SUMMER 2013 | ISSUE 240
waterways KEEPING OUR WATERWAYS ALIVE
IWA at Work
LONDON’S WATERWAYS EXPLORING THE CAPITAL’S CANALS AND RIVERS WRG HOLIDAYS 2013
Volunteer this summer
Canal reopened for Easter
Full events diary
COVER v2 copy.indd 2
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IWA waterways - Summer 2013 |
19/4/13 2:40:49 pm
Ten Good Reasons to be an IWA Member
The Column of the National Chairman
IWA AT WORK
YOUR SUPPORT HELPS IWA TO:
What’s been happening around the branches
14. SPOTLIGHT ON IAN WEST We talk to IWA’s Festivals Division Chairman
18. LONDON’S WATERWAYS Exploring the rivers and canals of the capital city
28. NEWS A round up of the main stories from within IWA and beyond
Commercial carrying developments from around the system
MEMBERS’ SERVICES The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:
34. BASINGSTOKE UPDATE The latest news from the troubled waterway leading off the River Wey
36. EVENTS DIARY What’s on in 2013 – IWA festivals and more
40. WRG HOLIDAYS 2013 Volunteer this summer – and help the restoration effort
44. THE NEXT GENERATION Attracting young people to the world of the waterways
COVER PICTURE: Trip boat on the Regent’s Canal.
40 WATERWAYS EDITOR: Keith Goss Tel: 01283 742951 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ART EDITOR: Kerry Hogston ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER: Ian Sharpe Tel: 01283 742977 E-mail: email@example.com ADVERTISING DESIGN: Clare Salisbury ADVERTISING PRODUCTION: Rebecca McGrath E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL BOARD: Neil Edwards, Les Etheridge, Keith Goss, 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
• 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
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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: www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/members_ 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 www.creativecommons.org
The Inland Waterways Association is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
IWA ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION RATES •Adult/single £31.50
Details of all other rates are available from IWA Head Office – see the Directory on the address sheet.
| IWA waterways - Summer 2013
The Column of the National Chairman Since 1946 when IWA was formed volunteers have played an important part in saving and subsequently developing the waterways. It is important to recognise the work and achievements of so many people whose work has given us the wonderful network we enjoy today. At times the work of volunteers has not been properly recognised and at times it has appeared that by some organisations it has simply been written out of history. Sadly I have recently seen this happen again and have made IWA’s view clear to the relevant organisation. The importance of volunteers is now much better understood by those running the waterways and I welcome the number of people coming forward to do all sorts of jobs around the system. Nearly a year after the launch of the Canal & River Trust we will see a change of Chief Executive with the retirement of Robin Evans. I wish his successor well and hope he or she will have the skills and expertise to develop the management of our inland waterways in the charity sector. The new Chief Executive will have a tremendous opportunity to make a mark on waterways history. A big current issue for the inland waterways is the new high speed rail link HS2. It is not for IWA to determine whether or not this should go ahead. It is for IWA to fight to protect the inland waterways. We have setup a working group to ensure that we understand the views of members and are able to respond accordingly. Updates will be provided twice a month in Bulletin so please do read them and send any thoughts or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Head Office marking them HS2. Moorings and the failure by some boaters to follow the rules is a contentious issue. A significant part of the problem has been the lack of enforcement. Steps are now being taken to rectify this along with consultation about possible changes. Our waterways are used and enjoyed by lots of different people who want different things from them. Any changes need to recognise this and ensure that everybody gets a fair opportunity to enjoy the waterways to the full.
March was the second coldest on record having only been “beaten” by 1947. As 1947 also had one of the hottest summers on records let’s hope we can look forward to something similar in 2013. Enjoy the waterways and all the events IWA is organising during the year.
IWA waterways - Summer 2013 |
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| IWA waterways - Summer 2013
19/4/13 2:42:05 pm
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| IWA waterways - Summer 2013
IWA waterways - Summer 2013 |
19/4/13 2:44:38 pm
IWA at Work rties a P k r o W A W I Round up of Manchester
We publish on these pages a round up of some of the branch work parties that have taken place recently. If your branch event isn’t included here, do let Alison Smedley, Branch Campaign Ofﬁcer, know next time you are organising one, so that it can be included in the overall publicity for work parties that Alison is now promoting for the Association.
Stoke-on-Trent Ellesmere Port
VEGETATION MANAGEMENT ON THE CALDON CANAL
Volunteers learn how to lay a hedge on the Caldon Canal.
Leamington Spa Milton Keynes Bath
ELLESMERE PORT CLEAN-UP YIELDS A GOOD HAUL
Some of the rubbish collected by volunteers on the Ellesmere Port clean up .
Volunteers from IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire (formerly Stoke-on-Trent Branch) and the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canal Trust have been carrying out different types of vegetation management on the Caldon Canal over the winter and spring. In January volunteers learnt the art of hedge laying near the end of the Leek Arm at Bridge 9. Work continued in February at the same site, where as well as laying more of the hedge, some volunteers spent the day planting approximately 250 hedging plants along this stretch of canal. In March the volunteers went down the valley to the terminus of the Caldon Canal at Froghall, for some vegetation clearance and further hedge planting. Saplings were trimmed and a number of areas alongside the canal and around the basin were tidied up. Hedge plants were planted to infill gaps in the existing hedge, with over 100 plants being put in, leaving the area alongside the towpath and basin looking clean and tidy. Volunteers have included several newcomers, including one who came all the way from Northamptonshire to practise his hedge laying skills. This work will contribute to the Canal & River Trust’s vegetation management project which is part of the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership.
Volunteers from IWA Chester Branch, Sutton 1st Scouts and Cubs, Ellesmere Port U3A group and a local dog walker, supported by the Canal & River Trust, landed a huge haul of debris and litter during their canal clean up on Saturday 16th March 2013. The aim was to make the canal corridor from The National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port up to Bridge 140 a cleaner and more pleasant place for the many visitors to the area. The clean up took place ahead of Easter, when many people visited the museum and took cruises on the trip boat whilst others travelled down the canal to the museum on their own historic narrowboats for the Easter Gathering. Other visitors will include local people using the canal for a leisurely stroll. Hopefully all of them will appreciate the huge improvement that the clean-up achieved. With over 40 bags of rubbish including soft furnishings, cushions, a very old wallet, a rusty bicycle, four car tyres and a 30 inch Bakelite TV – the yield was very worthwhile.
| IWA waterways - Summer 2013
IWA at WORK BOATS RETURN TO THE LAPAL CANAL
One of the objects pulled out of the Soho Loop.
IKON GALLERY, BIRMINGHAM
Vegetation clearance by canoe and coracle on the Lapal Canal. ALISON SMEDLEY
Anyone walking the path along the northern edge of Selly Oak Park in Birmingham on Saturday 2nd February would have seen an unusual sight – boats on the Lapal Canal. The boats in question were in fact a canoe and a coracle, belonging to members and friends of IWA’s Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch, making the most of this short stretch of canal being in water following the recent rain. After twice navigating from one end to the other of the section that is in water, the boating expedition turned into a work party. Loppers and a bow saw were utilised to clear many of the overhanging branches that were obstructing passage of these small craft. IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch is keen to support the Lapal Canal Trust at the current time, while proposals for a supermarket development just the other side of the main road will affect the line of the Lapal Canal between Selly Oak Park and where it would join the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.
FISHING FOR TREASURE One of the many bicycles pulled out of the Grand Union Canal in Leamington Spa. ALISON SMEDLEY
Twenty-eight members and friends of IWA Warwickshire Branch competed to land the heaviest catch from the Grand Union at Leamington Spa on Sunday 3rd February. Using grappling hooks the unusual anglers trawled for their catch of bikes, road signs, tractor tyres, supermarket trolleys and many discarded domestic goods. At the final weigh-in there were approximately five truck loads of rubbish, but no fish. CRT Volunteer Leader, Steve Lambert, who supplied equipment and supervision for the event, estimated that there was just under four tons of scrap metal collected, consisting of over 30 bicycles, twenty shopping trollies, road signs and other rubbish. Other volunteers litter picked the towpath and the offside, where amongst the items found were a Christmas tree complete with baubles and stand. More than twenty bin bags of litter were collected.
CLEANING UP THE SOHO LOOP Over 50 volunteers turned out on Saturday 16th February for a work party on the Soho Loop in Birmingham. The meeting place was Hockley Port and after a health & safety briefing from CRT, people armed themselves with a choice of litter pickers or grappling hooks and set off for the Soho Loop. The volunteers soon spread out along the whole length of the Soho or Winson Green Loop. The loop, which leaves the Birmingham Main Line not far from Birmingham city centre at a crossroads with the Icknield Port Loop, rejoins the main line less than a mile further on, having wound around for a mile and a quarter in a loop past various factories, the Soho Branch (now home to Hockley Port residential moorings) and Winson Green Prison. The day was organised jointly by IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch and the BCN Society, working in partnership with the Canal & River Trust, and supported by the Ikon Youth Project and the residents of Hockley Port moorings. The usual assortment of bicycles, tyres, and fence panels were pulled out during the course of the day, and volunteers enjoyed getting muddy on this surprisingly warm and sunny day in February. The trawl also included a van door, road signs and the occasional shopping trolley.
RUGELEY IMPROVEMENTS IWA Lichfield Branch has been particularly busy in Rugeley, with four separate work party events across a total of eight days in February and March. Firstly, 34 volunteers took part in a major scrub bash on the offside of the Trent & Mersey Canal in Rugeley over the weekend of the 16th and 17th February. The glorious weather (plus homemade cake) encouraged the volunteers who made a huge effort to clear many years of brambles, scrub and litter on the edge of St. Augustine’s Field.
The nearly ﬁnished path in Rugeley, leading to the Trent & Mersey Canal. MARGARET BEARDSMORE
IWA waterways - Summer 2013 |
IWA at Work JOHN WATSON-PARKES
IWA volunteers strimming by the locks at Hatton.
HEAVENLY PATHWAY On five work party days during March IWA Warwickshire branch members widened the path on the offside of the legendary ‘Stairway to Heaven’ locks at Hatton. Over the years, the offside of Hatton locks has gradually become overgrown with brambles and hawthorn bushes, making it impenetrable to boaters working the locks. In 2012, the offside canal bank between the Ugly and Middle bridges was cleared by branch members. This March, armed with hedge trimmers supplied and supported by the CRT, the team of IWA volunteers has cleared the vegetation and rubbish blocking the route and extended the previous pathway further down the flight. A total width of two metres over a length of two thirds of a mile has been cleared so that encroachment by brambles can be limited and controlled by regular strimming.
BATH RIVER BANK CLEAN UP
Volunteers from IWA Avon & Wilts Branch, Kennet & Avon Canal Trust and the City of Bath College who got together to clear the towpath of the River Avon through Bath.
CHESHIRE LOCKS WORK PARTY View of the ﬁnished Lock 53 once painting of lock and railings was complete.
The next work party saw a select band of volunteers assemble on 1st March at the footpath between Wolseley Road and the steps down to the T&M Canal at Brindley Bank. The task was Scrub bash at St Augustine’s Field, Rugeley. to remove several small trees, bushes and old tree stumps to widen the path, in preparation for levelling and resurfacing later in the month. Then came a community volunteer litter pick & tree planting day on 17th March. Some 21 bags of litter were collected, graffiti was removed from a canal bridge, and 420 tree saplings were planted to form a hedge. This spring clean is a joint event which is run by IWA Lichfield Branch, Rugeley Lions and CRT. During the event CRT Central Shires Maintenance Manager Will Burnish presented a Volunteer Organisation Recognition Award to IWA Workparty Co-ordinator Margaret Beardsmore as a thank you to Lichfield Branch for the time the team has given in 2012 to transform the canal in Rugeley through regular maintenance and improvements. The fourth work party took place across four days (18th to 21st March) and saw volunteers resurfacing the footpath cleared previously. The materials and plant hire were funded by grants from Staffordshire County Council Community Footpath Initiative, Rugeley Town Council, Rugeley Traders Association and IWA. The qualified excavator and dumper drivers were Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust members and hand tools were loaned by CRT. At the end of the four days the 150-metre path had been completely widened and relaid. This path is the lynchpin of the Branch’s project for a circular canal walk in Rugeley which will be called ‘the Brindley Trail’ as it leads down the historic ‘Bloody ‘Steps’, Brindley Bank and Brindley Aqueduct over the canal.
The monthly work parties on the Cheshire Locks flight of the Trent & Mersey Canal have been continuing with the painting and vegetation work at Locks 53 and 54 (and their adjacent bridges) at Rode Heath now complete. Work has included weeding cobble setts, cutting back overhanging vegetation and painting railings and fences, balance beams, paddle gear and bollards. Work has now started on similar work at Bridge 140 and a nearby picnic area, and once this is complete the work will move on to Locks 52 and 51 at Church Lawton.
Bath & North East Somerset Council organised their annual river bank clean up along the River Avon between Newbridge and Green Park in Bath on 7th March. Volunteers from IWA Avon & Wiltshire Branch joined students from The City of Bath College and members of the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust to help collect rubbish of all descriptions from the towpath and surrounding area using tools and bags supplied by the Council. Foliage overhanging the path was also cut back, which was much appreciated by passing cyclists.
| IWA waterways - Summer 2013
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 email@example.com.
HEROIC GRAND UNION CANAL CLEAN-UP THROUGH MILTON KEYNES
IWA MANCHESTER BRANCH WORK PARTY
IWA Manchester Branch’s monthly work parties held in conjunction with CRT’s Towpath Taskforce continue, with the task for the February and March work parties being slightly different from the more usual grappling rubbish out of the canal and clearing vegetation. The aim was to empty Ironsides, a century old horse drawn working boat, which had been filled with earth and rubbish during the Ashtac Anniversary working weekend.
Volunteers unloading historic work boat Ironsides on the Ashton Canal.
Ashton Packet Boat Company towed Ironsides along the canal to be emptied. The rubbish was then off-loaded using shovels. Volunteers who weren’t involved in shovelling or barrowing steadily filled two CRT lorries with other collected rubbish and dredged metalwork.
