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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 - February 2011

NENE 250 Preparations are moving ahead for a series of events to mark the 250th anniversary of the River Nene Navigation, starting with the Sea Cadets’ annual celebration of Laforey Day on 27th March and ending up with a night run with a river connection in October as part of the ‘Cultural Olympiad’ in the run up to the 2012 Olympic Games.. Other events that will be marketed under the Nene 250 banner include a Play Boat competition at the Nene White Water Centre on April 11th, our National Campaign Festival over May Day weekend, an official opening event for the Environment Agency Becket’s Park Marina in late May, a school history display including a river theme in June/July, the annual Rotary Clubs Dragon Boat event on 17th July, a one-day river festival event being organised by the Council on 7th August (the actual anniversary of the opening of the Nene NaviSea Cadets at last years Boat Gathering continued on page 22 gation) and the 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.


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





EDITORIAL MUSINGS BW have increased boat licences by 5.1% - much along the lines that we all expected. The standard, 12 month pleasure boat licence fee will increase by 5.1% from April 2011 (before VAT). This represents a 2% increase above the current value of the Government’s consumer price index (CPI) and is expected to generate additional waterway maintenance budget of c. £0.85 million for 2011/12. The Gold Licence fee will increase by 2.5% (before VAT). This is the weighted average of the increases pending for normal licences on BW and EA waters. Sally Ash, BW’s Head of Boating, adds: “We are often asked by boat owners for some longer term indication of increases, however, given current uncertainty about the economic situation, it is not easy to make firm predictions. However, I can say that our business plan for 2012 and 2013 projects licence price increases of 2% plus inflation in each year.” BW is also proposing other changes to licensing. There has been an increasing trend in recent years where some boaters are purchasing shorter period licences consecutively rather than buying 12 month licences. Three month licences are currently priced at 35% of the 12 month fee, and six month licences at 60%. It is now proposed to revert to the 60% and 85% ratios from April 2011 in order to reduce licence evasion and therefore the cost of enforcement. The late payment charge has been very effective in reducing the number of customers leaving their licence renewal until more than a month after expiry, but one in eight of all renewals are still left until after the expiry date. It is now proposed to extend its application so that more customers renew on time. In making this change, the qualifying date for the prompt payment discount rate will also be brought forward and its description changed to ‘early payment discount’, and to benefit boaters will have to renew more than two weeks in advance. For example for a licence due on 1st April you will have to renew by 15th March to get the early payment discount. Meanwhile the £150 late payment surcharge will be applied only one week after the licence is due instead of a month. Finally, the price of a replacement index plate will also rise to £20 (incVAT) from April 2011 to reflect the true cost of this service, which has remained fixed for the past ten years.




8th 8pm IWA Northampton Branch Meeting at The Walnut Tree, Blisworth IWA Branch & East Midlands Region AGMs followed by Inter-Branch Quiz 11th Provisional date for a set up meeting for the Daventry Canal Arm. For further details contact 17th 8pm Friends of Canal Museum Speaker to be confirmed check website for details or phone 01604 861205 28th 7.45 IWA MK Branch Meeting at MK Village Pavillion, Worelle Ave Middleton MK MK10 9AD off Tongwell Street A4146 (V11) (Rodney Evans 01908 376449) Speaker Mike Constable, Curator, The Canal Museum Stoke Bruerne – Not Such Idle Women


1st-3rd MK IWA Spring Clean-up (see page 21) 12th 8pm IWA Northampton Branch Meeting at The Walnut Tree, Blisworth Speaker Colin Edmond—Chelmer & Blackwater Past Present and Future 17th 10am Branch Westbridge Arm Clean-Up (see page 23) 18th 7.45 IWA MK Branch Meeting Buckingham Canal Restoration Update with Athina Beckett Chairman of Buckingham Canal Society 21st 8pm Friends of Canal Museum Speaker to be confirmed check web site for details or phone 01604 861205 29th to Nene 250 and the IWA National Campaign Festival Becket’s Park, 2nd May Northampton. (full details and booking form with this Endeavour)

May 10th 8pm IWA Northampton Branch Meeting at The Walnut Tree, Blisworth Speaker East Midlands Regional Chairman John Pomfret on Navigation and wildlife conservation 28th –30th Crick Boat Show. Crick Marina further details

Buckingham Canal Society Work Party Dates March 10th,13th,24th April 7th, 10th, 21st May 5th, 8th, 19th For further details contact Athina Beckett on 01908 661217



