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1 to attempt (eg the fulfilment of an obligation) by exertion of effort; 2 archaic to strive to achieve or reach ~ vi to make an effort to do something n a serious determined effort

Northampton Branch Newsletter — May 2010


A nice sunny day with lots of boats and people about. You can see the digger in the background on the new marina, (more about the marina on page 10).

It’s a clear case of “thumb’s up” for this year’s annual Branch Boat Gathering at Becket’s Park in Northampton over the early May Bank Holiday weekend. Nearly 50 boats were there, including several newcomers, and from the word go, pretty well everyone joined in the fun and games and mixed as if they had been friends for years. The secret was the Friday evening “getting-to-know- you” session, including a barbeque, led by an up-beat Michael Butler, which climaxed with a fast and furious beetle drive. And appropriately the winner of this was a total stranger to the area – Nigel Bowden who, with his wife is Lorna, are live-aboards and dedicated long-distance voyagers from their home port of Garstang on the far-flung Lancaster Canal. Aboard Goosander, they intend to cruise all summer until the end of October, taking in the National Waterways Festival at Beale Park. This was their first time in the Northampton area and they expressed their delight in the surrounding countryside, although the Arm they reckoned was a “bit of a challenge”. So pleased you were able to join us, Nigel and Lorna. ● continued on page 5

CRANE NOW GONE TO BE RESTORED Dorothea Restoration have collected the crane from Gayton Yard for restoration in their workshop at Whaley Bridge. At the first attempt the hoist on the lorry was not powerful enough to lift the dismantled crane, so a second visit was necessary ! When fully restored it is planned to replace the crane in or near its original position just below the bottom lock of the arm, which used to be Trenery’s timber yard. It is hoped that the land around it will be tidied up and an access road to the lock provided for emergency access and maintenance. Bellway’s original plans for development showed a pub here, but this will not happen now as the builders left the site some time ago. It has been something like 14 years since the Branch helped to move the crane from the bottom lock to Gayton Yard with the help of Brian Collings and Sculptor, for safe keeping. British Waterways have been instrumental in talking to Northampton BC and Bellway to make sure that the crane restoration went ahead. Rodney Hardwick The IWA was founded in 1946 to campaign for the retention, restoration and development of Britain’s navigable waterways and for their fullest commercial and recreational use. The IWA is a registered Charity (no. 212342) , whose work is supported by members’ subscriptions.

The next edition of ENDEAVOUR will be published August 2010


A unique opportunity to experience the delicate flavours of Indian cuisine at its best!





01327 342363 or 01327 341790

EDITORIAL MUSINGS We are still here! Welcome to your new Endeavour editor. I’m Tony Clarke. I live in Silverstone with my partner and we have a 56ft semi moored on the River Tove. I joined IWA in 2005 and come along to most Branch meetings. I have been volunteered (!) as your new editor. I just asked about committee jobs and was told you can be the new ENDEAVOUR EDITOR. What have I let myself into? To follow in Roger’s footsteps is going to be hard — if not impossible! Thank you Roger for all your help in getting me started and continuing to liaise with advertisers. I would also like to thank Lynda Payton for the help and encouragement she has given me and advising me on how to do things. This would not be happening without their help. I would also like to thank Penny Spencer, who has distributed Endeavour for over 12 years. I understand Roger is also taking on the distribution task. Please feel free to approach me at the meetings and bring along any articles you would like to see in Endeavour. As Roger intimated in the last issue, the format will change so this will be the last Endeavour in this style. Future issues will be A5 booklet size. This will save in printing and postage costs, the latter having just gone up again. Alternatively you could have it sent by email. This way the Branch would save even more and you get the newsletter quicker and in colour (it looks so much better in colour). Just contact me and it will be arranged. Contact details are on the back page. Meanwhile, I would like to start a Good Pub and Restaurant Guide, so please let me have your views and comments. For example, I was on the South Oxford Canal over Easter and went to the Napton Bridge Inn (br 111). A lovely meal, good choice on menu and blackboard (they have special nights, i.e. curry night and steak night) and not expensive like some canal pubs I can think of.

BRANCH MEMBERS WELCOMED We extend a warm welcome to the following IWA members who have joined Northampton Branch since the last issue of Endeavour Mr. A.R. Timms Towcester Mr. K. & Mrs M. Barker Towcester Mr. T.& Mrs R. Casentieri Earls Barton Northampton Mr. A. Madisons Hardingstone Northampton Mr. R Humphrey Kettering Members moved to Northampton Branch as From 01/01/10 to 30/04/10

Mr. P. Cranston Cambridge Branch Mr. B. Turner Guilford & Reading Branch Mr. C. Dundas & Ms. J. Gela Oxford Branch We look forward to meeting you all at Branch events




2nd –10th 7.30pm Mikron Theatre (see below for details) 11th –13th Stoke Bruerne Gala (see page 16) 26th –27th 10am—5pm Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally & Canal Festival (see page 4)


24th –25th Cosgrove Lock Ransom by Buckingham Canal Society Historic boats Raymond & Nutfield.

