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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 2014

IT’S BOAT GATHERING TIME AT BRAUNSTON Please get your entries in early The historic Nurser’s Dock at Braunston is the venue for our Branch’s annual Boat Gathering this year – an entry form for the May Day Bank Holiday event is included with this issue of Endeavour. This will be only the second time the Gathering has been intentionally canal based in a history stretching back to the late 1970s and the first time the event has been held in the western part of the Branch’s area. The usual venue has always been on the River Nene Continued on page 18 The iron bridge over the entrance to Braunston Marina with Nurser’s Dock ahead 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.


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EDITORIAL MUSINGS I was intrigued to read in February’s issue of Waterways World of a proposal to roof over the Southern Oxford at Banbury town centre. It would seem planners would like to envelope a length of the canal with a glass canopy as part of a major development in the area which would include a food superstore, a 92-bed hotel, cinema and shops along the towpath. The mind boggles — a tunnel with a see-through roof! It isn’t stated how long the roofed-over section would be, but judging from the artist’s impression reproduced in WW, I would guess we’re talking maybe a couple of hundred yards or so. Not very long, but a tunnel nevertheless. So could this be a forerunner of the future, 21st century-style, of canal restoration and new build — plastic tunnels (and why not plastic balance beams and bollards for good measure). But what could be done almost immediately? Well, there’s the obvious opportunity also on the S. Oxford not far from Banbury, to the north at Fenny Compton, where the existing cutting is known as The Tunnel. Probably most of us have passed this way — easy-peasy to stick a few panels of plastic (or even glass, as envisaged at Banbury) from bank to bank, over the top. Then you can get seriously wet negotiating Foxton Flight in the rain. A covered staircase — now that would be a genuine rival attraction to the inclined plane. Nearer to home, is it too ridiculous to suggest the top be taken off Blisworth Tunnel to be replaced so we can stay in daylight as we go through? Taking into account that all the work might disturb the ghosts in there, and even though some of us enjoy being in the dark, such a scheme would certainly come to the aid of those of nervous disposition who at the moment opt to bail out and proceed on foot over the top. But how would Milton Keynes view the challenge? Over the years the perceived enterprise demonstrated by burghers of MK has appeared to open up areas of funding and speed of building which others elsewhere have not been able to emulate and consequently has led to a variety of innovative developments of urban “progress”. A roof over the canal at Newlands linking with a covered walkway through Campbell Park to MK Centre shouldn’t be beyond their capabilities! I merely pass on the idea...

Items needed for Boat Gathering tombola We are holding a fundraising tombola for waterway causes at our Boat Gathering in May. Would you able to gift prizes for this? Please bring items along to any Branch Meeting and hand them to a committee member. Otherwise, offerings will be gratefully accepted at the Gathering. Very many thanks.


DIARY DATES March 11th 8pm IWA Northampton Branch AGM at The Walnut Tree Inn, Blisworth, followed by Tony Conder –- Gloucester Docks. 18th 7.30 IWA Eastern Region AGM, Peterborough Indoor Bowls Club, Burton Street, Peterborough, PE1 5HA. 22 & 23rd Stoke Bruerne Canal Partnership Needs You. More details see page 23. 24th 7.45 Milton Keynes Branch Meeting at MK Village Pavilion, Worelle Avenue, Middleton, MK. Lee King and Neil Owen from CRT — Lock Gates - building, repair and abuse. April 8th 8pm IWA Northampton Branch Meeting at The Walnut Tree Inn, Blisworth. Speaker: James Griffin — History of Wyvern Shipping. 11th &12th Milton Keynes Branch canal clean-up, Fenny Stratford to Wolverton. Those attending by boat are asked to be at Fenny Lock Thursday /Friday for Health and Safety briefing at 9.30am. Details from 13th 10am Reminiscing Day at Stoke Bruerne. For more details see page 23. 17th 8pm Friends of Canal Museum talk by Steve Morley — Tale of Two Canals. Venue to be confirmed. 28th 7.45 Milton Keynes Branch Meeting at MK Village Pavilion, Worelle Avenue, Middleton, MK. Speaker: Mathew Armitage, Director of Tooleys Boatyard. — Tooleys Boatyard-past and present. May 13th 8pm IWA Northampton Branch Meeting at The Walnut Tree Inn, Blisworth. Speaker: David Ingleby — Huddersfield Narrows.

Branch Task Party dates on the Northampton Arm February 9th, 18th, 23rd. March 11th, 23rd. April 8th, 27th. May 13th. June 1st.

For details see web site or contact

Buckingham Canal Society Work Party dates March 6th, 9th, 20th. April 3rd, 13th, 17th. May 1st, 11th, 15th, 29th. June 8th, 12th, 26th. Further details contact Athina Beckett on 01908 662127

IWA Northampton Branch web site Please visit it regularly to see any updates



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Branch Chairman’s Jottings by Bernard Morton What a baptism of excess water the early part of 2014 produced. And 2013 hardly bowed out waterless, either. The levels on the Nene remained high for several weeks, with flood waters gushing through the fully opened locks a familiar and somewhat frightening sight. On the canals, levels were consistently high, too, which made you realise their vital importance as a flood conduit although the water escaping down the Northampton Arm to the Nene only inevitably added to the swollen levels there. As always in these conditions, moorers in the River Tove at Stoke Bruerne bottom lock had their own particular flooding problems to deal with – something well described and pictured in Endeavour over the years. I feel a vote of thanks must go to EA personnel who must have faced daily challenges. On the ground especially did anyone actually have a restful and peaceful Christmas and New Year period? I doubt it. Sincere thanks for all your efforts – we may grouse from time to time but appreciation where and when it is due. Looking into my crystal ball, I see I may be commenting on a drought later in the year – but don’t count on it … 2015 BECKET’S PARK RALLY. Possibility is turning into probability about a major national IWA boat festival or gathering on the Nene at Becket’s Park, Northampton, in 2015. Next year is the year, as you are probably by now well aware, which marks the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Northampton Arm when, of course, as a Branch we want to organise something special to celebrate the occasion. As I mentioned in last Endeavour, Northampton Borough Council, the Environment Agency, the Canal & River Trust and other relevant bodies are all in favour of what I have called a “Becket’s Park spectacular”. Exploratory meetings involving the various groups have already been held and by the time you read this a decision regarding the status of the event could well have been taken by IWA’s trustees. We shall update the latest situation on the Branch website. The favoured date seems to be the August Bank Holiday weekend. Meanwhile, detailed planning for this year’s Branch Boat Gathering at Braunston is now well underway. The dates of Friday to Monday 2nd – 5th May coincide with the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, and an entry form is included with this issue of Endeavour or can be obtained off the Branch website. Further details of the event are given on pages 1 & 18 while Tim Coghlan, who runs Braunston Marina where we shall be based, has contributed an article starting on page 20. Our sincere thanks to Tim for his generosity in allowing us to hold our Gathering at the marina and also to his colleagues for their invaluable guidance and general back up in its organisation. Please join in and help us make the Gathering a bumper occasion. NORTHAMPTON ARM ACTIVITY. There’s been a change in the organisational team responsible for our activities on the Northampton Arm following its adoption by the Branch last year. For personal reasons, David Higgins has decided to step down