IWA NORTHAMPTON BRANCH TO ADOPT CANAL ARM IWA Northampton Branch has agreed an adoption arrangement with the CRT covering the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal. The Branch will help to maintain the 17-lock Arm, which opened in 1815 and links the Grand Union Canal at Gayton Junction with the River Nene in Northampton. The Nene then flows on to Peterborough and The Wash. The Branch will work with the CRT, which manages the Arm, to jointly maintain it. Funds raised from IWA Northampton Branch’s annual boat rally in Becket’s Park will be used to purchase new equipment to help carry out litter picks, maintain hedges, painting work and other maintenance tasks on the Arm’s locks and bridges, with the help of volunteers from the Friends of Becket’s Park, Northampton Open Space and Barclaycard. The Branch plans to encourage other organisations and companies in the area to support the work.
IWA at WORK
Just some of the rubbish trawled out of the Grand Union Canal during IWA Milton Keynes’ Branch bi-annual clean up.
IWA Milton Keynes Branch, working in partnership with the CRT and sponsored by the Wyvern Shipping Co Ltd, completed their bi-annual canal clean-up over the long weekend 22nd to 24th March despite atrocious weather – biting wind and then near continuous snow for the Saturday and Sunday. Thirty-four dedicated, hardy people volunteered for some or all of the three-day event and battled through the elements to clean-up 10 miles of the Grand Union Canal from Fenny Stratford to Wolverton. Lionhearts Cruising Club generously provided a hot lunch on the Saturday. The clean-up removed some 10 tons of rubbish from the canal and adjacent towpath and banks. Among the usual wide variety of items dredged from the canal were: 20 Supermarket shopping trolleys; 27 bicycles; assorted traffic cones and road signs; a huge tractor tyre; mattresses, carpets and mowers; garden tools and domestic white goods; and severed tree branches and debris. Twenty-four black plastic sacks were filled with litter from the towpath and offside banks. IWA members’ boats towed the 70ft hopper and a 40ft pan (workboats supplied by CRT) into which the rubbish was placed. Since the clean up took place, it has been announced that the Bedfordshire & Luton Community Foundation’s London Luton Airport Operation Fund has awarded IWA Milton Keynes Branch £1,000 to be used to defray the Branch’s costs of mounting the bi-annual clean-up weekends. The Milton Keynes Branch has been carrying out these canal clean-ups for 30 years. Each clean-up removes some 10 tons or more of rubbish dredged from the canal and litter picked from the towpath. The Branch operation is carried out these days in partnership with the CRT and sponsored by the Wyvern Shipping Co Ltd.
Details of all future IWA work parties can be found on the IWA website events calendar, or by contacting Alison Smedley, Branch Campaign Officer, on 07779 090915 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IWA waterways - Summer 2013 |
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| IWA waterways - Summer 2013
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19/4/13 2:45:22 pm
FESTIVAL MAN We talk to Festivals Division Chairman Ian West never attended the local branch meetings. We used to avoid gatherings and festivals because we enjoyed the solitude, the peace and the quiet of just being away from home and on the water. I suppose we considered we were too busy raising a family, buying a house, chasing a career and generally earning a living.
How did you first become interested in inland waterways? When I was nine we moved to a house backing onto the Higher Avon at Barford. We had a boat with an outboard, and I had three brothers. We were often messing about on the river or clearing the flotsam and jetsam after a flood, looking after and caring for the riverbank, fixing the engine when it stopped.
Tell us about some of your earliest boating/waterway experiences As a family we always took our canvas-and-rod canoes when we went camping. We used school holidays to go up and down the Avon with picnics, reaching Warwick Castle on regular occasions. With friends I took part in the regular raft race from Barford to Stratford in a raft with planks and oil drums lashed together. Then, just before A-levels a friend’s father amazingly let four of us take his white cruiser from Evesham to Worcester and back and we had tremendous fun. Finally on leaving university in the marvellous summer of 1976, six of us hired a narrowboat from Norbury to Llangollen, then round to Macclesfield and back, before going our separate ways in life.
When did you first become IWA Festivals Division Chairman? I first got involved in festivals when the National came close to home, in Dudley in 1996. There was a vacancy for Finance Manager, and Sue persuaded me to apply. I think it was after Salford Quays in 1998 that the incumbent Festivals Finance Director retired, and I moved up a notch. I became Festivals Chairman in 2003, in time for the first Beale Park National.
What does the role entail?
My father died and left my wife Sue and me some money. It was enough in 1988 to buy our first narrowboat for £9,000. We joined IWA at the same time.
Talking, negotiating and sitting in meetings. Presenting, selling, understanding. Listening, liaising, providing diplomacy, cajoling and persuading. Reporting to the Trustees and to Finance Committee and to the waterways press. Travelling the country by car, train, and of course by boat. At the end of the day putting on a National Festival involves a large and diverse group of volunteers, many elderly, from all over the country, some with boats, some with tents and caravans, all with their own reasons for being there. Some stay in hotels or B&Bs, some come for the weekend, others we see all year. The WRG camp is a vital element and they are a great bunch of people. We all have to work closely together and operate as a team. We don’t always get it right and we sometimes upset people along the way. It is unfortunate, but it happens and we have to move on, filling the gaps as we go.
What prompted you to join?
What are some of the major headaches you encounter?
It seemed to us to be the natural thing to do. I don’t remember anyone persuading us to do so, nor do I think we knew anyone who was a member. There just seemed to be the pervading knowledge that IWA were somehow the people who had saved the waterways to be what they are today. They deserved our appreciation and support.
People mainly. And Committees. And Finance – filling in the jigsaw pieces by ensuring budgets are set and agreed, that campaigning issues are highlighted, that local councils are kept happy particularly with increasing health and safety requirements, environmental concerns, refuse disposal and recycling, liaising with Police, Fire, and Ambulance concerns, that licences are applied for in time and that the critical path is adhered to. We start doing this 12-18 months before the Festival so there are generally two Festivals on the go at any point in time, at different stages of completion.
When did you first join IWA?
What activities did you get involved in during the early days? To be honest, at the beginning we did not get involved in IWA at all. We were happy just giving our donation each year. We
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The Festival Man And what are the plus points? What gives you the most satisfaction? Again, people mainly. While IWA members are there generally for all the right reasons, because they want to help, a volunteer can just walk away if they are upset, so we have to keep them interested, and respect their private time. We tread a careful line when creating a team and encouraging a sense of combined achievement - those not involved can consider this as some kind of barrier or clique, yet we try our best to encourage new volunteers at every stage and at every level. But when we get it right, it is working with people in a successful team that is the biggest joy. We have enough experience to be hugely professional in what we do but we have a lot of fun and a lot of laughs at the same time. And if we can make some money for IWA campaigning at the same time, all the better.
If you had to pick just one National Festival that youâ€™ve been involved in organising, which is the most memorable? Picking just one is very difficult as they all have something to remember them by. I have a great fondness for my first Festival in 2003, the first Beale Park. In late 2002 the Festivals Team had hit an all time low, split by arguments, disagreements and a lack of direction. Yet with an amazing team we picked it up. The weather was kind and provided an August that was almost too hot (remember those?). Over 650 boats lined the Thames and 600 caravans and tents filled the site. Narrowboats invaded the Thames in numbers for the first time, not always to the joy of cruiser owners, but we were welcomed by EA onto the Thames whose river traffic had been falling. We made a large surplus, and we made a difference. Other Nationals have been good, but my first as Chairman will always be special.
Is it a lengthy process, deciding the venue for the National? Yes it can be, and yet other times a site can fall into your lap. At Burton the Council fell over themselves to help and encourage the event. At St Ives, Beale Park and at Redhill we could not have found more welcoming hosts. Wolverhampton and Runcorn were more challenging campaigning sites. Finding sites is however becoming harder, and landowners have to be negotiated with and persuaded out of their vision of large fees being paid. Trees are increasingly planted in previously open areas, and water voles have to be protected, and fish must not be frightened by our activities. Rain or damp conditions mean extra expenses are incurred either in case of flooding, or preventing ground damage that will have to be paid for. There are many issues.
What are the factors you have to consider? Continuing the IWA Campaign is our major aim, whatever you consider that to be and whatever we want to highlight at the time. We are more successful at this in some places than others. We used to enjoy major sponsorship but now we have to make our own way. We need space for boats and for camping, and for the exhibition. We have to arrange entertainments and attractions, craft workshops highlighting traditional activities, WOW activities for the children and free space for IWA branches and canal restoration trusts and waterway related societies who are IWA Corporate Members. We need
Never happier than when at the tiller!
to ensure the budgeted results for the National are reasonable and achievable, so as not to cause the Trustees any undue concern. We have to take precautions in case of wet weather, and we have to insure against cancellation, where riverside sites present a greater potential risk than those that are purely canalside. We provide security and showers for the traders and the boating and camping attendees, and car parking, disabled access, highlight public transport, and of course we need to provide our famous real ale tent, a high class variety of catering, and toilet facilities for everyone.
Do you think it was the right decision not to stage a National in 2012? Yes. We could not have competed with the Olympics, and many of our volunteers wanted the chance to volunteer for the Games. I was involved in harbour-mastering for the London waterways during the summer, and the atmosphere in London was tremendous. It was an opportunity not to be missed.
Did you come in for any criticism for not holding a National last year? We did get some, although not as much as we might have thought. The vast majority of people could see our reasons for taking a break, and appreciated it. The volunteers have all had a year to recharge their batteries, and are ready to start again.
Tell us about the Festival of London Waterways 2013. What is its overall aim? Times change. In 1950, the first National Rally in Market Harborough was the only one of its kind. Today, every week and every weekend there are events going on around the
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by the Rickmansworth Festival. The Ware Festival in July is then followed by the IWA National in Cassiobury Park Watford as the biggest event of them all. September brings the Angel Canal Festival and the Slough Canal Festival, with the Mayors Thames River Festival on the middle weekend of the month.
With all your IWA commitments, do you still get the chance to get out on the waterways sometimes?
The Beale Park festivals on the Thames were outstandingly successful.
inland waterways network, be they evening meetings, talks, presentations and socials, to rallies and festivals, walks and sponsored runs, boot sales, lock ransoms or organised cruises. The Festival of London Waterways is an attempt to recognise the breadth and scope of all of this activity, and the variety of organisations that are involved, and to bring it under one marketing banner. This has the advantage of making the Region an attractive place to visit at any period throughout the summer, whilst at the same time, taking the pressure off an event taking place over a single weekend, when it might rain. By highlighting six events across the capital between May and September, and linking them with a series of towpath walks, a series of cruises organised by St Pancras Cruising Club, displays and themes at the Canal Museum, the Puppet Theatre at Little Venice, the Thames 21 Photo Competition, and the activities of the IWA work parties and the CRT towpath taskforce, there is always something to come and see and do. In addition, one of IWA’s major campaign themes this year is the problem in London of unauthorised overstaying on moorings by craft unlicensed to do so, that often clogs the visitor moorings and scarce facilities in the capital. We are told there are over 400 unlicensed residential craft in the London area alone. If the Festival of London Waterways can also do its part to keep the attention of CRT on the solutions to these problems, which are largely of their own making, then it will have achieved its campaigning ends. We are hoping that we can persuade someone to keep this going into 2014, but the Fesival Team will be moving on. In 2014 the concept will be applied to the Warwickshire waterways, from Calcutt to Solihull, from Kings Norton to Stratford, taking in the Warwickshire Avon which links Naseby to Tewkesbury, taking in Warwick Castle and Stratford-on-Avon, with its River Festival, closely followed by related events at Evesham and Pershore. In 2015 we will move on again.
Is planning going well for the Watford National in July and the rest of the summer’s events? Yes. We are full steam ahead, although it has been a little more difficult than usual gaining the momentum after our year off, but we are getting there fast. Exhibition entries are in and an excellent number of boats are already booked. The event fits beautifully into the IWA Summer with Canalway Cavalcade starting the Festival season in May, closely followed
Fortunately yes, but sometimes you just have to make sure it happens. We normally try to take our boat away from her moorings by Easter, not returning until they start to close and repair locks in November. Where we can take weeks at a time, we do, but otherwise we moor where we can, and move her as necessary so as not to overstay our welcome or become part of the problem referred to previously. This way we can cover a large area through a summer period.
Where do you like to go – and which is your favourite waterway? The River Thames is beautiful, and this year we hope to take advantage of the opening of the Basingstoke. We love the GU/ Oxford Ring. The Stratford Canal in our view has everything and I will always love the Avon. I am a Birmingham boy, so I love the urban nature of the BCN. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to St Ives, and the River Nene. It is hard to beat the Staffs & Worcs, and we do try to do the Shroppie and the Llangollen Canal in October when we can have colour in the trees and snow on the ground and most people have gone home. The Caldon is superb, the Chesterfield is spectacular, and Lincoln is well worth a visit. Probably if we had to pick one waterway, it would be the Huddersfield for its beauty and remoteness, if not for its depth.
How do you see the future for the inland waterways network under the Canal & River Trust? Hopefully it will be OK, but there is a long way to go. The formation of CRT is the first step in the IWA dream of a single waterway conservancy, and there is no reason yet to believe that the original vision of our founding fathers was faulty in any way. If over time it can evolve, establish its long term funding and include EA and the other navigation authorities, then finally we will have a sustainable inland waterway system.
And will there always be a role for IWA? There have been numerous occasions in the past when people have written off IWA and said that our job is done. We are not there yet, and nor will we be for some time. CRT are the landlords and own the fixtures and fittings, but IWA represent the users. This is an important distinction. We are the residents’ association. IWA have by far the largest boat owning membership of any organisation, and while our heart lies in navigation, we are there to represent all users of the waterways. We are the only organisation in the inland waterways movement who are actively campaigning for the restoration of the many abandoned waterways that have existed. Our record in recording and protecting waterway heritage is second to none, and our branch network is the envy of everyone with IWA members forever active in the planning departments across the country. I cannot see why IWA should be disappearing just yet.
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A comprehensive guide to the capital’s canals, rivers and creeks – including the incomparable Thames Tideway
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London’s Waterways Boating through London on the Thames Tideway. (Robin Smithett) RIGHT: Passing London Zoo on the Regent’s Canal.
THE REGENT’S CANAL Among Britain’s urban waterways, London’s Regent’s Canal reigns supreme. Completed in 1820 to link the Grand Union’s Paddington Arm with the Thames at Limehouse, it was for a short period busy carrying coal, timber and agricultural produce, before competition from the railways brought about its commercial demise. But it is as a leisure amenity that it has really blossomed, serving as a vital refuge for the capital’s boaters, runners, cyclists and anglers. The canal begins at Little Venice, junction with the Paddington Arm, one of the inland waterways’ truly iconic locations. A broad expanse of water overlooked by splendid Regency houses, its timeless charm contrasts with the glass and concrete of the new developments at Paddington Basin.