Trade boats, Bric-a-brac, Books & Videos, Cake Stall, Saturday Eve Music and Raffle draw


7th –8th Blisworth Canal & village Festival (see pages 9 & 11) 28th-30th IWA National Festival & Boat Show at Beale Park, Pangbourne, River Thames

Mikron Theatre Company—June Dates The performances are Pedal Power, which recounts 100 years of cycling history; Striking the Balance, which tells of 3 working women who fight for equal pay during the 60s,70s & 80s. All performances start at 7.30pm. 2nd Wharf Inn, Welford (STB) 5th Admiral Nelson, Braunston (PP) 10th The Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne (STB)

Buckingham Canal Society Work Party Dates

June 3rd, 13th, 17th July 1st, 11th, 15th, 29th. August 8th, 12th, 26th. Further details contact Athina Beckett on 01908 661217

NEXT WINTER’S PROVISIONAL BW STOPPAGES Watford Locks (provisional) 08.11.10—13.12.10 Stoke Bruerne gate repairs 29.11.10—13.12.10 Braunston Locks gate repairs 10.01.11—31.01.11 Cosgrove Restriction badger embankment (provisional) 10.01.11—28.02.11 Buckby Locks gate replacement and repairs 14.02.11—07.03.11



Passengers for the mystery bus tour

Saturday, when the sun shone and it was dry virtually all day until dark, also witnessed plenty of socialising, especially in the marquee where the focal point was the café enthusiastically supervised by

Just to prove it can be done! A photo taken by Nigel & Lorna Bowden on Goosander (a full size narrow boat) when navigating the Westbridge Arm. The Frog Island Brewery and West Bridge are clearly in sight.

crowded with dancers demanding “more” as the rain fell heavily; and the raffle proceeds were dedicated to the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance. Come Sunday morning, the rain stopped – but it was certainly on the nippy side. In the marquee, the café and Branch sales table continued to do a roaring trade even while Bernie and Eric conducted their popular auction. Early afternoon saw the departure of the mystery bus tour with a well-filled former Northampton Corporation red double-decker number 267 – it was in service between 1968-88 and is now operated by the East Midlands Vehicle Preservation Group – chuntering around town, passing several historic landmarks en route before arriving at Abington park for a visit to the museum there. A fish/chicken and chips supper in a crowded marquee prefaced the popular evening quiz presided over as usual by Sam Samuells ably assisted by Lynda. During the evening several presentations were made. The Photographic Competition winner who received a £50 voucher from Skears Photographic, of Wellingborough Road, Northampton, was Jenny McCalman Photographic Competion winner Jenny McCalman receiving a (Zephre) with an voucher from Gordon James of Skears Phototographic atmospheric view of the River Trent at Torksey. It was a double triumph for the crew of Somewhere in Time, from the Middle Nene Cruising Club, who won both the Westbridge Challenge and the Boat Handling competitions. Owner Rob Cave had to Waterways quiz winner Nick Wolf (left) receiving his prize leave early but from John Pomfret (East Midlands Region Chairman ) crew colleague Dave Higgins was on hand to receive the Ted Bavister Trophy and the Becket Boot. Other winners were: waterways quiz – Nick Wolf (Aldgate); decorated cake – Roberta Casentieri (Inchy); weight of cake – Pam McManus (Mona Lisa); and quiz – Oscar’s Eight. Gathering Chairman Bernard Morton told Endeavour: “I think everyone agreed it was a really enjoyable event, from start to finish. The organising committee produced a genuine team effort and all those involved at the sharp end deserve hearty congratulations and thanks.” He added: “This year we were pleased to welcome a full contribution from the local Sea Cadets, including demonstrations of their boat handling skills. We look forward to their continued support. “Now the planning begins for the 2011 Gathering – it’s never too early to get things underway. So, thanks for coming this year – and see you all again at Becket’s Park next year.”

Catriona Butler. In the morning, Sue Cant, the Environment Agency’s Team Leader for the Nene Waterway, escorted a group of interested boaters to the site of the nearby new marina where she explained the ins-and-outs of the development and answered several pertinent questions (see Sue’s column on page 10). In the afternoon we were pleased to greet the Mayor and Mayoress of Northampton, Cllr Michael Hill and his wife Margaret, who met many boaters and later went on board Shepherd Moon for the Mayor to start the sprint races between three narrowboats whose skip- The Mayor & Mayoress of Northampton Cllr. Michael Hill and his wife with pers fancied their chances Chairman Bernard Morton against Northampton Sea Cadets rowing crews over a course between Southbridge and the Saints bridge. The outcome: a 2-1 win for the Sea Cadets! Richard Waddy, with 40 horses under him on Adriona, proved far to powerful for the Latest: It’s a little too early to confirm what the Gathering surplus young rowers, who then got their own back with wins over Nutfield will be, but it can be confirmed that the major beneficiary will be the and Encharnted Blisworth Canal Partnership. More details next time. The evening’s guests included prospective Northampton parliamen----------------------------tarian Tony Clarke (no, not the new editor of Endeavour!); there was List of donors /donations of prizes are on page 6 entertainment from the duo Enzo, with the floor eventually being


