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St Germans Pumping Station The IWA charity registered number 212342 The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Inland Waterways Association or of the Peterborough Branch. They are, however, published as being of interest to our members and readers

Welches Dam & Horseways Visit 40 IWA members contemplating the problems!

Welches Dam Lock bottom gates from the Forty Foot

As outlined on page 10 a joint Branch visit was made to Welches Dam and Horseways on 5 April and here are some Views from the visit Photos: Roger Green

David Venn and Les Etheridge holding the Plaque celebrating the reopening of Welches Dam Lock in the 1970’s

John Revell reversing ‘Emily May’ into Horseway Lock



he Branch AGM was held on 19th March and the evening included a visit from Irven Forbes who gave his annual update on navigation matters within the EA. The formal business saw Roger Sexton and Philip Halstead, who were retiring on the three year rule, re-elected to the Branch Committee. Roger Green and Andrew Storrar, who were co-opted during the past year were also formerly elected, all to serve for the next three years. Chairman David Venn gave a short report and reiterated that the committee is still under strength and made an appeal to members to give consideration to joining the committee to fill the gaps and help take the Branch forward. The committee meets on the first Tuesday of each month at the Peterborough Indoor Bowling Club at 7.30pm. Anyone interested is welcome to come along as an observer to get a flavour of what goes on. Treasurer Roger Mungham presented the Accounts and Balance sheet for the year ending 31st December 2013 which showed a deficit for the period of £10,739. This was largely attributable to the significant investment the Branch made in funding the new moorings at Three Holes. These are now complete and providing a useful asset to users of the Middle Levels system. The current balance at the year-end stood at £3,444. After the conclusion of the formal business Irven Forbes gave an illustrated presentation on matters concerning navigation in the EA Anglian Region. The Region includes around 50% of the total navigable waters under EA management and is therefore an important part of the overall operation. Income from boating is continuing to rise year on year and this year should see the annual income top £2 million for the first time. This reflects a steady rise in boat registrations which is comforting in the present tight economic climate. Despite the level of income holding up, it is still far short of the total expenditure made by the EA in managing the region which is approaching £5 million annually. The shortfall is why the EA need additional income from the government and it is this that is currently being cut. This means funds for major capital works and staff resourcing levels are being reduced which is limiting the programme the EA can undertake to sustain and develop navigation. The EA organisation is currently being changed from a three-tier structure to a two-tier which will see the functions of the Regional tier being subsumed into the Areas with a National tier overseeing the Areas. Staff rationalisation is presently underway with a moratorium on recruitment and no vacancies being filled. The EA has made strenuous efforts since 2010 to target unlicensed use of the waterways with a view to maximising income and also fulfilling an obligation to the majority of boaters who do pay their dues. Since the Enforcement Team was established in 2010 there has been an average of 30 successful prosecutions per year. We reported in a recent issue of Hereward that the Branch Committee had met with the EA on the subject of volunteering and Irven re-confirmed that the EA are committed to introducing voluntary support into their operations. We previously heard of opportunities at Northampton Marina and Denver Sluice and these are still aspirations for volunteer involvement. Other areas are a Roving Task Force, support to River Inspectors and Patrolmen and input at events and shows. The EA has linked into a new initiative ‘Heart 1

of the Fens Landscape Partnership’ which has been established to co-ordinate volunteer resources on a number of environmental and leisure aspects and relationships have been developed with the Ancholme and Stour Trusts. There has been some forward movement in the involvement of volunteers but real progress is being inhibited by the present restructuring and financial constraints. Being realistic, the interpretation of Irven’s comments where that this will take time and will probably only really take-off after the next General Election when the policies of the new government will adopt, whatever its political hue, towards the EA and its responsibility for navigation will become known. Despite the somewhat gloomy position, the EA have invested £32 million in major capital works in the region since 2004 and during the last year has continued with the installation of new and replacement landing stages, dredging, lock draining and cleaning and the removal of non-registered craft and hulks, many of which were a danger to navigation. No one can be unaware of the recent tribulations the EA has had with the weather and resultant flooding but the Anglian Region has been much less affected than other regions despite the December 2013 tidal surge on the east coast being the highest ever, beating 1953. Nevertheless, now the flooding has subsided, stock is being taken of the damage caused and the resultant remedial work will take up expenditure during the coming financial year. Irven concluded by updating us on the Fens Waterways Link. This major project continues to move forward but pace is very much dictated by availability of funding and resources, neither of which are in strong supply at present. The project has been given six specific phases. Phase 1: Black Sluice Lock at Boston. This is now completed with the provision of moorings on Black Sluice, a slipway and a facilities block/visitor centre. This has all been well supported by Lincolnshire CC. Phase 2: Boston Tidal Barrier. This is a major phase to construct a barrier in The Haven downstream of the lock to contain the river level and eliminate a tidal passage into Boston. There are also flood alleviation benefits. Much behind the scenes planning and design work has been undertaken and this phase should be completed in 5 to 6 years. Phase 3: Donington to Surfleet. This is work to improve the top end of Black Sluice and drive through a new connection into the River Glen. Route options and landowner negotiations are underway. Phase 4: Surfleet to Crowland. Tied into Spalding Waterspace Strategy. Phase 5: Crowland to Peterborough Link. Tied in with Peterborough Waterspace Strategy. Phase 6: Cambridgeshire Phase to the Ouse via the Middle Levels. Not much done so far and this will be the final phase. With flooding still being in the forefront of our minds, Irven urged all boaters using the regions rivers to register for Strong Stream notifications. This could be your life saver. This is not only open to EA registered craft but also to visiting CRT craft who will probably be less knowledgeable about the rivers and how quick things can change. Registration is via the EA website which has moved to the site. As usual Irven took questions from the floor and those present showed their appreciation of his informative and interesting talk in the usual manner.