Branch Chairman’s Jottings by Bernard Morton I HOPE you all survived the freezing weather before Christmas relatively unscathed, both yourselves and your boats! Of course as I write this there is still plenty of time for the Arctic conditions to return, but let’s be positive and look forward to warmer times ahead. On the local waterways scene, the focus is now set strongly on staging the IWA’s National Campaign Festival at Becket’s Park over the early Spring Bank Holiday. It’s still too soon to put any sort of firm figure on the number of boats attending although the quantity of enquiries received to date has been encouraging. Our Regional Chairman, John Pomfret, who is also Chairman of the Festival organising committee, writes about the event elsewhere in Endeavour. You will also find an entry form in this Endeavour. If you are planning to attend, please get your entry in as soon as possible to help with the overall organising – such as how much beer to order! ____________________ WHAT HAS been disappointing in recent months has been the smaller-than-usual attendances at our Branch social evenings. It’s difficult to identify any one specific reason for this although one can hazard a few guesses, such as is the venue and its location still acceptable, are the speakers and the subjects covered suitable (although, believe you me, getting speakers is difficult at the best of times; Graham Treagus, our speakers’ organiser, continues to do a really splendid job in this respect), or is it simply a case that you don’t think you are getting value for money? To explain, for example, the £2 per head “entrance fee” we charge at these social meetings is vital if the Branch is to cover its costs in terms of room hire although we try to temper this entrance fee by the inclusion of automatic raffle entry for a bottle of wine. Last issue I asked for feedback as to why the attendance at October’s Branch Annual Dinner was so poor. Sadly, no response. Come on, members: let’s hear from you. Make it a team effort. It is YOUR BRANCH. So please make it a priority to attend the Branch Annual

7 General Meeting at The Walnut Tree Inn at Blisworth at 8pm on Tuesday 8th March. The formal part of the evening won’t take very long and is followed by an Inter-Branch Quiz. For the second year running there will be changes to the Committee structure as the trend for the more “mature members” to stand down continues. New and younger blood is urgently required. It isn’t necessary to wait until an AGM to get involved committee-wise; you can always be co-opted as and when and this has happened frequently in the past. ____________________ ON THE national front, the metamorphosis of BW into a charity-led organisation proceeds, so far very much along the lines envisaged. Progress is being well recorded in the pages of the specialist waterway magazines. At the time of writing, it is still unknown as to whether the new body will take over the navigational responsibilities of the EA’s waterways, including the Nene. This is a key issue, I feel. ____________________ MEANWHILE spring, summer and warmer weather now beckon. Let us look on the bright side of life. Our cups (or jars of ale!) are still more than half full. Happy boating, towpath walking, cycling - in other words, anything that floats your particular boat, to coin a phrase …!

Stop Press Dean Hawkey is proposing to have a meeting to set up a support group for the Daventry Canal Arm. With a provisional date of 11th March 2011. For further details contact

GRAND JUNCTION BOAT COMPANY Boat Building and Fitting, Marine Engineers, Electricians, Agents for Yanmar Diesel Engines CANAL MAINTENANCE YARD, BLISWORTH ARM, NORTHAMPTON NN7 3EF Tel: 01604-858043



December’s Winter Wonderland The coldest December on record with temperatures down to -13c or lower, the canal frozen for several weeks and snow 12 - 15 inches deep — this was a hard time for boaters especially those who live aboard with water taps frozen and not able to move to get diesel or pump outs. Let’s hope that the rest of the winter is kinder with no more snow or hard long frosts and we can now look forward to a nice long hot summer without water shortages.

Snow and iced in at Stoke Bruerne



IWA Northampton Branch NOTICE is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Northampton Branch of the Inland Waterways Association will be held on Tuesday, 8th March, 2011, at The Walnut Tree Inn, Blisworth, commencing at 8pm. AGENDA: (please bring this agenda to the meeting) 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7:

Apologies for absence Minutes of previous AGM held on 9th March,2010 Matters arising Chairman’s Report Treasurer’s Report Statement of Committee size Election of Committee members

At the time of publication, there are five elected vacancies on the Branch Committee. The ex-officio seat is currently occupied by John Pomfret, the East Midlands Region Chairman. Details of the foregoing will be given at the meeting before Item 7 above. Nominations for election must be in writing, signed by the proposer and seconder, and contain the signed consent of the nominee (all of whom must be paid up members of the Association) and should be deposited with the Chairman, Bernard Morton, Yew Tree House, 14 Baker Street, Gayton. Northants, NN7 3EZ not less than 21 days before the date of the meeting. {signed) Bernard Morton IWA Northampton Branch Eric Young, Graham Treagus, Laura Sturrock and Rodney Hardwick retire by rotation Bill Joyce retired earlier in the year. Eric Young and Graham Treagus seek reelection. Andy Timms is also retiring at the AGM. Tony Clarke and Lynda Payton who were co-opted during 2010 seek election. Alex Madison seeks election. At the time there are 8 vacancies and 5 nominations, leaving 3 vacancies. Nominations should be deposited 14 days before the meeting wherever practicable.

