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SPRING 2013 | ISSUE 239


David Blagrove reminisces

WRG Holidays





News from the branches

Focus on youth

Events in 2013

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IWA waterways - Spring 2013 |

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Spring 2013



Ten Good Reasons to be an IWA Member

The Column of the National Chairman




What’s been happening around the branches

14. WRG 2013 A preview of restoration holidays in the year ahead

18. THE POWER OF A LEGACY Leaving a gift in your Will helps protect the waterways

22. WATERWAYS OF THE SOUTH EAST Exploring the River Wey, Basingstoke and Wey & Arun canals

30. NEWS

8 14

A round up of the main stories from IWA and beyond



The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:

Commercial carrying developments from around the system

38. CUTTINGS Our final review of what the media has been saying about waterway issues

40. A LIFETIME ON THE WATERWAYS We talk to IWA stalwart David Blagrove

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

45. INBOX Readers’ letters

COVER PICTURE The trip boat John Pinkerton on the Basingstoke Canal.

WATERWAYS EDITOR: Keith Goss Tel: 01283 742951 E-mail: ART EDITOR: Kerry Hogston ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER: Ian Sharpe Tel: 01283 742977 E-mail: ADVERTISING DESIGN: Jill Brown ADVERTISING PRODUCTION: Samantha Lloyd E-mail: 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


18 22


• 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

Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members Lee Sanitation Ltd. - 10% on orders over £100 Midland Chandlers - 5% discount Narrowboat Services - 10% discount RoadPro - 5% discount UK Boat Hire - 15% discount - Free Listing Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard Worcester Marine Windows Ltd - 5% discount

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

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

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

The Inland Waterways Association is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.


•Joint/Family £37.50

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

| IWA waterways - Spring 2013

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The Column of the National Chairman There is no question that IWA faces a challenging time as we adjust to the new Canal & River Trust (CRT) and also deal with challenging economic times. How we respond to our challenges will define the future for IWA. What is important to me is the good of our wonderful inland waterways, and we must ensure we act in their best interests at all times and provide a consistent IWA message. As a fellow charity, CRT has similar but different interests to IWA. We have described CRT as the landlord and IWA as the tenants’ association, and CRT has agreed that this is a valid way of describing our respective and different roles. We will be constructive and professional in our dealings with CRT as there is no point in action which damages the waterways. However, CRT knows that we will say when we think it is getting it wrong.

Campaigning Issues In recent months we have campaigned on issues including the failure by some boaters to respect the mooring rules on CRT waterways, dredging, the transfer of the Environment Agency’s navigations to CRT, and the further attack on red diesel and licensing by a Dutch MEP. It has been pleasing to see progress on all these issues. Sorting out the problems with mooring rules has been portrayed by some as an attack on continuous cruisers. That is simply not the case, and IWA supports genuine continuous cruising throughout the system. Since her appointment as Branch Campaign Officer in April 2012, Alison Smedley has worked hard with branches and regions to promote practical work on the inland waterways. It is good to see the significant expansion and range of work now being undertaken by many branches (see page 8). This helps to promote the work and value of IWA and helps recruit new members to our cause. We can always do more in this direction, so please contact your local branch, or Alison direct, if you want to be involved in work parties, or if you have ideas that we could develop further.

Succesful Recruitment Drive Recruiting new members is important to any organisation, so it is satisfying to see the initial success of the scheme by which we offer free first year membership to the customers of waterway businesses. The early results show that we are having good success in converting these new recruits to

paying members after the first year. We are looking to expand the number of organisations involved in this scheme, and are looking for members to help introduce further suitable businesses. Please contact Tracy Higgin in Membership at Head Office if you can help with this.

Supporting Branch Activities I regard it as a great honour to be IWA National Chairman, particularly given the qualities of those who have held this office in the past. We are a membership organisation and need input and support from our members if we are to continue to play our part in achieving the best outcome for our inland waterways. Please do support our branch activities and also feed in your thoughts and ideas to our branches so that region chairmen can report back to trustees.

Les Etheridge

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| IWA waterways - Spring 2013

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| IWA waterways - Spring 2013

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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.


South Yorkshire



Birmingham Warwickshire

Branch members and other volunteers from IWA Chelmsford Branch joined forces recently with Essex Waterway Recovery Group for a work party on the first weekend in December at Heybridge Basin on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation. Twelve volunteers made their way along the towpath towards Wave Bridge or on-board the Buddy workboat along with their equipment to continue vegetation management that had been commenced on a previous work party.

The work involved brush cutters, hedge trimmers and a chainsaw (with qualified operative), as well as bonfires, to deal with encroaching bushes and bramble that had reduced the public bridleway to a narrow muddy track. The workboat was used to transport the scrub to the bonfire site. A similar pattern of work was undertaken on both days, increasing the width of the bridleway so that the sun and breeze could help dry out the path. Good progress was made from Wave Bridge towards Heybridge Basin. IWA’s subsidiary, Essex Waterways Ltd, which manages the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation, is working on this project with Essex County Council who are carrying out improvements to this busy bridleway.




Volunteers clearing vegetation on the towpath of the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation.

Chelmsford Milton Keynes

A Canal Clean Up held over the weekend of 13th14th October saw 100 volunteers across the two days take part in various Volunteers removing rubbish fron the Lower Peak Forest Canal. ALISON SMEDLEY. activities in all three directions from Dukinfield Junction. The event was organised by IWA Manchester Branch working in partnership with the Canal & River Trust and supported by Waterway Recovery Group North West. The weekend was staged to celebrate the 40th anniversary of an even bigger canal clean up, ASHTAC, and at least a dozen of the volunteers had been at the original event. Ashton Attack (ASHTAC for short) followed on from Operation Ashton, and saw approximately 1,000 people work on the derelict Ashton and the Lower Peak Forest canals over a single weekend in March 1972. The event contributed to the Cheshire Ring being reopened to navigation just two years later, in 1974. The main focus for pulling rubbish out of the canal was the Lower Peak Forest Canal, where Manchester Branch had received reports of deep-draughted boats having problems. Some ten truck loads of rubbish were pulled out and taken away for scrap during the weekend, including several motorbikes, lots of bicycles, numerous tyres and a safe. On the Ashton Canal heading towards the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, vegetation was cleared from the towpath,

| IWA waterways - Spring 2013

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IWA at WORK STOKE-ON-TRENT BRANCH – CHESHIRE LOCKS Before and after at Lock 53, Rode Heath during the recent Cheshire Locks work party.


Stoke-on-Trent Branch has been continuing its monthly work parties on the Cheshire Lock flight of the Trent & Mersey Canal. Work has included vegetation clearance from walls and bridges, removing weeds and grass from cobble setts and painting handrails, balance beams and bollards at Lock 53 near Rode Heath. Work will continue in the early months of the year starting with Bridge 140 before moving on to Lock 52 at Church Lawton. These work parties are organised by IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch, in partnership with the Trent & Mersey Canal Society and supported by the Canal & River Trust.



During the successful ASHTAC Reunion clean up weekend at Dukinfield Junction, CRT took the opportunity to launch their “Towpath Taskforce” initiative for the Manchester & A volunteer grapples for Pennines area. IWA rubbish on the Ashton flight. Manchester Branch are pleased to have been able to support this initiative. On Saturday 27th October 14 volunteers, all of whom had been at the ASHTAC Reunion weekend, worked in both directions from Fairfield Junction at the top of the Ashton flight. More than 10 bags of litter were collected between Fairfield Junction and Lock 17, vegetation was cleared, rubbish was grappled out of the canal, and railings and lockgates were painted. Volunteers from the Ashton Packet Boat Company did great work with grappling hooks using historic wooden motor narrowboat Joel and they produced a lorry load of rubbish out of the canal between Fairfield and Dukinfield junctions. CRT provided a van and lorry to take the material away and also provided all the equipment. The next Towpath Taskforce work party was held on Saturday 24th November when about a dozen volunteers gathered at the Royal Oak at Failsworth on the Rochdale Canal. Regulars at the Royal Oak had taken part in a clean up with CRT the previous week and the intention was to encourage and build on this local initiative. The work party got off to a good start with bacon butties for the volunteers, as well as warming soup for lunch, all generously provided by the Royal Oak. Grappling rubbish out of the canal was very productive both at the lock (where a large mud-filled tyre, a push chair and a brand new shopping trolley were retrieved) and further along where the bridgehole yielded a bicycle, two trolleys, an iron farm gate and a towpath motor cycle barrier. Numerous trolleys were extracted from the stretch of canal outside Tesco, and one of the more useful and unusual items to be pulled out was a pogo stick still in working order. Vegetation was cut back and the cobble towpath cleared around the lock, while litter picking produced more than 10 bags of the usual rubbish.


a wooden fence was painted and shopping trolleys and a photocopier were removed from the canal. Towards Ashton Locks more vegetation was cleared, wooden fences were painted and a stretch of canal grappled for rubbish. The offside at Bridge 28 was cleared of vegetation and soil. Grass and other weeds were removed from the towpath bridge over the junction and from the stonework on top of the aqueduct. The whole area was also litter picked, and boaters using this stretch of canal have already reported an improvement in navigating through the bridgeholes.

A recent work party to create new country moorings on the Trent & Mersey Canal as part of Lichfield Branch’s Rugeley Canalside Regeneration Project rounded off the current phase of the project which has seen some twenty work parties take place over the last three years. 20 new mooring rings, paid for by a grant from the IWA Festival at Burton-on-Trent in 2011, were installed between the Brindley Aqueduct and Rugeley Bypass Bridge during the weekend of 3rd-4th November. Organisations supporting this work party (and many of the previous ones) included Rugeley Lions, Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust, Stafford Riverway Link, Waterway Recovery Group and the Shropshire Union Canal Society, whose volunteer Brian Holmes offered to oversee the Installation of new mooring rings in Rugeley operation. CRT supported ch. by IWA Lichfield Bran the event with a work boat and provided the rest of the materials and all necessary equipment, and a workboat to bring it all to site. As the mooring ring installation was more or less completed on the Saturday, on the Sunday some vegetation clearance took place on the path leading from Wolseley Road down to the ‘Bloody Steps’, which is part of Lichfield Branch’s next project, the “Brindley Trail”, for which they already have some of the funding in place.

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View of Tinsley Locks after the clean up. ALISON SMEDLEY



The workboat returns laden with rubbish during the King’s Norton clean up.


IWA SOUTH YORKSHIRE & DUKERIES BRANCH - SHEFFIELD CANAL CLEAN UP IWA’s South Yorkshire & Dukeries Branch held their biannual clean-up of the Tinsley Lock Flight on the Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation in conjunction with CRT on Sunday 28th October. The clean-up attracted 29 volunteers which included IWA members, local boaters and members of Sheffield Rotary Club. The volunteers included two people in a canoe collecting floating rubbish. The party worked on the lock flight between the pumping station and the top of the locks, and along the summit halfway towards Sheffield City centre. The volunteers were rewarded for their hard work with pie and peas afterwards.