Philip Halstead




Diesel - Calor



Mill Drove, Ramsey Cambs. PE26 2RD Tel: 01487 813621

Moorings occasionally available, £11.60 per foot per year + VAT, if paid annually. Slipway for bottom blacking from £120.00 Chandlery, Fuel, Gas, Toilets, Shower We stock Rylard & Craftmaster Paints, Anodes, Coflex, Rust Konverta, Incralac etc.





MOORINGS 200 non-residential moorings for Cruisers and Narrowboats up to 62 feet long

Well stocked Chandlery plus Diesel, Petrol, Calor Gas, Homefire Coal, Logs, Kindling

SERVICES & FACILITIES Craneage, Slipway, Boat and Canopy Repairs, Engine Servicing, Toilets, Showers, Laundrette Keep up to date with the latest Boats for Sale, River Conditions and Marina News by visiting THE CHANDLERY IS OPEN 6 DAYS A WEEK—9.00AM TO 5.00PM CLOSED WEDNESDAYS

Contact: Training Secretary, PYC Phone: 01733 311680 Net: http://





his year’s cruise followed a familiar route, a breezy but dry Good Friday saw a group of ten boats at High Lode Lock and being on a level passed straight through. Well, all except Rodgy Dodgy, who having had a new engine went for a bit of a test run, we waited for him ”just in case”. Happily all went well and the two boats locked through and followed on. The trip was uneventful, all credit the MLC, the channel was weed free and someone had done a fairly severe job on the overhanging biodiversity. Even the winding hole had been dredged and cleaned so no troubles turning. Some machete work had to be done on the nettles but that only encourages them in the longer term. After hacking a way to the path we wandered up to The Admiral Wells, both beer and food were excellent, and a good night was had by all. Easter Saturday dawned a bit grey but steadily improved as the flotilla reversed course and cruised sedately back to The George at Forty Foot. One person decided to inspect his boat from the waterline up but happily was unhurt. Whilst inside in the dry, sampling yet more food and drink, the old pub Visitors Log was found. This turned out to be 20 years old and we finished it off, writing on the back flyleaf, hopefully the pub will get a replacement. It was a trip down memory lane looking up all the familiar names and dates we visited. After a suitable period of reminiscence we set off to Stonea, the weather continued to improve and we seemed to make remarkably good time, arriving for a pleasant evening session. Several crews had booked for the renowned Golden Lion Sunday Lunch, after which they retired to their boats! A few intrepid and hardy narrowboat types did run up to Three Holes and had a boaters social on board Krissy, damage being done to several livers. Breakfast on Monday comprised coffee and paracetamol, at least on Hillpenny! Then we made our way back to March in warm sunshine. All in all an excellent weekend cruise, although had the Watermen’s Club not fielded such a strong contingent it might have been a trifle lonely at times.

Alastair Chambers WELCOME The Branch offers a warm welcome to the following new members:Nigel Martin of Stamford Paul & Beryl Skillings of Wisbech Michael & Heather Ayliff of Bourne YAK Dean of Stamford The Committee would also like to offer a warm welcome to Stephen Heywood who joined our ranks at the first meeting following the AGM. Stephen was co-opted by unanimous agreement of the other members present. All the other posts were filled by the previous incumbents agreeing to continue in office. Details of the committee with points of contact are given on Page 11. 8

Email: 9

Brian W. Smith Marine Surveyor Pre-Purchase Surveys Valuations—Insurance Surveys CE Compliance for Home Builds Contact Brian on: Tel: 01354 680341 Mobile: 07887 781649 E-mail:

Boat Safety Examinations Engine Evaluation & Condition Ultra-sound Osmosis Assessment Gas System Surveys