Remember, this is Your Branch This is your Branch and your newsletter. Please let me have anything that you would like to share with others. It will soon be the cruising season again, so tell others about your experiences - good, bad or just perfect, the best or worse moorings, good pubs, helpful boaters or British Waterway / Environment Agency personnel, or whatever you like. We are currently looking for several members to join the committee at the AGM in March. We meet on the first Tuesday of the month, normally September to June. It’s your Branch, so why not come and help? I joined last year and would never have


Annual General Meeting of East Midlands Region Northampton Branch At The Walnut Tree, 21 Station Road, Blisworth Northants NN7 3DS On Tuesday 8th March 2011, at 8pm AGENDA 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Apologies for absence Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting Matters Arising Report of the Chairman Report of the Treasurer and presentation of accounts Statement of committee size Election of committee members Address by member of council Any other business

Nominations for electionto the committee must be in writing,signed by the proposer and the seconder and containing the consent of the nominee. They should reach the Region Chairman not less than 14 days before the meeting wherever practiable There are no retirees but only have 6 committee members of 12 so have 6 vacancies and are looking for volunteers Please contact East Midlands Regional Chairman John Pomfret on

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: aegre_online


December Treasurer’s Report

Laura Sturrock asked if a replacement had been found to take her place after the AGM. No one has come forward at present. Money from the Branch Dinner has been put into Branch funds and would be made available for the landscaping around the re-sited crane on the Northampton Arm at Far Cotton.

Branch Magazine

Tony Clarke explained that he was concerned about how long it had taken to gain official approvals for the last issue of Endeavour. This had caused a delay in publication.

Boat Gathering / Campaign Festival 2011

Bernard Morton reported that he was trying to encourage more boats from Nene clubs to join us at this event.

Nene Task Group

It was reported that an Elsan and rubbish disposal point is to be installed at Wellingborough. There are still issues with the disposal point at the Rushden and Diamonds site.


British Waterways have applied for planning permission on the Greenacre site, Braunston. BW have applied for Listed Building Consent to add wooden stops to locks 1 to 13 on the Northampton Arm to prevent boats from getting “hooked up”.

Local Societies

Stoke Bruerne Canal Partnership has applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for funding of approximately £45,000. This would be used to provide 14 interpretation panels and other projects for the canal corridor at Stoke Bruerne. If successful, the Partnership would need to find match funding of up to 10%. Laura Sturrock reported that Prism had withdrawn funding for the repair of Sculptor. It was not known why.



Urgent Business

Bill Joyce has retired from the committee with immediate effect due to health issues.

Branch Meetings

In March, after the AGM and East Midlands Region AGM, we are having an Inter - Branch Quiz between all East Midland Branches featuring, in theory, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Notts and Derby and Northampton. It is hoped that all Branches will enter a team.

Membership Secretary

Geoff Woods will be contacting various boat hire and sales organisations about including IWA membership leaflets in their sales/hire documentation to attract more members to the Branch.

Boat Gathering / Campaign Festival

It was reported that John Pomfret had been contacted by Andy Newman with the offer to the Branch of a small marquee. Enquiries and applications have been received from trade organisations. Members were reminded that possible funding for the Festival could be obtained from NBC

Daventry Canal Arm

Lynda Payton reported that she had had communication from someone called Dean Hawkey asking if the Branch could support the plans for the new arm. It was suggested that they set up a “Friends of the Arm Society” or similar.

Planning Issues

Northampton Arm between locks 14 and the aqueduct, towpath side: application to West Northants Development Corporation for erection of 176 dwellings, road, sewers and associated open spaces, 10/0188/FULWNN Listed Building Consent for restoration of existing cottage at Watford Bottom Lock, DA/2010/0994 Proposed Barby Pools Marina—this would be built in four stages and would be for 580 boats. Planning application will be submitted in April.

Other Business

It was agreed that further work was required on the Branch’s Northampton Arm Guide. A reprint of the guide would be arranged as soon as a suitable map was found or created. The committee had received by email details of work proposed by BW’s James Clifton to the Iron Trunk Aqueduct at Cosgrove. Members expressed their concerns about donations being used by BW for maintenance work for which BW should be solely responsible. It was agreed that funds shouldn’t go

14 towards maintenance work. A wider discussion ensued about how Branch funds were distributed. It seems that most funding goes to local organisations and very little goes to national causes. The committee agreed to hold the discussion over to the next meeting.