There are trip boats, trading boats, a Puppet Theatre Barge and an art gallery. Visitor moorings have a maximum stay of 14 days, and double-mooring is encouraged - making it an ideal base for exploring London. Maida Hill Tunnel, just 272 yards long, carries the canal beneath the incessantly busy Edgware Road. The tunnel is broad, but don’t enter if you see a boat coming the other way. Your boat may only be 7ft wide, but the oncoming boat could be wider! Then comes one of the inland waterways’ more memorable experiences: passage right through Regent’s Park and London Zoo. Exotic birds and animals from the far corners of the globe provide the sometimes tumultuous soundtrack, whilst Lord Snowdon’s distinctive aviary offers architectural interest. The bridges repay study, not least Macclesfield Bridge. Here in October 1874 a barge carrying gunpowder exploded killing its crew and demolishing the bridge, the iron columns of which were salvaged and re-erected. The structure is widely referred to as Blow-Up Bridge. The Regent’s Canal then takes a sharp left-turn – and yes, that is a floating pagoda housing a Chinese restaurant. Originally, the half-mile Cumberland Arm headed straight on towards Euston, a major wharf in trading days. It was infilled after World War II. With its castellated headquarters, the Pirate Castle is the best-known youth activity centre on the canal system. A children’s boat club was first established here by Viscount St Davids in 1967, before being reborn in its existing format in 1978. Youngsters from all backgrounds enjoy the water aboard rowing boats, canoes, kayaks and just about anything else that floats.
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The Regent’s Canal towpath is a valuable asset to Londoners, whether they are enjoying a quiet stroll away from the office at lunchtime, cycling to and from work or ‘putting in the miles’ for their next marathon or 10k. The Canal & River Trust sometimes has its work cut out keeping the peace between different users! At Camden Town, three locks begin the waterway’s descent to the Thames, overlooked by an array of lively pubs and a bewildering assortment of restaurants. The chaotic and colourful Camden Markets are rammed with arts, crafts, clothes and food, their frenetic pace a sharp contrast to the canal. All the (broad) locks on the Regent’s Canal were once paired, but Hampstead Road Lock, the first, is the only one where both chambers remain in operation – not least to ease operation of the trip-boats which turn beneath the lock, by the old TV-am studios. Safety fences keep people back from the lock; the gates are opened by a BW Yale key. As the canal makes its way past the back of St Pancras and King’s Cross stations, you might be surprised to look up and see a Eurostar train beginning its journey to Paris. Here too is the headquarters of St Pancras Cruising Club, whose members are renowned for their adventurous cruising exploits – and for the friendly welcome they invariably extend to visiting boaters. The old King’s Cross wastelands are being extensively redeveloped, most dramatically at the Guardian’s new sculpture-bedecked canalside offices, King’s Place. Immediately afterwards is Battlebridge Basin, home of the London Canal Museum. Housed in an ice warehouse built for ice cream manufacturer Carlo Gatti, it tells the story of London’s waterways and the history of the ice trade.
Just over half a mile long (and, again, one-way), Islington Tunnel passes beneath a famous London landmark; the Angel, Islington. To the north of the tunnel are the fashionable terraces of Islington, home these days to the rich and famous. Less flamboyant now, the Regent’s Canal slips past Hoxton and Hackney. Both City Road and Kingsland basins have been extensively redeveloped for housing in recent years. Below Old Ford Lock, the Hertford Union Canal exits to the left, running alongside the gracious grounds of Victoria Park to offer a useful shortcut to the Lee Navigation. The canal through Mile End and Stepney remains a haven of peace and tranquillity away from the capital’s relentless buzz of 24-hour activity. But Commercial Road Lock, fittingly, marks the return of a very commercial London, and the entrance to Limehouse Basin. Formerly known as the Regent’s Canal Dock, the London terminus of the Grand Union Canal once handled ships of up to 3,000 tons interchanging cargoes before sailing off to foreign parts. Today it is exclusively the preserve of pleasure craft: ocean-going yachts, sleek cruisers and more humble canal narrowboats, all overlooked by desirable housing. The Limehouse Cut, on your left, marks the beginning of the modern Lee Navigation. And, perhaps even more enthralling, Limehouse Lock provides access to the Thames Tideway…
The Pirate Castle.
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London’s Waterways The London Eye.
THE TIDAL THAMES You might have seen some landmarks from your boat: Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Old Trafford stadium, Worcester Cathedral, and so on. But nothing can beat cruising past the Houses of Parliament and London Eye... and under Tower Bridge. But this may also be the most difficult challenge you will ever face: tides to negotiate, fast boats to avoid, bookings to make. But everyone who’s ‘done the Tideway’ will tell you it’s worth it.
Overview The Thames becomes tidal at Teddington Lock. It’s four miles downstream to Brentford, the junction with the Grand Union; then a further 16 through central London to Limehouse, the end of the Regent’s Canal. As long as you plan the tide times correctly (the lock-keepers will help), Teddington to Brentford is a fairly simple cruise. Continuing to Limehouse is more of a challenge. If this is your first trip along the Tideway, we would very strongly recommend that you make your way through London on the Regent’s Canal, then start your Thames passage at Limehouse and cruise upstream to Brentford/ Teddington. Going downstream, the tide is faster and less forgiving, and the turn into Limehouse is tricky. Your trip on the Thames Tideway involves up to three different authorities. The Tower Bridge.
Environment Agency controls Teddington Lock; Canal & River Trust owns the locks at Limehouse and Brentford; and the Tideway itself is managed by the Port of London Authority. The keepers are founts of knowledge on the Thames. Although all three locks are open for unbooked passage (24 hours at Teddington, restricted times at Limehouse/Brentford, you should phone 24 hours in advance to discuss your journey. But before talking to the keepers, download, read and absorb the excellent set of navigation notes from CRT, including tide times, lock hours and maps. For copies, go to www. waterscape.com/things-to-do/boating/usefuldownloads. You can also download information from the Port of London Authority website, www. boatingonthethames.co.uk, whilst IWA produces a Thames Tideway Guide costing 50p including postage – call Head Office for a copy. A tidal passage is not to be taken lightly. Make sure your boat is well equipped. An anchor, life-jackets, navigation lights, working horn, and life-buoy are the basics, but in case the worst happens, a tow rope, a sharp serrated knife, and a light throwing line are useful. Check that your bilge pump is working, and that any water hitting the decks will drain away quickly. You should have enough fuel, of course, with clean fuel filters, and any sediment removed from the bottom of the tank lest the choppy waters stir it up. If you’re cruising to/from Limehouse, and your boat is over 45ft long, you’ll need a VHF radio; and to operate it, you will need a certificate and a (one-day) training course. Owners of shorter boats, and anyone transiting between Teddington to Brentford, can get away with using a mobile phone to contact London VTS (Vessel Traffic Service) at the start and end of their transit.
Timing Narrowboaters on the Tideway, should time their trip to run with the tide where possible. ‘Punching the tide’ will strain all but the most powerful narrowboat engines, and the tidal Thames is no place to be dealing with an overheated engine. Teddington Lock is open 24 hours, but if you are heading for Brentford or Limehouse, you will want to arrive when the lock is open: though there are pontoons to wait on, this is not a comfortable experience on a tidal waterway, and especially not at Limehouse. There is no hard and fast rule, but for a narrowboat making the full passage upstream, a useful rule of thumb is to aim to end your tideway transit when the Thames is at High Water at London Bridge. (This is the same time
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as High Water at Limehouse, and well before Teddington or Brentford.) The passage from Limehouse to Teddington takes around 3½ hours, which means leaving Limehouse 3½ hours before High Water. Limehouse to Brentford takes 2½ hours, so leave Limehouse 2½ hours before High Water. (For the short Brentford-Teddington transit, leave two hours before High Water at Brentford, which is when Thames Lock at Brentford opens anyway. Setting off downstream from Teddington, whether for Brentford or Limehouse, the Teddington lock-keepers recommend that you enter the lock 30 minutes before High Water at Teddington). A tide times leaflet is available from CRT, and the lock-keepers can advise on the conditions on the day. There is a school of thought that says you should try for an early-morning passage if tides permit, before the trip-boats start running.
Leaving Limehouse Limehouse Basin is a pleasant place to stay, so plan your Regent’s Canal trip to arrive here in good time (there are 24-hour moorings), and take the opportunity to ask the lock-keeper about your upcoming passage. When the time comes, you’ll find that Limehouse Lock is a typical deep river lock in that there are poles set in the walls for you to loop your ropes around - much like the Severn or Trent. It’s less typical, though, in that there
are no paddles! Rather, the rotating gates are opened to let the water out. This does mean that there’s quite a ‘pull’ on the ropes, so take the loose ends around a cleat on the boat. Before you leave the lock, remember to call London VTS (on VHF or, for boats under 45ft, mobile phone) to announce your departure.
River traffic As you nudge your boat into the Tideway, sounding your horn to announce your entrance, you’ll soon notice that the tidal flow is not the only force that you and your engine need to consider over the next 20 miles – and probably not even the major one. This is the busiest waterway in Britain. The other traffic is bigger, faster, and makes more wash than you. You’ll encounter the high-speed catamarans, on their way to Docklands, as soon as you leave Limehouse. However, the busiest section is either side of Tower Bridge, between Rotherhithe and London Bridge, known as the ‘Pool of London’. The trip-boats create a lot of wash and slow down for no-one. Keep well clear of them, both when they’re underway in midchannel and when they’re setting off from the public piers. It sounds obvious, but other traffic will approach from behind as well as ahead, so you’ll need to keep looking behind you and adjusting your course to avoid being thrown off-course by their wake. As a general rule, you want to hit the waves at 90°, so that they
The half-tide lock at Richmond. RIGHT: Passing the O2 Arena.
TOP: Teston Bridge on the Medway. (BRIAN FULLER 6385 at flicker.com CC-BY-SA)
ABOVE: Trip boat on the Wey & Arun Canal. (HUGH POTTER)
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London’s Waterways break over the bow or stern – not the sides. Be prepared to hang back a little if it will keep you clear of a trip-boat. Know the standard signals, not just so you can use them yourself, but so you have advance warning of other manoeuvring vessels.
Bridges The bridges are the ‘pinch points’ on the tideway, where boats of varying speeds come together to pass through the arches. There are four signs to learn: three red balls/lights mean ‘arch closed’; flashing white light means ‘large boat using this arch’; two amber lights mean ‘use this arch’; a bale of straw (really!) or solid white light means ‘restricted headroom’. You need to choose your arch well in advance, and make sure that other boats are aware which one you are heading for. Depending on the tide, you may be moving faster than you’re accustomed to. Manoeuvring too close to the bridge could result in the currents sweeping you into the pillars. In general, where there is more than one open arch, you should take the one closest to shore. That said, the first bridge you will encounter after Limehouse is Tower Bridge, where you will probably want to take the centre arch – just to say you’ve done it. That’s perfectly permissible unless there’s a flashing white light, but do of course keep to the right. Narrowboats and most river cruisers should never have a problem with headroom at the bridges, even at the highest tides, but owners of larger cruisers will know to take care. If you have VHF, listen on Channel 14 for the bulletin from London VTS at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour – and, of course, in case they need to contact you. When they refer to bridge arches by number, 1 is on the north bank (i.e. on your right when travelling upstream), continuing upwards to the south bank.
With all this to think about, will you have time to see the sights? Yes – simply because you can’t miss them. In short order, you’ll pass the Design Museum and Butler’s Wharf (south bank), St Katharine’s Dock (N), Tower Bridge, the Tower of London (N), HMS Belfast (S), the Monument (N), London Bridge, Southwark Cathedral (S),
Southwark Bridge, Shakespeare’s Globe (S), St Paul’s Cathedral (N), Blackfriars Bridge, the Courtauld Gallery (N), the London Eye (S)... then the thick of bridges leading to Westminster and the Houses of Parliament. There is, unsurprisingly, an ‘exclusion zone’ on the north bank at Westminster: keep 70 metres from the shore. This, too, is a busy area for tripboats. The river is less star-studded but no less interesting as you head into West London, passing Battersea Power Station, Chelsea Barracks, and Kew Gardens – opposite the turn to the River Brent and the Grand Union. Don’t miss it!
Brentford The Grand Union actually begins on the tidal River Brent, with Thames Locks 300 yards upstream. Opening times here are restricted, and booking is required in the winter months. Above Thames Locks, the river is ‘semi-tidal’, like the Severn from Gloucester to Tewkesbury: that is, at the highest tides, even this placidlooking waterway will swell a little. This is of particular concern at Brentford High Street Bridge, which has low headroom. Check with the lock-keeper before setting off. After Brentford Gauging Locks, automated and boater-operated, the canal (still following the Brent) is fully non-tidal.
Richmond Lock For boaters continuing along the Thames to Teddington, you’ll pass the ‘half-tide’ lock at Richmond. Built in the 1980s, it guarantees around 6ft of depth upstream, improving both navigation and the view for the riverside residents. With the timings advised above, the weir is fully submerged, and all you’ll notice as you pass through is the elegant cast-iron footbridge above. However, if you pass outside this window (two hours either side of High Water), a sign will advise that the lock is in use. Passage costs £5.
Teddington The end of the tidal journey is Teddington Lock, administered by the Environment Agency. There are actually three parallel locks here: Barge, Launch, and Skiffs locks. The former is too narrow for most boats at 5ft 10in, but you may be signalled into either the Barge Lock or Launch Lock: look for the red and green traffic lights. There is a lay-by below the lock where you can wait for the gates to be opened. Don’t forget you’re on the EA-controlled Thames now – so turn your engine off in the lock. It will probably welcome the rest.