A joint initiative between five waterway organisations saw dozens of people converge on King’s Norton Junction over the weekend of 17th and 18th November for a canal clean up and work party weekend. The event was organised by IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch and the Worcester Birmingham & Droitwich Canals Society and was supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch, the Stratford upon Avon Canal Society and CRT who provided tools, equipment and a work boat. Many of the volunteers were members of the two IWA branches and the two canal societies, but there were also several people from the local community who came along to take part, including a group of cubs and scouts and members of a local history society and the Friends of King’s Norton Park. Litter picking was carried out from the junction in all three directions – as far as Wast Hill Tunnel on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, as far as Brandwood Tunnel on the Stratford Canal and for some distance on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal heading north. A lot of vegetation clearance was also carried out in all three directions, including removing trees and shrubs overhanging the towpath and clearing weed and grass that had encroached on to the towpath. Each day there was a small team armed with paint and brushes who painted railings, signs and gates. Meanwhile the workboat was used on the Saturday by a team of people with grappling hooks who removed a boat full of rubbish from the canal. Rubbish pulled out of the canal over the weekend included two huge sections of pipe bridge railings, a wheelchair and a motor scooter, as well as the usual assortment of tyres and bicycles. On the Sunday the workboat was used for offside vegetation clearance. The clean up event was an opportunity to celebrate and highlight the work being carried out by contractors working for CRT, to the iconic guillotine lock at King’s Norton Junction, which is a Grade II* listed Scheduled Ancient Monument. After many years of being subjected to vandalism and neglect, CRT has obtained funding from the Peoples Postcode Lottery and English Heritage to contribute towards its restoration.

Bywash vegetation clearance at Lapworth. Work parties involving members of IWA Warwickshire Branch have been taking place on the third Thursday and the third Saturday of each month in the Lapworth area for some time. Work carried out so far has included painting lock gates and bridges, litter picking, vegetation clearance and path work. Although the Saturdays have now been branded as CRT Towpath Taskforce, IWA members (and non-members alike) are welcome to turn up to either the Thursday or the Saturday work parties to join in.

| IWA waterways - Spring 2013

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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


The Grand Union Canal clean up.


COMMITMENT TO SAFER BOATING As part of its on-going commitment to making boating in Warwickshire a safer experience for all Warwickshire Branch recently undertook a project with a difference. Aware of logistical problems in distributing an important new brochure warning of the dangers posed by carbon monoxide within boats, IWA stepped in to help. With winter approaching – the peak time for asphyxiation potential on boats – some 40,000 copies of the new brochure languished in a warehouse in Milton Keynes. In Warwickshire, especially around the Napton area, is to be found one of the largest concentrations of moored boats on the network. The Warwickshire Branch committee therefore decided to by-pass the bottleneck and deliver bulk supplies of the brochure directly to all marinas within the county. First in line for this was corporate member, Calcutt Boats - and IWA’s long-time branch supporter Roger Preen. In November the handover of some 270 of the brochures – enough for every boat-owner in the marina – took place. This was the first in several steps in delivering nearly 2,000 brochures to boats moored in Warwickshire.

STOKE-ON-TRENT BRANCH CALDON CANAL WORK PARTY IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch have launched a monthly mid-week work party, in partnership with the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust, on the second Thursday of each month. On Thursday 8th November volunteers met at Froghall, where much vegetation clearance was carried out, including cutting branches overhanging the towpath, strimming, and clearing leaves and weeds from steps and pathways. The fence around the boater’s rubbish disposal area was also given a lick of paint, and by the end of the day the area around Froghall Basin, and the towpath as far as the tunnel, all looked much smarter. The second work party saw volunteers planting hedge plants along the Caldon Canal between Woods Lock and Oakmeadowford Lock. Despite the chilly weather, 313 saplings were planted, filling in the gaps in the existing hedge along this stretch.

Vegetation clearance and painting in the Uttoxeter Canal basin at Froghall.

Monthly work parties ts around the country, such As well as ad hoc work party even h can be found on the IWA as canal clean ups (details of whic now have monthly work ches bran IWA of ber website), a num ws: follo as parties taking place. These are - tasks include lock Warwickshire Branch – Lapworth e and path work. Meet at ranc clea veg ing, painting, litter pick B94 5RB. Third Saturday ull, Kingswood Lock, Lapworth, Solih and third Thursday e) forc Task path Tow ’s (supporting CRT each month. 10am to 3pm. CRT Towpath Taskforce Manchester Branch supporting chester area. Tasks Man ter Grea the in s – location varie ing rubbish out of the pull e, include painting, veg clearanc each month,10am rday Satu th Four ing. pick canal and litter to 4pm. Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Stoke-on-Trent Branch and the de hedge laying and veg inclu s task – al Can Trust – Caldon th, 10am to 2pm. mon clearance. Second Thursday each t & Mersey Canal Society Stoke-on-Trent Branch and Tren Canal. Tasks include sey Mer & t Tren s, – Cheshire Lock ing Tuesdays and rnat painting and veg clearance. Alte th, 10am to 4pm. mon the of k wee third Saturdays in the on the website For details of any of these look tact Alison Smedley, con or uk org. ays. erw .wat www 79 090915 or email Branch Campaign Officer, on 077 .

IWA waterways - Spring 2013 |

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IWA’s Milton Keynes Branch, working in partnership with the Canal & River Trust and sponsored by the Wyvern Shipping Co Ltd, carried out their bi-annual canal clean-up over the weekend 20th-21st October. This clean-up went south for over 10 miles of the Grand Union Canal from Fenny Stratford, Milton Keynes to Grove Lock south of Leighton Buzzard. Over the two days volunteers contributed 314 volunteer person hours, and removed nearly 10 tons of rubbish from the canal and adjacent towpath and banks. Among the huge variety of items dredged from the canal were a drum with 200 metres of fibre optic cable, a generator, lawnmower, dishwasher, three motorbikes, a television, a sewing machine, two wheelbarrows and the usual cull of shopping trolleys (17 this time). Some 20 black plastic sacks worth of litter were retrieved from the towpath and offside banks. IWA members’ boats towed the 70-foot hopper and a 40foot pan (workboats supplied by CRT) into which the rubbish was placed. The dredged rubbish was obtained by operating eight strong grapple hooks from the hopper and more by other volunteers from the bank. CRT supplied a crewed dredger to follow the grapplers and give very necessary assistance in retrieving the heaviest items.



23/1/13 12:18:10 pm

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| IWA waterways - Spring 2013

23/1/13 16:57:18

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WRG Restoration Holidays 2013 ‘Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!’


aterway Recovery Group has spent the winter months busily planning its working holidays schedule for 2013. Every year WRG runs over 20 week-long volunteering opportunities called ‘Canal Camps’ which offer volunteers of all ages and backgrounds the chance to help restore the derelict canals of England and Wales.

Who goes on a WRG Canal Camp? Anyone and everyone! WRG attracts a wide range of people, from young volunteers taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme; to office workers bored of sitting at a desk all day who just want to get outdoors and dirty, have fun and learn new skills; to waterway enthusiasts who wish to make a contribution to restoring and preserving the system; and to retirees looking to do something completely different. Volunteers attending our working holidays must be aged between 18 and 70, but apart from that, age doesn’t matter, neither does previous experience.

Working Day Our week-long working holidays usually start around 4pm on the first Saturday and finish at lunch time on the following Saturday. The working day normally runs from 9am to 5pm (depending on the weather) with tea breaks and lunch on site.

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 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!

Tell Me More… In groups of up to 20 volunteers, you can help with essential restoration work on the derelict waterways of England and Wales. Volunteers will be able to take part in various tasks from vegetation clearance to learning how to build a lock wall. Whether you are a complete beginner or have tried your hand at restoration before, you will be guided through every task by the Canal Camp leader and his or her assistant.


What’s going on in 2013? WRG has a busy and varied schedule planned for 2013 from waterways archaeology on the Wendover Arm, Grand Union Canal to the reprofiling and lining of the Lancaster Canal using large excavators and other machinery. Each camp offers you the chance to learn new and different skills so why not read on and find the camp for you…

Kit List You’ll be sent a full list of what to bring, the essentials being… 4 sleeping bag & camping mat (or airbed) 4 waterproofs 4 old work clothes 4 steel toe capped boots/wellies We will supply any other safety equipment required, including a hard hat. Most importantly remember to pack a sense of humour!

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WRG Restoration Holidays 2013 “Joining a WRG camp has ticked so many boxes for me – fresh air, exercise, friendship, community involvement and a holiday” - Lynda, retired, aged 59

Midlands CROMFORD CANAL Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: Derbyshire Activities: Stone walling and other heritage

techniques Volunteers will be working on a site nestled in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site rebuilding around 40 metres of stone walling and reinstating coping stones at the Sawmill’s gauging narrows. These camps are going to be busy and funfilled, so do something different this summer and join us on the Cromford Canal.

CHESTERFIELD CANAL Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: Derbyshire Activities: Lock construction, brick and block laying In 2013 WRG will continue with work started last summer, helping to construct the new Staveley Town Lock. Volunteers will be involved in activities such as brick and block laying so there is plenty to keep both experienced WRGies and newcomers entertained. This new lock is an important step in the restoration of the canal and considerable progress should be seen during the camp.

Dates: 17th - 24th August, 24th - 31st August

South West and South Wales

Dates: 3rd - 10th August, 10th -17th August

WILTS AND BERKS CANAL UTTOXETER CANAL Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: Staffordshire Activities: Scrub bashing, bonfires, winter activities

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and it’s the best hobby I’ve ever had, to meet like minded people and to do a worthwhile activity is amazing!” -

We have two Camps planned on the canal this year. The WRG Forestry Team are holding their annual week-long canal camp on the Uttoxeter Canal in October. Work will include tree felling (by WRG Forestry approved chainsaw operators), scrub bashing and other clearance activities including bonfires. The Christmas Camp is also going to run on the Uttoxeter Canal with volunteers clearing vegetation along the line of the canal near Bridge 70. It’s the perfect way to work off your Christmas dinner and start the New Year in style!

Dates: 26th October - 2nd November 26th December - 1st January 2014

Becky, Administrator, aged 39

LICHFIELD CANAL Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56/£64 Location: Staffordshire Activities: Machine operation, vegetation clearance, block laying

Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: Wiltshire Activities: Bricklaying, reinstating of coping stones, landscaping From 2007-2009, WRG volunteers rebuilt a collapsed bridge and this year we return to Steppingstone Lane Bridge one final time to complete the remaining work. Volunteers will be involved in some muddy work – clearing out debris from the canal; some technical work – reinstating the wing walls and installing the coping stones; and finally some landscaping and towpath repair work. With pleasant surroundings, a fun project and excellent local support this will be a popular camp.

Dates: 6th - 13th July

SWANSEA CANAL Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: South Wales Activities: Vegetation clearance, brickwork, reinstating coping stones

These Camps will give volunteers the chance to get involved in a major restoration project. Using excavators and other machinery, volunteers will create a large environmental mound at Darnford Park as well as forming the base of Lock 28 by removing and shaping the sandstone bedrock. Volunteers will also be involved restoring Pound 27 by laying concrete blocks to the ‘narrows’ walls, relining the canal, clearing vegetation and creating new wildlife habitats!

Whilst much of the original canal has been infilled 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.

Dates: 29th March - 6th April, 29th June - 6th July

Dates 31st August - 7th September

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COTSWOLD CANALS Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: Cotswolds Activities: Bricklaying, lock restoration This year volunteers will be working on Ham Mill and Bowbridge Locks and Weymoor Bridge. Volunteers will undertake a wide variety of restoration activities, including the rebuilding of lock walls and bridge repairs. It will be a fantastic opportunity to learn or improve your bricklaying skills!

Dates: 3rd - 10th August, 10th - 17th August

INGLESHAM LOCK WRG are also running several Canal Camps at Inglesham Lock (Cotswold Canals) in order to gain access to the chamber and allow major brickwork repairs to be undertaken in 2014. Work will include the installation of a temporary dam and repairs to the stop plank grooves. installation of planks; the creation of an earth bund as well as brickwork repairs to wing walls. Dates to be confirmed shortly

MONMOUTHSHIRE CANAL Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: South Wales Activities: Heritage construction skills, vegetation clearance Volunteers will help the local canal trust further their ‘Waterlinks Project’ on the Ty Coch Lock Flight, south of Cwmbran, by undertaking the restoration of several disused locks to create a destination and resource for the local community and visitors in Cwmbran. Work will include lock chamber stone and brick repairs, lock gate construction and hedge laying. Volunteers may also be given training in the use of lime mortar. This is a great Camp for all abilities whether you are a beginner or a more experienced ‘navvy’.