February Urgent Business After a long discussion it was agreed, with the majority in favour, that £200 be donated to the Iron Trunk Aqueduct restoration at Cosgrove. Donations Priorities: this was carried over from the last meeting and after a long debate the committee aim for a 50/50 split between national and local causes. Branch Meetings Andy Timms expressed concerns about the low level of attendance at Branch Meetings and was there anything that could be done? (See Chairman’s Jottings). Treasurer’s Report Laura Sturrock distributed the annual accounts to committee members and asked for comments. There were none. Membership Secretary In the last three months there have been 11 new members and two others have transferred to Northampton from other branches. Membership leaflets have been taken to Gayton Marina, New and Used Boat Co at Blisworth, Whilton Marina, Rugby Boat Sales and ABNB, all of which have agreed to distribute them to customers. Boat Gathering / National Festival John Pomfret gave a roundup of the current state of organisation of the Campaign Festival, saying that Mike Wooding has agreed to be Land Base Site Manager as well as harbourmaster. Mick Butler was chasing catering issues and bookings for trade stands were coming in. A fish and chip supper has been arranged at £5 per head. The Festival plaques are being made and Bernard Morton circulated a drawing of the design. Planning Issues Planning permission has been approved for the restoration of an existing lock cottage at Watford Any Other Business Lynda Payton stated that she and Eric Young had managed to get an original copy of the Northampton Arm Guide and would be tidying it up for reprint.



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

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16 The following Press Release was distributed widely in January


PLANS WELL ADVANCED Plans are now well advanced for a full programme of activities and entertainment for boaters and the public to mark the Inland Waterway Association’s 2011 National Campaign Festival at Northampton’s River Nene waterfront over the May Day Weekend (30th April – 2nd May). The aims of the Festival are to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Nene becoming fully navigable to Northampton from The Wash, to encourage greater recreational use of the river, supported by better facilities, as well as contributing to the process of reconnecting Northampton with its waterfront. By the time of the Festival, the Environment Agency’s new 82–berth marina in Becket’s Park will be open. This will provide a valuable facility for boaters and a visitor attraction and forms the first step in revitalising the riverside. Organised by the Northampton Branch of the Inland Waterways Association, the event is supported by Northampton Borough Council, the Environment Agency, British Waterways and the Association of Nene River Clubs. It is one of a series of events being held in 2011 to highlight the Nene and its importance to the local area. The Festival also incorporates the annual Gathering of Boats organised by the IWA Northampton Branch, where boaters’ events will be centred on the Lock Island at Becket’s Park. In the adjacent park, alongside the river, trade stands and special activities to attract the public are being organised, as well as the spectacle of at least 100 canal and river craft, including several historic narrowboats moored between South Bridge and Town Lock. In addition a number of trade boats will be there offering a variety of goods from interesting food to canal memorabilia. Festival Chairman John Pomfret said: “The Nene is widely recognised as being one of England’s loveliest rivers, but sadly it is underused. We hope this National Festival will focus attention on the undoubted attractions of this waterway whilst also spotlighting the benefits of a busy waterfront so conveniently near to the town centre.” Boaters’ entry forms are available from Eric Young, 1 Ashton Road, Roade, Northants, NN7 2LF, or telephone 07973 739833, or e-mail


Stoke Bruerne’s Illuminated Boat Parade Christmas came early to Stoke Bruerne on Saturday 11th December when boaters switched on their Christmas lights and joined a procession behind trip boat Charlie to the delight of visitors to the canalside village. The annual event, organised by The Friends of The Canal Museum in conjunction with the museum, local businesses and villagers, drew lots of Christmas revellers who enjoyed listening to carols sung by the pupils of Stoke Bruerne Primary School and had the opportunity to tuck in to steaming hot soup and roast chestnuts. As usual Tim and Roberta on NB Inchy excelled themselves, putting on an amazing display of lights, and a Rosie & Jim nativity scene which was particularly popular with the younger children. Chairman of the Friends, David Blagrove said: “We are extremely grateful to those local boaters who put a lot of effort into getting their boats decorated and who managed to get here despite the ice and snow. As a result the canal was transformed into a magical winter wonderland.”