8 as overall co-ordinator as he feels he cannot devote sufficient time and energy which the project requires. So our grateful thanks to David who helped to get the adoption and initial Task Parties underway. The project will now be headed by two volunteer stalwarts – Geoff Wood, the Branch Membership Secretary and Planning Officer, and Michael Butler, our Boat Gathering Chairman. Each will bring their own particular skills to the project: Geoff will major on administrative tasks, such as liaising with other groups and organisations who may wish to be involved with our work (although I confidently expect he will frequently be out there on Task Party days) while Mick will oversee activities “on the ground” where his many years in the construction industry will allow him to lead by enthusiastic example. I think we have, in Geoff and Mick, team leaders of the highest quality who, with our members’ support, will allow us to achieve a great deal in assisting C&RT to keep the Arm in a good operational and acceptable condition. Already people have commented on the enhanced surroundings at the “gateway” Lock 17 in Far Cotton, which make it a much more pleasurable and safer boating experience. Please continue to support our Task Parties – details on Endeavour’s diary page or on the Branch website. We are increasing these to two per month on a regular basis – on a Tuesday and a Sunday to give everyone a chance to get involved. Why not give it a try – you might even enjoy it! NEW REGION CHAIRMAN NAMED. A warm welcome to Richard ColletFenson who has been named our new Eastern Region Chairman (see also page 19). Richard, who lives at Witcham, near Ely, first took to the water at an early age as a canoeist with his father. In later years, his career included spells as a yacht broker on the River Thames and at Brightlingsea in Essex. He has boated on the Great Ouse and attendant waters and now, in his retirement, cruises the canals and other waterways widely. I am pleased to say that Richard has accepted my invitation to attend the Northampton Branch AGM on Tuesday 11th March so that we can all get to know each other, so do please do your best to come along on this occasion. The formal part of the evening will not last very long and will be followed by Tony Conder giving what I am sure will be a fascinating talk about Gloucester Docks.

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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, 11th March, 2014, at The Walnut Tree Inn, Blisworth, commencing at 8pm. AGENDA: (please bring this agenda to the meeting) 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9:

Apologies for absence Minutes of previous AGM held on 12th March, 2013 Matters arising Chairman’s Report Treasurer’s Report Statement of Committee size Election of Committee members Introduction of new Eastern Region Chairman Richard Collet-Fenson AOB

Under the IWA Branch bylaws effective from 12 November 2007, there is no restriction on the maximum size of the committee. Tony Clarke, Alex Madisons, Lynda Payton and Graham Treagus retire by rotation and seek re-election. Eric Young also retires by rotation but due to ill health is unsure whether he will stand again. David Higgins, John Pomfret and Steve Miles were co-opted during the year and seek election. It is no longer necessary for those who wish to stand for election to be nominated and seconded but all who wish to stand must agree to do so. Written consents from Branch members wishing to stand for election should be deposited with Branch Secretary Sandie Morton before the commencement of the AGM business. {signed) Bernard Morton IWA Northampton Branch

IWA Northampton Branch now has a Facebook page. It’s at https:// Members will find posts there about our talks, work party dates and much more, as well as being able to use it for discussion purposes. We’d like to hear your views. We also have a Twitter account @northamptoniwa where you can leave us a message or engage in discussion on what’s happening.


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Urgent Business Crick/ Foxton 200th celebrations. Lots of ideas have been put forward but it is still unclear what will be taking place. The Branch will provide publicity and other assistance when a format has been decided. National for Northampton 2015. It was reported that Bernard Morton and John Pomfret had attended an IWA Festivals committee meeting and presented Northampton’s case for holding a national event on August Bank Holiday weekend with ideas on how this could be formatted, which was well received. Adoption of Northampton Arm A lockable storage facility at Gayton Yard has been provided by CRT for basic hand tools, life jackets etc. hi-vis jackets with “IWA Volunteer” have been purchased together with strong jackets for strimmer team. Two industrial strimmers/brush cutters have also been purchased. Treasurer’s Report Current balance £5929.61, which doesn’t take into account the latest purchases for the Arm adoption equipment. Membership There are currently 293 memberships and 458 members. Boat Gathering 2014 It was noted that a site meeting held at Braunston Marina had been very positive and marina staff were very helpful. Nene Task Group EA are looking to provide a new pump out/sani station at Thrapston Woolpack moorings to replace the Irthlingborough facilities. EA are seeking Lottery funding for interpretation panels at Irthlingborough. Bernard Morton raised the need for better EA signage at Lock 17 on the Northampton Arm at Far Cotton — “Welcome to River Nene”, for example. This signage could also publicise moorings and facilities at Northampton Marina. Reports from Local Societies, Partnerships etc CRT insisting anyone operating Sculptor must receive training (Health and Safety). It is not clear who has experience to provide this.

13 January

Urgent Business Branch AGM. There are five current members due to retire this year by rotation but all have agreed to re-stand with the exception of Eric Young, who is unsure due to ill health and will make a decision nearer the time. There were three members co-opted during the year and are willing to stand for election. Agreed to invite the new Region Chairman Richard Collet-Fenson to attend the AGM. National for Northampton 2015. John Pomfret reported that prospects look promising following a meeting at Northampton Marina. Any concerns were addressed favourably. The IWA Trustees are meeting on 8th February and John will present our plans with a draft budget showing that our aim is to keep costs to a minimum, which will be covered by boat entry and trade stands. The next meeting for the local event committee will be held on 15th February at which John is hopeful of getting the goahead. As the actual anniversary is 1st May, a barbeque to celebrate the event could be held at Gayton Junction. Northampton Arm Adoption David Higgins informed the committee that with regret he had decided to step down from his co-ordinating role for the Arm adoption due to increasing personal commitments. Mick Butler and Geoff Wood offered to share this role, Mick to deal with practical matters and Geoff with administration and communication. Two Task Parties per month were suggested and agreed (the dates are on the diary page). David will continue to work on the revision of the leaflet on the Arm. Treasurer’s Report Current balance £4892.49 following recent expenditure on equipment and protective clothing for the Northampton Arm project. Membership Current 293 memberships, 459 members. Numbers showing a slight increase in the Eastern Region as a whole. Boat Gathering 2014 Richard Parry, Chief Executive of CRT, will be opening the Gathering. Reports from Local Societies, Partnerships etc Friends of The Canal Museum. The Christmas Market and Carol Evening had raised around £400 with the possibility of match-funding from Marston Brewery