Dates 17th - 24th August, 24th - 31st August

North West LANCASTER CANAL Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56/£64 Location: Lancashire Activities: Channel construction, vegetation clearance, stonework restoration


The northern part of the Lancaster Canal became derelict following the building of the M6 motorway. The Trust’s main objectives are to restore and reopen the canal to navigation, from Tewitfield, just north of Carnforth, to Kendal. Over Easter, WRG volunteers will be returning to Stainton to continue reprofiling and lining a 225 metre section of the canal. Once complete, this new section will be re-watered and reconnected to a part of the canal which the Trust uses for its trip boat operation. Volunteers will be involved in vegetation clearance, stonework restoration and earth moving so there will be a chance to operate excavators and dumpers. Book now and join us in the beautiful setting of the Lancaster Canal this April.

Dates: 29th March - 6th April, 6th - 13th April

South East WENDOVER ARM Grand Union Canal Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: Hertfordshire Activities: Bricklaying, waterway archaeology, block laying In 2012 volunteers started work rebuilding the Wendover Arm’s derelict Whitehouses Pumping Station by repairing the damaged wharf walls and culverts. This year volunteers will continue to work on the preservation and restoration of the pumping station using heritage construction skills to reinstate the weir crest. Volunteers may also spend some time helping to reline the canal by dry laying concrete blocks on bentonite lining.

“It was my first camp; although hard work it was thoroughly enjoyable and great fun... I have not laughed so much in a long time!” - Tom, student, aged 20

Dates: 6th - 13th July

WEY & ARUN CANAL Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: Surrey Activities: Footpath construction, machine operation, vegetation clearance The Wey & Arun Canal runs through Surrey and West Sussex in Southern England. The aim of the restoration project is to restore a direct water link between London and the South Coast. You’ll spend a week helping to create a 1km disabled access footpath and viewing area alongside Cranleigh Waters. It will be the first chance for volunteers to work on this exciting new project, to build an entirely new section of the Wey & Arun Canal

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WRG Restoration Holidays 2013 “Beautiful location, great pub, bit of peace and quiet, and lots of mud – perfect break away from work!” - Steve, accountant, aged 36

from the River Wey to the parishes of Shalford and Bramley.

Dates: 29th June - 6th July

Why not join the Essex team in 2013 and help with an array of tasks waiting. Get stuck into various improvement works including towpath maintenance, vegetation control and tree management along the navigation.

BASINGSTOKE CANAL Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: Surrey Activities: Towpath and landing stage construction, brickwork This camp will give volunteers the chance to try their hand at lots of different tasks, from towpath and landing stage construction to brickwork repairs on various lock structures. There will also be the opportunity to operate machinery such as excavators and dumpers.

Dates: 27th July - 3rd August

IWA’S NATIONAL WATERWAYS FESTIVAL Accommodation: Heated marquee (with shower and toilet blocks) Cost: £88 Location: Hertfordshire Activities: Setting up and helping run a waterways festival Yes it’s back! After a year off, IWA has decided to hold another waterways festival, this time on the Grand Union Canal, Watford, in the picturesque surroundings of Cassiobury Park. A Festival Camp is completely different from a restoration camp – first we help build the site, putting up display stands and fencing. Then, when the event opens, we 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!

Dates: 13th - 24th July

CHELMER AND BLACKWATER NAVIGATION Accommodation: Nearby outdoor residential centre (Feb/Oct) Accommodation: Barge (Summer) Cost: £56 Location: Essex Activities: Bank protection, towpath construction, vegetation clearance

Summer volunteers will also be involved in reinstating the bank using willow faggots on an eroded area of towpath upstream of Paper Mill Lock. Volunteer now and help us keep this vibrant and active waterway alive for generations to come. Accommodation for this week is on a barge used as a residential education centre and has showers and bunk beds.

Dates:16th - 23rd February, 27th July - 3rd August, 26th October - 2nd November

Weekend Volunteering A lot of voluntary work has to be done at the weekend, and between them WRG’s regional groups ensure that almost every weekend there will be volunteers at work somewhere in the country restoring the waterways. Despite being ‘regional’ groups, most attract volunteers from various parts of the country. To find your regional group and weekend volunteering dates go to the WRG website

Birmingham Canal Navigations Clean up Weekend This clean-up weekend on the Birmingham Canal Navigations is a great way to have fun and make a difference … plus you never know what exciting rubbish you might find lurking in the water.

Dates: 13th-14th April

WRG Reunion Weekend In November we hold our annual major work party and big get-together to catch up and find out what’s planned for the following year. If you enjoy scrub bashing and bonfires then this is the weekend for you.

Dates: 9th - 10th November

How to Book! It’s easy to book onto one of our Canal Camps and become a 21st century canal navvy! • book online • call 01494 783 453 ext. 604 • request a booking form • or request a Canal Camps 2013 Brochure email

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THE POWER OF A LEGACY As an independent charity, relying only on the generosity of members, IWA depends on legacies and donations to help us continue our vital work. Leaving a gift in your Will means that we can continue to protect and restore the waterways… Your gift would mean so much to IWA A gift in your Will really is a wonderful way to protect the waterways you care so much about. It’s also vital to our future – making up to a fifth of our annual income. What’s more, you can rest assured IWA will never spend a single penny of your legacy on administration or head office costs. You can even choose a specific project or waterway you’d like to support. Perhaps there’s one that’s particularly close to your heart? If so, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to talk things through.

Find out more Whatever your wishes, we’ve got plenty of information here to help you out. If you want a chat about your plans feel free to get in touch, in confidence, with our Finance Manager Helen Elliott-Adams at Head Office on 01494 783453 during the week. Helen can answer any questions or talk about your plans – and of course everything will be in complete confidence. You can also email her at: or drop her a line at: IWA, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham HP5 1WA.

Now it’s time to think about what you’re going to leave. You can discuss this when you meet your solicitor. However, it’s well worth thinking about it beforehand. What you’ll need to consider are the things you own e.g. your property, possessions and investments and the things you owe e.g. your mortgage, loans etc. That way you’ll have a clear idea about how much you have and who you’d like to leave it to. So how would you like to make your gift to us? Once you’ve made provision for your loved ones, you can then look at how you’d like to make your gift. You can either leave a specific amount of money, which is known as a Pecuniary Bequest or a share of what’s left over after all your wishes have been carried out, which is a Residuary Bequest. Rather than leaving a precise sum of money, many choose to leave a percentage or the

residue of their estate as it means that its value will not be affected by inflation. Most people make a gift in one of the ways shown below.

A straightforward gift to where the need is greatest This is how the majority of our members choose to remember IWA. It’s straightforward because your gift is treated as ‘general funds’ and used wherever the need is greatest at the time. For example, we might use it for anything from general branch work parties to paying for a new lock.

A gift to a specific waterway, restoration project or area of our work. Here are just some ideas to start you thinking: Is there a place or waterway that

Arranging a Legacy Small or large, every gift we receive in a Will makes a vital contribution to our work. So how do you go about arranging it? Here’s a quick summary on what to do next: The first step is to talk to a solicitor or professional advisor. If you don’t already have a Will, a solicitor will be able to draft one for you. This is usually inexpensive and vital if you want to make sure that everything is done correctly. By having a proper Will in place you can be sure your wishes will get carried out – from providing for your loved ones through to leaving a gift to your favourite charity. Even if you already have one, it’s easy for the solicitor to add your gift by using what’s known as a codicil.


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The Power of a Legacy holds fond memories for you? Perhaps you shared wonderful times there with your family? Or you just loved walking along a certain waterway saved or restored by us?

A gift of an item(s) Occasionally, people leave us an item of value like a painting or waterway artefact. If you are thinking of leaving any specific item, please do let us know and we can discuss your wishes.

Leave a gift of life membership Why not pass on your enjoyment of the IWA to someone special – possibly your child or grandchild – by giving them the gift of life membership? Please just bear in mind that these types of gift are not free from inheritance tax.

Make sure you’re word perfect In any Will, it’s essential that the wording is legally sound and that there’s no chance that it might be misconstrued. That’s where your solicitor will prove invaluable. To help, we’ve got some draft wording available at Head Office if you are interested.

It’s all in the execution Your executors are the people who will be in charge of making sure your wishes are carried out. It’s worth thinking carefully about who you appoint as your executors. They can be friends or family,

or professionals like a solicitor. In certain instances we can also perform the role for you e.g. if you’re thinking about making IWA a major beneficiary. However, it does place an extra administrative burden on our resources and we prefer campaigning for and restoring the waterways.

Act quickly in emergencies - for instance, when Woolsthorpe Lock needed repair on the Grantham Canal (see below). Start new projects – for instance, when a waterway is threatened, we would like access to funds to acquire it e.g. another waterway in risk of closure. Fund once-in-a-lifetime projects.

We’d like to thank you Leaving a gift in your Will is a very personal gesture and we appreciate that some people prefer to keep these things private. However, we’d really like to thank you for your kindness and show you what you’ll be helping us to achieve. So please, do get in touch with our friendly Finance Manager on 01494 783453.

How legacies help IWA What’s great about a gift in your Will to IWA, is that every penny goes directly towards protecting the special projects under our care. We guarantee not to spend any of it on general administration costs, or our day-today overheads. Did you know that legacies help us to: Keep on caring. Without legacies we’d face an uncertain future - they make up an important part of our income. Maintain and look after our projects. We’re proud to be campaigning for the nation’s waterway heritage for future generations. But of course, on-going costs mean that we are always looking for more funds to do more and help more societies and projects.

Case Studies

WOOLSTHORPE TOP LOCK, GRANTHAM CANAL Woolsthorpe Top Lock was built as part of the original canal which opened in 1797, but the offside wall had to be completely rebuilt about 50 years after opening, due to pinching. The offside lock wall subsequently fractured longitudinally at invert level, possibly due to leakage above the lock percolating through the ground at the back of the brickwork. Following the eventual partial collapse of the offside wall to the lock, British Waterways had decided that it could not afford to rebuild the wall and proposed that the lock would be filled in. IWA stepped in thanks to a Legacy it had received and made a rescue proposal to BW for IWA to fund the rebuilding of the damaged wall. IWA was able to use a £100,000 legacy given to IWA from the estate of Mr Fredrick Charles Woodman. Mr Woodman had been an engineer in Nottingham until his retirement and boated extensively in the Trent area for many years. However, IWA had to offer further guarantees that sufficient money would be available to complete the rebuilding, which meant that a joint campaign between the Grantham Canal Society and IWA was necessary to raise additional funds. Grants of £40,000 and £35,000 were obtained from Lincolnshire County Council through the Lincolnshire Waterways Partnership and from East Midlands Development Agency respectively. Other costs were borne by IWA locally and by BW. The work entailed demolition in sections of the offside wall to below invert level, sealing the points of leakage, replacing the damaged brickwork utilising concrete underwater and with bricks backed with concrete to the top. The original coping stones were also re-used. Woolsthorpe Top Lock – rebuilt through an IWA legacy.

The beautiful Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation (seen here at Little Baddow) is cared for by IWA.