THE NENE – “Britain’s Most Remarkable River” A personal view by Frederick Doerflinger, author of “Slow Boat Through England” For many months there was every likelihood that the IWA’s 2011 National Festival would be staged at Northampton, writes Old Stager. Had this happened (instead we have got our annual Gathering of Boats upgraded to National Campaign Festival status) it would have neatly rounded the circle inasmuch that the last, and only, occasion the Association’s National Rally (as it was then known) was held in the town was 40 years ago. In August 1971, the Rally brochure surpassed all those that had gone before – a 78-page publication edited by Roger Hasdell and made possible as a result of the magnificent advertising support achieved in the main by Bill Mayes. One of the many article published was entitled “The Nene – Britain’s Most Remarkable River,” a personal view of the navigation contributed by the late Frederick Doerflinger, which we reproduce here. Fred was an American who settled in the UK following World War Two. In particular he was a committed canalaholic, an IWA Council member for many years and a prolific author of books and articles about the canals and rivers of Britain as well as the near continent, always strongly campaigning for their commercial use. During the war, Fred flew with the American Air Force and I recall him telling me that his interest in the waterways was aroused when he tracked them as an aid to navigation whilst returning to home base after bombing raids over Germany. Bear in mind that Fred’s article was written in 1971 – to old timers who helped to organise the Northampton “national” it just doesn’t seem possible it was that long ago! Undoubtedly the biggest difference between then and now is that navigation on the Nene today is so much easier, chiefly due to the electrification of many of the locks. But the charm of the river as eulogised by Fred is still there in abundance for us all to enjoy. He wrote: To do justice in a few hundred words to the myriad charms as well as the bewitching idiosyncracies of the River Nene is a formidable task. For to me the Nene is the most remarkable river in Britain and certainly the only one that has captivated me into awarding it an exclusive descriptive adjective. Because no river anywhere presents such a winding course through such pleasant pastoral countryside, I call this limestone river the “nowhither Nene”. Forty miles as the crow flies it may be between Northampton and Peterborough but the navigable ●Continued on page 20


The Nene in its middle reaches at Wadenhoe This atmospheric black and white picture by Derek Pratt is of the meandering River Nene at Wadenhoe. It was almost certainly taken in the l970s as evidenced by the cruiser being held alongside the bank prior to entering the lock – a wooden centre-cockpit Dolphin 24 outboard-driven craft built by Brooklands Aviation at their factory at Moulton off Kettering Road North in Northampton.


●Continued from page 18

non-tidal Middle Nene loops so much that it’s some 70 miles by water between the two towns and all of it, barring a few industrialised stretches, is completely wild and unspoiled. Admittedly between the Northampton Arm and the Grand Union Canal and the Dogin-a-Doublet lock that gives admission to a further 20-odd miles of tidal river, there are just over three dozen of the stiffest locks on any inland waterway in Britain, thanks to those deliberately heavily geared ‘guillotine’ and ‘radial shutter’ lower gates. Perhaps not when one is turning the windlass 180 times to open a ‘radial shutter’ gate, but certainly in retrospect the lock work is a small price to pay for the enchantments the Nene has to offer even the mildly observant. Until this very century the Nene has been a terrible rogue of a river chalking up a fascinating history as it greedily drained five-eighths of the county and then from time to time over the centuries made mischief with its surfeit of water. Modern engineering has curbed these periodic excesses, removed the fear from the people of the wide valley and made it possible for even beginners to safely navigate the Nene’s tamed waters. Although the Nene has been deepened and straightened, gouged and locked, weeded, polluted and generally messed about much more than the average river, its beguiling personality still sparkles through undamaged and addicts like myself nostalgically brood over the river’s now contained power, waiting hopefully for a little to be unleashed as in by-gone days. This does not mean that the Nene is no longer exciting. True there are no longer herons, geese, ducks, wild swans, teal and wigeon in their hundreds and thousands but there are still literally dozens of types of birds to admire and identify. The old eel traps dating back to the Domesday Book have now vanished but there is still very good fishing. No more grain is brought by water to Wellingborough Mill and a commercial narrow boat is a phenomenon on the Nene today but you’ll meet many friendly boating types at cruising clubs and on the increasing number of pleasure craft. The Nene is still the river of “Drunken Barnaby” of Wansford-in-England and the “bride in a basket” legend of Castle Ashby House. Times change but there is no shortage of green and gravel banks, of reedy sweeping river, of 18th century and more ancient vistas, of saddleback towers and tall steeples, great houses and tithe barns, shady woods and avenues, rolling upland pastures, waving fields of corn, pleasant water meadows, lovely stone and thatched villages, picturesque mills, cheerful pubs and inns, richly ornamented churches, historic monuments, delightful flying and other bridges, backwater moorings and winding footpaths that lead to many more charted and uncharted beauty spots. The homely sound of bells from Nene churches, the harsh and penetrating “kr-r-rk” of the moorhen, the summer smell of water meadows under hay, the breath-taking sight of sunsets over a curving silver-red stream, the taste of duckweed in the water, the friendliness of the people in all walks of life – these are but a few of the memories that come rushing back to me when I think of the Nene

21 But then I also recall the little tricks the Nene loves to play with her swirling floodwaters, her hidden stakes, her low bridges and often shallow banks. The Nene can still stir it up. I recollect that in the days of Queen Anne, when the first Act to make the river navigable between Northampton and Peterborough was passed, the river was officially described as the “Nyne” or “Nen”. It was not until the days of George 11 that the spelling “Nene” was used in Parliamentary documentation and even then all three spellings were employed. And to this day the pronunciation of the river’s name is a hot controversial issue with a sharp dividing line along her course between those who insist upon the Nene as in “dean” and those who maintain that Nene as in “den” is correct. And so I carry a torch for the Nene because she continues to flaunt both her charms and her vagaries. For bountiful beauty, for perfect peace and for noteworthy navigation the Nene surpasses all other rivers in England. ■