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BOW BACK RIVERS For 50 years, the ‘Bow Backs’ have been unloved and unboated. An intricate network of River Lea backwaters, they were upgraded for easier navigation in the 1930s. It was too late: commercial traffic ceased barely 30 years later. Pleasure boaters reclaimed London’s other waterways, but who in their right mind would choose to spend their weekends cruising the industrial wastelands of the East End? The millennium saw the Bow Backs creep onto British Waterways’ wish-list, but the pipedream remained just that – until the Government, casting around a derelict area of London to redevelop as the Olympic site, happened upon Stratford. So what were once the least glamorous waterways in Britain now have an 80,000capacity stadium on their banks. Water quality has been cleaned up and there’s even a new lock (Three Mills Lock), which hasn’t fulfilled its freight-carrying potential, but has performed the welcome function of making the network largely non-tidal. Though the works haven’t satisfied everyone, the Bow Backs are definitely ‘back’ – and here to stay. The Bow Backs were created in the late medieval times as marshlands were drained. They were formerly part-tidal, part-freshwater but the construction of Three Mills Lock has tamed most of the tidal sections. Access is from
the Lee Navigation or, for the adventurous, the winding tidal Bow Creek. However, these waterways remain closed to public navigation at present although IWA continues to campaign for their speedy reopening (see overleaf). The Bow Backs are bounded to the west by the Lee Navigation. This makes a lockfree loop with the City Mill River, circling the new Olympic Stadium. From the City Mill River, you can lock into easternmost channel, the Waterworks River, at two locations: Carpenters Road Lock and City Mill Lock. The latter was fully restored by British Waterways. Finally, the broad Waterworks River continues south, via the Prescott Channel, to the new Three Mills Lock. Here you can lock down into the tidal Channelsea River and Bow Creek for a winding voyage to the Tideway – or through Bow Locks back into the non-tidal Lee. The Olympic site only encompasses the northern part of the Bow Backs. The southern half is not yet fully redeveloped, although it is hoped that the ‘Olympic effect’ will spread in coming years.
Three Mills Lock.
| IWA waterways - Summer 2013
London's Waterways.indd 24
London’s Waterways Thames Lock, Brentford.
IWA FESTIVAL OF LONDON WATERWAYS This is the year of the Festival of London Waterways, a summer of celebrations on the canals and rivers of the capital city. The events comprise: CANALWAY CAVALCADE 4th-6th May RICKMANSWORTH FESTIVAL 18th-19th May WARE BOAT FESTIVAL 5th-7th July IWA NATIONAL FESTIVAL & BOAT SHOW, Cassiobury Park, Watford 19th-21st July ANGEL CANAL FESTIVAL 1st September MAYOR’S THAMES FESTIVAL 14th-15th September Full details of all these festivals are published in our comprehensive Events Guide 2013 - see pages 36-38.
THE GRAND UNION The ‘London Ring’ is completed by the Grand Union’s Paddington Arm, from Paddington and Little Venice to Bull’s Bridge; and the last six miles of the GU main line, from there to Brentford. The Paddington Arm actually starts at Paddington Basin. Inaccessible for many years, it has been extensively redeveloped with towering, gleaming office blocks and a curious ‘screw’ footbridge; there are visitor moorings here. You’ll see historic wharf buildings along the short length to Little Venice, but they’re in the minority. As the Regent’s Canal head east at Little Venice, we turn west past the former Toll Office, for a 13-mile lock-free journey. At first glance it’s not the most charismatic of canals, winding through the west London suburbs of Willesden, Harlesden, Wembley and Southall.
But it does have its moments. Transport enthusiasts will enjoy crossing the North Circular Road by aqueduct, squeezing between the Great Western and West Coast mainline railways at Old Oak, the landscape docks at Port-A-Bella and Lyon’s, and the old bridge which led to Kensal Gasworks. Wildlife spotters should keep an eye out for terrapins, occasionally sighted here, while others will enjoy the stark, brutalist architecture by the Westway. There’s an enjoyable stretch of greenery around Horsenden Hill, and boating facilities are available at Willowtree Marina. The arm meets the main line at Bull’s Bridge. The vast Tesco might look like any other canalside supermarket, but this was once the site of the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company’s depot. Even in the early 1960s, you would see much of the 40-strong fleet of British Waterways-liveried working narrowboats laid up here, waiting for work. Moor overnight here before starting on the seven Hanwell Locks, two miles to the south: look out for the side-ponds, no longer in use. Norwood Top Lock and Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s ‘Three Bridges’ precede the flight: his last project, completed in 1859, it carries road over canal over railway. The locks are padlocked and require a BW key – but, in fact, this immaculately kept flight marks the start of an attractive rural length. It largely follows the course of the River Brent, with two lock cuts before Brentford: Osterley and Clitheroes. Brentford marks the end of the Grand Union’s journey from Birmingham. Its canal heritage has not quite been lost in the recent craze for development, but working boaters of the 1960s might struggle to recognise it. Back then Brentford was renowned for its concentration of pubs, and, fortunately, there are still plenty today.
OLYMPIC WATERWAYS TO REOPEN? IWA and CRT have been in prolonged discussions with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) regarding the long-term future of the Olympic waters. Meanwhile construction work continues on the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the first part of which is scheduled to open on 27th July, exactly a year after the Olympic ceremony. CRT’s waterways (the Bow Back Rivers) are leased to LLDC until 2014, but CRT and IWA are hopeful of negotiating access for boaters at some point this summer.
IWA waterways - Summer 2013 |
London's Waterways.indd 25
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IWA waterways - Summer 2013 |
27 22/4/13 11:16:43
waterways KEEPING OUR WATERWAYS ALIVE
IWA Annual General Meeting n accordance with Article 71 of IWA’s Articles of Association, notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Association will be held on Saturday 28th September 2013 at 2pm. The venue for the meeting will be at Ettington Community Centre, Rogers Lane, Ettington, Warwickshire, CV37 7SX. Full details of the meeting will be provided in the next edition of Waterways. In accordance with Article 43, nominations to stand as an elected trustee (four places available) are sought. Nominations are also sought for the posts of region chairman for North East & Yorkshire Region (to serve until 2016 AGM), East Midlands Region (to serve until 2016 AGM) and Eastern Region following the resignation of Alastair Chambers (to serve until 2014 AGM). Any member can submit a nomination for a nationally elected trustee, which should be accompanied by confirmation from the nominee that they are willing to be elected as a trustee of the Association. Nominations for region chairmen should be made by a member of the relevant region. The nominee should also be a member of that region. All nominations should be accompanied by a brief biography or statement not exceeding 400 words, with a portrait style photo, for publication as part of any ballot paper with the notice convening the AGM to be issued in the next (August) edition of Waterways. All nominations should be received at Head Office (for attention the Company Secretary or Chief Executive) by no later than 2pm on Friday 5th July (i.e. 85 days before the AGM).
28 News.indd 28
Trustees of the Association Have you ever wondered what the role of IWA’s trustees is, either as the board of trustees as a whole, or of individual trustees, and the sort of person who should think about putting themselves forward for election as a trustee?
Role of the Board The role of the Association’s trustees is to optimise the charitable benefit achieved in fulfilment of the Trust’s charitable objectives. In order to do this the Board needs: • To agree high level objectives, strategy and resource allocation; • To approve key performance measures, budgets and policies; • To review the organisation’s performance; • To report for the organisation (e.g. Annual Accounts); • To appoint and supervise the chief executive; • To support management and to hold them to account; • To act as keepers of the Association’s brand and reputation; • To ensure compliance with all statutory and regulatory requirements; • To safeguard the Association’s assets; • To supervise risk management; • To manage the Board itself, including appointment of officers; • To manage Committees of the Board and oversee the subsidiary companies. The Board of Trustees comprises 17 trustees (or 18 if there is a national treasurer who is not otherwise elected as a trustee), one of whom is the national chairman. Trustees are elected for terms of three years and do not usually serve more than two consecutive three-year terms.
• To understand and accept the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship; • To safeguard the Association’s good name and reputation, and assets, and ensure the proper investment of the Trust’s funds; • To attend the majority of board meetings, scrutinise meeting papers, challenge management on their content, contribute to the board discussion, focus on key issues and accept collegiate decisions. Region chairmen also have additional responsibilities to oversee the proper running of their region, to chair meetings of their region committee, and to act as mentor and manager of the region as a whole, encouraging and enabling achievement of best potential from branches. Trustees may also wish to undertake further roles including acting as ambassadors for the Association, including amongst their own personal contacts, and serving on one or more of the national committees.
Person specification All Trustees need to have certain qualities, such as integrity and commitment. In addition the Association looks for the following qualities, skills and experience.
Essential • A passion for the inland waterways; • A willingness to commit time to the Association’s work; • An ability to think strategically; • An ability to operate effectively at board level; • An ability to express clear views and exercise sound judgment in a collegiate environment.
Role of a trustee The role of an IWA trustee is as follows: • With the help of the chief executive, to formulate and review regularly the Association’s vision, values and long-term strategy as well as policies for its fulfilment; • To be accountable to the Association’s members and stakeholders for the Board’s decisions, the performance of the Board and the performance of the Association; • To set and agree targets and evaluate performance against them; • To oversee the management of the organisation and its assets in the interest of current, potential and future public benefit; • To ensure that the Association complies with all regulatory and statutory requirements; • To exercise financial controls in order to ensure the Association’s financial stability; • To be familiar with and keep under regular review the Association’s rules and constitution (e.g. Memorandum and Articles, byelaws, etc);
Desirable (i.e. each trustee should have at least some of these) • Experience of organisations and what makes them tick; • Great networks and a willingness to use them on behalf of the Association; • Experience at a strategic level, ideally as non-executive director or trustee; • An ability to understand financial information; • Sufficient and diverse experience to hold management to account; • Willingness to give time outside of the board meetings; • Experience as a chief executive or similar management position; • Willingness to represent IWA externally at meetings and events; • An ability to think laterally; • Dynamic and creative abilities to drive issues forward.
| IWA waterways - Summer 2013
Summer 2013 | NEWS | FREIGHT | RESTORATION
IWA Co-ordinates HS2 Campaign
The proposed HS2 crossing at Curdworth on the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.
WA is putting together a working group to coordinate a campaign to modify and improve the alignment of the HS2 route where it adversely impacts on the inland waterways - both for existing navigable waterways, and for waterways under restoration. The Association is currently consulting with all IWA branches - even those branches a long way from the rail route have members who go boating in affected areas. Phase 2 of the route affects the Ashby Canal, the Chesterfield Canal and the Barnsley Canal restoration schemes. IWA is working with representatives from the restoration groups affected by phase 2 of the HS2 route as well as with Canal & River Trust and other waterways interests. Other navigation authorities impacted by the scheme include the Manchester Ship Canal Company and Derbyshire County Council. This IWA-led initiative will seek to work with HS2 Ltd to resolve all the waterway related issues that will affect both navigable and restorable waterways within phase 2. From south to north HS2 phase 2 crosses the existing waterway network as follows:
Manchester Line Trent & Mersey Canal, at Fradley (a couple of hundred yards east of the phase 1 double crossing around Wood End Lock); Trent & Mersey Canal, just north of Great Haywood; Shropshire Union Canal - Middlewich Branch, at Clive Green; Trent & Mersey Canal, at Bostock Hall; Bridgewater Canal, at Little Bollington; Manchester Ship Canal, at Partlington.
Leeds Line Coventry Canal, at Pooley Hall (parallel to M42); River Soar Navigation, at Radcliffe on Soar; River Trent (Cranford Cut), at Long Eaton; Erewash Canal, at Sandiacre; Erewash Canal, at Stanton Gate (1/2 mile north of the Sandiacre crossing); Sheffield & South
Yorkshire Navigation, at Tinsley (parallel to M1); Aire & Calder Navigation, at Normanton; Aire & Calder Navigation, at Woodlesford (Leeds main line); Aire & Calder Navigation, at Woodlesford (York spur line). In addition to the crossings, there are several locations where the proposed line of the railway would run parallel to the waterway corridor and there are concerns about the potential noise effect on the adjacent waterways. These areas include: Birmingham & Fazeley Canal, at Curdworth (albeit divided from it by a noisy M42); Trent & Mersey Canal, in parts of the Stone/Stafford/Rugeley Corridor; Erewash Canal, in the Stapleford and Sandicare area; Aire & Calder Navigation, in the Woodlesford area (Leeds Branch line). The working group plans to publish a formal response in time for the public consultation later this year. IWA will seeking contributions from all waterways interests.In the meantime discussions regarding the two major concerns on phase 1 are ongoing. The first issue is the sizeable bridge required over the Digbeth Branch of the Birmingham Canal Navigations, where the railway is planned to enter the new Curzon Street station. Various design options are being considered. The second relates to the proposed double crossing of the Trent & Mersey Canal either side of Woodend Lock. There are concerns that the line will damage the tranquil environment that the listed lock and house presently enjoy.
Bow Back Rivers Setback
anal & River Trust’s application for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant for funds to restore Carpenters Road Lock on the Bow Back Rivers, and for associated heritage work around the Bow Back Rivers, has been turned down by the Lottery Fund. The Grant Officer advised that the project met all of the criteria and was sent to the Fund’s determining committee with a recommendation for approval. However, during this funding award period, submissions of over £9m were entered for which there was only £3m available, and which has gone on just three projects. Whilst this news is disappointing, it is encouraging that HLF recognised the unique design of Carpenters Road Lock and the importance of highlighting the industrial and waterways heritage of the newly created Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. CRT is therefore discussing its next steps with HLF with a view to a possible re-submission later this year. The bid has the strong support of IWA.
Government Responds to Call from IWA and CRT for Planning Protections for Waterways
he Government has gone on record to reassure Canal & River Trust and IWA that CRT’s waterways will not be detrimentally affected by changes in the Growth & Infrastructure Bill. The statement came after a meeting between the Minister and representatives of the Trust and IWA, and followed impassioned arguments in the House of Lords from Lords Hodgson, Faulkner and Adonis. Baroness Hanham, Minister for the Department for Communities and Local Government, acknowledged the heritage of the inland waterways and set out the protections the Government believes the waterways have outside the Bill, but
declined to include an amendment proposed by Lord Hodgson on behalf of the Trust. Commenting on the news, the Trust’s Legal Director, Nigel Johnson, said that CRT was disappointed that the Government could not support a Lords amendment to the Bill to further strengthen protection on a parallel to those enjoyed by inalienable National Trust properties, but added that CRT was “particularly grateful for the strong level of cross party support from peers, MPs and IWA. They have shown again that the waterways have friends both inside and outside Parliament who will be ready to rally to their support if they are under threat.”