Branch Chairman’s Jottings by Bernard Morton

Somehow I find myself as your new Branch Chairman (don’t ask…). Some of you will know me as the Branch Gathering Chairman, but this is a position I hope soon to pass on – even I have to earn a living! First, of course, I must thank Bill Joyce who occupied the chair for the past 12 months. He never intended to be Chairman for more than a year and, typically, gave invaluable service during his tenure. Thanks, Bill, for your ongoing contribution, as he stays a member of the main Branch committee. I have still to find out exactly what role the Branch Chairmanship entails. Probably either as little or as much as you like. Clearly there are statutory responsibilities decreed by IWA Council and Head Office, bearing in mind the Constitution of the Association, but I reckon it is at local level where it all counts. Actually as a member of the Branch committee for getting on for 10 years, I have a fair idea of what is required on our own patch and I have some difficult acts to follow. However, I know I am off to a flying start, namely through the undoubted success of the recent Boat Gathering, an event well reported elsewhere in Endeavour. You may say, hey, he’s blowing his own trumpet, he was the Gathering Chairman. Be that as it may, but it was really the tremendous team effort by my colleagues on the organising committee who made it all possible. So a huge and sincere thank you to them. It seems that essentially the same group will be involved in the 2011 event, although we always need new volunteers to bring in fresh ideas, and initial planning has already started for next year. At the moment, though, we do not know exactly what form the Gathering will take, for there is still the possibility the IWA National Festival will be staged at Northampton. If this does not happen, then there is the event the Environment Agency and Northampton Borough Council are keen to organise to mark the 250th anniversary of navigation of the Nene from the Wash right up to Northampton. Obviously we shall be largely involved with this – we’re just waiting for a decision on the National Festival situation and then plans can move forward. As far as Endeavour is concerned, I have to admit it was touch and go whether the newsletter would continue following Roger Hasdell’s stated intention 12 months ago that he was resigning from the editorship. Would he go through with his threat? Surely not! Well, he did, but at the final hurdle Tony Clarke, a new member of the Branch committee, has filled the role. Obviously the Endeavour that Roger edited, as a professional journalist with long magazine producing experience, will take some matching but Tony is giving it go and we should all be incredibly grateful to him. Meanwhile, Roger is keeping a watching brief and continues to oversee the advertising – such an important revenue earner – and has also taken over the distribution duties from Penny Spencer, to whom I also express thanks for her conscientious support over many years. So that Tony can impress his own identity of Endeavour, from the August issue it will be published in smaller (booklet) A5 format which will, additionally, save on postage costs. As I write this, the early summer we had in April has evaporated and fleeces (and the rest) are still the order of the day. Warmer days are surely just round the corner, however, so I will now wish you all a happy and successful summer out and about our canals and rivers, whether it be afloat, walking (or jogging or cycling) the towpaths, angling – in other words, enjoying the great outdoors by whatever method you choose.

List of Donors/Donations to Rally 2010 Cock Inn Roade – Sunday Lunch for 2 Boat Inn SB - £25 meal voucher Red Lion Fosters Booth – meal for 2 voucher Navigation Inn SB – meal for 2 voucher Walnut Tree – meal for 2 voucher Aladdin Balti - £20.00 meal voucher Malt Shovel – 2 bottles of wine Carlsberg Brewery – Case of Tetley’s Beer Morrisons – Hanging Basket + £5 box of chocolates Steve Skears Photography - £50 voucher Canal Museum – family membership for 1 year ? Whilton Marina - £50 voucher

Miller Marine - £30 voucher Stowe Hill Workshop - £20 voucher In and Out – 6 x standard valet vouchers Little Mermaid – pair of Danish vases Eur Eau Web Ltd – 2 canal planner DVDs Mac from Mona Lisa – Book (L Plate Boating) +£5 from book sales Mac plus Steve Miles Jules Gela –donation of £15 from Last Man Standing Plus all members who kindly donated prizes on the night many, many thanks.

7 Dave Prior Obituary

Book Review AN AMIABLE READ L– Plate Boating, by Geoffrey Lewis & Tom McManus (Softback, £6.99, SGM Publishing,

Members will be saddened to learn of the recent death of Dave Prior, whilst not unexpected, since he had been in increasingly poor health for some time. Dave came to the canal world relatively late in life, having for many years been involved with a much faster sort of interest, namely drag racing. However his personality was such that he very soon fitted in with the general flow of things and quickly became a mover and shaker, even though the pace of the prime movers was somewhat less than what he had been used to. Indeed he soon became involved with traditional working boats and discovered for himself the joys and heartaches of operating commercially on the canals of today. It was not Dave’s style to stand on the periphery of things and, once inaugurated into the canal world he became deeply involved with IWA, becoming Chairman of the Milton Keynes Branch at a time when a National Waterways Festival was to be held in the New City. He enthusiastically supported the principle of a MK-Bedford link; became treasurer of the Commercial Boat Operators Association; and was a vociferous and stalwart supporter of the formation of the Friends of the Canal Museum in late 2005. He helped out at every large event that the Friends organised and only left Council with great regret after his health prevented him from attending Council meetings in winter. We shall miss his larger-than-life presence as Harbourmaster at the Stoke Bruerne gatherings; his never-failing support for the refurbishment of Sculptor ( the collection at his funeral was devoted to the Sculptor maintenance fund); his jovial and infectious chuckle; but above all his enthusiasm for whatever tasks came his way. We are all the poorer for his loss. David Blagrove