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The Power of a Legacy

Further Case Studies

FUNDING A VOLUNTEER PUSH ON THE MONTGOMERY CANAL For four weeks leading up to 3rd September 2011, 100 volunteers aged between 20 and 70 came to Shropshire from all over Britain, and from France and Spain. While some of the volunteers had worked on canal restoration before, some for many years, others were newcomers to canal restoration. Volunteers who came without skills were taught using Waterway Recovery Group’s own training programme, learning in some cases to use the large excavators and dumpers used on the site. Using large track diggers, the volunteers cleared and reshaped 70 metres of the bed of the canal which had been dry and derelict for over sixty years. For 20 metres of this they then laid a waterproof lining of geotextile and clay on cushioning fabric, finishing with a protective covering of soil and concrete blocks. The canal bed is thus watertight and will remain so even if there is movement or settlement in the soft ground under the canal bed. This was a novel method of canal restoration, and these four weeks were used to develop and evaluate a practical and economical system suitable for volunteers, one which would work on the peaty ground at Crickheath, and which could be used further down the canal and on other restorations in other parts of the country. The work was funded by a legacy left to IWA.

MAINTAINING THE CHESTERFIELD CANAL PARTNERSHIP Formed in 2002 following restoration of the Shireoaks to Kiveton Park section in 2006, a key local authority funding partner stopped its regular donation in exchange for a grant to British Waterways for continued maintenance. Within the Partnership, it was financially possible to appoint a jointly funded Development Manager to move the whole project forward. However, Derbyshire County Council, the host for the Development Manager role, withdrew funding in order to create a broader-based Waterways Officer post focused on the waterways of Derbyshire. This would have meant that the Chesterfield Canal in Nottinghamshire would no longer have had the development support provided by the Canal Partnership officer. Chesterfield Borough Council, Chesterfield Canal Trust and North East Derbyshire Council stated their intention to continue their financial support, and Staveley

Town Council and the Parish Councils of Eckington and Rhodesia pledged additional financial support. The other members of the Partnership agreed to use the Partnership’s financial surplus, built up over the years, to continue the Development Officer post, but there was still an operational deficit approaching £30,000. At this point IWA agreed to fund continuation of the Development Manager Post over the next two years with a grant of up to £30,000 from the Keith Ayling legacy. Keith had been chairman of Chesterfield Canal Society, later the Trust, for nearly 20 years and was the prime mover in the formation of the Chesterfield Canal Partnership ten years ago. The Association has taken the view that on his death in 2010 Keith had given the money to IWA so that it might be available in such an emergency as this, and IWA hopes that this offer might generate further donations.

Volunteer restoration work underway on the Montgomery Canal.

The opening of the Chesterfield Canal Trust’s office at Hollingwood Lock, Staveley.


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23/1/13 12:39:39 pm

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21 23/1/13 15:47:11

Waterways of the

Two Part Special

South East

Over the next two issues we’ll take a look at the richly varied canals and rivers of the south-east corner of England. In Summer 2013 we’ll explore London’s waterways, but here we concentrate on the River Wey, Basingstoke Canal and Wey & Arun Canal - plus a handful of lesser-known rivers and creeks... River Wey Slumbering away at the southern extremity of the waterway network, the River Wey - formerly referred to as the River Wey & Godalming Navigations - is full of surprises. Opened in 1653, it was one of Britain’s earliest navigations. It continued handling trade far later than most other waterways, with barges carrying timber to Guildford and grain to Coxes Mill well into the 1960s. It remains a privately administered waterway, being competently run by the National Trust at no cost to the public purse. But most remarkably of all, given its location within the bustling turmoil of south-east England, the Wey manages to retain a timeless air of peace and serenity, gradually unfolding its charms to those who take the trouble to


explore its 20 navigable miles from the Thames at Weybridge to Godalming in the heart of leafy Surrey. Access from the (non-tidal) River Thames is immediately below Shepperton Lock, where a large sign indicates the correct channel to the Wey. The first lock, Thames Lock, is one of the oldest on the system, built as a turf-sided structure in 1653 but rebuilt in concrete in the 1930s. The Wey is a mix of river navigation and artificial cut. Although not the most volatile of rivers, it can nevertheless become quite lively after periods of heavy rain when great care needs to be exercised by navigators. Coxes Mill is one of the iconic images of the Wey. Built at the beginning of the 20th century, the mill buildings were still receiving grain

Papercourt Lock on the Wey.

Popular Wey pub at Pyrford.

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Pretty mooring at Send on the Wey.

The River Wey at Weybridge. (All photos by Robin Smithett unless otherwise credited.) RIGHT: Coxes Mill on the Wey. (KATHRYN DODDINGTON)

barges right up until 1969. Following a period of dereliction - during which they were said to be haunted by mill workers from a bygone age - the mill buildings were converted into lavish apartments. The Basingstoke Canal heads off from Woodham Junction on its journey to the quiet pastureland of north Hampshire. Across the M25, the amenities of Byfleet lie just half a mile away to the east. Pyrford Marine is a busy boating centre offering a full range of facilities. Footpaths lead from here to Pyrford village, which has several pretty cottages and a sturdy looking Norman church. The Wey keeps itself to itself. Main roads and habitation are never too far away, but above Walsham Flood Gates the river drifts languidly through a delicious landscape of quiet backwaters and sleepy watermeadows, apparently untouched by the relentless march of time and technology. Newark Priory is a picturesque flint ruin alongside the weir at Newark Lock. It was founded in the 12th century and was at one time kept company by a fine weather-boarded mill, sadly destroyed by fire in 1966. Just under a mile upstream, Papercourt Lock stands

amidst further peaceful meadows and is one of the most attractive on the river. Dapdune Wharf is the focal point of the Wey. This is the site of the National Trust’s navigation office, as well as its award-winning visitor centre relating the history of the river and the people who lived and worked on it. Guildford gives its river a mixed reception. There are a number of factories and some uninspiring housing, but above Onslow Bridge the navigation flows through the heart of the town, overlooked by pubs and restaurants, the long-established Yvonne Arnaund Theatre and Debenhams’ department store with its waterside café. In the summer months the river is alive with all manner of craft: trip boats, rowing boats and hire craft from the long-established Guildford Boat House, located above Millmead Lock. Overlooked by St Catherine’s Hill, the river revels in its return to open countryside. St Catherine’s Ferry used to convey pilgrims across the navigation at this point; nowadays a footbridge takes ramblers following the route of the North Downs Way across the water. The diminutive River Tillbourne joins the Wey near Shalford, a pretty but traffic-blighted village on the A281. Close by is Guns Mouth, entrance to the unnavigable Wey & Arun Canal (see page 26). Wooded hills close in on the magical upper reaches of the Wey, which bear comparison with the Avon, Thames or any other river you care to name. Catteshall Lock is the highest on the navigation, as well as being the southernmost lock on the connected waterway system. Farncombe Boat House is a busy boating centre, offering hire craft, rowing boats, canoes and day boats.

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Town Bridge, Godalming is the head of navigation and you can moor in a pleasant meadowland setting a couple of hundred yards before the bridge. Smaller and friendlier than Guildford, Godalming retains a distinctly ‘country town’ feel and handsomely repays exploration. The narrow, traffic-free High Street has a pleasing hotch-potch of buildings from different periods, and there are numerous pubs and restaurants to offer refreshment.

Basingstoke Canal From suburban Surrey to the gentle pasturelands of north Hampshire, the Basingstoke Canal journeys through a richly varied, and still largely unspoilt, landscape of heathlands and pine woods. Its restoration was hard won, with IWA playing its part, but the steadfast (and continuing) efforts of the restorers do not go unappreciated by the many walkers, cyclists, boaters and anglers who enjoy the canal today. The canal’s junction with the River Wey at Byfleet is hardly auspicious, close to an electricity sub-station and close to the terrifyingly noisy M25 motorway. A welcome degree of tranquillity returns at the six locks of the Woodham Flight. Some 20 houseboats are moored between locks 1 and 3; the colony took root in a late 1950s venture to convert working boats no longer needed by the newly nationalised fleet. Access to West Byfleet, with its railway station, shops and pubs, is best gained at Lock 2. One of Surrey’s largest towns, Woking only saw large scale expansion in recent times. It treats its waterway sympathetically, however, with plenty of open spaces and well-tended gardens bordering the canal. Horsell Common was the site of the Martians’ landing in the epic science fiction novel The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, probably Woking’s most famous son. Is there a finer flight of locks than Deepcut anywhere in south-east England? Seemingly remote and bordered by majestic pine trees, the 14 locks raise the level of the canal by 95ft within the space of just over a mile. The woodlands are especially delightful in autumn. To the north is Pirbright Army camp, but it rarely disturbs the aura of peace that envelops the flight. The Basingstoke Canal Visitor Centre is located in a pleasant wooded section at Mytchett. Run by the Basingstoke Canal Authority, it features a small exhibition and information point, gift shop, play area for children and one of the best little tearooms to be found anywhere on the system. The centre is open throughout the year and is justifiably


Approaching Bowers Lock on the Wey

popular with both waterway enthusiasts and the general public who just want to relax by the water. Ash Lock marks the beginning of the long pound that continues all the way to the terminus. Despite the proximity of Aldershot, Farnborough and Fleet, the canal continues to plough a lonely furrow. Much of the pretty heathland through which it passes is under the ownership of the Army. Its waters crystal clear, the canal drifts through the Hampshire countryside. A number of pretty villages - Dogmersfield, Crookham, Winchfield Hurst - lie within walking distance of the canal. Colt Hill Wharf is the home of Galleon Marine, who offer narrowboats, canoes and rowing boats for hire. Odiham could well be the perfect small English market town. Situated just half a mile up the road from the wharf, it is the

Despite the sterling efforts of Waterway Recovery Group and Surrey & Hants Canal Society over many years, maintenance problems continue to bedevil the Basingstoke Canal. Deepcut Locks will remain closed until the autumn at the earliest and there is restricted navigation on the Hampshire pound during the early months of the year. For full details on current stoppages and ongoing work visit basingstoke-canal.

| IWA waterways - Spring 2013

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Waterways of the South East KEITH GOSS.

Basingstoke Canal scenes: Mytchett (TOP); Greywell Tunnel (ABOVE); Deepcut Locks (LEFT).

kind of place that expats throughout the world dream about. There are little alleyways full of Tudor cottages, elegant Georgian houses standing cheek-by-jowl with antique shops and upmarket jewellery outlets, and a splendid 13th century church tucked away in a sleepy square. The haunting remains of Odiham Castle precede the canal’s terminus at the eastern portal of the closed Greywell Tunnel, still some six miles from Basingstoke.

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Wey & Arun Canal Referred to as ‘London’s Lost Route to the Sea’, the Wey & Arun Canal ran for 23 miles from the River Wey at Shalford, just south of Guildford, to the River Arun at Pallingham, north-west of Pulborough. Its rural route generated little trade and it was never quite part of the ‘sea to sea’ route envisaged when it was planned. It was officially abandoned as early as 1871, so restoration is, to say the least, ambitious, but great strides have been made by the Wey & Arun Canal Trust, which began to restore this beautiful rural waterway back in 1971, with support from various other bodies including IWA. Since then, ten locks have been restored, over 20 bridges rebuilt, and one of the canal’s three aqueducts, Drungerwick, has been restored. The major project to cross the B2133 at Loxwood has been completed, and restoration continues northwards. The first lock above the bridge, Loxwood Lock, is an entirely new structure, necessitated to give adequate headroom under the bridge. Brewhurst Lock, below the bridge, has been correspondingly lowered.