Quid Agebas? Steve Miles writes: Having thrown a question in Latin at you in the last Endeavour, I'm doing it again! Sorry - I've just published a book set in the days of ancient Rome so it's a bit of a fixation at the moment. Let me enlighten you (with the aid of my Latin dictionary): What are you going to do? Following on from my question last time, I asked then what you thought you might do in practical terms in support of the Branch's endeavours in the coming months and years - now I'm putting that question to you directly, particularly in view of the upcoming Branch AGM. I've been a member of so many committees over so many years that I've lost count. But one thing I've learnt - a committee, just like each of us in our own lives, thrives on change. Not change for the sake of it, nor yet sudden drastic change - none of us like that very much - but steady, evolutionary change. And in the case of a committee, that change comes about by the changing of the faces around the table; new faces means new thoughts and ideas, and new ideas mean changes in what, in this case, our Branch does, in what happens around our part of the waterway for the benefit of you, the members. We've all seen it, I'm sure - organisations that are run year after year by the same old faces, with no fresh input. And the result? The same old, same old! Is it any wonder that the rank-and- file members of such groups get bored and drift off to find new pastimes? Now, I'm not suggesting that the Northampton Branch is in that state, far from it! But it is a danger that lurks on any committee's horizon - there are other branches within the IWA that are seriously into those doldrums, branches whose apathy level has reached the point where they struggle to fill even the basic posts like chairman and secretary. So I'm appealing to you all - think about it! Maybe committees fill you with dread? Ours isn't that bad! We meet once a month, in very salubrious surroundings, with refreshments included; the discussion is friendly (mostly!) and productive (always), but like any discussion it needs those new ideas to come along every now and then. Do you have ideas about things that the Branch could be doing? Do you have opinions about the things that the Branch already does? Suggestions about how we could go about those things better, maybe? Maybe there are things we don't do that you need us to do, or things we do that you think are a waste of time? Do you think you could do a better job than the existing committee members? Now's your chance! Stand for the committee, and be one of the people who decide all these things rather than one of the ones who only whinge into your beer (or wine)! No, don't turn the page now! Stop and consider it. And it isn't just filling or updating the committee - I said last time, this Branch carries a lot of commitments, running a (usually) successful annual Boat Gathering (which is going to be a roaring success this year), looking after the Arm, attending other events, producing one of the best newsletters in the IWA, and so on. We need more support on the ground for all of these things - at the moment, it's the same dozen people who do all the work! Out of four hundred and fifty members... So I'll ask you again: QUID AGEBAS? And, by the way - that Latin verb is in the singular. What are YOU going to do?


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Carols and illuminated boats at Stoke Bruerne Saturday evening 7th December saw Stoke Bruerne lit up for The Friends of the Canal Museum’s magical Carols on the Canal event with the children of Stoke Bruerne, Whittlebury and Tiffield primary schools leading carollers around a decorated Christmas Tree whilst a procession of illuminated boats made its way along the canal. The boats were led by trip boat Charlie, which was operating special cruises to nearby Blisworth Tunnel and back to see the lights. As well as seeing boats and joining in with the singing of carols, revellers could visit the colourful canalside Christmas Market at The Navigation pub complete with floating traders on the water. As well as seasonal gifts, mulled wine, hot turkey and cranberry baps were on offer and Santa Claus made cameo appearances. The Boat Inn was also operating special Santa Boat Trips aboard trip boat Indian Chief through the tunnel and back, with a gift for every child. Richard Parry, Chief Executive of the Canal & River Trust, was on hand to present a prize and certificate to the best illuminated boat and its skipper - Kathryn Dodington on Leo. Well done Kathryn! Friends Chairman David Blagrove, said: "We attracted so many people from outside the normal waterway scene to Stoke Bruerne, an estimated 400 or so in fact, and they all seemed to enjoy themselves. All our volunteers are to be congratulated on the wonderful job they did setting the scene and putting on such a good show." Initial indications are that just under £400 has been raised for the Friends charity through the Christmas Market organised by The Navigation and from donations received for hot soup and roast chestnuts provided by the Friends. Photos by James Rudd


FLOATING RESTAURANT OPENS SOON AT MIDSUMMER MEADOW A floating restaurant on the Nene at Midsummer Meadow at Northampton is due to open this spring. It arrived in sections in December at its mooring opposite the town’s former power station where the new University of Northampton campus is due to be built. Plans for the restaurant – it is owned by Jack Patel and his daughter, Hema – were first submitted to Northampton Borough Council in 2010. They caused controversy at the time because the police identified the Midsummer Meadow area as a known “gay cruising” site and members of Northampton’s gay community threatened to take legal action to prevent the development. Their legal threat came to nothing, however, and plans for the restaurant were backed by the Council in 2010 and again last April. Reports indicate that the menu will feature all-British food, locally sourced and cooked on site.

NEW BRANCH MEMBERS ARE WELCOMED We extend a warm welcome to the following who have joined Northampton Branch since the last issue of Endeavour

