our waterway system and heritage is unique and diverse, something which we need to cherish and celebrate. I believe that the IWA plays an invaluable role locally, regionally and nationally in achieving this. I have volunteered for the IWA in various ways over the years - being an active member of the local branch and North West Region undertaking the role of Chair until the reorganisation of branches and regions. I have also chaired Promotions & Communications Committee, taken part in Canal Camps and national clean-up events and catered in the Cressy Lounge at National Waterways Festivals, to name but a few. I am currently a member of Finance Committee and North West Region Committee. Being IWA’s national representative on Waterways for Youth enabled me to liaise closely with BW and develop the WOW branding. This ensured that IWA remained a key player in this national initiative, enabling us to further develop WOW activities at IWA events both locally and nationally. Through WOW’s passport scheme we can engage with families and children in a lively, enjoyable and memorable way, explore with them some of the wonders of the waterways and hopefully create a life-long interest. We have managed to combine the waterways heritage with the future, e.g., knot-tying and traditional canal art with 21st century computer games! I have also managed to combine my passion and love of the waterways with my professional passion for learning and education. Professional Qualifications and Employment: I graduated from Cambridge in 1989 with a BEd Hons and started my teaching career in Lancashire, gradually becoming more and more involved in leadership. I gained my MA in Education Management prior to becoming a primary Head Teacher in 2003. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to work as a trustee for IWA again. I believe that I have the passion and enthusiasm and experience and integrity to help support IWA in cherishing and celebrating our fantastic waterway system.

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This ballot paper may be photocopied to avoid cutting up the magazine.

The Inland Waterways Association 2012 Trustees Election Ballot Paper

I/We wish to cast my/our votes as follows:



Joint or Family Members Voting Together








Please write in BLOCK CAPITALS Full Name(s)


Membership Number (if known) Address (including postcode)



……………………………………………………………………….……...…..…………………… ………………………………………………………………….……………..……………...……… A joint membership is entitled to two sets of votes (see notes at top of this section). For joint members wishing to vote separately, additional copies can be photocopied, or printed out from the website, or are available from Head Office on request. Please return this ballot paper to: Trustee Ballot, The Inland Waterways Association, Island House, Chesham, HP5 1WA – or by e-mail to If voting by e-mail, either (a) complete the form, scan it and attach to an e-mail – or (b) send a simple e-mail making clear which three (or less) candidates you wish to vote for, and include your name and address, including postcode, and your membership number (if known). If a joint member, state whether or not you are both voting together for the same candidates.

In order to be valid, it must arrive by 2.00pm on Tuesday 25th September 2012.

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IWA Campaign Festival at Preston…


WA’s National Campaign Festival is being staged at Haslam Park, Preston on the Lancaster Canal over the late Summer Bank Holiday weekend (25th-27th August), in conjunction with the Preston Guild Festival. The event will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Ribble Link, as well as promoting restoration of the Northern Reaches of the Lancaster Canal. There will be free admission to the public, with the festival open from 10am to 5pm each day. The event will provide entertainments/attractions and catering facilities for adults and children of all ages ie vintage cars and steam locomotives, horse and carriage rides, funfair, birds of prey and agility dog displays, storyteller, circus workshop, etc. For further details visit the IWA website: and follow the link to Events.

… and Boat Gathering at Northampton


ancelled because of high river levels in early May, the annual Boat Gathering on the River Nene at Becket’s Park, Northampton, organised by the Northampton Branch of IWA, has been re-arranged for the August Bank Holiday weekend. It is hoped to attract boaters to the event who otherwise would normally attend the IWA’s National Festival which is not taking place this year. The Gathering will follow largely the programme planned for May and will include a range of entertainments, boat handling competitions, barbeque and real ale bar. Booking Forms are available on our website at or from Eric Young on 07973 739833, 01604 862988, e-mail More information may be obtained from: Michael Butler, Boat Gathering Chairman, IWA Northampton Branch on 01604 473756, e-mail

Alan Firth T

ributes have been paid to Coventry art teacher Alan Firth who made his name painting canal and river scenes. Alan Firth taught at Tile Hill Wood school until 1983 and was regarded as one of Britain’s bestknown waterways artists. He died at a nursing home in North Yorkshire in February aged 78, with daughters Teresa and Sally by his side. Alan’s late wife Anne, a former maths lecturer at Hereward College, died three years ago. Alan leaves two other children, and several grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. Garth Allan, of the Guild of Waterways Artists, said: “Alan was well known as a waterway artist and was much involved when we set up the guild. He was always willing to help others and was a strong supporter of the guild until ill health forced him to retire from the waterway scene. He will be long remembered as his canal prints grace many canal boats.”

Alan was born in Blackpool in 1933 and fell in love with canals as a young boy by hitching lifts on working boats in Wigan. And he was keen to explore the local canals when he moved to Coventry in 1960. In an interview in 1981 he said: “When I came to Coventry I again explored the canals and met the late Joe and Rose Skinner on their boat Friendship at Sutton Stop. One of my great pleasures was spending evenings drawing on their boat and talking about their life on the cut.” Alan painted in gouache, a thick, water-based paint, and specialised in misty, atmospheric scenes. He was once described by The Inland Waterways Association as “probably Britain’s best-known waterways artist.” Even today his work continues to be reproduced on calendars and plates, and in magazines, books and prints; as well as, of course, on Christmas cards, such as those available from IWA.

Support IWA with NarrowBoat Subscription Subscribe to NarrowBoat for the first time and contribute towards IWA’s work, as the magazine makes a donation of £7 per new subscriber through this campaign. Use your interest in the history of our waterways to benefit the waterways of today by subscribing to NarrowBoat: visit nb/iwa7 or call Reader Services on 01283 742970. New subscriber offer only.