An impressive visitor centre has been built behind the Onslow Arms at Loxwood, which is the centre of the Trust’s extensive passenger boat operation. This now comprises three boats, the latest being the 50-passenger widebeam electrically powered Wiggonholt. A unique waterwheel that lifts water to the top pound of the Arun Navigation to the south at Lordings has been fully restored, and to the north negotiations are progressing regarding a route between the River Wey and the canal at Gun’s Mouth. For full details on the restoration project visit

TOP: Teston Bridge on the Medway. (BRIAN FULLER 6385 at CC-BY-SA)

ABOVE: Trip boat on the Wey & Arun Canal. (HUGH POTTER)

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Waterways of the South East

ABOVE: Allington Lock on the Medway. MAIN: The Royal Military Canal. (Shirokazan at CC-BY-SA)

River Medway

Thames & Medway Canal

Way back in the mists of time, the Medway boasted several hire bases and was relatively popular with pleasure boaters. Not so today, for its waters are relatively quiet for most of the year - although a small hire company once again operates from Maidstone and the Environment Agency have recently installed additional facilities for boaters in an attempt to promote additional use of the river. And it’s certainly well worth making the effort to see something of this delightful river. Allington Lock marks the beginning of the non-tidal section. Just upstream lies Maidstone - Kent’s bustling county town - but thereafter it’s a rural theme as the river threads its way through the Garden of England, with lovely scenery everywhere you look. There are a number of beautiful medieval bridges, attractive villages - notably East Farleigh - and timeless water meadows to enjoy before the head of navigation is reached at Tonbridge. It’s a pleasant town with good pubs and restaurants and well worthy of exploration before returning downstream. The river is especially attractive to canoeists, with plenty of launching sites and substantial EA-built wooden platforms alongside many of the locks. To canoe the entire river from Tonbridge to Gillingham requires three days, with several possible campsites available along the route.

The Thames & Medway Canal Association aims to restore the canal from Gravesend Basin to Higham Wharf, re-creating four miles of waterway for mooring and visiting craft from the Thames. It runs alongside a section of National Cycle Route 1, the Saxon Shore Way, an RSPB reserve and is popular with walkers. The local council, residents and sundry developers are supportive of the project. For further information visit www.thamesmedway.

Royal Military Canal The Royal Military Canal was never intended for navigation, being primarily a defensive structure. However, in a bid to raise much needed money from the enterprise the canal was opened for public use and tolls were charged. The canal was mainly used by barges carrying shingle and other cargoes, although there was a regular passenger service which ran from Hythe to Rye. It remained viable until the opening of the Ashford to Hastings railway in the mid-19th century, although some commercial traffic continued until the early years of the 20th century. Today, you can hire boats to row along the canal as far as West Hythe Dam from near Ladies’ Walk Bridge in Hythe.

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Sussex Ouse The Sussex Ouse rises in the high land of the Sussex Weald and flows through beautiful, undulating countryside. At Lewes it passes through a gap in the South Downs and into a wide valley before reaching the sea at Newhaven. The Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust believes the river should be a priceless asset to local communities. It is working to promote a greater awareness of the benefits that the river can bestow and is working with other agencies for the conservation of the ancient structures associated with the river’s history; the restoration of navigation to the river above Lewes; protection of the river’s banks and wildlife; and the improvement of opportunities for educational and leisure use. For further information visit www.sxouse.

Kentish Rivers and Creeks The River Rother flows from Bodiam to the delightfully unspoilt little town of Rye. Popular with walkers and small boat sailors, the Rother traverses exceptionally pleasant countryside in the south-east corner of the county. This year’s National Trailboat

Festival, organised by IWA’s Kent & East Sussex Branch, is being staged at Bodiam on 25th-27th May – see page 33. The Great Stour is the second longest river in Kent (after the Medway). Rising near the village of Lenham, to the east of Maidstone, it joins the East Stour at Ashford and continues to Canterbury, where it splits into two channels before flowing out to sea at Pegwell Bay. Punting and rowing trips are available in Canterbury. The Swale is a 13-mile channel separating the Isle of Sheppey from the mainland of north Kent. The Swale’s eastern end at Harty Ferry joins the Thames Estuary three miles west of Whitstable, whilst its western end flows into the Medway at Sheerness. Tidal throughout, the Swale is, along with its creeks of Faversham, Oare, Conyer and Milton, one of Kent’s most popular sailing regions.

TOP: River Rother at Rye. (Shusmith_UK at CC-BYSA)

BELOW: Sussex Ouse near Lewes. (JohnRobertShepherd at CC-BY-SA)


Standard Quay. (Pandrcutts at CC-BY-SA)


Faversham Creek’s Standard Quay is steeped in history, home to the wooden Thames sailing barge Cambria. Built at Greenhithe, Kent, the vessel carried commercial cargo under sail until 1970 and is currently under the care of the Cambria Trust, which was established to restore, preserve and sail her. The Quay also offers moorings and repair facilities to visiting craft, as well as attracting land-borne visitors to its range of tearooms, antique shops, furniture barn and wood-turning workshop. But controversy has come to the historic quay, in the form of regeneration proposals that would see housing and other commercial development taking place alongside the water. The Faversham Creek Trust is campaigning to protect the integrity of the site and safeguard the maritime facilities – for full information visit

| IWA waterways - Spring 2013

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IWA waterways - Spring 2013 |

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29 23/1/13 12:14:08


Canal & River Trust chief executive to step down


fter ten years as chief executive of British Waterways and (since July 2012) the Canal & River Trust, Robin Evans is to step down at the end of May. Mr Evans said: “I want to pursue other interests and opportunities and now the Trust is firmly established I feel it’s the right time for me to move on and a perfect time for the Trust to have a new leader.” He added: “It has been a privilege to lead these two great organisations and I am very proud of what we have achieved over the past ten years. Having agreed the transfer of the waterways into the Third Sector together with £500m of endowment property and a 15-year funding agreement from government, the Trust is on a more secure financial footing with a more positive outlook than we’ve probably ever had. “I will always be grateful for the encouragement and support of a great many people both inside and outside of the Trust who have helped lay what I believe are the foundations

WANTED: Honorary Environmental Advisor for IWA


he Association is looking for an enthusiastic advocate of the inland waterways to provide independent specialist ecological and environmental advice that will help to progress all forms of inland waterway projects within Great Britain. Whether you are currently an active member of IWA at branch, regional or national level, or an armchair member who thinks ‘I really should be doing something more’, we would like to hear from you. We are seeking an appropriately professionally qualified person to act as an Honorary Environment Advisor with specialist skills in aquatic ecology and a working knowledge of environmental legislation. Desirable skills include the following: ● A Degree in Ecology, Environmental Science or Environmental Management ● Membership of IEEM, the professional institution for Ecology and Environmental Management or of CIWEM, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management ● Professional experience in aquatic ecology, especially of canals ● Knowledge of canal restoration and navigation management ● A working knowledge of environmental legislation ● Report writing The role is voluntary, however IWA will provide Professional Indemnity Insurance and reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.To discuss the position further, please contact Vaughan Welch, chairman of IWA’s Restoration Committee: or tel 0121 477 9782.

30 News.indd 1

for a strong and vibrant future for our much loved waterways.” Tony Hales, chair of the Canal & River Trust, said: “Robin told us in November that he intended to step down in May and we will be very sorry to lose him. He has served with great dedication and inspirational vision. His determination to see that vision realised in the foundation of the Trust has transformed the long term prospects for the waterways. The former Board of British Waterways and the current Trustees wish him well and thank him for his outstanding contribution to the canals and rivers we all love.” The Trustees will now begin the search for a new chief executive and more details will be announced shortly. Tony Hales has been asked by Trustees to stay on as chair to help ensure a smooth transition and has agreed to do so.

Nominations for IWA Awards


ou are invited to consider and put forward nominations for IWA’s annual awards, which are due to be presented at the 2013 AGM: Cyril Styring Trophy - For an IWA member who has, in the opinion of trustees, made an outstanding contribution to further the Association’s campaign. This is the Association’s top award. Richard Bird Medals - For members of the Association whose efforts and support are considered to have brought significant benefit to the Association over a sustained period. Christopher Power Prize - For a person, society or trust who has made the most significant contribution to the restoration of an inland waterway. The award is accompanied by a cheque of just over £900 to the waterway restoration group associated with the winner; this is funded from a substantial donation made to the Association by the family of the late Christopher Power for this purpose. The John Heap Salver - For an IWA member who, in the opinion of the trustees, has made an outstanding contribution to raising funds for the Association. Vivian Bulkely Johnson Salt Award - For the person or organisation who, in the opinion of trustees, upon a recommendation from IWA’s Inland Waterways Freight Group, has made an outstanding contribution to the furtherance of commercial waterways transport in the United Kingdom. Nominations must arrive no later than 31st March this year and must be sent to Head Office by post, or by email to awards@ The nominations should include detail of why the nominee is considered a worthy winner (maximum about 400 words). All nominations are considered by an awards panel (currently comprising three IWA vice presidents) appointed by IWA’s trustees, which makes recommendations that are then decided upon or confirmed by the trustees prior to the AGM. Further details about the awards, including a full list of past winners, are available at

| IWA waterways - Spring 2013

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IWA London tackles overstayers in London


WA London Region has put together a proposal for reducing overstaying boats in the London area. It proposes a new regime of mooring in London based on a mixture of greater enforcement and self-regulation where this can be achieved. The proposal was developed in response to the increasing number of craft appearing on the waterways system around London and resultant congestion, visual impact, shortage of permanent and visitor moorings, and problems with security, policing and waste disposal in the area. It only currently looks at moorings on CRT waterways in central London, the lower reaches of the main line of the Grand Union Canal, including the Paddington Arm and the Lee Navigation. Further work will be needed to identify all potential mooring sites that would be needed to complete a comprehensive plan for the whole London Area including the waterways controlled by the Port of London Authority and Environment Agency. The paper also looks at some of the issues involved in implementing the vision.

Chelmer & Blackwater apartments


n 199293 IWA Chelmsford Branch spearheaded the restoration and reopening of the derelict Springfield Basin, on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation, in Chelmsford town centre. This was soon followed by a series of new waterside developments incorporating apartments, shops, offices, restaurants and a new marina basin, all encouraged by a series of Planning Briefs produced by Chelmsford Borough Council. All these developments provided public access around the Basin, probably for the first time. Since that time, Chelmsford has become a city and IWA through its subsidiary company, Essex Waterways Ltd, has taken responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the 14-mile navigation. Springfield Basin is just minutes from the city centre and it remains a very popular location to live and play and this is confirmed by the commencement of another new development of 48 one and two bedroom chic waterside apartments by Taylor Wimpey. Indigo Wharf will incorporate residents parking and cycle storage and a secure dinghy store. The new wharf frontage will also provide moorings with services which will be available through Essex Waterways and will have cruising access to the whole length of the navigation.

To read the full proposal visit and follow the relevant links. Comments should be directed to IWA London Region Chairman Paul Strudwick – email:

Slough-Thames Link Promoted


ony Haines (President) and Chris Lloyd (Hon Secretary) represented Friends of Slough Canal at a recent conference on “Shaping the Future of the River Thames” convened by the River Thames Alliance and hosted by Oxford City Council. The Alliance acts as a focal point for issues related to navigation, leisure use and environmental improvement of the Thames from its source to Teddington and deals with matters similar to those of concern to the Friends in respect of the Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal. Attention was drawn to the advantages of progressing the long-standing proposal to construct a link between the Slough Arm and the Thames. This is felt to be broadly in line with the aims of both organisations, in particular the desirability of making leisure use of waterways available to the widest possible crosssection of the public. A significant proportion of those attending the conference were aware of the Slough scheme. A particularly useful discussion was held with the representative of Oxford City Council, which is currently pursuing a proposal to extend the Oxford Canal to its original terminal basin in the city. Because of the built-up nature of the area involved, this scheme has similarities to the proposed Slough-Thames link. A detailed feature on the Slough-Thames Link was published in the Summer 2012 issue of Waterways.