NEW MEMBERS Mr S Wright & Family, Crick


We look forward to meeting you all at Branch events

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Continued from front page

at Becket’s Park in Northampton, the Gathering originally being organised as a publicity-generating event to focus attention on maintaining navigation on the river’s Westbridge Arm at Far Cotton and later to promote the town’s waterside. Branch Chairman Bernard Morton says: “Suitable sites for such a Gathering in our area are limited but Tim Coghlan, who runs Braunston Marina and is one of our loyal supporters, said ‘Why not come to Braunston? I can find some space for you’, a generous offer we quickly accepted. “Importantly, it also gives the Branch an opportunity to promote itself in the far west of its area where many of our members live or keep their boats and who perhaps considered Northampton to be a little too far away to cruise to for a weekend event, especially in view of the heavily locked Arm.” The Gathering will run from Friday 2nd May to Monday 5th May, centred at the former Nurser’s Dock on the old Oxford Arm at Braunston Marina (please see article starting on page 20 by Tim Coghlan). Moorings will also be available on the main line of the canal and details of these will be given in the boater’s information pack sent to entrants. A marquee is being erected on the hard-standing parking area alongside the canal arm, but please note there will be a strict “no parking” rule operating here throughout the Gathering period. There will, however, be ample visitors’ parking elsewhere in the marina area. So if you cannot attend by boat, please come by car and you will be most welcome. A full range of attractions is being organised, starting on the Friday evening with a welcoming get-together which will include a barbeque, music and light-hearted games. Saturday evening will feature live music in the marquee and Sunday evening is quiz time conducted as usual by Lynda and Sam. The quiz will be preceded by the celebrated fish/chicken and chips supper supplied from Sarson’s mobile chippy. With final details still being finalised, we do know now, however, that the weekend’s attractions will also include a tombola (prizes required, please), quizzes, guided walks in the Braunston area, Cat’s popular tea-room (home-made cakes a speciality) and, most importantly, a real ale bar on tap throughout offering, of course, other beverages as well as beer. And no Northampton Branch Boat Gathering would be complete without the traditional Boaters’ Auction on the Sunday morning. Please bring along any unwanted items, old or new, not necessarily boat-related, and help raise funds for waterways causes. For, as always, a prime aim of the Gathering, in addition to having a good time, is to raise money and this year it is planned the beneficiaries will include the Braunston Canal Society and our own Branch funds dedicated to our “adoption” work on the Northampton Arm. Gathering Chairman Michael Butler says: “Clearly we shall be far less on public display than we normally would be at Becket’s Park. Thus I feel the Gathering will be

19 that much more informal and friendly, especially as we shall be gathering in such a concentrated area. This does not mean to say that visitors will not be welcome. Of course, you do not have to be an IWA member to attend by boat, but we do hope these non-members will be persuaded to join the Association. However, what we do ask is that non-IWA members, friends of boaters, for example, as well as others are signed in as official guests.” A final message from Branch Chairman Bernie: “Whether or not you plan to come to the Gathering, please do your very best to encourage other boaters you know who are not members of IWA to join us at Braunston and hopefully become members.”

Introduction from our New Region Chairman Richard Collet-Fenson I started canoeing as a small child with my father. By the 1960s I was helming motor cruisers and in the 1970s was employed as a yacht broker working on the River Thames and at Brightlingsea on the East Coast. At this time I lived in Marlow on the River Thames and helped start the Marlow Canoe Club. I went on to qualify as a Senior Instructor (inland) and participated in a lot of white water activities with my club. In the 1980s my wife and I hired narrowboats for our annual holidays which we enjoyed immensely. By the 1990s we were living near Ely in Cambridgeshire and I did a lot of canoe cruising with my children and grandchildren. During the last decade I was cruising on the River Great Ouse and so joined the IWA. Now, in retirement, I have had a small narrowboat built and am starting to explore all of our inland waterways. For the last twenty years I was employed by the University of Cambridge as the Secretary of the Engineering Department and served on several University committees. When I saw the vacancy for Eastern Region Chairman of the IWA, I thought that my experiences to date would enable me to play a part in an organisation that has saved our inland waterways from almost inevitable extinction. I hope to meet as many members of the IWA Eastern Group as I can over the next few years and play my part in the Association’s various activities.


ILLNESS FORCES SALE BY BRANCH MEMBER 45ft Trad. 1991. 3 –cylinder ISUZU. Double berth. Open plan saloon. Very clean and loved throughout. Well equipped. Recent blacking, anodes, BSC. Local mooring on GU transferable if quick sale. £26,000. Phone 01223 262909

20 LOOKING FORWARD TO MORE THAN AN ARM-FULL AT THE BRAUNSTON IWA GATHERING Tim Coghlan welcomes our event at Braunston Marina in May After two years in a row when the traditional Northampton IWA May Day Bank Holiday Boat Gathering at Northampton failed to happen due to the slings and arrows of the outrageous English weather – either too wet or too dry – I really thought this once very popular gathering had gone the way of so many events on our waterways, including very sadly the once mighty IWA National Rally. It was therefore an exciting surprise when I was rung by our Chairman Bernard Morton – for I too am proudly a member of the Northampton Branch - to ask if, for a change, the event could be held on the canal at Braunston, and based on the Old Arm at our Marina. I was delighted to offer our services, as we are very experienced at hosting this sort of thing, having been doing it for many years. There is now our annual Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally, and before that the nine Braunston Boat Shows, and not to mention the various shared-ownership boat shows. Bernard made all sorts of smooth-talking comments about how wonderful Braunston was, and what a great job we had done at the Marina; that Braunston was the centre of the canals, a truly beautiful place, with a long and fascinating history – that sort of thing. Bernard won me over, and I immediately agreed to help in any way I could – except for one thing: I was not going to open it. The last time I did my celeb-bit, it proved to be the last Northampton Gathering; I even have the celeb-souvenir plaque to prove it. Hopefully I thought this canal-based Braunston Marina in its Samuel Barlow days. A photograph taken by the 24-year-old Ian Wright in August, 1950, on his way by canoe to the Market Harborough IWA Rally. The FMC workshop to the left is already falling into decay, following the canal-carrier’s departure in 1934, as are the stables across the Arm. The newly painted butty Warwick is seen ready to depart for the rally, towed by the motor Cairo, to be steered by George Smith and wife Sonia – later Sonia Rolt. The boats were to be used as trip boats during the rally to promote the inland waterways. Intriguingly, Tom Rolt’s Alvis car is seen under canvas in front of the stables.