2014 Calendar Competition


ollowing on from the success of IWA’s 2013 Calendar Competition, we are running another competition for the 2014 IWA Calendar, so it’s time to dust off your cameras and start taking some photos! We are offering three free calendars to the photographers whose photos are used in the final calendar. Photos for the Calendar need to be digital with a resolution of at least 300 DPI and at

least 2100 pixels x 1500 pixels (can be landscape or portrait). You can usually adjust the settings on your digital camera to take high resolution photos. Photos for the competition need to be submitted by 31st January 2013. The photos will then be shortlisted and then put to a public vote. Further information is available on the IWA website:

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sually so good on special occasions like the Diamond Jubilee Pageant, the BBC television commentary has come in for a great deal of criticism largely for its concentration on sometimes rather frivolous celebrity comment, rather than more information about the boats on view and the people involved. Certainly there was very little about the working boats on parade. It is not often that one will see four of the Cory Riverside tugs, immaculate as ever, progressing down river in line abreast but sometimes breaking formation to navigate river arches. Delivered in 2010, they are based on the Dutch company Damen’s Shoalbreaker hull design but customised for Thames conditions – low profile and draught, power to handle heavy barges and navigate a river with strong tidal currents, great range and operated as ‘day’ boats. A comment on their

importance in moving over 600,000 tonnes of London’s waste each year would have been appropriate – perhaps prompted by speculation on the amount of rubbish likely have been generated by over one million riverside spectators! Meanwhile, the belfry for the Jubilee Bells was mounted on the barge Ursula Katherine, one of the Olympic class hopper/container barges (25.6 x 2.85m) designed as a result of lessons learned from the operation of Land & Water’s self-propelled barges for the Denham aggregates traffic. Now operated by Alan Bennett/ Foster Yeoman and pushed by their tug Steven B, their barges are mainly used in the movement of aggregates in the Thames/Medway region. The Royal Barge, Spirit of Chartwell, might well have been known to some as the mainland European river cruise ship Van Gogh (64 x 7m) but acquired in

Cory tugs at the Jubilee Pageant.

2009 by the Magna Carta Steamship Company and refitted and operated on the Thames as a luxury hotel ship. Selected to be the Royal Barge, the modification was considerable and the decoration lavish, in the red, gold and purple favoured on the royal barges of the 17th and 18th centuries. A gilded figurehead shows Old Father

Thames and while the scarlet and white thrones seem not to have been used, the Queen and Prince Philip must have appreciated the large canopy that had been provided! This was a spectacular river pageant involving many IWA members and giving so much enjoyment to so many along the Thames, at home and abroad.



he introduction several years ago of a push-tow container barge on the Manchester Ship Canal gained considerable publicity, related as it was to the movement of wine imported through Liverpool for Tesco and destined for a bottling plant near Manchester. Indeed, the success of this service attracted other retailers, including the international food and drinks company Princes, as well as manufacturers, and while the service capacity had already been expanded a further step has now been taken to satisfy growing demand. It was announced on 18th June that Peel Ports had replaced the barge unit

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with a newly acquired 160 TEU capacity coaster, the Monica, and this will operate a thrice-weekly service from Liverpool to the container terminal at Irlam. A new Austrian Liebherr container crane has been installed at Irlam and this will speed up and improve the port’s container handling facility. While the barge had started to make calls at Ellesmere Port, this can now be regularised. Peel Ports clearly felt that while the existing barge service had served them well, it was time to upgrade the capacity and flexibility of the route. It is hoped that a new riverside container terminal at Liverpool will attract containers for the North

The 160 TEU container ship Mon


West now handled by other ports, with the advantage of onward movement by water to other centres along the Manchester Ship Canal.

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rom politicians, planners and commercial interests there is often rhetoric in favour of waterborne freight but the action to ensure that this happens does not follow. This gap between rhetoric and action was clearly demonstrated in the case of the Three Mills Lock and traffic for the Olympic site development and the Olympic Park Legacy Company is now drawing up longer-term plans for the various uses of the area’s waterways. IWA Freight Group has been involved in discussions with OPLC to emphasise the potential for

freight and hope that this will be built into the plans. Just as the London Waterways Commission has identified sites suitable for freight movement in the hope that boroughs will offer some protection to such sites, so the OPLC should be taking this up in their area of concern and encouraging land use and infrastructure developments which favour water transport. Crossrail has certainly used barge transport for moving excavated material from the Canary Wharf station site and from Instone Wharf for material from the Limmo shaft, but in the Old Oak Common

area where concrete tunnel linings could, and indeed should, have been moved by conveniently located water transport infrastructure the local, arguably already congested, roads are being used – a decision by the contractors involved. All too frequently it seems that it is contractors who give little or no consideration to the water transport even where it is an obvious option. Crossrail has now acquired a site in Northfleet where there will be transfer from rail to barge for final movement to regeneration sites such as Wallasea Island.

IWA Freight Group has also been involved in the Thames Tunnel consultation process with the object of pressing the case for maximising the use of water transport. The general case was readily accepted by Thames Tunnel as excavated material and fill for temporary coffer dams provide obvious water freight, but too much latitude could be given to contractors who may ignore it for a wide range of building materials and indivisible items of heavy equipment, particularly where these might be imported from abroad.



avid Suchet, well-known actor and chairman of the River Thames Alliance, is fronting a fund-raising campaign to restore Cody Dock on the River Lee between Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park. For years Cody Dock has been sealed off but a charity, Gasworks Dock Partnership, has been set up to transform it into an arts hub. It aims to achieve this through, a website whereby people can support community building projects that are threatened by the economic downturn. “Opening Cody Dock will complete an epic 26-mile walk along the banks of the Lee, from Hertford to the Thames,” said David. “Although more than £56,000 has already been pledged, the project still needs a further £83,000 to reach its target of £140,252.” The dock was built in the 1870s by the Imperial Gas Co so that coal could be delivered to its site by barge. During the last decade, it has been examined several times with a view to using it for moving

Artist’s impression of the restored

Cody Dock.

waste. However, it had been partly back-filled and was also badly polluted. In addition, it was difficult to establish ownership so it was considered to be too expensive to restore for commercial use.



he Commercial Boat Operators Association (CBOA) has arranged with independent brokers The Insurance Partnership to offer a new single-policy insurance scheme tailor-made to meet the needs

of commercial boaters. The package is designed to avoid the need for several policies to cover all contingencies. Under a single policy it is now possible to combine insurance for hull and machinery; protection and

indemnity; cargo liability; loss of use; offshore extension; additional perils; employers and public liability (onshore, offshore and on the quay); plant and machinery (machines used for loading and unloading); defence and pursuits.