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on Honeysett, IWA Stoke-on-Trent branch navigation officer, has been made an MBE in the New Year Honours list for his services to Rail in Kidsgrove where he also promotes canal initiatives. Jon is a member of Kidsgrove Environmental Watch Response Group; they are delighted that their fellow volunteer has been recognised for championing the campaign to reinstate the “stopping service” from Stafford to Manchester. Jon and his wife Sarah moved to Talke Pits, just north of Stoke-on-Trent, in 2003 and joined their local branch of IWA in 2004. They

soon became familiar faces at social activities and helping out at events; in the last year they have become even more actively involved in campaigning, taking on the roles of branch navigation officer and joint publicity officer respectively. Jon is passionate about the importance of good transport links and the role they play in the attractiveness of an area. A keen boater, he has also forged links between IWA and Kidsgrove Town Council, to focus on the area to the north of Harecastle Tunnel and around the junction of the Trent & Mersey and Macclesfield.

Search for Wilts & Berks Chairman


he Chairman of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust, John Laverick, was taken ill suddenly in September. Although he is now on the road to recovery, he has decided to step down from his role. Kath Hatton, ViceChairman and Fundraising Director, said “John has been a brilliant chairman for six years and has moved this project on tremendously. An attractive Bringing the Wilts & Berks length of the back to life is recognised to Wilts & Berks Canal. be the most ambitious canal restoration in the country.’ The Trust is now looking for a person with the foresight and commitment to take up this challenge and lead it on to the next stage. Numerous projects are coming on stream at the moment including the Melksham Link, the


32 News.indd 3


nother successful year of fundraising enabled IWA Chiltern Branch to donate a further £1,000 to the Wendover Arm Trust. John Brice leads fundraising activities, which in 2012 included a presence at the Rickmansworth Festival and a Lock Ransom at Marsworth. Branch Chairman, Peter Winter, presented the cheque for £1,000 to Roger Leishman. Over the last 15 years IWA Chiltern Branch has donated over £30,000 to waterway causes. In addition, a further £1,000 has been donated to the Trust by London Region as a Richard Bird memorial. IWA Northampton Branch has donated £338 towards a project to help improve the Iron Trunk Aqueduct which carries the Grand Union Canal over the Great River Ouse. The project, being led by the Canal & River Trust, aims to raise £3,000 to create a new viewing platform alongside the aqueduct. For more information on how to donate or get involved with this project visit

creation of a new stretch of canal that will join Melksham to the Kennet & Avon Canal and the five year towpath challenge: restoring some 60 miles of towpath from Semington to Abingdon. For further information visit

New Waterways Ombudsman new Waterways Ombudsman, Andrew Walker, has been appointed to replace Hillary Bainbridge, who has completed the maximum two terms since the role was first established in 2005. Mr Walker’s appointment is for at least four years. The Ombudsman is completely independent of the Canal & River Trust,

IWA Donations

and does not make or influence the Trust’s policy; instead he investigates specific complaints which have already exhausted CRT’s complaints procedure. These complaints can require remedies and the payment of compensation where appropriate. For further information visit www.

IWA South West Region Chairman


ominations for the post of South West Region Chairman closed on 2nd January. Just one nomination for the post was received – that of Roger Holmes, chairman of IWA Gloucestershire and Herefordshire Branch, who thus became the South West Region Chairman and a trustee of the Association. Because there was no sitting region chairman, the appointment was with immediate effect.

| IWA waterways - Spring 2013

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Spring 2013 | FESTIVAL NEWS 2013

IWA Canalway Cavalcade 2013 Saturday 4th–Monday 6th May The Canalway Cavalcade is a unique waterways and community festival organised by IWA at Little Venice since 1983. This year’s event will provide fun for all the family with a boaters’ gathering, a pageant of boats, trade shows and stalls, bands, kids’ activities, competitions, Morris Dancers, a real ale bar, and a wide variety of snacks and food. Admission is free. The location is Little Venice, Paddington, at the junction of the Regent’s Canal and Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal. Opening times will be as follows: Saturday 10am–6pm; Sunday 10am–6pm (followed by live music at 8pm and a procession of illuminated boats at 9pm); Monday 10am–5pm.

IWA National Festival Friday 19th–Sunday 21st July Yes, it’s back! After a Olympic Park. year’s ‘sabbatical’ when IWA volunteers performed sterling service at the London Olympics, the IWA National Festival has returned to the waterway calendar once more. The event is to be staged at Cassiobury Park on the Grand Union Canal and will feature the usual range of trade stands and wide-ranging entertainments. The National is to be at the core of the 2013 Festival of London Waterways, additionally featuring the Canalway Cavalcade, Rickmansworth Festival (18th-19th May), Ware Boat Festival (5th-7th July), Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Festival (10th-11th August), Angel Canal Festival (1st September), and the Mayor’s Thames Festival (14th-15th September). For further details of all the above events visit

IWA Trailboat Festival 2013 Bodiam Castle Saturday 25th-Monday 27th May IWA’s Kent & East Sussex Branch (IWAKES) is running the 2013 National Trailboat Rally in association with The National Trust on the River Rother over the Bank Holiday weekend of 25th to 27th May. The River Rother is easily navigable on non-tidal water from Scots Float Lock at Rye to Bodiam Castle but the navigation is currently little used by boats. IWAKES wants to encourage far greater use of the river and hopes that the festival can play a part in bringing this about. The Festival site is at Bodiam in the grounds of the impressive Bodiam Castle. In addition to the moorings at the castle, a separate mooring site will also be provided a short distance away. The river runs through idyllic countryside and offers trailboaters the opportunity to enjoy the peace and quiet of a beautiful river as part of a 25-mile round trip. The purpose of the festival is to promote the use of the River Rother, as well as raising the profile of IWA, the Thames & Medway Canal Association and the Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust. IWAKES hopes to encourage the large number of visitors to Bodiam Castle over the Bank Holiday weekend to become interested in the local inland waterways and to promote membership of IWA.

Other Events

Crick Boat Show.

A comprehensive review of all IWA festivals, rallies and shows will be published in the next issue of Waterways, along with some of the other major events of 2013. These will include the Crick Boat Show (25th27th May), Braunston Historic Boat Rally (29th30th June) and Waltham Abbey Outdoor Leisure Show (24th-26th August).

IWA waterways - Spring 2013 |

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Inspector rules on Leeds wharves


n July 2011 Leeds City Council Planners published the ‘Leeds Natural Resources & Waste Local Plan’. It will form part of the statutory development plan under the Government’s new Local Development Framework and as such applications for planning permission will need to comply with it. In accordance with planning rules, it was examined in public between November and December of that year. The Inspector’s report has just been published and following some minor revisions the Inspector, Melvyn Middleton, has upheld the plan as “sound”. Part of the Plan deals with protection of existing canal wharves (and other locations with wharf potential) in Leeds, including the former British Waterways (now Canal & River Trust) Leeds Inland Terminal at Old Mill Lane, Knostrop. BW had initially supported protection of this site but this policy was reversed by

CRT owing to perceived ‘bad neighbour’ issues affecting residents of the nearby recent Yarn Street development on the former Goodman Street and Hunslet wharves. The Inspector has ruled that such issues could be resolved saying “this is a large site and it would be possible to screen a canal development from the housing and to locate any noisy aspects of such a development away from it. Its inclusion in the plan as a safeguarded intermodal transfer site is therefore justified and effective as well as contributing to a requirement expounded by national policy.” The other existing protected wharves are at Haigh Park Road (now used by ASD Metal Services for storage) and the Fleet Oil Terminal. The Plan also protects a large CRT site in Skelton Grange Road with potential for a new wharf which had been earmarked by BW as a container terminal but could also be used for handling

Knostrop Wharf.

general cargoes and marine aggregates. The Inspector has ruled that protected sites should not be sterilised indefinitely, will be subject to five-yearly review, and that under certain conditions activities not utilising water transport could be permitted. It is expected that the Plan will be approved by Leeds City Council in February 2013. Commercial Boat Operators Association Chairman David Lowe

said “This is an excellent result and justifies the hard work of CBOA officers who have worked with Leeds City Planners on this project. We are grateful to the many CBOA members and others who have written to planners in support of this policy and this obviously impressed the inspector. It is now up to the industry, its customers, planners, and the Canal & River Trust to work together to maximise use of these facilities.”

Sheffield & South Yorkshire Dredging ccording to the Commercial Boat Operators Association, the Canal & River Trust has promised to undertake dredging on the Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation, specifically to ease navigational difficulties by commercial users such as Waddington and Whitaker. Meanwhile the Acaster Water Transport Lighter River Star has undergone her annual MCA survey in the Waddington dry dock at Swinton on the Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation.



River Star undergoing refit at Swin

Lottery support for Daniel Adamson


he Daniel Adamson Preservation Society has received £37,000 ‘first-round pass’ support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for its £3m bid to restore the historic Mersey tug tender SS Daniel Adamson, following its unsuccessful bid in 2011. The vessel is the UK’s last coal-fired steam tug tender, built at Tranmere in 1903 as a passenger ferry operating

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between Liverpool and Ellesmere Port. Sold to the Manchester Ship Canal Co in 1921, the Daniel Adamson was subsequently converted into a director’s inspection vessel with a new art-deco saloon. The Preservation Society plans to restore the vessel for public passenger services on the Manchester Ship Canal, Mersey and Weaver navigations.

Daniel Adamson.

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n December, freight statistics were published for 2011 and while there was no great evidence of green shoots of economic recovery, barge traffic did show a slight increase on 2010, up from 3.46 to 3.48 million tonnes, and while foreign seagoing traffic penetrating the waterways showed a slight decline, down to 30.33 million tonnes, this was compensated by small increases in coastwise (to 6.44 million) and one-port traffic (to 3.61 million). The Thames and Medway accounted for 2.0 million tonnes of barge traffic followed by the Humber/Trent/Ouse/ Aire & Calder network at 1.3 million, the Manchester Ship Canal 0.3 million (a considerable increase on 2010) and

Commercial traffic on the Aire & Calder.

the Severn 0.2 million, also up on 2010. Overall, the barge traffic comprised 2.45 million tonnes of dry-bulk cargo, mainly aggregates, recyclables and waste and 0.8 million tonnes of liquid cargo. While the Thames dry-bulk traffic


SWS Thurrock – a well-travelled barge.


ow to be seen regularly on the Thames in S. Walsh’s livery, the SWS Thurrock has had an interesting career. Launched as the Transient at Moerdijk, Holland, in 1964, the self-propelled, 47m, 560 dwt barge spent nearly 40 years working mainland waterways until acquired by Graham Thompson specifically to develop the movement of aggregates on the Severn from Ripple to a concrete batching plant at Gloucester. For what might politely be called institutional failures to provide wharf facilities, Transient spent a considerable time in lay-up at Gloucester and was then bought by London’s Green Barge Company with a view to providing Olympic site development transport. This was not to happen either and the Green Barge Co ceased trading in 2011. The then Green Transient was bought by S. Walsh and Sons, London, renamed Thurrock and is now employed in linking the company’s concrete and building waste materials recycling plant with disposal sites. Thurrock seems mainly to be employed between Victoria Deep Wharf on the Greenwich peninsula and Pitsea Wharf by way of Holehaven Creek and is a very closely monitored exercise to ensure that the interests of the Holehaven Site of Special Scientific Interest are safeguarded. Not many lorries are still working at nearly 50 years of age and Transient/ Thurrock has shown that barge operators can be proactive, and that barges can be made available, but that institutional support is too often lacking to give waterborne freight a chance. There must be a moral in this.

certainly includes about 0.6 million tonnes of containerised waste, it is only the Manchester Ship Canal which separately records 0.13 million tonnes of container traffic, the expanding traffic initiated by Tesco.