IWA waterways - Summer 2013 |
waterways KEEPING OUR WATERWAYS ALIVE
NATIONAL AWARDS OFFICER
WA’s trustees are seeking a volunteer to take on the post of National Awards Officer for the Association. The post-holder would look after all the arrangements for the following six national awards: Cyril Styring Trophy; John Heap Salver; Vivian Bulkeley-Johnson Salt; Christopher Power Prize; Richard Bird Medals; Branch Achievement Award. Nominations for the first five awards have been considered by an Awards Panel comprising three IWA vice-presidents, appointed by trustees annually. The Panel produces recommendations, on which a final decision is then made by trustees, with awards being made at the following national AGM. The recipient of the branch achievement award has, since its inception, been decided by a panel comprising the national chairman, deputy
national chairmen and the chief executive. This is also presented at the AGM. Prior to the awards being presented, the trophies need to be collected from the previous year’s recipient, cleaned and engraved with the new winner’s names. The engraving is, more often than not, undertaken at a favourable rate by a jeweller who is a member of IWA North Staffordshire and South Cheshire (formerly Stoke-on-Trent) Branch. From time-to-time, Richard Bird medals also need to be produced, for which there is a lead time. The awards then need to be got to the AGM for presentation. Also prior to the AGM, nominations need to be acknowledged, enquiries from those considering making a nomination answered, award winners notified, those making nominations informed of the outcome of their nomination,
Wind Turbine Plan Blown Away
Maureen Shaw Panel Unveiling – ‘Memories of a Boat Woman’
A proposed 67-metre (220-foot) high wind turbine close to the Daw End Branch Canal at Aldridge has been rejected on appeal by the planning inspector. The turbine at College Farm near Riddian Bridge and Park Lime Pits would have been in the Green Belt and one of the few remaining areas of unspoilt countryside along the Birmingham Canal Navigations. IWA Lichfield Branch objected to the original application in 2011 because of its visual impact on the rural setting of the canal and the damage to its recreational
or many boaters, a trip through Wardle Lock on the Middlewich Arm of the Shropshire Union Canal was enhanced by meeting Maureen Shaw, a former working boat woman who was always pleased to chat and offer tips on boat handling. When Maureen died in 2012, IWA Chester & District Branch fronted an Appeal for an interpretation panel which would commemorate the lives of the working boaters as well as celebrating Maureen’s life. The panel contains stories in Maureen’s own words about the routes they worked and the cargoes carried, from being a young girl and living with the Jinks family on a Thomas Clayton gas oil boat, driving the horse, to her marriage to Jack, the Captain of a Fellows, Morton & Clayton boat. The unveiling of the panel took place on 23rd March on a bitterly cold day but despite the weather the event was extremely well attended. With an opening speech by Fiona Bruce, MP for Congleton and IWA’s current Parliamentarian of
30 News.indd 30
arrangements made for award winners to attend the AGM, or alternative presentation arranged where the award winner is not able to attend. The Awards Panel also needs to be looked after and provided with the nominations made, and a paper with their recommendations presented to trustees. Trophies awarded at IWA Festivals, which are looked after by IWA Festivals Committee, would not be the responsibility of the National Awards Officer. There are no particular requirements for the post-holder other than reliable access to e-mail, plus enthusiasm and availability to handle correspondence and arrangements almost throughout the year. If you are interested in taking on the post, please contact Neil Edwards, chief executive (firstname.lastname@example.org) with brief details about yourself, by 20th May.
Sharron Underwood (right) with Fiona Bruce MP.
the Year, and an emotional unveiling by Sharron Underwood, Maureen’s daughter, the occasion went off without a hitch. The panel was installed by one of CRT’s Small Task Team volunteer groups and many individuals and associations willingly donated to the Appeal which had been launched the previous June. The organisers would like to thank all those people who contributed and made this commemoration possible.
amenity and tourism value. The turbine plans were refused permission by Walsall Council because of its excessive size, damage to the openness of the Green Belt, and safety concerns from its proximity to a public footpath. The applicant then appealed the decision and also proposed moving the turbine further from the footpath to give a minimum ‘fall-over’ distance of the overall height plus 10%, but continued to ignore the public access to the canal and towpath which was closer. However, the planning inspector has dismissed the appeal, citing the effect on the character of the countryside and openness of the Green Belt, the visual impact of both its size and rotational movement, and insufficient safety clearance from the canal and towpath.
| IWA waterways - Summer 2013
Summer 2013 | NEWS | FREIGHT | RESTORATION
Blisworth Tunnel Field Shelter
lisworth Canal Partnership is in the process of transforming the disused, graffiti strewn brick hut by the north portal of the Blisworth Tunnel into a Field Shelter. This is a community project involving village volunteers adding drainage pipes, cleaning and re-pointing the exterior brickwork, mending the roof and painting the walls in readiness for the local art group to turn it into a temporary studio. The group plans to create a ‘Through the seasons’ Blisworth canal scene around the walls, mounted on art boards. Benches and tables will be added and then the building will be able to be used by local community groups. On 16th March the building was made secure with the addition of some stunning steel gates made by blacksmith Bob Nightingale who works out of the Old Tug Store in Stoke Bruerne. South Northants District Councillor, Stephen Clarke helmed his own workboat Greenock through the tunnel with lots of ‘muscle’ on board for the lifting work. The gates were brought back to Blisworth and hung in place in front of a sizeable crowd.
Lottery Grant for Oxford Canal
n 28th March, the Heritage Lottery Fund announced a grant of £65,000 to a consortium of organisations, including IWA, to improve engagement with the people of Oxford in the city’s canal. Oxford City Canal Partnership is a consortium, including Canal & River Trust, Environment Agency, IWA, Oxford Civic Society, Oxford City Council and Jericho Living Heritage Trust. The Heritage Trust will handle the grant and employ a project officer to oversee the work, which includes recruiting a team of volunteers to research the heritage of the canal in Oxford, producing associated learning resources, providing training, recording oral histories, creating
Boating through Jericho.
which was sold by the original Oxford Canal Company in 1937 to Lord Nuffield, who filled it in and built a college; the area is now used as a car park and awaiting redevelopment. Further information about the Lottery Grant is available on the Jericho Living Heritage Trust website.
Boat Safety Scheme Changes
fter 31st March 2013, boat owners will no longer need to send off the blue copy of their Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) Certificate to navigation authorities. This is because recording process has moved into a central online database system with direct input from Boat Safety Scheme examiners. After a successful boat examination, the owner will get a copy of a new, receipt-style certificate, called a BSS Examination Report, to keep for their own records. The change has been made possible because most navigation authorities, including IWA’s subsidiary company Essex Waterways Ltd, now have access to the BSS central database where they can check the boat’s certification details and expiry date. The change allows BSS examiners to provide directly the new-look certificates either as electronic files, or printed on plain paper in black ink. The new-look certificate, or BSS Examination Report, may include any failure notifications and advisory information, combined in one multi-page document. Existing BSS Certificates will continue to remain valid until reaching the expiry date. Boat owners should continue to pass on the BSS certification information from their boat file to the new owner if the craft is sold on. BSS examination data is already held on a central database and authorised BSS Examiners have been inputting in to this for over two years. It holds only examination and boat data, no owner or personal information is included. A guide to the new-look certificate is available on the BSS website.
Aylesbury Arm Lock Subsidence
and installing interpretation panels, a series of downloadable audio trails, radio plays, a website and improvements to directional signage to the canal. IWA Oxfordshire Branch helps organise an annual Oxford Open Doors event one weekend each September in the City Centre, arranging canal-side exhibitions and operating three (free – but donations encouraged) trip boats along the canal to encourage people to give boating a try. The boats are provided by local hire boat operators. This year’s event will take place over the weekend of 14th-15th September. IWA is working through the City Canal Partnership to promote restoration of the former Canal Basin in the City,
n 28th March, the towpath side of the lock chamber at Lock 12 on the Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Union Canal subsided into the lock. The whole of the lock chamber wall remains intact, but has buckled into the lock chamber by about 3 feet, leaving the lock impassable. Canal & River Trust has closed the canal from locks 11 to 13 until further notice. The chamber wall will need to be rebuilt, and a stoppage until late August is in effect. Boats based in Aylesbury Canal Basin are trapped by the stoppage, and so a crane lift out was organised for those wishing to escape.
IWA Volunteering Opportunities
WA Festivals require the services of a dedicated education professional - retired head teachers have done well in the past - to spearhead the Schools Initiative that runs in the background during Festival activity in an area. This needs knowledge of how to approach schools in the right time-scale to be able to encourage teachers to run waterway related activities in the curriculum for the following year. More details regarding 2014 and onwards from Ian West – email@example.com. Why not have a look at IWA Branch Volunteer Vacancies – there is a full list of volunteer opportunities within IWA branches at: www.waterways.org.uk/about/vacancies/vacancies.
IWA waterways - Summer 2013 |
waterways KEEPING OUR WATERWAYS ALIVE
Barges take building waste to Powerday
he Regent’s Canal saw some very rare construction traffic recently when Wood, Hall & Heward carried rubble from a wall demolition close to Lisson Grove on the Regent’s Canal. The wall had formed the boundary between the site and canal, so it was a simple matter for debris to drop straight into the vessel below. Over 60 tonnes of the rubble was then taken by tug to the Powerday recycling centre on the Paddington arm.
A barge was also used to support scaffolding, providing the workforce with a safe base on which to stand while they rebuild parts of the wall. Fitzpatrick Construction UK had tendered for the construction in 2008, and was on the brink of signing a contract when the project was postponed indefinitely because of the recession. However, by the time work commenced, the economic climate had caused attitudes to change and costs had to be
Rubble travelling by barge on the Regent’s Canal.
kept to a minimum. Foundation Developments Ltd, to which construction was subcontracted from Shepherd Construction, had undertaken the contract at a very low price and considered that it was in no position to experiment with unfamiliar transport modes. Set up costs for canal carrying can no longer be recouped from
the now defunct Freight Facilities Grant and the application period involved in Modal Shift Revenue Support does not fit well with the short notice at which projects tend to be authorised and the rapidly changing situations that occur on civil engineering and building sites. Tom Chaplin
BEER BY BOAT
n response to the growing problems of crowded roads in urban areas, poor air quality and noise pollution, the Dutch are developing ‘green’ solutions for local deliveries to canalside premises on urban waterways where quays are often narrow and space limited. In Amsterdam the Mokum Mariteam company’s City Supplier is a 20 x 4.25m selfpropelled, electric powered CO2 neutral barge with an on-board 17-tonne hydraulic crane able to
handle small containers, pallets, general supplies, waste and return freight. In Utrecht the city council has introduced barges of 18.8 x 4.36m which like those of Amsterdam are electric powered and have an on-board crane. Used by four brewery companies and a catering industry wholesaler, the ‘beer’ boats serve over 60 clients in an environmentally friendly way. While the density of the canal network and the number of
Beer barge at Utrecht.
potential waterside customers in British towns may not compare with that in Holland, the Dutch enterprise should not be dismissed out of hand. In areas such as London, West Midlands and South Yorkshire there could be potential worthy of
serious consideration. The trials for Hackney waste movement by barge, which unfortunately came to nothing, was one of the few examples of innovative thinking with respect to barge design and use that we can claim.
An under-utilised resource
ritain’s leading professional body for transport managers is the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and some years ago their Ports and Maritime Forum was widened to include waterways. A recent forum meeting at Greenwich was addressed by Peter Hugman, a member of the Institute and former chairman and now
treasurer of the CBOA and one of the few, if not the only, UK holder of Rhine and Danube barge master certificates. With respect to freight he argued that our waterways are an under-utilised resource – something the IWFG has also argued. However, given his experience he has not, surprisingly in view of their differences of
scale, dismissed the idea that our continental neighbours provided us with a model to follow. Also he contested the idea that water transport is always the lowest cost mode. However, he argued strongly that far greater attention should be devoted to identifying areas with potential and quantifying the advantages in a systematic way.
| IWA waterways - Summer 2013
Summer 2013 | NEWS | FREIGHT | RESTORATION PLEASE SEND ANY NEWS AND VIEWS ON INLAND WATERWAYS FREIGHT TO DAVID HILLING C/O IWA HEAD OFFICE
SOME BETTER NEWS
Coastal Deniz on the Manchester Ship Canal.
here would seem to be a healthy increase in barge traffic on the Thames. Cory’s 600,000 tonnes a year of containerised waste continues but now mainly to the waste/energy facility at Belvedere rather than landfill sites in Essex. The Walsh company with its integrated consolidation, sorting and processing sites for recycling of
construction waste is producing considerable barge traffic. Some of this has been Crossrail excavated material from Canary Wharf to the Wallasea Island reclamation on the Crouch River and there is movement of recycled waste from Victoria Deep, a safeguarded wharf on Greenwich peninsula, to Pitsea Wharf by way of Holehaven Creek. This involves careful
regard for the environment in the area of the national Wetland Bird Scheme, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) – which puts water transport at an advantage when compared with road haulage. Always an invaluable source of information on smaller seagoing craft, the Coastal Shipping magazine (February 2013) reports the use of 2,200
Infrastructure delivery for the Olympic Park
recently published draft consultation document prepared for the London Legacy Delivery Co plays a little, vague lip service to the waterways which are such an important feature of the Olympic Park’s character. However, it avoids any systematic identification of the infrastructure which might be put in place to ensure more effective integration and sustainability of the different transport modes and maximise the use of water transport. More surprisingly there would seem to be no recognition of the much wider framework for waterways provided by the Mayor of London’s Blue Ribbon policy. An earlier report on a Lower Lea Valley Waterspace Strategy pointed to a number of Waterside-based developments (residential, recreational and commercial) that could attract considerable numbers of people and also freight but would require access infrastructure to be effective. This gets no mention in the new report. Clearly there is a depressing lack of joined-up thinking on the part of those involved in waterway planning or, as Jonathan Mosse recently wrote “What needs to change is the mindset: not just into ‘can-do’ but, more importantly ‘want to do’ (Waterways World, April 2013).
dwt ships in moving Crossrail tunnel excavated material from Northfleet to Wallasea Island and use after being idle for some years of the Barking power station jetty for export of plastic waste. Wharves such as Pinns and Kierbeck have also been busy with scrap exports and the Erith Oil Mills wharf has handled some dry cargo as well as usual tanker traffic. Resumption of grain imports to the Cargill Mill on the Manchester Ship Canal (former Cerestar Wharf) was prompted by a poor domestic wheat harvest in 2012 and the need to resume grain imports from France by sea. The Cargill and Irwell Park wharves had been dredged and scrap exports have again taken place from the latter. In January 2013 the larger container ship Coastal Deniz, which replaced the Monika on the LiverpoolManchester container shuttle service, made its first call at Irlam and hopefully demand will continue to justify its use.
he members of IWA’s freight group were saddened to hear of the death in January of their friend Geoff Wheat who had been a member of the group for many years. Geoff was a qualified mechanical engineer who spent some time with the Manchester Ship Canal Company and then became involved in freight carrying on the Leeds & Liverpool and Bridgewater canals, worked on larger river barges and was involved in the establishment of canal carrying companies such as Water Link Co (use of BACAT barges Goole to Rotherham), Northern Tug & Barge Co. and Humber Barges. Geoff had a lifelong interest in canals and a wide knowledge of their history and his experience in the operation of barges of many types made him an invaluable source of information and practical assistance with which he was very ready to help others.