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Northern Soul From the scenic splendour of the Yorkshire Dales to the shores of Morecambe Bay, the waterways of northern England have so much to offer the waterway traveller, whether afloat or on foot. Join us for a tour…


rim up North? Not a bit of it – not if you’re a waterway enthusiast anyway. Whilst the canals of the Midlands may be the epicentre of the waterway network, the Yorkshire Ouse and the Derwent, together with the Lancaster, Leeds & Liverpool, Rochdale and Huddersfield Narrow canals, provide an altogether quieter, and arguably more rewarding, experience. We begin our tour amidst the mills and moorlands of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal The ‘HNC’ is perhaps the most exhilarating canal on the whole waterway system – but with some 74 locks and a three-mile tunnel, it’s not for faint-hearted boaters. This narrow route up, under and down the Pennines took 17 years to build. Closed to navigation in the dark days of the 1940s, its restoration was the dream of enthusiasts – but derided as “impossible” by enthusiasts. But in

2001 the impossible happened: the waterway was reopened after an epic restoration project in which IWA played a substantial role. Standedge Tunnel, the centrepiece of the canal, is of course the highlight. At 3 miles 418 yards, it’s the longest canal tunnel in Britain; the deepest and highest, too. You can now steer your own boat through, though a C&RT ‘chaperone’ will accompany you to warn of the jagged rock outcrops and narrow points. But the HNC would be a stunner even without Standedge. Stone warehouses, mills and farms pepper the route while the Pennine hills soar overhead. The towns en route are an unexpected delight. The canal runs along the High Street of little Slaithwaite (pronounced ‘Slawit’), with its butchers, bakers and champion pie-makers. Marsden is a hiking centre with fabulous pubs and an artistic bent, this being the base of that famous waterway institution, the Mikron Theatre Company. And formerly down-atheel Stalybridge has been transformed by the



Pleasant interlude by the Huddesfield Narrow Canal.


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ABOVE: Tunnel End, Marsden, Huddersfield Narrow Canal. MAIN: Saddleworth Viaduct, Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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arrival of the canal in its town square. Only the very brave would consider boating the canal single-handed, but it’s a comfortable proposition with a crew of three or more – as long as you’re prepared to push the odd stiff gate and aren’t too fazed by low pounds. If you like putting your back into your boating, this is an unmissable canal. And if you’re thinking of walking it, then you couldn’t make a better choice.

Rochdale Canal This is a breathtakingly beautiful canal: not an easy one to boat, and not without its problems, but possessing a raw, natural appeal. Unlike the nearby Huddersfield Narrow Canal, restored at a similar time, the Rochdale goes over, not under, the Pennines. The parallel railway dives into a tunnel; the nearby village is called Summit; old quarries are dotted all around; but the Rochdale twists, turns and climbs as it surmounts one of the greatest geographical challenges of the canal age. It’s one of the most memorable experiences on the network. The descent to Yorkshire is a pure delight, through friendly little towns such as Todmorden and the surprisingly bohemian Hebden Bridge. The canalside architecture is little changed from its commercial days, and the Pennines are ever-present until the Sowerby Bridge terminus, where it gives way to the Calder & Hebble Navigation. The canal’s 92 broad locks, all built to the same rise, are exercise enough in themselves, but if you have any calories left to burn, this is ideal hiking country. The western side, as the canal descends to Manchester, is like the curate’s egg: good in parts. Littleborough continues the theme of the eastern side, and the newly repaired Irk Aqueduct is a delightful spot. But Rochdale itself has yet to appreciate its canal, and the Manchester sprawl lacks charm. C&RT staff will assist you through the locks here. The canal looks up (literally) past the imposing mills of Ancoats, to end on a high with the Rochdale Nine – a final flight burrowing past the back-streets of Manchester. Part of the Cheshire Ring, and so never officially closed to navigation, it emerges blinking in the sunlight at the Bridgewater Canal’s attractive basin of Castlefields. In common with other relatively newly restored canals, the Rochdale is as yet light in facilities and still arguably under-maintained; but if you have the stamina to walk or boat this trans-Pennine waterway, you will be amply rewarded.


Lancaster Canal This formerly isolated canal is now ‘linked’ to the main system, albeit via a slightly tricky tidal passage along the River Ribble from the Rufford Branch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Those who take the initiative to use the new Ribble Link are well rewarded, and are often reluctant to return to the hurly burly of the main system. This quiet, wide and delightfully scenic canal penetrates almost to the Lake District. It stretches for over 40 lock-free miles from Preston through Garstang, Galgate, Lancaster and Carnforth to its ignominious

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Northern Soul terminus at Tewitfield, where it was prematurely cut off when the M6 was built in the late 1960s. But there are long-standing plans to reopen the Northern Reaches to give access through even more delightful countryside to Kendal (see below). In the meantime there is plenty to enjoy as the waterway journeys between mountains and coast. At Hest Bank you can even pay a visit to the beach: the wide open sands of Morecambe Bay! Close to Lancaster, another highlight is Rennie’s impressive Lune Aqueduct, recently restored to pristine condition at a cost of £2.4m.

Garstang, Lancaster Canal.

BUSY PERIOD FOR NORTH LANCS BRANCH As hosts for the IWA National Campaign Festival 2012, IWA North Lancashire and Cumbria Branch have been busy working with the Lancaster Canal Trust, Preston City Council, the Friends of Haslam Park, the Ribble Link Trust and the Lancaster Canal Boat Club to produce the event which will feature as part of the 2012 Preston Guild Celebrations and commemorate the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Ribble Link. Little of the boat traffic coming up the Ribble Link turns towards Preston, instead crews head for the northern limit of the Lancaster Canal on the fringe of the Lake District. IWA and the Lancaster Canal Trust (LCT) have arranged Canal Clean-ups on the length of the canal which borders Haslam Park (to the south of the Ribble Link junction) and from there down to the terminus of the canal in Preston. Volunteers from groups interested in making the canal corridor more attractive to visitors and individuals from the local community have turned out to assist with litter picking and removing obstructions from the water. A noticeable feature of the clean-ups is that we found no stray supermarket trolleys; however we removed a motorbike from the canal in November and four bicycles in June this year. A numbers of events at which our IWA branch would have been present with a

sales or publicity stand have been victims of the weather. But we were able to have a presence at Falkirk for the celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Falkirk Wheel. IWA members who live in Scotland are affiliated to our branch and we have contacted them to find out whether they would like a meeting to be arranged so that Scottish members might have their say on how best IWA might represent their views given the establishment of Scottish Canals – the new organisation which will now run the Scottish inland waterway network. The majority of those who responded felt that a meeting was not necessary at this time and that unless there were adequate active members in Scotland, it was probably preferable to work with other bodies rather than to try to set up a Scottish IWA Group. So in accordance with this response, we are continuing to attend the RYA’S sub-committee on inland waters and in this context, we have taken an active role in responding to two Scottish Canals’ public consultation documents – a Draft Waterspace Strategy which is principally concerned with residential moorings and the other on how Scottish Canals will consult with their users and partners going forward.