CRT and freight transport


n all the discussions leading to David Quarmby. the creation of the CRT there appeared to be little concern with freight and in water freight circles this resulted in a feeling that freight might well be sidelined. This seemed to be confirmed by the comments in a Waterways World (November 2012) interview with Robin Evans, the chief executive of CRT. The negative tone of his responses with respect to freight raised a great deal of comment in WW’s Letters pages, but it could be argued that if the tone was unfortunate, so too was the timing, with CRT clearly close to announcing the formation of a Freight Advisory Group. This has now happened. The chairman of the group is to be Dr David Quarmby, a widely respected expert on freight transport, and members include Mike Garratt of MDS Transmodal, a well known consultant on various aspects of waterborne freight, Mark Grimshaw-Smith of CEMEX UK, a company using water transport, David Lowe, a barge operator and chairman of the Commercial Boat Operators Association, and Dr Heather McLoughlin who was involved in the establishment of Britain’s first water freight promotion organisation Sea and Water (now Freight by Water). There will be informal attendance at meetings by John Dodwell, a CRT trustee and consultant on water transport and several CRT staff members with experience of waterway freight operations. The composition of the Advisory Group suggests it could provide CRT with a welcome and far more positive approach to freight by water than has been demonstrated by BW over recent years and we can but wish them well in their endeavours.

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THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGING Strange how times and fashions sometimes change imperceptibly and sometimes very fast indeed. Since I took up the mantle of the late John Gagg over eleven years ago now the whole business of news gathering and passing-on has altered radically. When the present century dawned there was no such thing as Twitter or Facebook and even the Internet was comparatively new. National and local newspaper media, although under pressure, were still essentially the same mes-

sengers as they had been for generations. Since then most large dailies have gone on-line and many local newspapers have either disappeared or, as has happened with my local evening paper, become mere weekly advertising organs with a bit of news and some articles thrown in. One wonders how long this will last in the face of all-conquering electronics. Sad as the demise of many old and famous journals may be, it is an inevitable consequence of the progress made

Transport fast and slow The Daily Telegraph in October carried a feature about the Heritage Awards which paid tribute to the work of Max Sinclair in saving the Droitwich Canal and gave us a very pleasing colour picture of the restored canal into the bargain. In mid-November though the same paper carried an interview with Patrick McLoughlin, the recentlyappointed Transport Minister under the banner headline “I’ve seen the future: it travels at 186 mph”. Apart from the Minister’s trenchant comments about the revived prosperity of Lille since the Eurostar has been routed that way, there was little of substance about our present transport problems, although Mr McLoughlin seems much in favour of simplifying rail ticketing. The article though was headed by a picture of the Minister taken at this year’s Conservative Party Conference, sitting on a flight of steps with a background of narrow boats and part of Brindley Place, Birmingham. Somehow I don’t think he envisages narrowboats travelling at 186 mph.

Thump Sunday at Brighouse My eye was particularly taken by an article in The Yorkshire Post extolling the virtues of Brighouse, home of what many will know of as the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band. The article was headed by a photograph of Sue Day and her horse Bilbo Baggins pulling a boat on the Calder & Hebble Navigation. The article stated “One of the town’s most charming features is the Calder-Hebble Navigation Basin” but went on to describe some of the local customs which “in the 19th-century included Riding the Stang that marked the alleged misconduct of married couples and their neighbours and was carried out in Brighouse Fields (the mind boggles); and Brighouse Rush that started out as a renewal of placing rushes on the church floor. This would start good-naturedly on a Thursday in August but by Saturday the festivities would often degenerate from revelry into rowdyism. The next day became known as Thump Sunday and saw thousands of friends, relatives and visitors descend on the town”. There’s an idea for a National Waterways Festival…


in recent years in Information Technology. Because of this, the Editor of Waterways and I have come to the conclusion that this column has also had its day, so this will be the last such contribution from me. I would like to take the opportunity of thanking my many correspondents over the years that have sent me cuttings from so many journals, national and local and from all points of the compass within England and Wales (and even from abroad). I must thank

in particular Malcolm Fielding whose weekly, if not daily, trawl through the Yorkshire Post has provided me with much copy and also the chance for a series of running gags about that paper’s complete coverage of matters watery, be they concerned with Yorkshire or elsewhere. Malcolm’s haul of cuttings has exceeded those of all other contributors put together. But even to those who have only been able to send me one or two cuttings, I extend my heartfelt thanks.

Poetic Flights Carving poetry on lock gates seems to be a rather controversial subject at present. Whilst the Canal Laureate Yorkshire Post carried a Jo Bell. feature about the installation of the carved work of “Barnsley-based and Yorkshire priateness of using lock beams Post columnist Ian McMillan” as a vehicle for poetic flights, it at Gargrave “to celebrate the does occur to me that a flight birth year of the Canal & River of five locks, such as Adderley, Trust”, the Sunday Times could well have one line from mentioned that the Trust has a limerick on each top beam apparently superseded Ian, so that they read in order, or for that paper announced “A a complete sonnet could be new arts initiative is being worked on the top gates at launched by the Canal & River Marsworth, Stoke Bruerne or Trust”. After a brief resume of Buckby, if each top gate had the general arts programme to one line apiece. Maybe different be initiated by CRT, the article poems could be applied on the concluded “The trust has also downhill side of the beams from appointed its first ‘canal lau- the topside, and what larks one reate’, the poet Jo Bell. Hope could have on the Stratford-onher poetry flows”. Whilst I have Avon Canal with the works of reservations about the appro- the Bard!

We thank David for his valued contributions to Waterways over many years. He shares his recollections of compiling Cuttings, and his early days as an IWA member, in a special interview on pages 40-43. Ed.

| IWA waterways - Spring 2012

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A Lifetime on the

WATERWAYS David Blagrove’s interest in inland waterways stretches back almost 70 years. He looks back at some of the highlights…


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A Lifetime on the Waterways Loaded boats in FMC livery on the Grand Union Canal in 1948.


How did you first become interested in inland waterways? The interest stems from my earliest childhood, living near the Thames at Abingdon, and walking by the Oxford Canal at Oxford and Kidlington. But my real interest was first aroused by seeing Painted Boats in 1945 and rekindled after moving to Reading in 1950 and seeing John Knill’s and John Gould’s boats on the River Kennet. I finally found Rolt’s Inland Waterways of England & Wales in the local library in 1954 and became enthusiastic.

Is it fair to say that commercial carrying has been at the forefront of your interest over the years?

ABOVE: Commerical car rying was often a family affa ir.

Tell us about some of your earliest waterway experiences. I vividly remember seeing Knill’s boat at Bear Wharf, Reading in February 1950, travelling on John James’s Jason in the spring of 1955, and then hiring a boat later that year to visit the River Wey Navigation. I became involved with the Kennet & Avon Canal Campaign from 1955 onwards.

Early years of the Kennet & Avon restoration project: work underway at Bath.


Not originally, although I was always interested in freight carrying. I was more concerned with preservation, and specifically the reopening of the Kennet & Avon Navigation.

Do you think that freight could - and should - have been carried more widely on the canals? There is a place for it, but I don’t think that heavy freight is appropriate for the narrow canals of today. By “heavy” I mean operating several hundreds of boats as was the case in the 1950s. I’d love to see those days again, but cannot see how such heavy usage could be squared with today’s leisure use. I certainly feel that more use should be made of the wider waterways for freight, and I have been actively involved for many years with promoting freight and fuel distribution by narrowboat. I am, after all, still a founder member of what is now the Commercial Boat Operators Association.

And today?


I would like to see the wider waterways made far more use of for freight, and can see a definite case for a limited usage of the smaller waterways for carrying, where appropriate.

When did you first join IWA? It was in 1959.

What prompted you to join? John Betjeman, who lived near where I was at school, used to write in The Spectator and regularly mentioned canals and the campaign to save them. I met him (by knocking on his door) and he told me I should join IWA. This was in 1954, soon after I had read Rolt’s Inland Waterways. John Betjeman also gave

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me my first canal book. It was Charles Hadfield’s Canals of Southern England, which he had been given as a review copy. He described Hadfield as “a necrophile” and I had to go and look up what that meant in the school library! John James persuaded me that it was a good idea to join when I first met him on the IWA stand at the 1955 Boat Show. However I could not afford the subs until five years later! However, at John James’s suggestion, I went to Newbury and met John Gould and we became lifetime friends. It was from him that I learned something of the split within IWA. John was among those expelled in 1950. I was very happy that when I was a Council member in the 1980s, he was re-instated and that I was able to assist with this.

What was the Association like in the early days? Was there a strong campaigning spirit? Most certainly. I was only dimly aware of the internal wrangles and politics. I used to enjoy reading The Bulletin in Robert Aickman’s time. Private Eye had yet to appear and there was always some trenchant comment about the existing status quo. I suppose this too appealed to a youthful spirit of rebellion.

Who were the other major figures you came to know? Lionel Munk, originally through the K&A Campaign, later as IWA National Chairman; John Knill; Viscount St Davids; Illtyd Harrington; Leslie Morton; Colonel Ritchie; Sonia Rolt.

Which specific IWA campaigns have you been involved in? The attempt to save commercial carrying 1967-70 and later, independently, introducing retail fuel sales from boats, 1970-2001, when I retired. Early proto-WRG efforts on the K&A during the early 1960s, and later on the first Droitwich WRG efforts. Setting up Northampton Branch in 1968 and subsequently acting as committee member, Chairman and Secretary (not all at once!). Organising the National Rally at Northampton under David Martin’s leadership in 1971.And there was the Blisworth Tunnel campaign, 1980-84, which resulted in my getting elected to Council.

“IWA answers to a much wider audience than it did when I joined”

Major waterway figures in David’s life – CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Sonia Rolt, Illtyd Harrington, John Knill, Lionel Munk.

Can you identify any of these that, looking back, give you special satisfaction? I suppose being able, along with many helpers, to carry on the work of Bulkeley-Johnson, Morton, Ritchie and the like in managing to keep working boats alive and operating. Also seeing the K&A reopened. Although this was no longer a specifically IWA campaign, it was good to see the ideas that were scoffed at in the late 1940s come to pass and to see the subsequent success of this particular waterway, especially since I had known it almost completely derelict save for a mile or so at Newbury and the eastern three miles near Reading.

When did you first start compiling Cuttings for Waterways magazine? The reopening of Blisworth Tunnel in 1984, for which David campaigned so hard.


In 2001, just after I retired from regular active boating work.

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A Lifetime on the Waterways

MAIN PICTURE AND LEFT: Scenes from the glorious reopening of the Kennet & Avon Canal in 1990.

considered the preserve of a few loonies by the powersthat-be, and the General Public is much more aware of them. There is a danger that some seem to see it as a sort of glorified boat club, which I firmly believe it is not, and never has been, but this is a matter of perception, not fact.

Has it been fun?

Do you still see an active role for IWA now that the Canal & River Trust has taken over from British Waterways?

It’s been hard work at times, but rewarding too. And fun? Generally speaking yes.

Certainly. I agree entirely with the new Chairman. CRT are the landlords, IWA represents the tenants.

Any special stories stick out in your mind?

Are you optimistic generally about the future of the inland waterway network?

There have been so many of course down the years. But what sticks in the mind is mainly contributor Malcolm Fielding’s assiduous dedication to the Yorkshire Post!

You say it’s time to call it a day - is that primarily because there is today less coverage of inland waterways in the print media? Partly (except for the Yorkshire Post!), but also because I feel that it is time to move on.