An amiable read, from start to finish, with authors drawing on their own personal boating experiences — one Geoffrey Lewis (aka Steve Miles, who is familiar to us from his attendance at Branch events and his previous writings), the experienced boater; the other Mac, more of a novice but learning quickly. They contribute a chapter in turn, written in a friendly, nononsense style, recalling their escapades with a nice turn in humour. All very readable stuff augmented by Marlene Keeble’s illustrations. Recommended

RECYCLING REMINDER The Branch recycles ink jet cartridges and mobile phones to raise cash to help local waterway projects. Please bring them along to Branch meetings or ring 01604 767212 to arrange collection. Please no Epson ink tanks.


HOW ACCURATE ARE OUR MILE POSTS ? Rodney Hardwick continues his campaign After we had replaced the missing mileposts between Braunston and Cosgrove, we decided to try and fill the gaps on the Leicester line. Originally we had intended to go as far as Foxton, which then was the Northampton Branch boundary, but later, as a joint project with The Old Union Canals Society, we went right to West Bridge in Leicester. Meanwhile, the Crown Foundry in Northampton had closed in March 1994 because, although it was a fairly new building, it was not economical to comply with the new regulations Fortunately the Tattersall Foundry at Towcester was able to supply castings. Now, unfortunately, this foundry has also since closed. I was allowed to use the old stables at Watford locks to paint all the posts prior to installation. At the time the O.U.C.S. owned an ex-BW flat (complete with armchairs) so in relative comfort we started from the Norton end and headed towards Leicester, replacing mileposts as necessary. Usually a crew of myself and my wife Yvonne, Dave Goodwin, Brian Oakley, Carl Bedford, Clem and Margery Clements were involved – just like ‘Last of the Summer Wine’! As fitting plaques in brickwork at the base of the posts had proved expensive and time consuming, we fitted engraved brass plaques to the upright posts to identify sponsors.

On the Old Grand Union between Foxton and Norton, there were – and still are milestones. These have been marked by the O.U.C.S., planting a Hornbeam tree nearby. The metal mileposts, similar to the G.U. Main Line ones, were installed in the 1890s after a survey by T.W.Milner. Milner’s survey indicates that he measured along the towpath from Norton Junction towards Leicester and left pegs every quarter mile. It is now apparent that he positioned GJ plates at these pegs indicating mileage from Leicester on the assumption that the complete length was 41¼ miles. His survey shows that the actual distance is 41 miles 389 yards, so all the plates are 51 yards (440-389) too near to the Leicester end. There were 18 missing posts between Norton and Leicester. As with the posts on the Main Line, we again sought sponsorship and it was also found that IWA Grand Junction Region held some funds which had been surplus after Jennifer Thomas’s fund-raising efforts for the mileposts south of Milton Keynes. Opposite Kilworth Marina, No.25 was in position but loose and we were going to dig it up and reset it. But on checking found it was in the wrong position, probably when it was reinstated after the war. When we started digging in the ‘correct’ place, we found a solid base of bricks, mortar and rust, so we were spot on where it was originally. No. 0 This is a modern nonsense. The boundary between the Leicester Navigation and Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Union Canal was marked by U. N. in coping stone just north of West Bridge Leicester. No.1 Replica Donated by IWA Leicester Branch, 2 ,Original. 3, Replica. 4, Original. 5, Replica. 6, Original. 7, Replica. 8, Original.9,10 & 11,all Replicas. 12,Replica,original damaged by mowing machine. 13,Original 14,Over Staddington Tunnel. Never installed now in Foxton Museum.15,Replica Donated by Marjorie and Michael Clements. 16,Replica.17,Replica Donated by the Foxton Society.18 Replica.19 & 20 Original.21,Donated by Hothorpe Hall Christian Conference Centre.22, Donated by Rosalie and Brian Oakley 23,Original. 24 above Husband Bosworth Tunnel. Never installed on OUCS moorings on Harbourgh Arm. 25,26 & 27 Original.28, Replica. 29,Original. 30 Replica. Donated by Michael Buswell. 32, Replica.33,Original. 34, Replica. 35 & 36 Original. 37 above Crick Tunnel. Never installed now at Foxton Museum. 38,39 & 40 Originals 41 Replica. Donated by The Bavister Family.