Gauxholme Railway bridge, Rochdale Canal.


Exhibiting at the Falkirk Wheel.

Canal clean up in Preston.

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For a thoroughly different experience, you can venture down the six locks of the Glasson Branch to visit Glasson Basin ‘where the canal meets the sea’ (well, the Lune estuary) and there is a totally different atmosphere to that normally found on the canal network.

Leeds & Liverpool Canal Silsden, Leeds & Liverpool Canal.


Salthouse Dock, Liverp


The longest single canal in the country, the Leeds & Liverpool was built in several stages over several decades, so it is no surprise that its character varies as you progress along its 127 miles. It links the wide waterways of Yorkshire with those of Lancashire and the River Mersey, and has recently been ‘extended’ by the construction of the Liverpool Link, allowing boaters access to the very heart of the city. Leeds has a vibrant waterfront, and mooring a boat is easier than parking a car in the city centre! The canal climbs up the pleasantly wooded Aire Valley by a sequence of single and distinctive staircase locks, past the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey, through Apperley Bridge and Shipley to Saltaire. This ‘must-visit’ model mill village was built by Titus Salt for his workers, and is still largely intact. The mill now hosts a vast and fascinating shopping emporium and a David Hockney exhibition.


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Northern Soul


ABOVE: River Ouse, York. LEFT: Bingley 5-Rise Locks, Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

The excitement levels remain high, for soon the iconic Bingley three- and five-rise locks are reached, taking boats up to the 17-mile pound to Gargrave, and a rest from locking (although the ubiquitous swing bridges will keep boaters exercised). The canal finally throws off industrial surroundings to head for the Pennines, as it passes through Keighley and Silsden to reach the popular tourist destination of Skipton. Of greatest interest to boaters will be the Springs Branch, which dramatically skirts around the castle. At Gargrave and Bank Newton are further lock flights to take boats up to the famous Marton Pool (pounds are called pools on this canal). This is the most dramatic section of upland canal anywhere in the UK as it twists and turns back on itself across awe-inspiring moorland. It comes as a surprise then to find that this is not the summit level, for that is reached by a final climb through Greenberfield Locks. Foulridge Tunnel leads to Barrowford Locks and the beginning of the descent into industrial Lancashire whose conurbations merge as Burnley is approached. Here the impressive 3/4mile embankment carries you high above the

town, before the historical area known as the Weaversâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Triangle is reached. The scenery improves again as the canal winds westwards towards Blackburn and on to Wigan where the daunting descent of the 21 locks awaits. The view as you descend makes the effort worthwhile. In Wigan the Leigh Branch heads south to join the Bridgewater Canal whilst the main line continues west down the rural Douglas Valley. At Burscough, the pleasantly winding Rufford Branch continues to follow the River Douglas (which boaters heading for the Lancaster Canal will join at Tarleton) whilst the main line crosses flat open land almost to Southport before heading south for its destination. Long-neglected by boaters, the final run into Liverpool through Maghull, Aintree and Bootle is coming alive again as boaters arrive to experience the new Liverpool Link. Instead of having to moor in dull suburbia, Stanley Dock Locks drop boats down into the old docks and boaters pass in front of the Three Graces to moor in the splendidly located Salthouse Dock, close to the famous Albert Dock and the new shopping city of Liverpool One.

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And finally…


Entering the Pocklington Canal.

… an apology to those northern waterways we have omitted from this article, such as the Huddersfield Broad Canal, Calder & Hebble, Aire & Calder, Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation etc. Simple space constraints precluded their inclusion, but rest assured we shall return ‘Up North’ in a future issue and take a detailed look at what they have to offer.

Yorkshire Ouse/Ure/Ripon Canal/ Derwent/Pocklington Canal Although a challenging tidal river, the Ouse is often navigated by pleasure boats seeking to reach York and Ripon from the main canal system. The very intrepid (or those with full length boats) will enter at Trent Falls, the slightly less intrepid at Goole, but the safest and simplest route is via Selby from where, provided you get the tides right, it is a relatively easy run to Naburn and nontidal water. It is here that most boaters will suddenly begin to really enjoy this historic river which makes a splendid entrance to the city of York and offers excellent central moorings. Adventurous boaters may even make a brief foray up the River Foss (see right). Back on the main river, a remote gently meandering section passes a series of delightful villages and stately houses, comprised only by limited mooring facilities. Boroughbridge, on what is by now the River Ure, offers good facilities, then as the river narrows, the Ripon Canal strikes off through three locks to the eponymous town: a fitting destination, until recently dubbed the most northerly on the connected waterway system – an accolade which can now be claimed by Tewitfield on the Lancaster Canal. It should be noted that the Ripon Canal is restricted to boats of 58ft length. The section between Goole and Selby offers the added opportunity to explore the River Derwent and the Pocklington Canal – if you like quiet away-from-it-all boating, these are definitely for you! Permission to navigate beyond Sutton Lock on the Derwent must be obtained from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.


IWA Members operating the lock at Castle Mills, River Foss, York.

NORTH RIDING BRANCH DEVELOPS North Riding is IWA’s newest branch, just over one year old. Six years ago, Roger Brook, a local builder, asked about access to the River Foss in York, and if it was possible for the local members of the IWA (then the West Riding Branch) to operate the lock at Castle Mills. Roger was encouraged by the IWA to form a separate section of West Riding Branch. He set up a small committee, of which Tony Martin was secretary. After two years, due to other commitments, Roger stood down, and Tony became the chair. Eventually it was agreed that the section should become the North Riding (Start-up) Branch. The old Northumbria Branch had just folded and the new branch area is roughly the same as Northumbria with a corridor added to the bottom extending from Goole in the east to Ripon in the west. There are members in Teeside and Tyne & Wear, and some in Scotland too. On 1st April 2011, the new branch was launched in York by IWA chairman Clive Henderson, Cllr. Sue Galloway (Lord Mayor – City of York Council) and Jon Horsfall (then British Waterways General Manager). IWA North Riding has been operating Castle Mills Lock for some four years. There is now a team of ten trained lock-keepers (IWA is allowed to train people). Each lock-keeper must be a member of IWA. About two boats a month pass through the lock on average, but it is much busier during special events and festivals. Twice a year, on May Bank Holiday Saturday and on the last Saturday in September, the branch holds an Open Day. This May, two boats cruised along the River Foss as far as Monks Bridge (about a mile and a half from the lock pound). The Lord Mayor and his wife attended the event.