Member of the Association of Boat Safety Examiners - Gas Safe Reg. YDSA



n 5th April members of the Peterborough and Gt Ouse Branches paid a visit to Horseways and Welches Dam Lock. The visit was also attended by Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman and John Pomfret, Chairman of NavCom. The visit had been arranged to allow members to view the present condition of the channel and lock with a view to canvassing support and ideas for restoration of the route to through navigation. After the visit those present adjourned to Manea Parish Hall where Roger Sexton gave a presentation outlining the history of the route and identifying the problems which have arisen, leading to the present closure of the route to navigation. Andrew Storrar then outlined some of the technical issues involved in restoring the route and referred to the opportunities that the proposed gravel extraction workings in the area may bring. Subsequent to the visit your committee have decided to pursue three avenues to assess the root of the problems and assess what possibilities exist for remedial action. 1. To obtain aerial photos of the route of the channel to use crop patterns to identify the location of the leaks. 2. To investigate a method of filling the channel in order to get a weed cutter in to clear the way to make further inspections of the banks. 3. To hold discussions with the gravel extraction contractors to see if a source of clay suitable for sealing the channel will be forthcoming from these works. It is hoped that a report on the outcome of these investigations will be available for the next edition of Hereward. [see photographs of the visit in the inside front cover]. 10


COMMITTEE MEMBERS CHAIRMAN: David Venn, Bruffs Lodge, High Street, Nordelph, Downham Market PE38 0BL Tel: 01366 324102

SECRETARY: Roger Green, 70 Windmill Close, Ellington, Huntingdon, Cambs PE28 0AJ Tel: 01480 890215 Mobile: 07799 066001 e-mail:

TREASURER: Roger Mungham Boatmans Cottage, Workhouse Lane, Upwell, Wisbech PE14 9ET Tel: 01945 773002 e-mail:

EDITOR: Philip Halstead, 20 Cane Avenue, Peterborough PE2 9QT Tel: 01733 348500 e-mail:

ENTERTAINMENTS OFFICER: Richard Fairman, The Old Railway House, Cowbit, Spalding, Lincs PE12 0XD Tel: 01406 380575 Roger Sexton, 2 Shaw Drive, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 9TB Tel: 01354 652329 Andrew Storrar, 48 Station Road, Morton, Bourne, Lincolnshire PE10 0NN Tel: 01778 570610 e-mail: Stephen Heywood, Whitehouse Farm, Nordelph, Downham Market PE38 0BG Tel: 01366 324470


Branch Visit to St Germans Pumping Station On 15th April 25 members of the Branch were hosted by the Middle Level Commissioners to a visit to their prestigious St Germans Pumping Station near Kings Lynn. The pumping station was completed in 2010 and lifts drainage water from the Fens Main Drain into the Great Ouse at a maximum capacity of 120 m3 of water per second. There are six pumps each of 1.2MW rating which can be driven by mains electricity or by diesel driven generators. The whole station is operated and controlled by a state of the art fully automatic system which uses a variety of sensors to allow the station to transfer the water at the appropriate rate for the conditions that apply over all seasonal and climatic conditions. The system is so sophisticated that no permanent staff needs to be allocated to the site which can be operated and monitored from the MLC head office or by call-out staff working via laptops. This new installation replaced the earlier station which was constructed in the 1930’s and was needed to provide replacement for life expired equipment and also to give increased flow capacity. The whole structure was constructed within a cofferdam in the main channel several yards downstream of the earlier installation which has now been decommissioned and demolished. The visit proved extremely interesting and the Branch would like to express thanks to David Thomas, Chief Engineer of MLC for guiding us round the installation and for his informative commentary. More information on the pumping station including the background to its design and construction can be found on the website at Photo Captions On the opposite page are some views of the station taken on the visit:Photo 1: The view of the intake side of the pumping station building where the flow of water from the Middle Level Main Drain enters the station through a series of weed screens. Extensive use is made in the building construction of steel and glass. Photo 2: Pump no.2 of the six pumps installed showing the 1.2MW motor and headgear. The actual pump is suspended in the flow below this floor level and driven by extended shafting. Photo 3: The extensive control equipment which gives automatic control to the pumping station with each pump having a dedicated multi-section motor control centre several metres long. Photo 4: A pump case and impeller from the previous pumping station—preserved for posterity in the location of the old station, now demolished. The wording on the plaque says there were originally three Gwynnes Invincible pumps driven by Crossley Premier engines. A fourth pump was added later and electric drive replaced the engines on two of the pumps to give a capacity for the old station of 70m3/sec. The old station ran from 1934 to 2010 when the new station was commissioned.



St Germans Pumping Station





Hereward sp14 web (16pp)  

The magazine of the Peterborough Branch of the Inland Waterways Association