IWA waterways - Summer 2013 |
Basingstoke Canal Update
Our last issue featured the Basingstoke Canal within the Waterways of the South East article. Recent developments have been encouraging, and we bring the story up-to-date… Byﬂeet Boat Club members above Deepcut Locks during the Easter cruise.
ollowing additional investment from its local authority owners, along with encouragement and practical support from the volunteer sector, the Basingstoke Canal Authority was able to fully reopen the canal in time for Easter this year. Surrey and Hampshire County Councils, which jointly own the canal, have spent £1.6 million in recent months on lock gates, lock walls, culverts and embankment repairs. There is a further £2 million available from each of the owners over the next four years (i.e. a total commitment of £5.6 million is being spent on the canal) to address a long list of similar but thus far slightly less urgent repairs and deferred maintenance. Visit the Basingstoke Canal page on the Surrey County Council website for further details: www. surreycc.gov.uk/environment-housingand-planning/countryside/managing-thecountryside/the-basingstoke-canal. The flight of 14 locks at Deepcut, which has been closed to boats since 2009, was fully reopened at Easter, restoring navigation along the whole 32 miles of
ABOVE: Lift bridge at North Warnborough.
waterway. To celebrate this work, a cruise up the Deepcut locks was arranged and despite the Siberian winds endured throughout the Bank Holiday period, some 22 boats made it to the top of the flight. Despite a landslip further along the canal, the word went out that the Basingstoke Canal is back in business! The western and eastern ends of the canal have, of course remained open, with the exception of short term stoppages for works and the perennial summer water supply problem, throughout the period of closure for the Deepcut Locks since 2009. Work continues to identity new water supplies for the canal, and the situation
Lock 2 of the Woodham Flight.
has been eased over the years by the back-pumping at the eastern end. The Environment Agency has recently agreed that the volumes of water back-pumped from the River Wey can be increased, and this will help keep the canal opened for longer in dry periods. The continuing investment in the canal does, of course, mean that over the next couple of years there will continue to be some unavoidable temporary closures to navigation. Now that the local authorities have demonstrated their commitment to the canal by investing these funds on bringing the waterway up to a good standard, it is vitally important that boaters commit to using the canal for it to prosper in the future as a navigable waterway. Whilst the two County Councils have funded this latest refurbishment out of taxpayers funds, they have made clear that the canal must continue on a sound financial footing, largely paying its way in the future. The implication is that this is the last time that this amount of taxpayers resources is likely to be injected into the canal. In short, “use it or lose it!” At present, the fees for navigating the canal and mooring on it are both well below that for other waterways in the South East, and so it is likely that fees will rise, so that boaters can be seen to be paying their fair share. The Basingstoke Canal has long been supported by IWA, Waterway Recovery Group and Surrey & Hants Canal Society, which is now operating under the new name of Basingstoke Canal Society. All the voluntary sector organisations involved have reaffirmed their continuing support for the canal.
Deepcut Locks. ROBIN SMITHETT
| IWA waterways - Summer 2013
Basingstoke Canal Update.indd 34
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20/7/12 3:30:38 pm
Events & Festivals
Visit a show or a rally this summer with our comprehensive diary of what’s on and where.
MAY 3rd-6th IWA Northampton Boat Gathering River Nene, Becket’s Park. BBQ, fish & chips, boat competitions, live music, real ale bar, boaters auction, IWA sales table, quizes and games, guided town walk and photographic competitions. www.waterways.org.uk
3rd-6th St Richards Festival Vines Park, Droitwich Spa. Extravanza of boats, vintage cars, stationary engines, craft and trade stalls, entertainment and a real ale bar in the marquee. The weekend will have a medieval theme. Worcester Birmingham & Droitwich CS, www.catshill.com/wbcs 4th-6th Norbury Canal Festival Norbury Junction. Children’s activities, WOW, boat trips, boat traders, Burton Borough Brass Band. Evening entertainment on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday at 3.30pm a traditional canalside church service will take place. www.sncanal.org.uk
25th-26th BCN 24-Hour Challenge Ending at Longwood Boat Club, Rushall Canal. Boats may start at any point on the BCN but must finish at Longwood Boat Club, where the Daw End branch of the Wyrley & Essington Canal meets the Rushall Canal. Participants may navigate for as long as they like during the 30-hour period up to a maximum of 24 hours. The winner will be the boat crew who amass the greatest number of points during the challenge. Additional points will be awarded for navigating lesser-used waterways and there will be bonus points for correctly answered questions at certain places. www.bcnsociety.co.uk 25th-27th Crick Boat Show Crick Marina, GU Leicester Section. With a marina full of boats, features on waterways heritage and wildlife, boat trips, marquees full of interesting stands, craft and food sellers and loads for the children to do. Admission, adults £12, children (5-16) £7, concessions £7, family £32. Save up to 29% when tickets purchased in advance. Ticket hotline 01283 742972, www.crickboatshow.co.uk
JUNE 1st-2nd Etruria Canals Festival Etruria Junction, off Etruria Vale Road, Stoke-on-Trent. Celebrating the canals of Stoke-on-Trent. Historic boats and vehicles, demonstrations, local foods and crafts, an enjoyable day out for all the family. Boat parade along the Trent & Mersey Canal. Cruising boats welcome, with evening entertainment in the Boaters’ Marquee. Unique ceramic rally plaque. www.etruriacanalsfestival.org.uk 1st-2nd Audlem RNLI Festival Overwater Marina, Nantwich. Activities include stalls, demonstrations, raft race, dog/ pet show, boaters’ talks, evening entertainment including hog roast, bar, swing band and a brass band. All proceeds in aid of the RNLI. www.overwatermarina.co.uk 1st-2nd Leicester Riverside Festival Bede Park, Grand Union Leicester Section. Boat trips, live music, food stalls from around the world, activities for all ages. www.leicester.gov.uk/ riversidefestival
Beale Park is the place to be on the weekend of 7th-9th June. 18th-19th Moira Canal Festival Moira Furnace, Ashby Canal. WWII re-enactment, bike stunt team, swing band, Morris dancers, stalls, children’s entertainment, demonstrations, boats, live steam. www.moiracanalfestival.co.uk 24th-27th Erewash Canal Boat Gathering Langley Mill, Derbyshire. To celebrate 45 years of the association and the 40th anniversary of the reopening of the Great Northern Basin. ECP&DA, www.erewashcanalpreservationanddevelopmentassoc.org.uk.
7th-9th Beale Park Boat Show Lower Basildon, River Thames. A fabulous extravanganza of boats, stalls and entertainment within the wonderful setting of Beale Park. www.bealeparkboatshow.co.uk 7th-14th BCN Explorer Cruise A Starting at Merry Hill and finishing at Pelsall. Designed to explore the lesser known parts of the BCN. www.bcnsociety.co.uk 14th-16th Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival 15 venues host music and dance, ticketed concerts throughout the weekend, 100s of canal boats. www.midfest.org.uk 14th-16th BCNS Pelsall Canal Festival Pelsall Junction, Wyrley & Essington Canal. Attractions include “Dandy” performing on Saturday night and a Real Ale Bar all weekend. www.bcnsociety.co.uk 17th-24th BCN Explorer Cruise B Broad Street Basin, Wolverhampton, ending at Titford Pump House. The second of this years Explorer Cruises, starting at Wolverhampton, finishing at Titford Pump House. The route differs from the first cruise, but the aim is the same - to explore the lesser-known reaches of the BCN, and have a good time. Meet at around Broad Street basin (just beyond the top of the Wolverhampton 21), and explore the BCN in company. www.bcnsociety.co.uk 20th-23rd Lymm Festival Includes, on the 23rd, Lymm Historic Transport Day. Fun for all beside the Bridgewater Canal. www.lymmtransport.org.uk 21st-23rd Newbury Waterways Festival Victoria Park and The Wharf. Its theme will be “Midsummer Madness”. Boats will start gathering from Friday 21st June. Boat trips available all weekend. On Sunday there will be a 1000-strong plastic duck race along the river which will finish at 5pm. www.kennetandavontrust.co.uk/ events 28th-30th Thwaite Mills Boat Gathering Thwaite Mills Watermill, Thwaite Lane, Stourton, Leeds. Part of the Leeds Annual Waterfront Festival. Heritage and historic craft, children’s activities, stalls, boat trips. Boaters’ evening events. www.waterways.org.uk/westriding/west_riding_event_20130628
| IWA waterways - Summer 2013
29th-30th Historic Narrowboat Rally and Canal Festival Braunston Marina. 10am-5pm. Rally of surviving FMC narrowboats, daily parades, trade exhibitors, canal societies, music. Saturday evening entertainment. Entry £10 per car. www.braunstonmarina.co.uk/ events 29th-30th Chesterfield Canal Festival Staveley Town Basin. Trip boats, entertainment marquee, attractions, stalls children’s rides, real ale bar. 2pm on Saturday there will be a performance by Babbling Vagabonds, and at 7.30pm a concert featuring the Swing Commanders. Admission £3, under 12s free. www. chesterfield-canal-trust.org.uk 29th-30th Foxton Locks Festival GU Leicester Section. 10am-5pm. Separate music event on Saturday evening. www.foxtonlocksfestival.co.uk
JULY 6th-7th Stratford River Festival Live music, stalls, market traders, family zone, street entertainment. Illuminated boat and firework displays on the Saturday evening. www.stratfordriverfestival.co.uk/ whats-on 12th-13th Evesham River Festival River Avon. This year’s theme is Fairy Tales. www.eveshamriverfestival.co.uk 13th-14th Cosgrove Canal Festival Cosgrove Lock, Milton Keynes. Buckingham Canal Society’s annual festival and lock ransom. Historic boats, trade boats, craft stalls, entertainment. www.buckinghamcanal.org.uk 20th-21st Pershore Town River Festival Fun and activities for all the family beside the River Avon. www.pershorefestival.org.uk
The Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally is always a popular event. 20th-21st Preston Riversway Festival A host of water based activities, dragon boat competition, entertainment for all the family. www.prestonriverswayfestival. co.uk
AUGUST 24th-26th Outdoor leisure Show River Lee Country Park, Highbridge Street, Waltham Abbey, Essex. Hosted by River Lee Country Park within the 10,000-acre Lee Valley Regional Park, home of Olympic Canoe Slalom, the event encourages novices and the experienced alike to try a wide range of outdoor activities under expert tuition. Choose from kayak and canoe taster sessions to exhilarating white water rafting; dinghy and windsurf introductory lessons to canal narrowboat trips. Plus a comprehensive programme of entertainment, featuring live bands, traditional fairground, craft market and fine food fair. Waterways World and Cogent Events, www.wwoutdoorshow.com
SEPTEMBER 13th-15th Burnley Canal Festival Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Coinciding with the annual Heritage Open Weekend. Live music, kayaking sessions, boat trips, heritage attractions. www.visitburnley.com 21st-22nd Whitchurch Waterway Trust Gathering of Boats Whitchurch Arm, Llangollen Canal. Entry £12.50 per boat which includes mooring, plaque and competitions. Boaters’ social evening on 21st. www.whitchurchwaterway.org. uk/annual-boat-rally 21st-22nd Huddlesford Heritage Gathering Huddlesford Junction, Coventry Canal. Historic narrowboats, classic cars. Entry £3 per person, £10 per boat, £28 trading boats. www.lhcrt.org.uk/hbg2013
IWA National Trailboat Festival 25th to 27th May 2013
Bodiam Castle, River Rother Arrangements are now well advanced for the Trailboat Festival and we are looking forward to seeing boats on the River Rother at Bodiam Castle. A highlight of the event will be on the Saturday afternoon and evening. The National Trust are extending the opening hours of the castle until 8pm, so why not make the most of this opportunity to visit the castle for free from 5.30 pm. Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy this castle of wonder, one of Britain’s most picturesque and evocative, set in the heart of 1066 country. With spiral staircases, battlements and a portcullis, 14th-century Bodiam Castle offers real authenticity: windows where arrows were once fired; a tower that was once a look-out; and ruins that were once walked upon by knights. Having toured the castle you will then be able to enjoy a barbecue and music before the traditional display of illuminated boats that trailboaters always put so much enthusiasm into. Throughout the weekend there will be table based Wild over Waterways (WOW) activities for younger children. Among the displays in the IWA marquee will be one relating to the restoration of the Rye Sailing Barge Primrose, which was built by William Evans Clark at Winchelsea Road Yard, Rye, probably around 1887. Rye barges worked on the River Rother and it is therefore highly likely that Primrose would have traded to the wharf at Bodiam. The Rye river barges were small everyday working craft providing a vital link between the port of Rye and the hinterland of the rivers Rother, Tillingham, Brede and Royal Military Canal to Folkestone. In the late 19th century one company, Vidler & Son, became particularly associated with the fleet which worked in the harbour discharging cargoes from the larger ships and working the cargoes up the shallower rivers and canal. Principal cargoes were timber, coal, hops, manure, sand and ballast. The continuity of the tradition of this type of vessel can be traced back to early 16th century maps of Rye Harbour and probably beyond. The Primrose display will give a fascinating insight into the history of the local rivers. There will also be displays from The Thames & Medway Canal Association and the Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust. Standard National Trust charges apply to enter the castle (normal hours) and car parking costs £2 (free to National Trust members), but both will be free on the evening of the Saturday. For further information visit www.waterways.org.uk/events.
