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HEREWARD WINTER 2011 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

Images of the Nene

Northampton Peterborough Thrapston

Nene Mouth Lighthouse Iconic Guillotine Gate

Water Newton

Dragon Boat Festival



s I write this we are three weeks from Christmas, and five months from the launch of the new Canal & River Trust and the old cliché ” I don’t know where the time goes” has never been more appropriate. IWA ‘s position on the C&RT has always been consistent, it’s a good idea which we support, but with the absolute proviso that the funding must be adequate. The last trustees meeting heard that the silence from DEFRA on the subject of funding has been deafening and that there is little indication that they have been listening to the lobbying that has been going on from many quarters. The announcement on the funding package is due any moment and it will be very interesting to see what we end up with. I suggest that no-one holds their breath waiting for good news. However on the subject of Welches Dam there is potentially better news. Following a visit to the Lock in November, a meeting took place with the Committee, Clive Henderson (National Chair) and Paul Roper (Navcom) , and these IWA senior officials were left in no doubt as to the seriousness of the problem and the level of feeling it has generated within the Branch area. Paul subsequently had a very high level meeting with senior EA people and explained that we Welches Dam Lock wanted to sue the Agency. As a direct consequence some very searching questions are being asked and the Agency’s attitude may be changing. Watch this space. The Branch is pursuing the possibility of some new moorings as outlined in this issue, and our new slimmed down social programme starts soon, details also provided elsewhere. See you all in the new year.

Alastair 1

Wednesday 18th January 2012

Book Swap Bring a box or bag with books that you are prepared to swap or lend, Anything from Persian Poetry - novels - history technical, even Russell Newbury manuals!

eshments Light refr rovided will be p

Wednesday 15th February 2012

EA Annual Review Irven Forbes will again come and bring us up to date on what is happening on the Environment Agency waterways. As usual we will have a Question Time when any burning topics can be raised by members.

Wednesday 14th March 2012

Branch and Region AGM See the Official Notices elsewhere in this edition and after the AGM business we have David Thomas of the Middle Level Commissioners to give an illustrated talk on the new St Germans Pumping Station which has a capacity to pump 100 tonnes of water per second! All meetings to take place at our usual venue, Peterborough Indoor Bowls Centre, Burton Street, Peterborough PE1 5HA commencing at 7.30pm. Members and Non-members Welcome





ust as the last issue of Hereward went to press the name of the new Waterways Charity was announced as The Canal & River Trust. This was soon followed by the publishing of the logo (shown above) that will be the brand mark for the new organisation. Sceptics may say that it bears an uncanny similarity to the previous logo used by British Waterways, the body the new charity will replace in England and Wales from next April. Certainly the hump-backed bridge is there but the bulrushes are replaced by a swan. The same black and white livery is adopted which will no doubt bring cost savings in the re-branding exercise which will now have to take place across the former BW network. For an authority that is to be responsible for several hundred miles of canals and rivers whose prime function is navigation, it would not have been unreasonable to expect that the new logo may have included an image of a boat or some passing reference to navigation. Is the adoption of a swan, and a rather large swan at that, as the centrepiece of the logo an indication of where the priorities of the new body will lie? We shall see.




by Nigel Long


he latest meeting of the Environment Agency Regional Navigation Group took place on 23rd November. As a result of that meeting I am able to update you on a number of matters.

Charges At a special meeting in September the Group recommended that navigation charges nationally should not be increased for 2012 by more than 5 %; we later discovered that this was also the recommendation of the equivalent of the Group on the Thames. The Agency Board subsequently considered the issue and has now decided that for each of the years 2012/13/14 navigation charges will increase by the rate of the Consumer Prices Index plus 2% which adds up to 6.4% for 2012. An assurance was given that the programme of increases for 2013 and 2014 would be reviewed before implementation and that if it were to be concluded that customers could not sustain such increases adjustments would be made. What the proposals would mean if implemented in full at the 2012 rate is that over the 3 year period Anglian charges would [at compound interest] increase by over one fifth. The one good piece of news was in relation to the Agency’s idea that each region should pay its own running costs. It was confirmed that, if the idea were to be implemented, implementation would not take place until after the conclusion of the current three- year proposals i.e. until after 2014.

Capital Works In an earlier edition I explained that Anglia had started off the financial year with a capital budget of £1.43m. which represented a reduction of almost £1m. on the previous year. I am pleased to be able to report that during the course of this year Anglia has been awarded an additional £1.2m. towards its capital budget so that the capital available is now back to the sort of level available in the previous two years. As to how that money will be spent the latest version of the Capital Plan for Anglia was produced to us. So far as the Nene was concerned there had essentially been no changes to the position I reported in the Summer edition. On Nene lock landing stages it was confirmed that the Agency’s investigations had established where the problem sites were and the detailed nature of those problems had been logged in full. The next stage would be to put together groups of sites into “projects”. Having done this when and as money became available in future years individual “projects” would be carried out.