21 rally would revive the event and be the start of many IWA rallies here. As experience had proved, there is in my opinion, no better place on our inland waterways for doing this sort of thing. As to that Old Arm, for such it was called when I acquired Braunston Marina from its receivers just over 25 years ago, it was not originally built as such – a short deadend canal like say the Engine Arm on the Napton Flight, or the Saltisford Arm in Warwick. It formed part of the original Oxford Canal where it crossed the upper valley of the Bragborough Stream in Braunston and then wandered for miles across the other side of the valley before rejoining the Oxford Canal the other side of what became Telford’s small aqueduct over the river Leme, now called the Puddle Banks. When Telford carried out his programme of works in the late 1820s to shorten Brindley’s original Oxford Canal, he rather left the old canal line to wither away. But the first short stretch on the manmade ground that crossed the head of the valley already had warehouses, a dry dock and quayside boat-building facilities, as well as immediate access to the adjacent London to Holyhead Turnpike. And from 1805 it stood at the junction of the newly opened Grand Junction Canal and the extant Oxford Canal. The short stretch of canal, the Old Arm, was here to stay. Over the years, there were various ‘owners’ of the yard, probably the most famous being the Nurser family who leased it from 1876 to 1941. In their time, they built many famous wooden working narrowboats, including in the late 1920s some of the first motorised versions, and butty conversions to motors. On old Ordnance Survey maps, the arm is referred to as Nursers’ Dock. The Nursers were then bought out by Samuel Barlows, who were principally canal coal carriers, but also continued Nursers’ boat building here, the most famous being the Raymond, launched in June 1958 as what transpired to be the last wooden narrowboat to be built for the canals. (Due to the splendid work of the Friends of Raymond, the boat has been restored, and will be in pride of place at the Gathering.) Samuel Barlows gave up canal carrying in 1963, and the yard was then taken over by an IWA pioneer, Michael Streat, who with his business Blue Line Cruisers, introduced modern leisure boating to Braunston. Streat kept the rump of the old Barlows fleet going – soon reduced to three pairs - until the trade ceased in 1970. Shortly after that he sold out to Ladyline, whose brief rise and fall was over by 1988, when I acquired Braunston Marina from its receivers. Now going back a bit, another ‘owner’ arrived towards the end of the 1890s. Following the invention of steam narrowboats, Fellows, Morton & Clayton (FMC) acquired the lease from the Grand Junction Canal Company on that part of the yard on the trunk-road (now A45) side of the dry dock. The prime reason for this acquisition was that other than on the broad-lock Grand Junction Canal between London and Braunston, it was uneconomic to carry low value goods in steamers when not towing a butty. Immediately beyond Braunston the locks, especially to Birmingham, became narrow and it was more efficient to tranship the freight from the motor into a horse-drawn butty than bow-hauling the butty by manpower through the many locks, and vice versa when going south.

22 This energetic canal carrier built the large steamer dock in 1901 – probably at first with a steel-framed shed covering it, and then later with the present fine brick building completed in 1909. Then in 1911 FMC built what we now call the Wet Dock adjacent to a collection of late 18th century canal warehouses. It was built wide enough to allow three narrowboats to moor alongside, and there was a crane for moving goods between them. Building that covered dock over the old Oxford Canal effectively cut off the remaining part of it, making that stretch into the Old Arm, as it remains to this day. FMC continued on the site until 1934, when the new broad locks opened all the way to Birmingham, making the depot obsolescent. Their buildings fell into a state of disrepair, or were used by Nursers. In 1947, this great canal carrier, with strong Braunston associations, including the 1923 Boatmen’s Strike, was wound up after making its first loss in its history, which at £30,000 was then a major sum. A relic of FMC occupation remained into the 1950s on a warehouse facing the A45. As a poignant reminder of what had once been, it read: ‘STEAMBOAT SERVICES DAILY TO AND FROM THIS WHARF AND LONDON; Fellows, Morton & Clayton: Canal Carriers’. Although some historic buildings have been lost in recent times – the old stables going in the 1950s, and the boat building shed in the early 1970s, to mention just two today surprisingly much of the old yard survives. All those old buildings are occupied by us or other canal businesses, and these, especially the docks – wet and dry are in constant demand. When I acquired the marina, the old buildings were in a shocking state of disrepair, and as someone who loves old things and enjoys the chal-

Braunston revisited: Sonia Rolt and Ian Wright meeting again by the Old Arm at the 2006 Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally

Photo by Tim Coghlan

23 lenge of restoring them, it was a task I took on with relish. In 1995, the now restored marina received a coveted Civic Trust award. It was a proud moment for us, and we have never let the standards slip since. We take pride in claiming that the Braunston Yard, and especially the Old Arm, has been continuously serving the canal boater for over two hundred years. And hopefully for at least another two hundred. We at Braunston Marina look forward to welcoming the Northampton Branch of the IWA and sharing our unique canal heritage with you in what I am sure will be a most enjoyable Gathering. Hopefully there will be at least an arm-full of boats in the Old Arm!

Stoke Bruerne initiatives Following an award of £67,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Stoke Bruerne Canal Partnership is working with the Canal & River Trust to ensure the canal, village and surrounding countryside are well interpreted, maintained and conserved to provide a resource for leisure, recreation and learning for all. CRT, working alongside the Partnership, will install new visitor information boards, purchase recording equipment, provide family tracker packs and recruit and train a number of volunteers who will give guided tours and capture interesting stories of the waterways. If you would like to join the volunteers at Stoke Bruerne and become part of a dynamic team, the Partnership and CRT would be pleased to hear from you. There is support and training for new and existing volunteers this spring. On Saturday 22nd March there is an opportunity to learn about oral history, using film to record interviews, asking the right questions and encouraging responses. The following day there is a training session on leading guided heritage walks. All these training sessions will be held at Stoke Bruerne, are free and refreshments are provided. Meanwhile, the Partnership would also like to share your memories of Stoke Bruerne, the canal and surrounding countryside. You may have stories to tell, events to describe, photographs to show or written accounts. To this end, on Sunday 13th April, the Partnership is holding a special Reminiscence and Memorabilia day on the canalside by the Museum. Members of the Partnership team will attend to share your stories and memorabilia, a film crew to record your memories and experts who can answer your questions. Entertainment, refreshments and exhibits from the Museum will be available to enjoy. There will also be a mystery object quiz, a “where on earth” image competition and family fun activities. The Reminiscence Day is part of the two-year interpretation project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. You never know — your collective memories, photos and memorabilia might become an important part of the Stoke Bruerne story. To find out more about these initiatives and register your interest, please contact the CRT at or the Partnership at or by calling 01908 302542.