28th-29th Historic Boaters Gathering Black Country Living Museum. Cargoes will be transported around the museum’s canal and volunteers will demonstrate the way people used to live on the boats. Musical entrertainment and craft activities. www.bclm.co.uk
OCTOBER 19th -20th Stourbridge Navigation Trust Open Weekend Bonded Warehouse, Canal Street. Rally of Boats, classic vehicles, demonstrations, craft stalls, amusements, boat trips. Free admission. www.thebondedwarehousestourbridge.co.uk/openweekend
IWA waterways - Summer 2013 |
Festival of London Waterways Building on the enthusiasm and increased interest in the capital’s canals and rivers, IWA’s summer of celebrations will be centred on seven main events, as detailed below. MAY 4th-6th IWA Canalway Cavalcade Little Venice, Paddington, London. Boaters’ gathering, pageant of boats, trade shows and stalls, bands, kids’ activities, competitions, Morris dancers, real ale bar. Admission is free. Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am-6pm (followed by music at 8pm and a procession of illuminated boats at 9pm) and Monday 10am–5pm. www.waterways.org.uk
JULY 18th-19th Rickmansworth Festival Batchworth Lock. Organised by the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust, the event will celebrate canals, community and the environment. The setting is on one of the loveliest sections of the Grand Union Canal. www.rwt.org.uk
JULY 5th-7th Ware Boat Festival River Lee, Ware. A weekend of fun and frolics in, on and around the river and the town. With events including a welcoming barbecue for visiting boaters, the annual Ware Carnival and Town Fair, a frivolous
Quiz Evening, a silly Teddy Bears Picnic. This year’s theme is “Food, Glorious Food”, which will be incorporated into the parade of decorated boats, the carnival parade, town fair and other events. www.waterways.org.uk 19th-21st IWA National Festival Cassiobury Park, Watford. Grand Union Canal. Opening times: Friday & Saturday 10-6pm: Sunday 10-5pm. Cassiobury Park is a very popular town centre park which slopes down to the Grand Union Canal. In the showground, the inland marine trade will be showcasing new and used boats for sale and all the accessories you’d need.There will also be a wide range of general interest stalls, probably the best varieties of food we’ve ever offered, a real ale bar, snacks and food to take away, and the IWA shop for an extensive choice of waterways books and gifts. There will also be a craft marquee and the opportunity to acquire traditional waterway craft skills in our workshops. There will be a wide range of entertainments on site including a fly-past by a World War II Spitfire (external circumstances permitting), song and dance throughout the Festival, a Victorian Fairground and
lots of attractions for children and adults alike. All our normal facilities will be available. There is space for several hundred visiting boats, and a large camp site. Car Parking around the area of the Festival is extremely limited so visitors should use public transport wherever possible. We cannot guarantee the availability of any car parking on site. The festival is supported by Watford Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council. www.waterways.org.uk
SEPTEMBER 1st Angel Canal Festival Islington, London. Free admission. Children’s fun fair, stalls, boat trips, ‘Have-a-go’ sessions, live music, outdoor art gallery, street theatre, Regatta. 11am-6pm. www.angelcanalfestival.org 7th-8th Slough Canal Festival The festival is organised by Slough Council. www.slough.gov.uk/leisure-parks-and-events/sloughcanal-festival.aspx
14th-15th Mayor’s River Thames Festival Westminster Bridge, London. Spectacular weekend of free events celebrating London and its river. One of London’s biggest and best free outdoor arts festivals, with a huge range of events on offer. Market stalls, street entertainers and more, making it a great day out for the whole family. The Night Carnival on Sunday evening is a grand finale to the festival. Thousands of people join in the illuminated procession as the lanterns, costumes and floats make their way along Victoria Embankment. The evening culminates in a spectacular fireworks display over the river Thames. www.waterways.org.uk
BELOW: Don’t miss the Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice! BOTTOM: The National is back this time at Watford in July.
| IWA waterways - Summer 2013
Mapping the Inland Waterways of Britain
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All maps show navigation and historical information, visitor moorings, marinas and boatyards, boat hire centres, facilities for the boat user, shops and distance markers. Detailed town plans. Information for the tourist includes tourist information centres, places of interest, pubs, nature reserves, parks, churches, national cycle routes, long distance paths, post offices and caravan and camp sites.
Also available Kennet & Avon Canal and River Avon River Thames and Thames Path Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal Oxford Canal The Broads
See examples of our waterways mapping and full list of publications at www.heronmaps.com
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All £5.99 (except Avon Ring and Stourport Ring £6.50) plus £1 postage per map
IWA waterways - Summer 2013 |
19/4/13 2:47:53 pm
Shrub-clearance on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation.
Holidays with a difference
Volunteer this summer and help restore the derelict canals of England and Wales
- courtesy of WRG
Volunteer this summer and help restore the derelict canals of England and Wales
ed up with exotic holidays or the predictable sunshine of Spain? Or just looking for something completely different to do this summer... then why not help us restore the derelict canals of England and Wales? The Inland Waterways Association’s Waterway Recovery Group’s week long working holidays, called Canal Camps, are a great experience for anyone who loves being outdoors and enjoys meeting people from different backgrounds and of different ages (18+). Our Camps also offer volunteers a fantastic chance to learn new skills such as bricklaying, stone walling, machine operation and restoration techniques! And best of all they only cost £56 per week (including food & accommodation).
The year so far… Our volunteers, new and old, have had a busy start to the year. In February a group of around 15 WRG volunteers from all over the country
It pays to be handy with the secateurs.
carried out towpath improvement works on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation on a 500 metre section from Wave and Halls Bridge, at Heybridge. The intention was to clear overgrown brambles and branches to open up and widen the available towpath to allow it to dry ahead of the local council resurfacing it. Work was also carried out to remove overhanging branches from the offside of the navigation that were catching on passing boats. Over Easter WRG held canal camps on the Cotswold Canals (29th March-13th April) and Lancaster Canal (29th March-6th April). Originally work was also scheduled on the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals but the local canal trust, who were hosting the Canal Camp, decided that due to the unseasonal cold weather conditions, the planned work for the camp (concrete-laying) could not go ahead. Luckily, we were able at short notice to find an alternative site, thanks to the Cotswold Canals Trust.
| IWA waterways - Summer 2013
WRG at work.indd 40
Holidays with a difference
Preparing the canal bed for dry stone walling on the Lancaster Canal.
Team photo on the Chelmer & Blackwater.
Towpath tidying on the Chelmer & Blackwater.
The camps spent two weeks working at various sites along the canal near Stroud, carrying out lock and vegetation clearance work, bringing forward existing planned work. One of the first tasks was to expose and carefully dismantle the offside port boundary wall pedestrian gateway near Bourne Lock. With years of encroachment of the embankment of the A419, a large tree had grown on top of the line of the buried end of the wall whilst ivy had grown into the structure disrupting the stonework and the arch. Volunteers cleared vegetation around the base of the wall, and excavated and removed soil and debris to allow the erection of scaffolding to clear the remainder of the vegetation at high level. They then carefully dismantled the wall, numbering the key stone elements of the wall to help with rebuilding at a later date. Another group of volunteers spent the week clearing vegetation near Gough’s Orchard Lock and Griffin Mill Lock, removing fallen trees, willow saplings and offside overhanging
vegetation from the downstream side of the locks. The bonfires were a welcome part of the day’s work in the bitterly cold conditions. At the start of week two (6th-13th April) the scaffolding of Griffin Mill Lock was erected in the main lock chamber to allow the brickwork preparation on the towpath lock chamber wall and make safe large coping stones adjacent to the lower gate recess. Over Easter (29th March-6th April) 18 hardy volunteers carried out restoration work on the Lancaster Canal. The camp had three main tasks. These were to reinstate coping stones on wing walls and repair the adjacent transition walls (in dry stone walling) at Stainton Crossing Bridge; underpin a wing wall at Stainton aqueduct and divert the stream to prevent future scouring; install drainage in the newly profiled area adjacent to the channel that was dug out during last year’s camps. In very dry weather, spoiled only by a biting cold wind, we were able to achieve all our objectives which have assisted immensely in preparing the next section of the canal to be returned to navigable condition.
IWA waterways - Summer 2013 |
WRG at work.indd 41
The Waterway Recovery Group and IWA’s Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch supported by the BCN Society, Coombeswood Canal Trust, Dudley Canal Trust and the Canal & River Trust also held a successful clean-up weekend on the Stourbridge Canal (13th/14th April). Over 70 volunteers helped clear nearly four miles of canal – from the bottom of Delph Locks, all the way to the top of Stourbridge Locks, including the Fens Branch on the Saturday, and the 16 Locks at Stourbridge were cleared on the Sunday along with the Stourbridge Town Arm. Approximately 50 tonnes of rubbish were removed from the canal. This year volunteers found some interesting items in the canal including a safe, a huge DIY store trolley, several computers, a lawnmower, a vacuum cleaner, tyres of all sorts and sizes …. and of course a few bikes and shopping trolleys.
Still to come… As the weather warms up WRG starts to look towards their summer season of week-long volunteering holidays. On the 22nd-23rd June WRG are running their annual training weekend, on the Lichfield Canal, which allows volunteers across to the canal restoration movement to learn news skills such as excavator and dumper operation, surveying, and bricklaying. If you are interested in training please register for the event via the WRG website. After the training weekend it’s straight into the main set of canal camps. From the 29th June-6th July volunteers will be working on the Lichfield Canal laying concrete blocks and creating new wildlife habitats; and on the Wey & Arun Canal creating a 1km disabled access footpath. We then travel to the Wilts & Berks Canal to complete work on the Steppingstone Lane
Bridge and to the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal (6th-13th July) where volunteers will continue work started in 2012 to preserve and restore the Whitehouse’s Pumping Station using heritage construction skills. It’s then a short journey south to Watford for IWA’s National Waterways Festival on the Grand Union Canal. A Festival Camp (13th-24th July) is completely different from a restoration camp – first of all volunteers help build the site, putting up display stands and fencing. Then when the event opens, volunteers help run it by providing site services, as well as entertaining and educating the public. At the end we dismantle it all. If you want to meet lots of new people this is the camp for you! At the end of July WRG volunteers will be heading back to the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in Essex (27th July-3rd August) to get involved in reinstating a bank using willow faggots on an eroded section of towpath upstream of Paper Mill Lock. Accommodation for this week is on a barge moored on the tidal estuary which has showers and bunk beds. Moving into August WRG heads north to the Cromford Canal (3rd-10th August and 10th17th August) with volunteers working on a site nestled in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Area, rebuilding around 40 metres of stone walling and reinstating coping stones at the Sawmill’s gauging narrows. Following on from the Cromford Camps, WRG heads to the Chesterfield Canal (17th-24th August and 24th August-31st August). The Chesterfield Canal is one of the most beautiful and varied waterways in England. In 2013 WRG volunteers will continue work started last summer, helping construct the new Staveley Town Lock. They will be involved in activities such as brick and block
ABOVE: Spot the difference - the Chelmer & Blackwater towpath is almost ready for resurfacing by the local council. A good bonﬁre keeps out the chill of a winter’s day in Essex.
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WRG at work.indd 42
Holidays with a difference
ABOVE: Dry stonewalling on the Lancaster Canal.
How to Book! It’s easy to book onto one of our Canal Camps and become a 21st century canal navvy! • book online at www.wrg.org.uk • Call Jenny on 01494 783 453 extension 604 • To request a booking form or a Canal Camps 2013 brochure email email@example.com.
laying so there is plenty to keep both experienced WRGies and newcomers entertained. At the end of August (31st August -7th September) we visit a brand new site on the Swansea Canal. Whilst much of the original canal has been in-filled and associated industries have disappeared, the Swansea Canal remains an attractive wildlife corridor with around six miles still in water. In 2013 WRG volunteers will be working at Lower Trebanos Lock clearing vegetation and reinstating coping stones to prevent the lower courses of Blue Pennant Sandstone brickwork from deteriorating further as well as repointing damaged brickwork. This is an excellent heritage based project and will be a great way to learn new skills. We have over 20 week-long canal camps planned for 2013 running throughout the summer, over October half-term and in December – a full list can be found on the WRG website www.wrg.org.uk.
best described as basic with volunteers sleeping in one large room in a village hall or scout hut. TRANSPORT: If you arrive by train/bus we will pick you up from the nearest station in one of our big red vans. We also provide travel between the accommodation and site.
...and lots of laughter, mud and fun!
Additional Information A NORMAL DAY The normal working day will be from about 9am until about 5pm with regular breaks for tea or soft drinks and a picnic lunch. Timings can vary depending upon local circumstances. Evenings are free, and some social activities (e.g. swimming, visits to local attractions, cinema) will be organised by the leaders for those wishing to participate.
DUKE OF EDINBURGH AWARD
What’s included in your £56... FOOD: Cooked breakfast, lunch on site and a substantial home-cooked evening meal… along with plenty of tea breaks. ACCOMMODATION: WRG accommodation is
WRG welcomes participants completing the residential aspect of their Duke of Edinburgh Award. All volunteering participants in the scheme must attend the camp for the full seven days to be eligible for the award.
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THE NEXT GENERATION We look at attempts to attract young people to the world of the waterways
IWA is invited back to prize winning school
Young volunteers at work on the Shropshire Union Canal.
Scouts join IWA Clean-up hen IWA Chester & District Branch decided to run a canal clean-up along the stretch leading to the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port, it invited other community groups along to help us. 1st Sutton Scouts were first to volunteer and turned out in force on Saturday 16th March. They even brought along very enthusiastic parents, cub members and a toddler too! With youthful “dash and endeavour”
they plunged into the bushes at the side of the towpath, un-earthing debris from years back in some cases, but making a real difference to the appearance of the canalside. Working alongside IWA members, Ellesmere Port U3A and a local dog walker, they collected a huge amount of rubbish – over 40 bags worth – plus old tyres, a wallet (empty of course), metres of wire cabling and a Bakelite TV. It was a good community effort by young and not quite so young.
Tidying up the bushes at the side of the towpath.
Wallerscote Primary School pupils with books presented by IWA.
resenting books in assembly is not something that many IWA members do, but following Wallerscote Primary School’s win in the “Art is Rubbish” competition last year, the school has kept in touch with IWA. This resulted in an invitation to present Year 3 with some books that had been purchased for the class with a book token, left over from the Northwich River Weaver Festival event. So despite the snow, IWA members travelled to Northwich on Friday, 22nd March and were welcomed by the whole school who had gathered for the assembly. With titles ranging from Mr Stink by David Walliams, Conker by Michael Morpurgo and the Flute Fairy – the books were an eclectic mix. However, IWA members had a lot of fun and also talked to the children about the Anderton Lift again, and how we had become involved with the Inland Waterways Association – obviously through a book! We also donated two small books with stories about narrowboats. With an eco-project day in the offing, it is expected that further invitations will be forthcoming, thus helping to maintain IWA’s link with this very waterway minded school.