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WRG at Every year The Inland Waterways Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Waterway Recovery Group runs over 25 week-long residential working holidays called Canal Camps, over 40 weekend work parties and various other gatherings that allow volunteers to get involved in restoring the canals of England and Wales. In these pages we look at what has been achieved thus far in 2012...


WRG volunteers beside the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation.


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ABOVE: Getting down and dirty on the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal. BELOW LEFT & RIGHT: Aerial views of the Hereford & Gloucester Canal at Vineyard Hill.

RG has certainly had a busy start to the year. In February it returned to the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation to continue work started during the October 2011 Canal Camp. The task for the week was to restore a half-mile section of the towpath to its original width and improve the current muddy and rutted track way. Sixteen hardy volunteers and the Essex Waterways Team braved the wintry conditions and spent the week clearing vegetation as well as doing other towpath repairs. WRG volunteers also helped extend a wildlife habitat to encourage bees, butterflies and other bugs to reside along the navigation. In April over 50 WRG volunteers attended the Birmingham Canal Navigations Clean up, on a brand new site, working in all three directions from Walsall Junction: up the locks towards Bloxwich, along the level towards Birmingham, and down the arm into Walsall Town Basin. Over the weekend volunteers from WRG, IWA’s local branches and the BCN Society cleared rubbish from the canal which included a hoover, a sink and a toilet seat … and of course a few obligatory shopping trolleys! The Easter break was even more hectic – WRG had three Canal Camps running over this period, two week-long camps on the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal and one 10-day camp on the Chesterfield Canal. WRG was invited by the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust to get involved in a challenging and demanding project to restore a 275-metre section of the canal from Over Basin. Over 40 volunteers participated in the project which started with a ‘technical’ plant operator’s camp and followed with a more traditional style canal camp and weekend dig. Equipped with five excavators, including two 20t excavators, three dumpers and two rollers, volunteers began work to dig out the section of the canal at Vineyard Hill. As the second week started, 18 new volunteers joined the project, and work continued to excavate the line of the canal, as well as creating an overflow weir, a French drain and

Expert advice from an experienced WRGie.

Excavating on the Hereford & Gloucester.

a new towpath. The Kent & East Sussex Canal Restoration Group (KESCRG) then joined WRG volunteers on the final weekend, where the clay dam was cut open and 275m of canal slowly went back into water. It was a great achievement for WRG and thanks must go to all the volunteers involved in this project, and to the local trust. Looking northwards towards Derbyshire, another group of WRG volunteers spent 10 days at Easter, working on the Chesterfield Canal at Staveley Town Basin. Work during the camp included the construction of two brick abutments for a new footbridge to cross the recently rewatered section of the canal. WRG will also be returning in the summer to the Chesterfield Canal to help construct the new Staveley Town Lock within the Basin development.

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In August WRG will be working on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in Essex, the Montgomery Canal in Shropshire and on the Cotswold Canals. Each of these camps have very varied activities planned - from a major weir rebuild on the Chelmer to a lock restoration on the Cotswold Canals. Work on the Montgomery Canal will include towpath repairs and improvement/maintenance work at the Aston Nature Reserve, which WRG created in the 1990s, and is now a haven for flora and wildlife.

October and Christmas Camps ABOVE & RIGHT: Learning the ropes on the WRG training weekend.

Training Courses WRG hasn’t just spent the first six months of the year restoring canals. Without volunteers WRG Canal Camps don’t happen – and every year we need over 60 volunteer leaders, assistants and cooks to help us run the Canal Camps. To support our existing volunteer leaders and encourage new volunteers we hold a Leader’s Training Day in the Midlands to prepare our leaders for running camps and making sure they’re supported, as well as allowing people to find out a bit more about WRG. This year we held the training day on 12th May at Rowington Village Hall and had our biggest turnout yet – nearly 60 people. The day was spent discussing many aspects of running a camp from Health & Safety issues to how to keep your volunteers happy. On 23rd/24th June WRG ran its annual training weekend, on the Lichfield Canal, which allowed volunteers to learn news skills such as excavator and dumper operation, surveying, and bricklaying. The event was very well attended and hopefully we will see all the volunteers putting their new found skills to good use over the rest of the year.

Future Camps As this feature is being written, the first summer Canal Camps are only days away – over the next few weeks we have two Canal Camps heading to the Monmouthshire and Swansea canals in South Wales. Throughout the two weeks volunteers will be engaged in a range of activities from the reconstruction and repair of Tredegar Lock to vegetation clearance along the canal corridor from Drapers Lock. During the second week a small team of volunteers will also be carrying out exploratory work on the Swansea Canal, with the aim of returning next year to do more substantial restoration work. We also have a group of volunteers, lead by Newbury Working Party Group, at work on the Wey & Arun Canal in Surrey. Volunteers are busy on a section of the canal at Dunsfold and will be involved in the construction of a slipway and landing stages. Moving into July, WRG volunteers will be out and about on the Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal, the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal, the Basingstoke Canal and the Lancaster Canal. The Lancaster Canal Camps have an ambitious work plan. The northern part of the Lancaster Canal became derelict following the building of the M6 motorway and WRG volunteers will be spending two week reprofiling and relining a 225-metre section of the canal at Stainton.


All the summer Canal Camps are now full but we still have places available on our October and Christmas Camps.

Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation (Essex). 27th October – 3rd November. Cost: £56. Work: Why not help WRG maintain this beautiful and vibrant waterway and volunteer this October. The Essex Waterways team has an array of tasks planned including vegetation clearance, towpath construction and other waterside improvement works and repairs. Accommodation for the camp is on the Haybay, which is a barge moored on the tidal estuary.

Uttoxeter Canal (Staffordshire) 26th December – 1st January 2013. Cost: £56. Work: Our main Canal Camps programme ends in October but that doesn’t mean we go into hibernation for the winter. This year the Christmas Camp will be working on the Uttoxeter Canal clearing vegetation around Bridge 70, so there will be plenty of scrub bashing, bonfires and other winter activities. To book on either of these volunteer opportunities go to the WRG website or call 01494 783 453 ext 604.