Th is yea r’s B lisw orth Ca na l Festiv a l w ill be bigger a nd better th a n ev er before so wh y not com e alon g? Th ere w ill be m an y a ttra ctio ns w ith som eth ing for th e wh ole fa m ily th rough out th e w ho le weekend . S a turd a y 12p m — La te Sun d a y 11a m — 5p m Here are just a few of our confirm e d attractions: ECO BO A T FU D GE BO AT CH EESEBO A T LA CEM A K ER W O W K IDS A CTVIT IES FU NIO N PLAYBO A T BO OK W O RM S CLOG D A NCERS CO SGRO VE N A RRO W BOA TS ST. JO H N A M BU LA NCE BO A T BELLRIN GERS T OW PA TH TRAD IN G RAYM O N D & N UTFIELD RN LI O PEN A LLO TM EN TS CA NA L SO CIET IES BO A TERS CH U RCH SERVICE TURNED A RT

To find ou t what’s going on vis it our dedicated festival webs ite at… www .blis worthcanalfes tival.m oon O r contact us for m ore information info@ blisw orthcanalpartners Jan Andrews 01604 858023 P aul Chapm an 01604 858384 F R E E EN TRY TO F ESTIVAL A ND F R E E M OOR IN G F OR A LL B OA TE R S!!!



NORTHAMPTON’S NEW MARINA I’m delighted to be able to tell you that as one of the longest, harshest winters for decades was drawing to an end, work to construct Northampton Marina commenced at the end of February 2010, with the trimming and removal of rotten and dangerous trees around the lake. Over 120 tonnes of wood have been removed from site and chipped. The chippings will be air dried and sold to biomass power stations. This has opened up a view of the river from Victoria Promenade that local inhabitants of Northampton tell me has not been seen for the last 25 years. It hints tantalisingly at the view yet to come when the marina is up and running in 2011. At the time of writing (beginning of May 2010) the lake has been gravity drained through filter channels so as not to disturb the very fine silt contained within the lake. Nearly 500 fish have been removed and relocated to the main river. The dredged silt and material from the two islands is being transported a mile downstream by barge, where it is being used to strengthen river defences. In a few weeks time the lake will be reflooded and work will start to create the moorings. Northampton Marina will offer a combination of 80 long stay and short stay moorings, six of which will be for residential use, and will also provide a permanent mooring for the St John Ambulance trip boat. The moorings will be built on floating pontoons and each boat will have access to water, electricity and wifi from pedestals located on the walkways. Moorings will also be available for the operators of commercial leisure boats, such as hire boats and water taxis. The facilities building will utilise renewable energy sources, have BREEAM rating, provide toilets, washrooms, laundry, Elsan disposal, waste disposal and recycling facilities. It will also allow the full time marina manager a panoramic view of the marina at all times. CCTV cameras will also pan and zoom into the site. A chauffeur driven electric powered buggy will transport boaters between a drop off point at Northampton Lock, where temporary parking provision will be made, and their boat. Long stay parking is available at the local car parks and secure on-site bicycle storage will be provided. Whilst the general public will not have direct access into the marina, a ‘viewing area’ with seating will be created at the end of the lake near to the old boathouse. Boaters will gain pedestrian entry to the marina by a swipe card or similar electronic system. The creation of Northampton Marina is one of the first steps in making Northampton a more exciting destination for current and future residents as well as visitors and the boating community. Putting Northampton on the map as a waterways destination is important to the town’s regeneration – the River Nene is a valuable natural asset. Already the project is acting as a catalyst for wider regeneration of the river corridor in Northampton. Planning permission has recently been granted for a floating restaurant at Midsummer Meadows that aims to open in 2011, and later phases of the Becket’s Park project aim to deliver new landscaping, lighting, cafes and restaurants, providing a busy, exciting link between the town centre and the waterside. Final landscaping of Northampton Marina will be soft and verdant. Certain areas around the marina pool will be replanted with native species of trees and shrubs, and water margins will be planted with native species to encourage biodiversity and wildlife. The marina is scheduled for completion in March 2011, which as I am sure you all know is the 250th anniversary of the River Nene becoming navigable from the Wash to Northampton and 40 years since the IWA National Festival was last hosted by Northampton. Recent discussions with the IWA National Festival Committee have again made us hopeful that these significant dates, the creation of Northampton Marina and wider waterside regeneration of Northampton, will encourage the National Festival back to Northampton in 2011. You can follow the progress of Northampton Marina construction works on our Visit Nene website Northampton Marina Mooring enquiries: Please contact Steve Lyon Tel: 01733 464065Email:



New on the lockside at Stoke Bruerne Improvements to Blisworth’s canal environment are making headway with Blisworth Canal Partnership, now a limited company by guarantee, leading the way. Blisworth is justifiably proud of its canal heritage, particularly its famous tunnel. The whole area around the north portal has been under scrutiny by the Partnership and plans are taking shape to do it justice. Passers-by can now locate it thanks to a very smart new signpost, erected by BW staff in a howling blizzard, such dedication to duty! The Car Park hedge has been lowered considerably and the area is now more user-friendly, in fact it is quite often now full of visitors using it for all the right reasons! Litter and nuisance miscreants are a thing of the past. Blisworth and Stoke Bruerne Partnerships are currently co-operating to secure funds to re-way mark the tunnel top path connecting the two villages, and publish a walks leaflet to inform walkers of the heritage of the route. Fingers are crossed for a successful application bid. One of the Partnership’s biggest ‘tunnel side’ projects is to create a Pocket Park on the nearby embankment. The route of a hard path has been decided upon, with plans for seating, generous re-planting, wildlife habitat enhancement and information boards in hand. British Waterways and the Northants County Council Pocket Park Advisor are very supportive of the scheme. As always, Blisworth has a team of volunteers keen to get started on the work. What of the brick hut by the tunnel? Well the graffiti should have disappeared by now and suggestions for a brighter future for it are coming together for discussion with BW. Watch this column for news, it could be interesting! Anglia TV broadcast the scene of a set of lock beams being removed from the Buckby Flight earlier in the year. Blisworth Canal Partnership has now secured planning permission to install these lock beams on the grassed area opposite the Mill. Work should start at any moment, again Blisworth volunteers will take on the task with BW overseeing the operation.