Murder at Lock 12, or A Load of Old Rubbish A dim half-light through the curtains indicated the time was around 7.45 in the morning. A momentary sense of panic was calmed by the realisation that this was Sunday morning, and I snuggled down under the duvet. However, a niggling feeling that I was supposed to be up prevented me from smoothly drifting back to sleep and it was then I remembered we had promised to help at the Task Party on the Northampton Arm. A brief glance through the gap in the curtains confirmed the weather was dry and the sun was just rising. A quick cup of coffee later, I grabbed my Nicholson’s Guide for the Grand Union Canal which should give me a location for Lock 14, Wootton Lock, picked up my heavy duty gloves and we headed off for Banbury Lane, writes Karin Cotter. The CRT van parked in the lay-by just off the Banbury Lane gave the meeting place away, and a small group of people stood nearby. We don’t get to many Branch meetings, we live nearly 45mins drive away and often have other commitments, but we recognised a number of faces and, happily, they recognised us too. Painting the lock gates and litterpicking were the jobs for the day. About a dozen of us had turned up and we signed in and put on our hi-vis jackets, all the equipment, protective clothing and consumables being supplied by CRT. I elected to litterpick and took on the stretch of towpath from Lock 14 south to the motorway bridge and Lock 12 with Roger, who kept an eye on the canalside of the path while I scanned the hedges. It was a glorious December morning, not too cold, dry and calm, and with the sun shining brightly. The recent gales had cleared the hedgerows of most of their foliage and so locating and picking litter was fairly simple. In a short space of time, we had filled two black sacks with old beer cans, sweet wrappers, dog poo bags (just why do owners put the poo in a bag and then discard it – surely it’s better to take the bag home and dispose of it there) and even a pair of old shoes (perhaps their owner thought the leather would bio-degrade) There was the odd ready-meal wrapper with its plastic tray and an empty, rusty baked bean can. Were these discarded by boaters, I wondered, or by folk using, and living, on the towpath? As we neared the motorway bridge, the amount of litter increased. I suspect that much of it here was discarded by car drivers, but there were several piles of beer cans that indicated towpath drinking sessions. Thankfully, we found no needles or syringes but, as we filled the third and fourth sacks, I thought to myself that, as humans, we are an incredibly messy lot. All the rubbish we had picked up that morning had been cast aside by someone who couldn’t be bothered to take his or her litter home or place in a bin. Most of it would take years to disintegrate, if at all, and could do untold harm to wildlife in the area. Sadly, a lot of rubbish is cast aside absentmindedly, but sometimes items are left

25 for another reason, maybe carefully placed but forgotten. As I neared the motorway bridge, a lot of rubbish could be seen on the path on the offside. I took a couple of bags with me and walked over the gates at Lock 12. A variety of items told their own tale. There was a lot of cardboard, sodden in the recent rain, but some of it clearly showing intended routes – M25, M5, M1 South, M6. The rest, in a dry state, may well have once provided shelter and warmth on a chilly night. From under the bridge, I pulled out a short sleeved cotton shirt, underpants, shorts and socks, all very wet now, but obviously a change of clothing. In the warmer, summer weather, someone had stayed under the bridge while hitching. Were his clothes forgotten, or was he coming back for them one day, not realising that, in the rain, the bridge stonework is porous and his carefully stowed clothes would get wet? Was he a young gap year student off on a trip or an illegal immigrant dropped off a lorry travelling up the M1? I tried to picture him for a moment and wondered at his existence. Was I destroying a murder scene? Where was the body? A large and very heavy wellington boot lay not far away in the grass at the side of the bridge. Then my imagination really began to run wild and yet another plot for my, as yet unwritten, novel began to take shape in my mind (wonder what Leo McNeir would make of this one!) I put the boot in one of the sacks – this was my last item as the sacks were now very heavy and I knew I would struggle to carry them across the lock gates. Other litterpickers had joined us on the towpath now and all helped to carry the sacks back. They were to be loaded in the CRT van and disposed of at the tip. As we walked back, I noticed how much cleaner and tidier the towpath area looked. I wasn’t sure for how long, but I just hoped that seeing no litter would encourage towpath users to take their rubbish home. As I drank a welcome cup of hot coffee, I bypassed the festive mince pies and dunked a custard cream, all supplied by CRT. We then had time for a quick chat with everyone about the morning’s achievements. Whilst we had been walking along the towpath, the painters had spruced up the lock gates for Lock 14 and how splendid they looked! The black and white painted beams and bollards are so iconic of the canals and waterways, they should always look the part, even though we have to accept that sometimes they don’t always work as well as they should. I left feeling it was a morning well spent – out in the fresh air, doing something constructive with my time in the pleasant company of like-minded people. Many more task parties will be arranged – hope to see you there!

Task Party volunteers hard at work painting the gates on Lock 14 on the Northampton Arm


SE Waterway's annual pre-Christmas Get-Together for Volunteer Groups was a big success CRT’s South East Volunteering Team report: The above event was held at Stoke Bruerne on Sat 7th December, with more than forty volunteers from communities right across the region in attendance. This was a great networking opportunity for the various group members, as well as a chance to slurp tea and scoff Christmas cake, of course! We're extremely grateful to the Canal Museum staff for giving us the use of the venue. Many thanks indeed. CRT's South East Volunteering Team - represented by Lee King, John Highmore and Miriam Tedder - also took the opportunity to present our Volunteer Organisation Recognition Award for 2013 to Braunston Canal Society. As you can see from the photograph, the Braunston volunteers were delighted to receive this accolade, which is thoroughly deserved given their impressive list of achievements throughout the past year and beyond.

Receiving Endeavour electronically To help keep the production costs of Endeavour within acceptable and affordable limits, your Branch Committee again requests that you consider receiving the newsletter electronically, thus saving on the most costly aspect—namely, postage charges. Some of you, of course, have already signed up to accept the electronic version, which means that you see the illustrations in colour, but the numbers are still a low percentage of our total Branch membership. We realise there will always be many of you who will prefer to remain with the printed version, but those who wish to switch, then please email Geoff Wood at and he will do the necessary. Editor

27 SUDDEN DEATH OF DAVID HENDERSON David Henderson, Manager of The Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne, sadly died after suffering a heart attack in Northampton on Saturday 11th January. Aged 57, David had been attending a Northampton Town football match with his nine-year old son when he collapsed at the wheel of his car outside Sixfields Stadium. Despite emergency resuscitation, he passed away shortly after being taken to Northampton General Hospital. David Blagrove, Chairman of The Friends of The Canal Museum, writes: David was appointed Manager of The Canal Museum in 2007 at a time when the future of the Museum was still seriously in doubt. Ever since the formation of The Waterways Trust in 1999, which had taken responsibility for the Museum among its other responsibilities, it had suffered from a lack of funding and other resources. As a result the displays and the building itself were beginning to look shabby and uncared-for and staff morale was consequently at a low ebb. One of the first moves of The Friends of The Canal Museum after its formation in early 2006 was to agitate for more support for the Museum staff and we were promised some action on this by the Chief Executive. David’s appointment came just over a year later and he immediately brought a welcome breath of fresh air to matters. A start had already been made in the curacy of some artefacts by volunteers, and a little work on smartening up the building, also with volunteers, had begun but once David got into his stride more and more initiatives were undertaken. My first introduction to David was the day after his appointment in the summer of 2007 and it is fair to say that initially there was some mental circling of one another, much like boxers, but it was soon realised that we were both on the same side. Over the ensuing years co-operation between the Friends and the Museum staff has gone from strength to strength, along with relations. At the last major event that the Friends organised, the “Carols by the Canal” in December, David presided over the Museum’s contribution with geniality and it seemed as if a permanent partnership of mutual goodwill would go on indefinitely. This hope was to be rudely shattered just a few short weeks later. David’s memorial must be the revitalised and forward-looking Museum which has now made itself the centrepiece round which the thriving economic life of Stoke Bruerne revolves. He was at the helm during the hard times of general economic recession and it is sad he has not lived to see the ultimate success and regeneration of which he was such a vital part.