Canal Camp Info Accommodation: Our standard accommodation is best described as basic – usually in village halls, scout huts or community centres unless otherwise stated. Kit List: You will be sent through a full list of what to bring, the essentials being a sleeping bag and camping mat; waterproofs; old work clothes; steel-toe capped boots or wellies… and most importantly a sense of humour! We will supply any other safety equipment required, including a hard hat. The working day: Our week-long working holidays usually start around 4pm on the first Saturday and finish around lunchtime on the following Saturday. The working day runs from 9am to 5pm (depending on the weather) with plenty of tea breaks and lunch on site. A cooked breakfast and a substantial, home-cooked evening meal will also be provided. Duke of Edinburgh Award: WRG welcomes participants completing the residential aspect of their Duke of Edinburgh Award. All volunteers participating in the scheme must attend the camp for the full seven days to be eligible for the award. To find out more about WRG and all our volunteering opportunities go to the WRG website or call Jenny Black at WRG Head Office 01494 783 453, extension 604.

Canal Camp Dates & Locations for 2013 will be online in December and the brochure will be available from the 2nd January. To request a brochure please send your name & address to

| IWA waterways - Autumn 2012

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THE NEXT GENERATION We look at attempts to attract young people to the world of the waterways

‘Model’ Pupils win Challenge


s part of IWA’s involvement with the local community, prior to the Northwich River Weaver Festival, we organised our IWA “Art is Rubbish” Challenge with a number of local schools. As a result, Wallerscote Community Primary School’s Year 6 Art Club created a real “thing of beauty” (from waste materials – as per the challenge) with their working model of the Anderton Lift. The children had worked with their teacher Sandra Hulse and teaching assistant Mrs O’Sullivan, in their lunch hours and after school, to

create the Anderton Lift in all seasons, depending upon which way it was turned upon its plinth – a fine work of art. For their efforts the school was awarded the star prize – an Anderton Lift Experience Day, donated by British Waterways. Other schools taking part were awarded book tokens, donated through Northwich Town Council Small Grants Fund, and each school also received a framed certificate. Entries were exhibited in the WOW marquee during the festival weekend and the lift model is now on show in the Anderton Lift exhibition area for the remainder of the summer.

WOW and Explorers work together


ollowing the introduction of the new Canal & River Trust Explorers education brand, both IWA and C&RT will continue to work in partnership to deliver education programmes tailored to meet the needs of the different audiences we work with. The teams will continue to share resources, experience and best practice while developing their audiences. IWA will focus on waterway heritage activities with families at waterway festivals and other venues while the Trust will work to increase its family, school and uniformed group audience through a new website and associated volunteer activities. IWA feels that the existing WOW brand successfully meets its needs in encouraging young people to learn about waterway history and navigation, whilst C&RT is developing the Explorers brand to make its education process more attractive and relevant to its target audience. 2012 will be a transition year as WOW and Explorers materials will be used by both organisations. Explorers will be formally launched to schools and groups in September 2012, and from then the Trust will be solely using the Explorers branding. IWA and the Trust will continue to meet annually to discuss their education work and will review this way of working in January 2013. IWA will also be represented on the new Learning & Young People Advisory Board.

Wowing the public


WA’s Wild over Waterways (WOW) activities are well known at waterways events around the country – with their orange signage and lollipops – and children running round wearing duck headdresses! However, WOW can also help branches engage with their local community at much smaller events. For example – is your branch running a lock wind, or a clean-up in the near future? Why not have one WOW activity for children to do while you talk to their parents about what the branch is doing and why? Two brass rubbing blocks with crayons and paper, plus the large waterways route map and a WOW vertical banner, will provide you with a very portable activity. The brasses can be from recent local events, giving a good legacy for children to take home. Brass rubbing paper can be overprinted with the IWA logo and website in advance whilst the waterway route map always provides a great conversation opener with the parents. Another use of the waterway route map could be asking people to place pictures and labels of iconic structures – ie the Anderton Lift – onto the map, once again giving the opportunity of further conversation about IWA and our aims. Further details of the mini-kit idea will be on display at the National AGM in September and if your branch would like more information in the meantime, please email

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WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE When my file of cuttings for the last quarter began to accumulate in April last the big news was all about drought. By the end of the quarter the news was all about unceasing rain and floods. We went from a potentially locked-up canal system to one that seemingly has endless volumes of water in its reservoirs, and all this in the space of three months. This was contrary to the beard-mutterings of several gurus who maintained that the only rain that was any good was that which arrived in winter. An article in The Sunday Telegraph’s “News Review” in May put its finger on a point that the suppliers of water would rather we did not notice. “The River Pang

had been used by Thames Water as the beautiful star of a poster campaign back in the winter, under the warning words: ‘Your water comes from here. The less we use the more there’ll be in the river.’ Never mind that Thames Water loses a quarter of all its water to leaky pipes, at a rate of 665 million litres a day. It was our responsibility, apparently, to save the River Pang…” The article then took up the matter of Andrew Dyke who was intending to take his boat from Evesham, where he was once Mayor, to the Jubilee Pageant, but was stuck with his boat at Tewkesbury in a Severn flood. “‘We left early because there was a massive drought, we thought water levels would


be low and there would be restrictions on the canal system’ says Mr Dyke. ‘Now we’re stuck because of flood’”. I am happy to report that all ended well in the end, the Dyke family and their boat made it to the Thames in time for yet another deluge at the Pageant. The problems of all waterways, man-or naturallymade, were outlined in an article in the Eastern Daily Press last autumn (and East Anglia probably has more to lose from flooding than any other part of the UK). A correspondent submitted a photograph of a so-called relief channel which “used to be a clear, free-flowing tributary occupied by several fish species. Readers can observe that it is now

blocked by reeds and silt”. Of course, we will hear the usual bleat from the responsible authorities about lack of resources, but surely if the law states that a thing, such as keeping a watercourse clear and preventing flooding, must be done, then it is up to the authority to obey this remit. Try telling the Bench that you have not taxed or insured your car because of “lack of resources” and you will likely receive a dusty answer. The other side of the coin was revealed in a recent article in The Yorkshire Post. At Driffield on the River Hull “Teams have been working across nearly two miles of flood embankment…to reduce the risk of flooding and create a valuable new habitat.”