SUBLIME INDIAN CUISINE New fully licensed restaurant Serving the finest ingredients with careful preparation


British Waterways have to be congratulated on the way they have worked with our Partnership, they have responded positively to our suggestions, met with us and supported us as our group takes shape. Their staff have given us time and it has been very much appreciated. Last but by no means least! Leave August 7th & 8th free in your diary to attend our ever growing canal and village festival. Look on the website – It’s going to be a great weekend with something for everyone! Jan Andrews Director Blisworth Canal Partnership Ltd

Tel: 01604 863330/863654 5 The Canalside, Stoke Bruerne, NN12 7SB




Urgent business

New Committee

The Chairman reminded colleagues that additional recruits were urgently needed as committee members.


With several committee members having stood down new committee posts were confirmed. Chairman Bernard Morton, Secretary Andy Timms, Membership Secretary Geoff Woods, Endeavour Editor Tony Clarke, Newsletter Distribution Roger Hasdell, Publicity Officer Lynda Payton. All other posts stay the same (see back page)

Bill Joyce and Bernard Morton had received invitations to an “Introduction to the Northampton Marina Project” and turf cutting ceremony at Becket’s Park on 9th March and planned to attend this EA-organised occasion which was expected to Westbridge Arm cleanup include many high profile guests from the EA and Northamp- This takes place on 25th April. Various members of committee had reported they had obtained sufficient Litter Pickers, ton Borough Council. Hooks and other equipment. Environment Agency would be attending.

Branch Magazine

Roger Hasdell reported that he had completed his final edition of Endeavour as editor and to date no-one had come forward to replace him.

Historic Crane Once more it was noted that the dismantled crane parts had not been collected from BW’s Gayton Junction Yard.

Cressy Cruise

It was noted that the above cruise itinerary included Braunston. It was uncertain as to whether stop could be arranged.

User Group Meetings

Cressy Cruise A hand over of a Medallion (as would every Branch they pass through) would take place at Noon on Tuesday 27th at Braunston Turn. Nutfield and Raymond were going to be there to meet them.

Boat Gathering It was reported that 37 boats had registered to attend so far but more were expected. Sue Cant has asked to talk about the Beckets Park Marina Development.

IWA Stand at Crick Show

The request for help on the stand it was suggested that the John Pomfret (Regional Chairman) and Bill Joyce attended an best way was to raise it at the next Branch Meeting. EA organised workshop in Northampton which aimed to obtain a current picture of water –related sport and recreation in Planning Issues the Midlands. IWA should be represented on such occasions It was reported on progress with the proposed Daventry to put the Associations views forward. Canal. Two of the three planning applications have been turned down, Only Monksmoor Farm near Norton Junction Reports from local waterways associations has been approved. The two Canal Partnerships Blisworth and Stoke Bruerne were working towards obtaining funding for a way marking The Borough Council has approved a Restaurant Boat to be project across the top of the tunnel. Disused lock beams from moored and operated at Midsummer Meadows. the Buckby flight are to be installed as canalside seats at Blisworth whilst “the Partnership’s plans to create a pocket park Stoke Bruerne Canal Partnership near to the tunnel, to embrace the “walk in the woods” proThe water leak at Stoke Bruerne, which has been raised at the ject, are in hand.” Meanwhile the Friends of the Canal MuSBCP meeting. There seems to be a lack of positive progress seum at Stoke Bruerne are awaiting to hear what level of sucon resolving this at present. cess they have achieved after being nominated as finalist in David Prior two categories– Community and Partnership –in the BURA The sad death of David Prior, formerly chairman of Milton Waterway Renaissance Awards. Keynes Branch and regional Committee was reported. Some members of the committee are to attend the funeral. IWA National Festival 2011 It was suggested that a donation of £100 is to be made to the Uncertainty over whether or not this event was being held at fund for Sculptor by the branch in David’s Memory. This was Northampton in 2011 was raised. Bill Joyce reminded the approved by the committee. meeting that a definite “no” in writing had still not been received, Eric Young reported that he had received an e-mail from Charlotte Rous (Northampton Borough Council Regen- IWA National Festival eration and Renewal Officer) querying the situation and rais- It was stated that the Chief Executive of Northampton would ing the possibility of a joint rally to mark the 250th anniver- be the first person informed if the decision to hold the IWA National Festival was to be held in Northampton . No decisary of river navigation as far as Northampton, to include, sion has been made yet maybe, the Borough’s annual Dragon Boat Festival.