The Badger’s Break team tell us about their Bugbrooke Community Café

Badger’s Break (the name was proposed by Millie Bending, a local primary school pupil),  is Bugbrooke’s Commmunity Café.  If you haven’t yet been there you are missing a treat.   You can find us in the Sunday School Rooms on Church Lane, just over the bridge, on the  other  side  of  the  road  from  the  Church,  five  or  so  minutes’  walk  from  the  canal. The  Sunday School building has had many uses since 1862 when it was opened for the good  of the community as Bugbrooke’s Na onal School, and now it con nues to fulfil its commitment to enriching the lives of people in Bugbrooke and the surrounding area.   

The idea of opening a cafe was discussed within the St Michael’s congrega on for some  me before the café opened.  They wanted to be able to put any profits towards something that would benefit the community, rather than just the church, and they came to  the  conclusion  that  it  would  also  be  good  if  young  people  could  be  helped,  both  by  working in the café and by being put through catering college with money from receipts.   The  Church  has  generously  made  the  Sunday  School  available  and  is  not  gaining  any  financial benefit from the café.  We employ young Saturday waiters and waitresses, who  are paid from the  ps (which, we are grateful to say, are very generous!). We are making  a  small  profit,  and  when  we have  saved  up enough  money,  this  will  be  used  to  help  a  disadvantaged local young person through catering college, so you know that your custom will make a difference for someone.   

The café opened last March and is a great success. Young and old find it the ideal place  to meet friends, make new friends, enjoy a drink and a delicious cake before going back  to work, or ge ng on with the business of the day, whatever that might be.   

The café  is  bright,  with  pre y  tablecloths  on  tables  decorated  with  posies  of  fresh  or  dried  flowers.  The  cakes,  all  made  on  the  premises  (Food  Standards  Agency  hygiene  checked)  are  temp ng,  reasonably  priced  and  very  good.  There  is  a  varied  choice  -  coffee and walnut cake, rocky road chocolate tray bake, lemon loaf, cheese cake, crispy  cakes, fruit loaf and Bakewell tarts, pain au chocolat and croissants and all the favourite  coffees, teas and so  drinks. There are organic local eggs for sale, together with homemade damson jam and apple pies. There are toys for children to play with while parents  and  grandparents  chat.  There  are  books  to  browse  through,  borrow  or  buy.  The  full  breakfast is excellent value for money – what a great idea to go out for breakfast!  Snack  lunches are available, including home-made soup, lasagne and quiches. Ingredients are  sourced  locally  where  prac cable,  and  other  high  quality  foods  come  from  M&S  and  Waitrose.   

We open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  Opening hours are 9.00am to  12.30pm during the week and un l 4.00pm on Saturday, but from 1st December we have  been open un l 1.30pm on Fridays to serve lunches (ask for details of our discounts for  Seniors on that day) and close at 3.00pm on Saturdays.  We look forward to welcoming  the boa ng community!  


30 Tim Coghlan reviews...

As Green As Grass,

by Emma Smith

(320pp, Bloomsbury, £16.99) The plaque to the Idle Women – volunteer boatwomen in WWII – which was unveiled at Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum in 2008 by one of now few survivors, Sonia Rolt - carried the line: ‘Their work not only contributed to the war effort but gave us a lasting insight into canal life.’ With the boatmen an isolated and illiterate community, no one had previously written with first-hand experience of canal carrying. But in the immediate post-war years, four of them did, including Emma Smith, whose novel Maiden’s Trip, based on her experiences, and published in 1948 when she was only 25, made national fame. With Tom Rolt’s Narrow Boat earlier in 1944, its publication was timely in supporting the endeavours of the newly-formed IWA in saving the canals. The book has regularly been republished, and recently the BBC made a radio play based on it. Now, sixty-five years on, and aged 90, Emma Smith has astonishingly written an autobiography of her early life from 1923 until her marriage in 1951. There are 320 pages of it, mostly written from memory, including the 37 pages devoted to her two years of canal-carrying, when she did not keep a diary. Whilst the rest of this entertaining and well-written book is for the general reader – with that essential modern elements of kiss and tell, amazingly with partners named in full - it is these canalcarrying pages that are of specific interest to the canal enthusiast. Importantly there are detailed accounts of the various girls who came and went – their names recorded in full, unlike other works where only first names are given. Also included is the length of time they survived, and frank descriptions of their abilities or otherwise - in all an astonishing feat of memory. In the case of the widowed wife of a distinguished naval officer, Rita Curry, Emma describes acidly how she arrived at Bulls Bridge accompanied by a ‘dapper elderly gentleman’ - who transpired to be the Duke of Grafton, whom Rita Curry briefly went on to marry. The Duke carried aboard her suitcase which also transpired to contain a bottle of vodka and another of pink gin. Also coming with her was her ailing spaniel Hector, which Emma thought was ‘a horrid dog.’ Emma recalls that Rita Curry only survived the one trip before calling it a day at Nash’s Paper Mill, where she got the mill manager’s office to call her a taxi. The lady then managed to wangle herself a job at the War Ministry of Transport as head of the Women’s Scheme, recruiting ‘young ladies (debutantes, no less)’ whom Emma regarded as ‘unsuitable’ for the ‘dirty dedicated hard-work’ of canal carrying. As Emma then had to train them, and see her efforts wasted as they quickly came and went, it persuaded her to leave the canals in February 1945. One of those successfully interviewed by Rita Curry was Sonia Rolt – then Sonia South. She recalled the demonstrative Rita Curry showing her the poor state of her broken finger nails as indicative of the hard work that Sonia would have to endure, and was she up to it?