Ashline Lock, Whittlesey Iain Smith, the Clerk of the Middle Level Commissioners, told the meeting that the Commissioners were intending to close Ashline lock and the channel 100 metres on either side of the lock to investigate and repair the cont’d on page 7……. 4



Diesel - Calor



Regional Navigation Group—cont’d from page 4……. downstream paddle door and the brickwork on the internal lock walls and to level out the ground and replace the footholds under the upstream and downsteam sweeps. The closure was planned for the period 30th January to 13th February inclusive. No doubt confirmation will be issued when the arrangements are finalised.

Ashline Lock

We hope you will please support our advertisers in return for the continued valuable support they give to the Branch in making this publication possible.

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. 7



e are all surrounded at present by doom and gloom whether on a national or local stage and whether involving the waterways or otherwise. It is therefore pleasing to be able to tell you of a positive project which this branch is pursuing. Throughout its recent history the branch has sought to promote improvements within the area of the Middle Level system. Following the raising of Ramsey Hollow bridge and the replenishment of our funds our attention turned to the improved provision of temporary public moorings; we investigated a large number of potential sites within the Middle Level area. The conclusion we reached, having weighed up both navigational and practical considerations, was that a good potential site for such moorings would be Three Holes. It is, of course, the point where the Sixteen Foot River joins Popham’s Eau and there are some useful facilities sited there including a village shop and garage. [Unfortunately since this project began the pub has closed!]. We have been in discussion both with the Middle Level Commissioners and the local parish council [Upwell] and the project has now crystallised to the point where we can move forward. In essence the intention is to build a mooring (which will look very Cont’d on page 10……….



Contact Ray Whitby Unit 3C Cromwell Business Centre New Road, St Ives PE27 5BG Tel: (01480) 462150 Fax: (01480) 493309 E-mail:


Suppliers of quality components · Federal Mogul Pistons & Rings · Payen Gaskets & Seals · Æ Bearings CRANK REGRINDING · VALVE CUTTING · REBORING SURFACE GRINDING ENGINE RECONDITIONERS Specialists in Petrol & Diesel engine rebuilds for marine, car & commercial applications, including cylinder head refurbishment, crack & pressure testing Monsal Works, Somersham Road, St Ives, Cambs PE27 3LY · Tel 01480 462111 ……..Three Holes moorings - cont’d from page 8 similar to the new Benwick moorings) against the straight west bank of the Sixteen Foot River on the north side of, and very near to, the road bridge which crosses that navigation. I have seen the site in bright sunshine and can report that the area is very attractive. The proposal is that the moorings should have a limit of 36 hours. Once constructed the moorings (but not the ground on which they will sit) will be transferred by the IWA to the parish council to safeguard them for the future. The site itself is actually owned by the Commissioners and the branch is very grateful both to them and to Upwell Parish Council for the support they have both given to the project. Without that support there would be no project on that site. We are still at an early stage and more consents will still be needed to say nothing of planning permission, the application for which has just been lodged. Nevertheless the project is now definitely under way; we hope news of it will provide you with some seasonal cheer!

Nigel Long A photograph of the proposed site and an impression of the new moorings is shown inside the back cover of this issue. 10



he coming of the railways in the early part of the nineteenth century is generally seen as the beginning of the end for the canals in terms of commercial carrying. However in certain places the new form of transport was used to compliment rather than compete with the earlier waterborne system of carrying. One such place is Cromford in Derbyshire where a railway was constructed to take the lucrative limestone traffic from Cromford Wharf over the Peak District hills to link up with the Peak Forest Canal at Bugsworth Basins near Whaley Bridge. The railway was a much cheaper and more practical solution than constructing a canal link with all the problems and delays that such a heavily locked canal route would have entailed. The hilly terrain was even a challenge for the railway builders and the fearsome inclines, some of which are 1 in 8, were too steep for conventional friction traction. As a result the Cromford & High Peak Railway, constructed in 1830 used a series of nine rope worked inclined planes with the goods wagons hauled up the inclines by stationary steam engines located at the top of each plane. In between the inclines conventional steam locomotives were used and once the route had climbed out of the valley of the River Derwent, the section over the Peaks was fairly level until it began to fall into the valley of the River Goyt towards Whaley Bridge. The Goyt Valley section of the line closed as early as 1892, but the rest of the line continued in service as a unique part of the British Railways system until 1967, when it was closed as a victim of the Beeching cuts. The inclines are still visible today but only one of the winding engines has survived - at Middleton Top, near Wirksworth. The best places to see the old inclines are at Middleton, at Sheep Pastures above the A6 at Cromford, and in the Goyt Valley - where the road above Errwood Reservoir now goes down one of them. The line was purchased in 1971 by Derbyshire County Council and the Peak District National Park Authority and converted into a cycle track. The trail makes a fine Cromford Wharf—terminus of the day out - probably more interesting than the more popuCromford Canal lar Tissington Trail. The whole area around Cromford is packed with interest and is designated a World Heritage Site. High Peak Junction where goods were transhipped from canal boats onto the railway. The route heads off up the first incline towards Sheep Pasture Engine House and immediately enters a tunnel under the A6 road. At 1 in 8 it is a challenge for the modern day cyclist and your editor has to admit to pushing his steed up this one! The site features a small museum in the former railway workshop by the side of the canal and there are pleasant walks on the towpath.