GAYTON MARINA The narrowboat specialists…

Gala Weekend & Canal Festival

In addition to operating part of the 200 boat UK Boat Hire fleet of holiday narrowboats, we offer full marina services at our prime location on the Grand Union canal between Bugbrooke and Blisworth.

Stoke Bruerne will be alive over the weekend of the 13th & 14th June with Traditional and Modern canal boats.

… for boat owners: Diesel / Gas / Pump-out / Moorings Repair, breakdown and re-fit work Boat painting & sign-writing Boat craning and lift out facilities

Organised by the Friends of the Canal Museum, who are a registered charity supporting the work of the Canal Museum, the festival will also feature live music from The Prince of Wales Rattlers and a BBQ on Saturday night. Admission is free with £5 for car parks and a £5 registration for boats. More information on www.friendsofcanal,

You will be able to see traditional craft demonstrations; exhibitions trade stalls; boat trips to the tunnel or just sit and watch the Morris Dancing. You can also ride on the mini traction engine, try your luck at on the Tombola and listen to live music from roving buskers. Children can also get their face painted while adults can enjoy the Real Ale Bar.

… for buying, selling and new boats: Brokerage service including full colour internet listing Selection of boats for sale High quality bespoke narrowboats built … for the finest fleet of holiday hire boats: UK Boat Hire Over 200 self-drive narrowboats, from 2 to 12 berths 11 UK start bases, giving unrivalled coverage of the UK canal and river network Tourist Board inspected and star graded annually RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman Courses

01604 858685 Holiday enquiries: 0845 126 4098 Gayton Marina, Blisworth Arm, Northamptonshire NN7 3ER

Pirates at the Gala Weekend last year

The Westbridge Arm and River Nene clean-up This was completed by volunteers from the Inland Waterways Association's Northampton Branch on Sunday 25th April with the aid of the Environment Agency. Apart from the usual collection of shopping trolleys, tyres and assorted rubbish, volunteers also recovered two bicycles and a double mattress. The IWA would like to thank Morrisions, Netto and Tesco (Mereway) who donated refreshments to keep the volunteers sustained, and the Environment Agency who carted all the rubbish away. The clean-up is carried out by IWA at the end of April every year to help keep Northampton's waterways clean and open to navigation for visiting boats and also in readiness for our annual boat gathering which takes place on the river front over the May Day Bank Holiday EA staff and IWA members at the clean up Weekend



Heron aka Cressy comes through our area

Ron Heritage IWA Oxford Branch Chairman and his wife Mary on their boat Heron are re-tracing the epic journey made by Tom Rolt and his wife Angela on NB Cressy a converted butty in the early 1940’s.Tom’s later collaboration with Robert Aickman was the birth of IWA Ron and Mary left Banbury on 24th April and came through Braunston on 27th April, there were 2 other boats from Oxford Branch and 4 from Warwickshire who escorted Heron from Napton. Standing in for Bernard I had the honour of welcoming them into our branch at the junction supported by Lynda Payton, Rodney Hardwick, and branch members Brian Seymour and Tony Leach, Tim Coghlan from the marina came and gave his support, there were other people there who I didn’t recognise. We are indebted to the Friends of Raymond for turning out with their historic pair. There was a small ceremony where I handed over a medallion as will every branch they pass through. Nutfield and Raymond escorted them to the bottom lock and Lynda and I then helped them up the lock flight. Their route went or will go (depends on when you read this) Leicester section and River Sour to the Trent and Mersey up to Middlewich across to Chester down the Shroppy, Staffs and Worcs, T&M, Coventry and Oxford Canals. After a few days at home they will end up at the National Festival at Beale Park. Bill Joyce

Bill Joyce handing over the medallion to Ron Heritage


SUPPLIES We are a family run, customer friendly business based adjacent to Bridge 32 at Nether Heyford. Our service point is clear of moored boats making your stop quick and easy. We offer the following services:

• • • • • • •

• Northamptonshire


NEW BAR FOOD MENU ————————————————

Check dates for our twice-monthly quiz nights 01604 862428

• •

DIESEL – you will find us as competitively priced as any supplier in the area. PUMP OUT – a proper assisted job, no rushing against the meter clock here. TOILET CHEMICALS – blue toilet fluid, pink toilet flush and ODORLOS. CALOR GAS – all sizes of bottled gas including Camping Gaz. SOLID FUELS – all types of smokeless fuel or coal to suit your multi-fuel stove. Plus sticks and logs. CHARNWOOD STOVES – we can supply new stoves to meet your heating requirements. MORRIS OILS – we stock the popular grades of engine, gear and hydraulic oils, including water resistant grease. Specialist requirements can be obtained to order. FUEL SET – one of the better fuel conditioners on the market. OIL/FUEL FILTERS – popular types in stock. Any specialist requirement can be obtained within 24 hours. BATTERIES – top quality leisure and engine batteries can be obtained to order within 24 hours. All major credit cards accepted.