How has IWA changed over the last 50 odd years? It is much less strident than it was in Aickman’s time. However, it has also become more “Establishment”, although this is not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps “Statesmanlike” would be a better term. It also answers to a much wider audience than it did when I joined. Today waterways are not

In general, yes. We have to see how CRT pans out, but I have been re-reading Aickman’s A Waterways Conservancy of 1960, as well as Lionel Munk’s K&A Re-development Plan of 1959. Both of these foreshadowed in many vital ways what came to pass earlier this year. Therefore I see considerable grounds for optimism.

Finally, could you sum up for us what you love most about inland waterways? That’s easy – it’s the people.

Would you say they have enriched your life? Without any doubt. The best and dearest friends that I have ever made have been those with whom I have come in contact through the waterways.

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

Looking back: WOW’s successful year in 2012


s part of IWA’s commitment to working with and encouraging the next generation of waterways supporters, we funded a huge number of WOW activities around the network in 2012. The year really got under way with WOW activities run by the London Canal Museum at Canalway Cavalcade in early May, using resources provided by our WOW South kit co-ordinator, Beryl Chapman. More resources were provided for the Campaign Rally over the May Bank Holiday weekend at Stroud. With the help of our WOW Wales Coordinator, Dawn Aylwin, we ran WOW activities at the Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival which were very well supported by local families, despite the inclement weather that prevailed at times. Although there was no National Festival in 2012, the Northwich River Weaver Festival in June brought hundreds more children into contact with WOW whilst the “Art is Rubbish” challenge took us into local schools. More young people made knot-tied “dragonflies” and lace plates during the monsoon conditions of the National Trailboat Rally at Haslam Park in Preston

during August, thoroughly enjoying themselves in the process. Slight improvements in the wet summer of 2012 resulted in a good attendance and a comprehensive WOW activity programme at Maesbury, run by the WOW Wales kit coordinator, Dawn Aylwin, with resources being loaned out for use at the Whitchurch Rally too. Stoke-on-Trent Branch used their WOW activities resources at various local waterside events, with Notts & Derby Branch also using the kit to engage with local communities. During the autumn, more WOW resources have been provided to the North Walsham & Dilham Canal volunteers, members of the Cromford Canal for their Discovery Days and also to the Grantham Canal Society. A new initiative in 2012 was the WOW activity leaflets in branded WOW folders. These were taken to various hire boat companies who were asked to put them into their hire packs for holidaymakers. They were very enthusiastically received and we received repeat requests from two of the companies with some very positive comments. We are already planning our strategy and companies to target in 2013. Bookings are already being taken for the WOW kits in 2013 – so if you would like to borrow either a full kit, or just some resources to help you engage with local families during an awareness day, please get in touch. Email gillian.bolt@

Kings Norton School Visit


est Midlands education volunteers led a school visit to the Kings Norton stop lock stoppage on 12th December, getting children excited and interested about their local waterway. Two classes from Cotteridge Infant & Junior School visited the stoppage works and took part in an art workshop learning about the history of the guillotine stop lock on the Northern Stratford Canal, its original use and how we maintain this listed structure today. Togged up in coats, scarfs, gloves and wellies, each class walked from the school to the lock and were led around the works by Canal & River Trust education volunteers and May


Branches: order your WOW mini-kit now! What do Brass Rubbing, Duck headdresses and knot-tying dragonflies have in common? They are all part of the new WOW mini-kits, designed to be a portable accessory for your local towpath and awareness raising events. Are you having a Lock Wind in 2013? Or a clean-up, work party or information/ awareness raising day? If so, take along your WOW mini-kit with small banner, a couple of activities and WOW leaflets. Once the children are doing something useful, parents will be happy to talk to you about local waterway issues and they might even take a membership leaflet and join. The kits are free to IWA branches – and can be delivered to you via your Region Chairman. The boxes are standard sized, plastic with a lid, very portable and are easily stored. One click is all it takes to email and book your box now. Contact gillian.bolt@

Gurney (construction team) staff. Back at school the second class were being creative in an art workshop. The children put forward their ideas and drew images of the lock to support an interpretation piece due to be installed beside the lock in the New Year. Despite the freezing weather, both the schoolchildren and volunteers had a great day and found the whole experience very valuable. Later this year the two classes will return to site to see the completed works and take part in further activities learning about their local canal heritage and environment.

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The Summer 2013 issue of Waterways will be published in April 2013. Editorial closing date is 29th March 2013.

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


 Star Letter  In the Winter 2012 issue of Waterways Clive Henderson says “There is widespread acceptance and support for our desire for CRT to take on responsibility for EA navigations in a few years time.” As a member of Thames User Group navigations (TUGn) that represents the vast majority of Thames users, trade and leisure, I can assure you that the widespread view of these organisation members is to support active opposition to the inclusion of the Thames into the CRT. You also quote Les Etheridge as wanting the inclusion of EA waters “with an appropriate level of funding.” This is a welcome move to realism from the

The Thames at Staines.

Bristol Avon Clarification Your Bristol Avon article (Winter 2012) mentions more than once “Tiverton” lock or weir. Tiverton is in Devon not on the Bristol Avon. Presumably you meant Twerton Weir.

Laurie Gibney,Nailsea unconditional inclusion of previous years. The matter is of course the sole decision of the CRT Trustees if everyone else agrees to offering them the option.

Louis Jankel,, Via e-mail

Indeed so, thank you for the correction. We should also like to point out that much of the material used in this feature was provided by local IWA member Alan Aldous – chairman of the River Avon Users Group - and we apologise for not crediting Alan appropriately. Ed.

Continuing debate on continuous cruisers Feeling a little bruised from the ‘continuous moaning’ about overstaying boats, we spent a morning in discussion over possible solutions. Like the majority of continuous cruisers, we live on a boat because constantly moving around the waterways is what we want to be doing. We do, however, sympathise with people who are living on a boat because it is the only housing option they have. Some of your letters on all topics appear harsh in their judgements on people we would describe as having a social need. Our suggestion is that boaters have to prove they have travelled widely on the canal system before being given a continuous cruiser licence (obviously you have to trust people the first year). Those not given one then become unlicensed boats and face the consequences of the CRT procedures. At first we wondered about a ‘passport’ system with

boats collecting ‘stamps’ from marinas and service stations, but then we remembered we are in the 21st century and thought a computerised logging system would work better. Marinas and service stations log a boat by licence number into a centralised system which clearly shows the boat at various points around the waterways. People could log into their own file to see how they were doing and the licensing folks could check for evidence of genuine continuous cruising. At this point those people who don’t get a licence would be in difficult circumstances. Some might choose to go into moorings or become proper continuous cruisers; others would need support to make changes to their lifestyle and living arrangements. CRT is now a charity and should have good referral processes with other charities, for example, housing associations or mental health services,

around the country so that people can get the help they require. We have many years of experience in the voluntary sector and are now working as charity consultants so we are familiar with outcomes-based solutions to difficult dilemmas. ‘Our’ band - Lonesome George has also been a regular feature of IWA festivals so we hope our commitment and credentials on all sides of the argument are in evidence! A quick-fix punitive system is doomed to failure and grossly unfair on those who do obey the rules and those who struggle to do so. It is also out of keeping with the ethos of the waterways - kindness to others, shared solutions to shared obstacles and keeping us all afloat!

John Hartshorn & Salli Ward NB Lonesome George IWA waterways - Spring 2013 |

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Enjoy the waterside lifestyle with a lodge at Mercia Marina

The boater’s choice... MERCIA MARINA

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

MOORINGS 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

01785 819702 The best value luxury marina! Last few moorings available - BOOK NOW!


Aston Marina, Lichfield Road, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8QU

...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

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.


MOORING AVAILABLE at Pyrford Marina, Surrey.

Berth leasehold of 28 years left due to Probate sale. Situated in a tranquil and beautiful spot at Pyrford Marina, lying alongside the River Wey Navigation. The berth is for up to 16 metre canal boat mooring, up to 2.4 metres wide. Located within 3 hours cruising of the Thames allowing access on to the K&A Canal at Reading and the Grand Union Canal at Brentford. Direct access from the Wey Navigation on to the Basingstoke Canal. Good transport links, close to M25 and A3.



PRICE: £23,000 for 28 years left on lease, which equates to £821 pa plus maintenance, £476 paid up until 31/03/13. The berth for leasehold sale is non-residential and non-liveaboard berth. A VERY RARE OPPORTUNITY

Please contact 01273 833516




Books - Maps & Guides - DVDs Plus much more...

REACH THE IWA’S MEMBERSHIP Effective, Affordable Advertising To advertise in this section call Laura Smith on 01283 742971 or email:

WANTED RECORD COLLECTIONS WANTED – Jazz, Rock, Folk, Classical etc. Call Chris McGranaghan – 07795 548242 or Email me at: 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)

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IWA waterways - Spring 2013 |


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Debdale Wharf Marina Ltd tel: 0116 279 3034 ◆ email: ◆

NEW FOR 2013! A fantastic purpose built three bay building for all those jobs that are better done out of the water. These rentable bays will be heated and fitted with lifting gear and will be available for DIY jobs, such as carpentry, painting, blacking & any other jobs that should be done out of the weather. There will also be a high spec, purpose built dry grit blasting bay with excellent dust extraction system and zinc metal spraying for the ultimate hull protection.

Call or email for further information

L 20 mins cruising from Foxton Locks L Set in 20 acres of stunning Leicestershire countryside L Moorings & Hardstanding positions L Wharf side services including Calor, diesel, coal & staffed pump out. L Our workshop staff can provide full boat engineering services inc electrics, heating, plumbing, blacking, welding carpentry and everything in between.

Tuckey’s There is only one name for narrowboat transport. With over 40 years experience we are here to help.

With one call your personal package can be organised just for you. • 01926 812134

WATERWAYS ADVERTISING Spring 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,

Index to Advertisers AB Tuckey ................................................48

Fox’s Boats ...............................................48

Saga Insurance .........................................29

ABC Leisure Group ............................ 12, IBC

Kings Lock Chandlery ...........................4, 35

Swanley Bridge Marina .............................35

ABNB Boat Sales .........................................1

Le Boat ......................................................5

Baddie the Pirate .......................................4

Lee Sanitation ............................................6

The New and Used Boat Co .......................7 Towergate Mardon ..................................21

BC Boat Management ..............................35

Limekiln Ltd ...............................................6

chandlery or brokerage.

BoatShed .................................................12

Maestermyn Marine .................................12

VideoActive .............................................48

To advertise in IWA Waterways please contact Ian Sharpe, Advertising Manager, 151 Station Street, Burton-Upon-Trent, Staffordshire, DE14 1BG. 01283 742 965 or

Braunston Marina .....................................21

MCS Boat Products ...................................29

Websters Insulation ....................................4

Canal Cruising Co .......................................4

Midland Chandlers ................................ OBC

Canal Junction ...........................................6

Morris Lubricants ......................................13

Colecraft Boats ..........................................6

Newbury Marina .......................................12

Debdale Wharf Marina .............................48

Pennine Cruisers ......................................12

Whilton Marina ....................................... IFC

Farncombe Boats .....................................29

Pinders .......................................................1

Worcester Marine Windows .....................12

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Wharf House Narrowboats .......................48 Wheelton Boatyard ..................................29

| IWA waterways - Spring 2013

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ABC Boat Hire ABC Boat Sales ABC Boat Management Boat Shares Chandlery Boat Maintenance and Repairs Marina Services Moorings Helmsman Training

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IWA Waterways Magazine Spring 2013  

IWA Waterways Magazine Spring 2013

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