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 M Bothwell, Weedon Northampton Mr A & Mrs G Hawkey, Daventry Mr M Higgott & Mrs B Middleton, Elkington Northampton Ms L Lamb, Weedon Northampton Mr M & Mrs J Austin, East Hunsbury Northampton Mr K Harvey, Towcester Mr & Mrs C McGlynn, Kettering Members who have transferred to Northampton Branch Mr R Scouse, from Milton Keynes Branch Mr M & Mrs S Bartlett, from Lee & Stort Branch

We look forward to meeting you all at Branch events Milton Keynes Branch Spring Clean –up Friday 1st April

Start 12.00 at Fenny Lock (safety briefing at 11.45) Finish at Woolstone, Bridge 83 Saturday 2nd April Start 09.30 at Woolstone, Bridge 83 Finish at New Bradwell, Bridge 72 Sunday 3rd April Start New Bradwell, Bridge 72 Finish Old Wolverton, Bridge 68 –Lunchtime-ish Evening meals are yet to be arranged and will posted on website http// as soon as they have been arranged. If you would like to join us at any time over the weekend please let Peter Caswell know, either by email at or phone on 07702 668924


continued from front page Elton Boat Club open day on 18th September. Additional events will be added if possible. Plans are now well advanced for a full programme of activities and entertainment for boaters and the public at our 2011 National Campaign Festival at Northampton over the May Day Weekend (30th April – 2nd May). The aims of the Festival are to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Nene becoming fully navigable to Northampton from The Wash, to encourage greater recreational use of the river, supported by better facilities, as well as contributing to the process of re-connecting Northampton with its waterfront. By the time of the Festival, the Environment Agency’s new 82–berth marina in Becket’s Park will be open. This will provide a valuable facility for boaters and a visitor attraction and forms the first step in revitalising the riverside. Many of you will be familiar with the established format of the boat gathering, with moorings between South Bridge and Northampton Lock and boaters’ events on the lock island. This will all happen as usual, although we expect more boats, so we have a harbour master this year (Branch member Mike Wooding), who has the unenviable job of making sure that trade boats that need to be bankside are bankside and that everyone else can be fitted in most efficiently. While we will make sure that all the bankside is clear right up to South Bridge, to maximize the mooring space available, boats may have to moor alongside each other (raft up, breast up whatever your term is) up to four or five deep; so please don’t turn up expecting to have your own personal bit of bank! We don’t intend to allocate specific moorings but will probably establish separate zones for steel narrow boats/barges and for river cruisers – the detailed plan will depend on who books in. We also hope to be able to use any spare space in the new marina (if there is any by then). The other thing that will be different from the usual gathering is that we will also have a public area (open daytime only) in Becket’s Park, with the usual range of trade stands, society tents, catering, beer tent and entertainment - the usual stuff of boat rallies - and the St Johns Ambulance boat (and maybe others) will be running boat trips for the public. If you know anyone who might be interested in participating – either as a trader, a charity or providing entertainment, please pass on details. Booking forms for boats and trade stands are available on the IWA website. If you have any queries, lease contact me (on or any of the Festival Sub-committee members. I look forward to seeing you there. John Pomfret, Festival Chairman

23 Westbridge Arm Clean up On the Sunday before Easter (17th April) the Branch will carry out its regular clean-up of the Westbridge Arm in preparation for the National Campaign Festival and Boat Gathering (29th April –2nd May)between 10am and 12 noon approx. Equiptment (courtesy of EA)to take rubbish away will be provided. Dress appropriately and meet in the car park by Pizza Hut at St James Retail Park, Northampton.

STOKE BRUERNE GETS READY FOR ANOTHER GALA WEEKEND 10th-12th June 2011 Planning is well underway for a full weekend of activities and entertainment to celebrate our waterways heritage as part of the annual award winning Gala to be held in Stoke Bruerne over the weekend of 10th-12th June - so book the date in your diaries now! Organised by the Friends of The Canal Museum in conjunction with the Canal Museum and local village organisations, the event promises lots of fun for boaters and visitors alike. There will be traditional displays of canal painting & lettering, ropework and knots, miniature and model railways (we hope), traditional boats, trade stalls - on and off the water - and the usual beer tent with real ales and plenty o’ grub. If we’re lucky the pirates may also be paying us a visit – so brush up on your pirate speak now! Musical entertainment will include a free concert on both Friday and Saturday nights with other entertainment on the canalside. Friday night's concert will feature a visiting group of dancers from Hungary as well as local singers and musicians. As an added bonus The Canal Museum will be open for a glimpse of the new displays being developed over the winter by volunteer teams and there will be plenty to do for all ages. Event Chairman David Blagrove said: “Our annual Gala is set to be another sizzling weekend of fun and frolics on and off the water and provides an ideal opportunity to showcase our museum and all the work carried out to the displays by volunteers over the winter. We can guarantee a good time will be had by all.” More information including photos of last year’s Gala can be found on the Friends website at We look forward to seeing you all there.