We are open 8.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 1.00 pm on Saturdays

Fred Tarry Bridge Cottage Furnace Lane Nether Heyford Northampton, NN7 3JY Telephone/Fax: 01327-341202




Stowe Hill Wharf, Heyford Lane, Weedon, Northants NN7 4SF Tel: 01327 341365

EXPERIENCED EXAMINER WITH 25 YEARS WORKING ON THE WATERWAYS Grand Union, Oxford & Leics Canals Rivers Nene and Thames RING:

07889 10 99 39

Stowe Hill Workshop is now run by Graham Shepherd & Robert • Boat Building • Full Repaints

£130.00 £100.00

• Hull Blacking/Stern Gear Inspection and Repairs • Engine Repairs and Maintenance • Complete Fit-Out and Woodwork Alterations • Plumbing Installations and Repairs • Electrical Installations and Repairs

All work undertaken, from simple tasks to complete fit-outs

The Little Mermaid Canal Shop Stoke Bruerne

Danish Gifts, Glassware, Wooden Toys, Jewellery, Candles, Canal Prints and Flower Decorations **

Open daily from 10.30am to 4.30pm (closed Mondays) **

The Wharf, Stoke Bruerne, NN12 7SE 07721 - 505525



Builders of individually designed boats of superb quality Northamptonshire’s friendliest chandlery Stockists of a wide range of chandlery and other equipment

Open 7 days a week

Mon-Sat 9-5 Sun 10-4 Come and see us and bring along your latest edition of Endeavour and receive a 10% discount We also have a self fit-out discount scheme and are always happy to help with advice

We also specialise in advanced electrical systems for boats Tel 01788 899041 Fax 01788 891535 E-mail: Website:

Bottom Lock, Dark Lane, Braunston, Northants NN11 7HJ

Boat Building and Fitting, Marine Engineers, Electricians, Chandlery, Agents for Yanmar Diesel Engines & Boat Safety Examinations CANAL MAINTENANCE YARD, BLISWORTH ARM, NORTHAMPTON NN7 3EF Tel: 01604-858043

BUGBROOKE Cornhill Lane, Bugbrooke, NN7 3QB by Bridge 36 on the Grand Union Canal

Tel: 01604 832585 Under the management of Richard Williams and Paul Hazell







ADVERTISING All advertisements must comply with the requirements of the Trades Descriptions Act and avoid misrepresentation of goods offered for sale. The Business Advertisements (Disclosure) Order 1977 requires that businesses seeking to sell goods must clearly indicate this in an advertisement.

COMMERCIAL RATES (suggested donations)

Chairman Bernard Morton

Membership Secretary

07785 375787

Geoff Woods



Branch Secretary




Laura Sturrock

Andy Timms

Deputy Chairman & Police Liaison Officer Eric Young E-mail:

Heritage & Planning Officer Rodney Hardwick 01604-584919

Newsletter Editor Tony Clarke

07939 977859 E-mail

Website & Publicity Officer

Committee Member Bill Joyce E-mail:

Boat Gathering Sub-Committee Members Bernard Morton (Chairman), Catriona Butler, Michael Butler, Peter Canfield, Jenny Copeland, Peter Copeland, Kevin Cousins, Roger Hasdell, Sandie Morton, Jenny McCalman, Eric Young, John Pomfret and Sam Samuells (also occasional member: Ian Bekusch)

Lynda Payton E-mail:

Non-Committee posts Sales:

Branch Meetings

Catriona Butler 01604 473756

Graham Treagus

Archivist, Endeavour Advertising & Distribution Roger Hasdell 01604 767212


1/8th Page (box) £10.00 1/4 Page (box) £18.00 1/2 Page (box) £30.00 Full Page £50.00 Discount of 10% for 4 issues CLASSIFIEDS (suggested donations) £1.50 for 22 words, 15p each additional word £3.50 for box around classified advertisement (nb. telephone numbers count as one word) £3.50 for photographs

BRANCH SOCIAL MEETINGS Regular Branch Social Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month from September to May inclusive at The Walnut Tree Inn, Blisworth, at 8pm. All members and non-members welcome. Food and drink available

Next meeting: Tuesday, 14th September Speaker to be announced

REGIONAL NEWSLETTER ON-LINE Members are reminded that Aegre, the East Midlands Region newsletter which features information about all the Branches in the Region, including Northampton, is available (in full colour) to read on-line on the IWA website at: regions_branches/east__midlands/ aegre_online Or just go to and follow the links to Regions & Branches, then East Midlands

Please note our new Branch Website URL: regions_branches/east__midlands/ Northampton/northampton

The IWA may not agree with opinions expressed in this magazine, but encourages publication as a matter of interest. Nothing printed may be construed as policy or an official announcement unless so stated, otherwise the Association accepts no liability for any matter in the magazine. Neither the editor nor IWA can accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the magazine, and opinions stated are those of individual contributors. We will, however, gladly publish corrections if notified. The editor reserves the right to shorten or modify articles published in the interests of clarity or space. The Inland Waterways Association is registered as a charity (No. 212342)

Profile for The Inland Waterways Association

Endeavour May 2010  

Newsletter of IWA Northampton Branch May Issue 2010

Endeavour May 2010  

Newsletter of IWA Northampton Branch May Issue 2010