31 Following the success of Maiden’s Trip, Emma had a second with her next book The Far Cry. This she wrote by typing it on the banks of the Seine in the summer of 1948 with a portable typewriter she had bought in Teignmouth for five pounds. Her unusual bare-footed literary endeavours were caught by the famous French photographer Robert Doisneau, and this now appears on the book’s front cover. The novel was based on Emma’s ‘passage to India’ in 1948 to assist in making a documentary of tea growing in the Assam. But thereafter she struggled to write another fictional book, as this new book reveals – also typed on a more recently acquired portable typewriter. Her problem was that she now found she could not write plots that were not based on her personal interesting experiences, and these she had used up. She married in 1951 and had two children, but her husband, a heavy smoker, died in 1957. She has never written about those difficult latter years. She never remarried. Emma Smith has remained interested in canals. In 2000 she attended the first Crick Boat Show, arriving with a small group of surviving Idle Women on one of the boats they had all worked. She joined that Stoke Bruerne plaque unveiling in 2008. More recently she appeared on the BBC One Show with another small surviving group of Idle Women, travelling the canal at Stoke Bruerne on the surviving GUCCC pre-war narrowboat Sculptor. Maiden’s Trip remains her canal legacy – probably the most widely read of all various accounts of those few remarkable young middle class women who could take it – at best thirty of the 120 who volunteered. It is Emma’s perception of the ‘big-picture’ that makes the work so valuable. In her 1986 Preface To The New Edition, she commented, ‘The advent of war made, I think, very little difference to the boaters; they lived in a sort of permanent emergency situation anyway…..The wartime scheme to take on women in place of men had a limited success. There was never more than a handful of girls on the GUC at any one time.’ As the then BW Chairman Tony Hales said at that plaque unveiling, ‘The young ladies had to contend with limited rations, difficult living conditions and sometimes appalling weather including being ice-bound. They worked relentlessly…In truth they were anything but idle.’ Dust-cover of As Green As Grass. The 25year- old barefooted Emma Smith is caught on camera by the famous French photographer Robert Doisneau, typing her second novel The Far Cry on the banks of the Seine in the summer of 1948



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including Camping Gaz.

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


Buckingham Canal Society THANKS SANTA – IT’S EVEN THE RIGHT COLOUR! The Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) provided an early Christmas present for Buckingham Canal Society in the shape of WRG’s former 3 tonne JCB 803 excavator. Known as ‘Blue’, the machine was purchased for WRG following an appeal to celebrate The Inland Waterways Association’s 50th anniversary in 1996. When new, the machine was formally handed over to WRG at the World Canal Conference at Birmingham in 1996, by the then Waterways Minister Robert Jones MP [see Navvies 157 and 158 front cover]. Over the past 17 years the excavator has given sterling service to WRG and a range of waterway restoration groups around the country, to whom it has been loaned. Although ‘Blue’ is still going strong, it is beginning to show signs of age and WRG decided that its days of travelling around the country to different work sites should come to an end. Consequently, WRG is looking to buy a new machine in 2014, largely utilising ‘restricted purpose funds’ that have been given to IWA for Waterway Recovery Group work. Expressions of interest for ‘Blue’ were sought from waterway restoration groups around the country and Buckingham Canal Society put in a particularly good case for taking on the machine. WRG has now donated the machine, with the Society just paying transportation costs for delivery. The JCB excavator will now hopefully enjoy many years of productive retirement helping t h e Buckingham Canal Society restore the Buckingham Arm of the Grand Union Canal. Currently it is being stored with the kind support of Cosgrove Marina prior to the restoration works the Society are expecting to undertake later in 2014. ‘Blue’ will stay blue as the Society recently adopted the colour blue as part of work to update its website and publicity materials. As always, any existing or new BCS volunteers interested in learning to operate “Blue” or develop existing proficiency skills will be most welcome and should contact any of the Society’s trustees.

‘Blue’ in action — looking forward to plenty of hard work on the Buckingham Arm






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HIGH HOUSE MARINA LTD High House Wharf, Heyford Lane, Weedon, Northants NN7 4SF OUR SMALL MARINA (ONLY 24 BOATS) IS A VERY FRIENDLY PLACE TO BE MOORED, HENCE OUR CLIENTS TEND TO STAY PUT Our car park is quite secure and well hidden from the road WE DO NOW AND AGAIN HAVE A VACANCY, SO WHY NOT GIVE US A CALL? Contact Phil Gardner on 01327 349519, E-mail:


B L AC K S M I T H in Tug Store at tunnel entrance, Stoke Bruerne Wrought Iron Work for Boat or Garden

For further details, either visit or ring O1604 859726 / 07761 833049 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.



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) 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

NEXT MEETINGS: Tuesday, 11th March AGM followed by speaker: Tony Conder — Gloucester Docks Tuesday, 8th April Speaker: James Griffin — History of Wyvern Shipping Tuesday, 13th May Speaker: David Ingleby — Huddersfield Narrows The next edition of Endeavour will be published May 2014


WHO’S WHO IN NORTHAMPTON BRANCH 2013/2014 Branch Chairman Bernard Morton 07785 375787 E-mail: bernard.morton

Branch Secretary Sandie Morton E-mail: sandie.morton

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

Treasurer & Planning Officer Alex Madisons E-mail: alex.madisons

Newsletter & Joint Website Editor Tony Clarke 07939 977859 E-mail: tony.clarke

Publicity Officer & Joint Website Editor

Branch Meetings Graham Treagus E-mail: graham.treagus

Membership Secretary & Planning Officer Geoff Wood E-mail: geoff.wood

Boat Gathering Chairman Michael Butler E-mail: michael.butler

Committee Member David Higgins E-mail: david.higgins

Committee Member John Pomfret E-mail: john.pomfret

Committee Member Steve Miles E-mail: steve.miles

Lynda Payton E-mail:lynda.payton

Boat Gathering

Non-Committee posts

Sub-Committee members

Sales: Catriona Butler 01604 473756 Archivist, Endeavour Advertising & Distribution

Michael Butler (Chairman), Catriona Butler, Tony Clarke, Roger Hasdell, Alex Madisons, Steve Miles, Bernard Morton, Sandie Morton, Sam Samuells and Eric Young.

Roger Hasdell 01604 767212

Profile for The Inland Waterways Association

February 2014 w  

IWA Northampton Branch newsletter Endeavour

February 2014 w  

IWA Northampton Branch newsletter Endeavour