COLLEEN CASE OBITUARY We are very sad to report the death of branch member Colleen Case formerly of Nb Grange after a long battle with cancer. Our condolences go to husband David and the family. David and Colleen came to the canals when they purchased a 19ft cruiser at Stowe Hill, followed by a 28ft Dawncraft which they used to take holidays all over the system. They decided to live afloat and after restoring it, moved onto Nb Cleopatra, a little Woolwich motorised butty, in 1979. However David really wanted a Josher motor and they sold Cleopatra and moved into a caravan at Stowe Hill for 2 yrs whilst Grange was restored. During this time showers were taken on Chris Coburn’s Progress moored alongside. David and Colleen took up a permanent mooring at Stowe Hill and were regulars at Northampton Branch events. After retiring they began long distance cruising, starting with the Huddersfield National Festival . Unfortunately Colleen began to suffer ill health and after being diagnosed with cancer life became impractical on Grange and they reluctantly moved ashore to a bungalow not far from the canal at Flore. Colleen will be remembered by many friends on the ‘cut’ as a gentle, charming and very hospitable lady - very few visitors to Grange left without being fed and watered first. ( biographical details by Brian Mayland)




Blisworth Canal Partnership Blisworth Canal Partnership have entered into an adoption agreement with British Waterways for an area of embankment next to the north portal of Blisworth Tunnel. With the help of village volunteers we intend to create a woodland walk out of what is currently an overgrown area. On Sunday January 23rd the site buzzed with the sound of happy people at work during our first 'clear up' day. We managed to clear and burn many of the old piles of vegetation, de-ivy lots of the mature trees, remove seven big bags of rubbish and mark out the route for the planned hard path. The day was led by villagers Ben and Nick Scarcliffe whose skills as arborists helped keep us all on track. Mark and Brian from British Waterways also turned up at the crack of dawn to lend a hand and slaved away all day alongside us. Luckily we have been successful in a bid for 420 trees from the Woodland Trust and local landowner Sir Charles Wake has also donated a number of blackthorn whips. Re-planting these will be fun and should certainly transform the site. We are really appreciative of British Waterways committment to this project and hopefully over the coming months we'll transform the area making it a more inviting environment for all, people and wildlife alike. Check on our website - for our future work party dates. Please come along and join in, you'll be made really welcome. Jan Andrews Blisworth Canal Partnership


Saturday 12pm—Late

Sunday 11am—5pm This year’s Blisworth Canal Festival will be bigger and better than ever before so why not come along?

There are numerous attractions, with something for the whole family throughout the whole weekend. Here are just a few of our confirmed attractions: ECO BOAT FUDGE BOAT CHEESEBOAT BOOKWORMS MORRIS DANCERS COSGROVE NARROWBOATS RNLI ST. JOHN AMBULANCE BOAT TOWPATH TRADING RAYMOND & NUTFIELD LICENSED BARS LIVE MUSIC MAKET HALL STALLS

To find out what’s going on visit our dedicated festival website at… Or contact us for more information Jan Andrews 01604 858023 Paul Chapman 01604 858384






RESTAURANT º BARS º BOAT TRIP SPECIAL EVENTS • Friday, 25th March — Champagne Party • Sunday, 3rd April — Mothering Sunday • Saturday, 23rd April — St George’s Day Celebrations

01604 862428 The Little Mermaid Canal Shop Stoke Bruerne Danish Gifts, Glassware Wooden Toys, Jewellery, Candles, Canal Prints and Flower Decorations **

From 1st March onwards, open 10.30am – 4.30pm daily (closed Mondays)

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


Grand Union, Oxford & Leics Canals Rivers Nene and Thames RING:


Help raise funds for IWA if you shop on-line If you buy goods on-line or participate in grocery home shopping, then please check out the easy fundraising scheme website below, as IWA can receive a donation every time a purchase is made through it. Simply register at: http:// and then select Inland Waterways Association as your chosen charity. Carry on shopping on-line as normal using this site as your portal. Participating stores include John Lewis, Tesco, Sainsburys and Amazon. It’s absolutely free to you and IWA can gain donations from the participating retailers of up to 4% or more of the value of your shopping when you use it. What’s more, they will send you a confirmatory email once the participating retailer has processed your transaction, letting you know how much has been donated to IWA on your behalf.