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The Next Generation
WOW kits and a bridge ince the item in Waterways in the Winter 2012 issue, it is pleasing to report that several branches have taken up the offer of a Mini-kit and these are in the process of being delivered, ready for the season ahead. If other branches would like one, please let us know as soon as possible. To promote WOW to the wider audience, WOW folders with activity leaflets are again being delivered to hire boat bases in the North West.
These have been very well received and hopefully will introduce many more children to IWA and to waterways activities. Other hire bases in the Midlands have also taken up the offer and if members know of other bases or day boat operators who would like some, please let me know. Another WOW leaflet on waterway structures is in the planning stage too.
How angling makes a difference ositive Futures ‘Young Achiever’ Award for 2012 is David Devereux, a student from Alsop High School in Liverpool. All this started through David’s interest in fishing and the environment. He has come so far and although he is still only 14, now acts as a great role model and is motivated to help make a difference to other young people who enjoy angling and need something to focus on in their lives. He has given vast amounts of his time during evenings and school holidays to assist in the mentoring and coaching of other young people, giving them an angling experience they will remember on many Positive Futures coaching and taster days.
David won this award because of the commitment, excellent communication and focus he has demonstrated, over and above expectations. He was always putting other participants first and always made sure that they had a good time. Angling is a valuable tool to help young people to focus, develop and educate in today’s challenging environment. IWA has supported Positive Futures’ Angling Project in the past through engaging them to attend waterways events with their youth mentoring team. For further information on Positive Futures visit www. positivefuturesnorthliverpool. co.uk.
Getting out to schools uring the months of January and February, when schoolchildren don’t want to venture outside, Explorers volunteers based at Stoke Bruerne and Devizes have been busy visiting schools to deliver water safety assemblies and ‘all about your local canal’ sessions. In total they have visited eight schools and delivered sessions to nearly 1,000 children.
Whilst there are always old favourites in the full WOW kits, we are always on the lookout for new activities and a day out at a local heritage steam railway provided a great model opportunity. Building a bridge is something that has been tried before but, using straws and other materials,
it can take far too long when parents are chivvying children to finish. However, the new activity will be wooden blocks on a base which have to be assembled into the shape of the typical canal arched bridge. These are in miniature so that they can be carried within the main WOW kit – but should be a good addition to the activities and will make children think about how arches are built and more importantly, stay up. If anyone would like to book the full kit for an event, please get in touch. Email: gillian. firstname.lastname@example.org.
CRT Launch Explorers at NEC Exhibition he Canal & River Trust Explorers team attended the Education Show at the NEC on 14th, 15th and 16th March. They were supported by a team of volunteers, who did a great job of promoting Canal & River Explorers and the new education website: www. canalriverexplorers.org.uk. Key messages at the show were: CRT education volunteers lead inspiring visits linked to the National Curriculum or group badges and are free; and CRT provides learning resources linked to the National Curriculum, trails, water safety sessions and ideas for badges. Volunteers demonstrated the website on the stand, particularly focusing on the new Build a Trail activity, designed for teachers to create and print off their own trail. Visiting teachers, group leaders and home educators were able to pick up stickers, wrist bands, posters and flyers about Canal & River Explorers and see sample copies of trails, fact files and topic packs, all of which can be downloaded from the website.
Visting London’s waterways RT Explorer volunteers have now started visiting schools in East London to give water safety assemblies and lead ‘all about your canal’ sessions. The first class of children visited Limehouse Lock on a sunny day and walked along the Limehouse Cut. The Limehouse lock-keeper demonstrated the big lock down onto the Thames. The children then walked back to school along the Regent’s Canal, learning about the interesting historic area and looking out for the wide variety of birdlife to be found in the locality.
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CLASSIFIED DIRECTORY BOAT BUILDING
PLEASE MENTION IWA WATERWAYS WHEN RESPONDING TO ADVERTISEMENTS
BOAT HIRE FOR THE WIDEST CHOICE of canal holidays visit www.ukboathire.com You can choose from 11 different start locations and more than 200 boats. We operate Viking Afloat, Alvechurch Waterways Holidays, Red Line Boats and Wessex Narrowboats. So go online today or call 0330 3330591 (local rate) for a brochure.
REACH THE IWAâ€™S MEMBERSHIP Effective, Affordable Advertising Call 01283 742971
FARNCOMBE BOAT HOUSE offers Narrowboats for both Day and Holiday Hire on River Wey from Godalming. Contact 01483 421306. www.farncombeboats.co.uk
Visit our online shop for great gift ideas Books - Maps & Guides - DVDs - Plus much more...
Enjoy a leisurely boat trip on the picturesque Trent & Mersey canal from
Private p availab arties le
Call Skipper Steve on 07922 573 023 to book or enquire
CHANDLERY We offer lock free cruising on our well appointed 2-7 berth narrowboats. Boatyard services include: Diesel â€˘ Gas â€˘ Solid Fuel Pump-out â€˘ Moorings For a free colour brochure Tel/fax: 01772 769183 Website: www.arlen-hireboats.co.uk or call in and see us at Ashton Basin, Tulketh Brow, Preston, PR2 2SD
REACH THE IWAâ€™S MEMBERSHIP EFFECTIVE,
The Stone Boat Building Chandlery For an extensive range of traditional narrowboat and sailing fittings. â€˘ Calor Gas â€˘ Outdoor Clothing â€˘ Windows â€˘ â€˘ Chimneys â€˘ Vents â€˘ Fridges & Freezers â€˘ â€˘ Water Pumps â€˘ & much more!
Newcastle Road, Stone, Staffs. Tel: 01785 812688 | Fax: 01785 811317 Email: email@example.com Website: www.stoneboatbuilding.co.uk
R & J Shaw Engineering Ltd Stainless steel water tanks and general fabrication made to your requirements. High quality workmanship. Established 30 years. Call or email for details. Unit 2 Riverside Court, West Minster Industrial Est, Measham, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE12 7DS Tel: 01530 270931 / Fax: 01530 515431 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
AFFORDABLE ADVERTISING Call 01283 742965
| IWA waterways - Summer 2013
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IWA WATERWAYS when responding to advertisements
PLEASE MENTION IWA WHEN RESPONDING TO ADVERTISEMENTS
19/4/13 2:49:12 pm
To advertise here please contact Laura Smith
☎ 01283 742971 坁 email@example.com
Correspond to: Laura Smith, IWA Waterways, 151 Station Street, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire DE14 1BG | Next issue deadline: 5th April 2013
MOORINGS The boater’s choice...
Enjoy the waterside lifestyle with a lodge at
If you are a boater or a waterway enthusiast then why not invest in your passion? Each luxury lodge boasts a view of the marina waters on a David Bellamy Conservation Award park. Holiday lodges start from £130,000 - fully sited and landscaped. Your lodge is available for holiday use 11 months of the year and for boat owners, no mooring fees payable for 5 years. The development is now 50% sold so don’t delay and invest in a new lifestyle experience at this Derbyshire beauty spot. Call now to book a lodge break and choose from our characterful lodges. Great discounts for boaters and some lodges pet friendly. Book online or by phone.
01283 703332 firstname.lastname@example.org www.merciamarinalodges.co.uk
LOCK SIDE HOLIDAY COTTAGE on the Grand Union in rural Northamptonshire. Beautifully refurbished, comfortable accommodation for four. Details / photos at www.canalsideholidaycottage.com or 07850 622281
Books and Guides from
...for a natural berth
Breathtaking waterside destination and ideally located peaceful haven for boaters on the Trent & Mersey. For moorers’ there is everything you could want: full length boat jetties, 16amp electricity & water, 12 showers, 15 WC’s, 6 washers, 6 dryers, 8 brick built BBQ’s all for boaters use. Long & short term moorings available. Call 01283 703 332 for a mooring pack or email email@example.com www.merciamarina.co.uk
01785 819702 The besst value luxury marina!
SERVICES HANBURY WHARF ENGINEERING SERVICES – FOR ALL YOUR MAINTENANCE NEEDS. • On-Site Crane • Blacking • Engine Servicing • Mechanical Repairs • Electrical Installations and Repairs • Charging Problems • Steelwork Repairs • Anodes • Plumbing and Heating • Solid Fuel Stove Guards. Call 01905 771018 for a quote or visit Hanbury Wharf, home of The New & Used Boat Co.
Last few moorings available - BOOK NOW!
POWER & WATER ▪ GATED JETTIES ▪ PARKING ▪ LAUNDRY ▪ SERVICING BOAT PAINTING ▪ SLIPWAY ▪ DIESEL ▪ PUMP-OUT ▪ LOGS, COAL & GAS
Aston Marina, Lichfield Road, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8QU
A perfect gift ! Order from the Inland Waterways Association Bookshop Call 01494 783453 www.iwashop.com
NEWBURY MARINA Affordable narrowboat holidays and secure leisure moorings available. For a full list of our marina services see our main advert on page 12 or visit www.newburymarina.com
VISIT OUR ONLINE SHOP FOR GREAT GIFT IDEAS
PLEASE MENTION IWA WATERWAYS WHEN RESPONDING TO ADVERTISEMENTS
Books - Maps & Guides - DVDs Plus much more... www.iwashop.com
REACH THE IWA’S MEMBERSHIP Effective, Affordable Advertising To advertise in this section call Laura Smith on 01283 742971 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WANTED RECORD COLLECTIONS WANTED – Jazz, Rock, Folk, Classical etc. Call Chris McGranaghan – 07795 548242 or Email me at: email@example.com Lineage adverts cost £1.38 per word (inc. VAT), minimum 12 words. Box adverts start from as little as £33 per issue (plus VAT)*. A copy of our terms and conditions is available on request. (*4 series booking)
IWA Classies Summer 13.indd 2
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Mediwest Ltd - First Aid kits for boaters by boaters Practical kits for practical people. A Kits supplied in a durable rigid box start at £19.95 inc P&P (up to ﬁve persons) A Kits for 5 – 25 persons £29.95 inc P&P
General medical supplies available. Please email for complete list. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 07835 107 309 Price reduced to £95,000 including delivery** Sale includes all fixtures & fittings, fully furnished with free standing furniture, all appliances and equipment.
• • • • • • • •
54’ x 12’6, 35 tonnes Good Pre-sale Survey 2013 Good Hull Survey 2012 Engine Serviced 2012 Exterior Painted 2011 Loaded Multi Media System BSSC 05/09/2016 High Chromium 1970’s British Commercial Steel Build
SSSeeee uusussaaaetett C ric C Crric ickkk 220200111333
Please visit our website, for full details and specifications with lots more photos:
call: 07515 962200 email: email@example.com
Truly a unique boat, loaded with character and charm, the Calder Lady was constructed in 1977 and
originally operated as a commercial passenger vessel, before being completely refitted and fully equipped as a liveaboard in 2006. She has been our loved home for the past 4 years, and this sale not only offers a chance to own a genuine piece of boating history, but is an opportunity for an extremely comfortable and hassle free life afloat. She is currently moored at a beautiful spot in the Cambridgeshire countryside at Buckden Marina, with a peaceful side on mooring looking out across the riverbank. On the edge of the River Great Ouse, the marina is within easy reach of both Peterborough and Cambridge, and just 6 miles from a mainline station into London. **The boat is available at its current mooring, or alternatively delivery can be arranged within mainland UK. Please note: reasonable offers on the asking price will be considered.
• • • •
4Kw P.S.W Inverter 2Kw P.S.W Generator CTEK 8 Stage Charger Diesel Central Heating & Range Stove • Ford 4 Cylinder 72hp Engine • 120 Gallon Stainless Steel Water Tank
WATERWAYS ADVERTISING Summer 2013 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Index to Advertisers AB Tuckey ...................................................4
Fox Narrowboats .......................................48
ABC Leisure .......................................... IBC, 6
Heron Maps ..............................................39
JL Pinder & Sons ..........................................1
B.C Boat Management ................................7
Kings Lock Chandlery ..........................13, 27
Baddie the Pirate ......................................27
Bates Boatyard ............................................6
Le Boat .......................................................5
Boat Shed Grand Union.............................48
Lee Sanitation .............................................4
Braunston Marina ......................................39
Debdale Wharf .........................................13
Farncombe Boat House .............................13
Midland Chandlers ................................. OBC
Whilton Marina ........................................ IFC
Swanley Bridge Marina ................................6 The New & Used Boat Co ..........................17 Towergate Marsdon ....................................7 Video Active .............................................13
| IWA waterways - Summer 2013
ABC Boat Hire ABC Boat Sales ABC Boat Management Boat Shares Chandlery www.webchandler.com Boat Maintenance and Repairs Marina Services Moorings Helmsman Training
We are delighted to offer you an enhanced range of products with the introduction of three major brands.
& Engines & Parts
Including the New
Marine Fuel Conditioner
500ml Treats 1,000L
£7.00 Fuel Quality & Additive Experts
Antibug Protect 100ml Treats 2,000L
braunston surplus stock
clearance 29 -30 JUNE 2013 TH
Electric Folding Bikes
c Histori d n o t s n Brau lly Weeken Boat Ra une 2013 30th J 29th -
25TH - 27TH
MAY 2013 AT CRICK MARINA, WEST HADDON ROAD,CRICK,NORTHANTS
15% off Everything!
*No other discounts apply*
Discount also available throughout our stores
DE DE TRADE UP!
Trade in your old Fire Extinguisher and 1kg Normally we will give £19.99 you £5 off the price of a new £5 OFF one. £14.99
25th - 27th May 2013
Did you know
*No other offers or discounts apply*
Bonus Club Card Scheme Spend over £1000 in one transaction and you will receive 15% off your initial purchase plus 15% off all your purchases for the next 6 months. Ideal for those customers planning a full fit out or a re-fit. Terms & Conditions Apply.
E & O E. All prices include VAT
A Warm Welcome Awaits You At 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
T 01785 712437 T 01788 891401 T 01928 751800 T 01283 701445
Find us on
T 02476 390111 19/4/13 2:51:06 pm