Thrupp pont levis on the Oxford Canal.

- on the Oxford Turning now to other matters, the field is, as usual, led by The Yorkshire Post, but I have to say that recently The Eastern Daily Press has shown signs of coming up close to the rails (in recent months I have been sent cuttings dealing with gull problems “a problem as far inland as Birmingham, Bath and Gloucester”, winter tourism on the Broads, restoring ferries, wildlife, recycling along waterways, trial runs of a sewage barge, water and windmills, floods and drought to name but a few topics). This quarter’s postbag has even included an item from the tiny Diss Express. The Post’s offerings range from lyrical accounts of the beauty of the region’s waterways to such gory matters as the discovery of an actress’s torso in the Regent’s Canal. Even more exotically, I have received an article in French, from Fluvial, our Gallic neighbour’s own waterway magazine dealing with (and I translate) “A voyage of discovery on the South Oxford Canal”. The writer is the son of a French bargeman and his wife and lived on a peniche until he was 10. His wife had studied in London and since 1998 he has been discovering England and its “extraordinary waterway network”. On this occasion he hired a day boat from Thrupp and it is interesting to see our canals through foreign eyes. He produced a home-made linear map of the section Thrupp to Pigeons Lock with information as to where one would encounter a “pont levis” (drawbridge) and where the pont was fixe.


| IWA waterways - Autumn 2012

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Cuttings Please Send all your waterway cuttings to David Blagrove at IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham HP5 1WA Caption



Brewery Bridge at Stroud – restored as part of the Cotswold Canals project. Not the Cotswold Hill Canal – see below!

What’s in a name? I am not at all sure whether or not the date is significant, but The Sunday Telegraph of 1st April carried a lengthy article under the headline “Canals may be used to replenish dry regions”. This was at a time when the main deluge had still not appeared. The article carried a map showing two ways in which water from the Severn (and ultimately, Wales) could be transferred to the River Thames. One was a pipeline passing near Cheltenham to the “Thames near Culham, Oxfordshire”. I’ll bet this was intended to run to the huge planned reservoir near Abingdon that has recently been kicked into touch. The other route seemingly followed the lines of the Gloucester & Sharpness, Stroudwater and Thames & Severn canals to the Thames. The paper though referred to the Gloucester Ship Canal, Stroud Canal and even more mysteriously to the Cotswold Hill Canal. “Among the favoured options is a plan to restore a system of 18th-century canals to carry water to the Thames. The route would include using an existing two-mile tunnel under the Cotswolds.” Somebody really ought to tell the Sunday Telegraph’s journalists that such a scheme has been actively under way these 30 or more years, then they might even be able to get the names right.

Things must be reported elsewhere than Yorkshire, East Anglia and Leicestershire, so how about it members? We are a countrywide organisation, so, if you have any items of waterway interest locally or in the national press, please send them to the Editor. In the meantime my thanks go to all my assiduous contributors, even if sometimes space prevents all the titbits of news being covered.

Finally, as we go to print the last days of British Waterways are over. I make no apologies for reverting once more to The Daily Telegraph whose environment specialist Clive Aslet wrote in April of a “Canal charity that has barged its way into the Big Society.” No, he is not writing of the C&RT, but of the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust, and I am sure he did not create the awful sub-editor’s pun in the title. “A local group is determined to extend the network - and in such a way as to gladden David Cameron’s battered heart. Some may titter when the Big Society is mentioned but [the Trust] has worked out exactly what it means and how to benefit from it.” There follows a rather breathless, but nevertheless true, account of what the H&G Trust has achieved over several years, in particular the restoration of Over Basin (though no mention was made of the part played by WRG in it). The point is in the sentence “The dream is that one day the full length of 34 miles will be open and connected to the national network.” For indeed we must still have dreams or, for all the input of new trusts and charitable statuses, the waterway system will have no vitality. Much of the trouble with the previous administrations was that they rarely had dreams.

A dream comes true – boats are once again using the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal.

IWA waterways - Autumn 2012 |

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Do you have something to say about IWA or Waterways? It’s your magazine so please write and tell us your views. We will aim to publish responses to letters that ask questions about any aspect of IWA policy or decision-making. Please write to The Editor, Waterways, c/o IWA, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham HP5 1WA or e-mail


 Star Letter  Reading the latest issue of Waterways (excellent, as usual, and I’m only part way through), Mike Timms’ article The New Canal rekindled a desire to establish a new canal joining Bristol and Sharpness as the ‘Severn By-Pass’, which would complete a very nice cruising ring. I just envisage a flight of locks down Bristol’s Park Street, with state-of-the-art underground side pounds, and the lake in front of the Council House at the bottom would provide an excellent site for a chandlery, shop and pump-out, and you could maybe even create a small marina. From there it’s just a short way down - a couple of locks, perhaps - to the Bristol City docks, giving further access to the existing canal network. I wonder if it could pass near Highgrove? Prince’s Wharf sounds good to me. As supporters of all things to do with canals (and with the CRT we are now even closer to other members of a much wider-ranging group of interests), there must have been previous studies of such a route, and I would be interested to read of them. I do hope that members of the CRT Council will be discussing not just existing waterways but suggesting and promoting new ones, pointing the way to a bright future for navigation, new waterside housing (which attracts a premium and is thus attractive to developers), useful towpaths providing fund-raising cableways for telecommunications and utilities, and of course the opportunity for more nonperishable freight carriage on the canals, perhaps furthering the use of standardised modular containers.

Sharpness could be linked to Bristol by way of a Severn by-pass.

Is there a strategy for new canals? Maybe (with an eye on future freight) they should all be built as wide canals, possibly initially with narrow locks to conserve water but leaving space for a wide lock alongside as usage develops. Maybe a towpath both sides. And there would be a great opportunity for architects to come up with some stunning bridges and other developments. But please retain the simple and well-tried rack and pinion paddle gear, which has worked so well for such a long time. Maybe add a neoprene strip down the edges of the lock gates to provide a more effective seal against the brickwork when closed, thus saving water? Ensure that the route passes near to remote villages and places of interest, without unduly lengthening the navigation. And don’t forget the very popular canalside pubs! The opportunities for regeneration, and indeed the provision of new facilities, must be there. We should not only be proud of our canal heritage, but develop it for the future. It’s a unique system and could attract a lot more tourism, bringing much needed financial reward; but we need to provide the extra canals and moorings to cope with future traffic, particularly if more freight movements are encouraged.