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:

• • • • • • • • •

DIESEL – always competively priced PUMP OUT – no meter clock here BLUE TOILET FLUID ODORLOS – organic waste tank treatment CALOR GAS – all sizes of bottled gas including Camping Gaz. SOLID FUELS – all types of smokeless fuel or coal. Plus firelighters, sticks and logs. CHARNWOOD STOVES – all sizes of multi-fuel stoves with or without boilers MORRIS OILS – popular grades of engine oil plus water resistant grease FUEL SET FUEL CONDITIONER

New on the lockside at Stoke Bruerne SUBLIME INDIAN CUISINE New fully licensed restaurant Serving the finest ingredients with careful preparation TAKE AWAY SERVICE AVAILABLE

Most Major Credit Cards Accepted. Open: 8.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays

Fred Tarry Bridge Cottage Furnace Lane Nether Heyford Northampton, NN7 3JY

Telephone/Fax: 01327-341202 Email :

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


Thank you your approach to selling was so much more professional than the ‘other’ boat company

along the canal. Barbara O (seller) Just like to say thanks for not only selling my Dad’s boat, but the kindness, for keeping me in touch with the whole process and helpfulness you showed. Linda D (seller) Again may I offer deepest thanks for your kind encouragement and patience over this drawn-out procedure. Richard & Pat F (buyers) Many thanks. It was a pleasure working with you and you have made what was a bit of a traumatic experience for us both as painless as possible. In particular we have appreciated your good communication and very professional style. Andy & Julie W (sellers) Thank you for doing a great job of keeping in touch with us. All the very best and thank you again for your excellent service Gloria & Norman L (sellers) Just wanted to say thanks for everything – you have helped our little dream to happen. We can recommend you as a broker 10 out of 10 . Helen & Pete K (buyers)

rugby boat sales We don’t need to shout about it. Others do it for us. At Stowe Hill Wharf, Weedon –also diesel, pump out, gas chat, smile ….…01327 342211



33 British Waterways Newsroom issued the following press release on 20th December

Waterways funding announced Defra has today (20 December 2010) announced that its grant to British Waterways next year will be £41.5m. This is a reduction of £9.8m (or 19%) from the 2010/11 baseline grant of £51.3m. Given that Government funding makes up approximately half of the net spend on the waterways, this will translate into an effective cut of resource available of about 12% in 2011/12. The settlement represents the last annual grant to British Waterways in England and Wales before a longer term contract comes into place in April 2012 when the canals, rivers and docks in its care are expected to be transferred into a new charity. Defra has also announced indicative funding from 2012/13 to 2014/15 will be an annual £39m, with a long-term commitment that a funding contract running up to at least 2022/23 will not fall below this level. British Waterways’ Chairman, Tony Hales, commented: “In the current climate it would be unrealistic to expect British Waterways to be exempt from cuts in public spending and we will have to make difficult decisions to ensure the continued maintenance of the historic canals and rivers in our care. The Government’s commitment to the first ever long-term public funding settlement for the waterways is, however, a good step forward and I have been heartened by ministers' continued commitment to this ‘Big Society’ flagship. “Security of funding is fundamental to achieving the Government’s objective of establishing a new ‘national trust’ for the waterways. The challenge now is to develop a funding plan which gives confidence to the incoming trustees of the new charity and retains the support of waterway stakeholders. I firmly believe this can be achieved and, while we would all have hoped for a larger settlement, we are one step closer to turning the long-held vision of a waterways charity into reality.”



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) 1/4 Page (box) £12.00 1/2 Page (box) £25.00 Full Page £40.00 Discount of 10% for 4 issues Other sizes by arrangement

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

Tuesday, March 8th AGM followed by Inter Branch Quiz Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Notts & Derbyshire & Northampton Branches for the Arthur Chapman Cup Tuesday, April 12th Colin Edmond - Chelmer & Blackwater Past, Present and Future Tuesday, May 10th Speaker TBA

The next edition of Endeavour will be published May 2011


WHO’S WHO IN NORTHAMPTON BRANCH 2010/2011 Bernard Morton

Branch Meetings

07785 375787

Graham Treagus

E-mail: bernard.morton

E-mail: graham.treagus

Branch Secretary

Membership Secretary

Andy Timms

Geoff Woods

E-mail andy.timms

E-mail geoff.wood

Deputy Chairman & Police Liaison Officer



Laura Sturrock E-mail: laura.sturrock

Eric Young E-mail:

Heritage & Planning Officer Rodney Hardwick 01604-584919

Newsletter Editor

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

Tony Clarke 07939 977859 E-mail tony.clarke

Website & Publicity Officer Lynda Payton E-mail:lynda.payton

Non-Committee posts Sales: Catriona Butler 01604 473756

Archivist, Endeavour Advertising & Distribution Roger Hasdell 01604 767212

Endeavour 2011 February Issue  

Newsletter, Northampton Branch

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