Pete Heaven, Via e-mail

The Winter 2012 issue of Waterways will be published in November 2012. Editorial closing date is 1st October 2012.

WELSH DELIGHTS I enjoyed your article on Welsh Waters in the last issue of Waterways. The delights of the Llangollen Canal were of course already well known to me, after numerous trips along this famous waterway. And the Brecon & Abergavenny Canal is also ‘on the radar’ – a deservedly popular canal with holidaymakers. Your lovely photograph taken near Llanover illustrates just what a beautiful area this is. If you have never paid a visit to this corner of south-east Wales, when could be better than 2012 – the 200th anniversary of the canal’s completion? But I must confess I was not fully aware of all the sterling work being carried out by IWA members and others to restore such waterways as the Neath & Tennant and Swansea canals. More power to their elbows and I look forward to the day when I can fully explore these waterways by boat. Keep up the good work!

James Parker, Ipswich Quiet corners Dave Carnell’s nice feature on the Witham Navigable Drains (Summer 2012 Waterways) got me thinking about the quieter parts of the waterway network where so few of us ever venture. Dave painted an attractive picture of the Lincolnshire waterways and I would love to visit Boston by water. And once the Fens Waterways Link is completed, some marvellous new routes will be available. So come on everyone, let’s give the lock queues of the Llangollen and Trent & Mersey a miss for a change and explore the remoter parts of the system. See you there!

Barry Ponting, Scarborough You may also like to think about the under-boated waterways of northern England – see Northern Soul, our leading article in this issue. Ed.

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WATERWAYS ADVERTISING Autumn 2012 Waterways is distributed free to all members of the Association with a readership of over 20,000. Advertising in Waterways offers a precisely targeted medium for businesses in all fields connected with inland waterways, such as boating, hiring, insurance, building, publishing, catering, chandlery or brokerage. To advertise in IWA Waterways please contact Ian Sharpe, Advertising Manager, 151 Station Street, Burton-Upon-Trent, Staffordshire, DE14 1BG. 01283 742 965 or

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Index to Advertisers AB Tuckey ................................................ 10 ABC Leisure Group ................................... 15 ABNB Boat Sales ......................................... 1 BC Boat Management .............................. 15 Beta Marine ............................................. 37 Blisworth Tunnel Narrowboats.................. 10 Boatshed Grand Union ............................. 10 Braunston Marina ..................................... 11 BWML ........................................................ 7 Canal Boat Cruisers of Riley Green ............ 48 Canal Cruising Co ....................................... 6 Canal Junction ......................................... 14 Channelglaze ............................................. 6

Colecraft Boats .......................................... 4 Debdale Wharf Marina ............................. 10 Foxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Boats ............................................... 10 Kingslock Chandlery ............................. 4, 19 Kuranda ................................................... 10 Lee Sanitation .......................................... 14 Limekiln Ltd ............................................. 14 Maestermyn Marine ................................. 48 Midland Chandlers ................................ OBC Morris Lubricants..................................... IBC Pennine Cruisers ........................................ 6 Pinders....................................................... 1 PRM Marine ................................................ 6

RYA.......................................................... 15 Saga ........................................................ 19 Shoreline ................................................. 48 Swanley Bridge Marina ............................. 19 The New & Used Boat Co ........................... 5 Towergate Mardon .................................. 11 Video Active .............................................. 6 Websters Insulation.................................. 10 Wharf House Narrowboats ....................... 48 Whilton Marina ....................................... IFC Wilderness Trailboats ............................... 14 Worcester Marina Windows ....................... 4

| IWA waterways - Autumn 2012

20/7/12 3:29:51 pm

CANAL BOAT PRODUCTS FROM A NAMEYOU CAN TRUST Morris Lubricants has been blending engine oils for over 140 years. We have a range of oils specially designed for canal boats. That’s why when you choose to put Morris Lubricants in your boat, you can do so with peace of mind. These specialist oils get to work quickly at the heart of the engine, even at low temperatures, whatever the conditions. The special formula canal boat range prevents bore glazing and bore polishing, protects components from wear and corrosion and provides improved cold start. There’s also a great range of products for all your marine needs, like anti-freeze that works at temperatures as low as -34ºC, biodegradable marine two stroke lubricant, and water resistant grease. With sound, high quality products and uncompromising customer service, you can rely on Morris Lubricants to protect your pride and joy for years to come.

ORDER ONLINE TODAY! or call us on 01782 410 391 Quote Voucher Code IWA888 for your 10% online discount

Tradition in Excellence since 1869 Castle Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 2EL T:+44 (0) 1743 232200 F:+44 (0) 1743 353584

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20/7/12 3:30:38 pm


Available for all IWA Members


* only available on production of a valid membership card (no further discounts apply)

E & O E. All prices include VAT

! w e N Cuts water & energy bills by up to 50% with no loss of performance


£ 19.90


£ 24.90


Toura Aerial UHF Antenna 7dB

Aquiv8 Shower Head, White


Aquiv8 Shower Head, Chrome

£ 29.99 £ 59.99

Toura Aerial Plus Antenna 7dB/22Db

Simply the smallest and potentially most powerful aerial available today! Supporting Items also in Stock!


New! Ask in stores for more details


£ 14.99

Bullet Polish & Protector Kit 500ml (Including 2 x Microfibre Towels) 16” TV Inc Freeview & DVD

£ 179.99

19” TV Inc Freeview & DVD

£ 199.99

Buy 2 Kits for

£ 25.00

22” HD Satellite TV & DVD

£ 249.99

Much more can be seen online at

Find us on

A Warm Welcome Awaits You At One Of Our Stores...

Parkgate Lock, Teddesley Road, Penkridge, Staffs, ST19 5RH. London Road, Braunston, Northants, NN11 7HB. The Wharf, Preston Brook, Cheshire, WA4 4BA. Mercia Marina, Findern Lane, Willington, Derbyshire, DE65 6DW. Central Warehouse & Trade Distribution Century Park, Ballin Road, Nuneaton, Warks, CV10 9GA. pOBC_iwa.indd 1


01785 712437 01788 891401 01928 751800 01283 701445

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IWA Waterways Magasine, Autumn 2012  

IWA Waterways Magasine, Autumn 2012

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