Shiny new boats on show at Crick

Email: 12

PETERBOROUGH BRANCH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Peterborough Branch of the Inland Waterways Association will be held on Wednesday 14th March 2012 at the Peterborough and District Indoor Bowls Centre, Burton Street, Peterborough at 7.30 p.m.

AGENDA 1. Apologies for Absence 2. Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 2011 3. Matters Arising from those Minutes 4. Chairman’s Report 5. Presentation and Adoption of the Branch Accounts for the year to 31/12/11 6. Election of Committee Members (see notes below) Notes: [following the amendment of Branch Byelaws dated 16/5/09] There is no longer any limit to the number of members of the committee Under the 3-year rule Richard Fairman and Roger Mungham will retire at the forthcoming AGM. Both are eligible for re-election. It is no longer necessary for those who wish to be elected to the committee to be nominated and seconded but all who wish to stand must agree to do so. Consents from members of the Branch who wish to stand for election at the AGM 2012 must be deposited with the Branch Secretary [Nigel Long 7 Georgian Court, Peterborough PE3 6AF or by email at] before the start of the Annual General Meeting.

CONSENT FORM I agree to stand for election to the Peterborough Branch committee at the 2012 Annual General Meeting. I am a member of Peterborough Branch.

(Sign) ------------

Print Name --------------


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



his edition of Hereward has coincided with Christmas and may I take this opportunity to wish all readers a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year for 2012. Always a time for reflection, the turn of this New Year will probably be more significant in terms of the waterways than any since most of us can remember. In that I mean the demise of BW (apart from in Scotland) and the setting up of the Canal & River Trust. Even though many of the members of this Branch probably do not have BW registered boats, I think it is fair to say that things will also change within the EA system and we have already heard about moves to make the individual navigation regions within the EA more autonomous. Interesting times—let us hope it all works out. In terms of reflection, the inner front cover of this edition takes a look at what a lovely river we have in the Nene with some views along the length from Northampton to the mouth. On the back inner cover there is a view of the proposed site of the moorings the Branch is hoping to facilitate at Three Holes. It is frustrating that in these cash-strapped times we have the money in the coffers for this project and whilst all the parties involved are in favour, pulling it all together is taking a little longer than we had hoped. Let us hope this will be a success we can celebrate for the Branch in 2012. Finally I would like to thank those who have supported me with copy overt the year, particularly Nigel, Alastair and John Revell. Philip Halstead 14

EASTERN REGION ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Eastern Region of the Inland Waterways Association will be held on Wednesday 14th March 2012 at the Peterborough and District Indoor Bowls Centre, Burton Street, Peterborough at 7.30 p.m.

AGENDA 1. Apologies 2. Approval of the Minutes of the AGM held on 18th March 2011 3. Matters Arising from those Minutes 4. Chairman’s Report 5. Election of Committee Members (see notes below) Notes: [following the amendment of Region Byelaws which came into force on 14/3/09] The Chairman of the Region is elected in a separate ballot and the Chairmen of each of the branches within the Region are members of the Region committee ex officio. This is an election for the remaining members of the Region committee. The period of office of none of the elected members of the committee comes to an end at the 2012 AGM but there is no limit to the number of members of that committee. It is no longer necessary for those who wish to be elected to the committee to be nominated and seconded but all who wish to stand must agree to do so. Consents from members of the Region who wish to stand for election at the AGM 2012 must be deposited with the Region Secretary [Nigel Long 7 Georgian Court, Peterborough PE3 6AF or by email at] before the start of the Annual General Meeting

CONSENT FORM I agree to stand for election to the Eastern Region committee at the 2012 Annual General Meeting. I am a member of Eastern Region

(Sign) -----------------------------

Print Name ------------------------



COMMITTEE MEMBERS CHAIRMAN: Alastair Chambers 52 Hereward Way, Deeping St James, Peterborough PE6 8QB Tel: 01778 344438 e-mail: DEPUTY CHAIRMAN & SALES OFFICER: Graham Baughn PO Box 15, 10 Marina Drive, March, Cambs PE15 0AU Tel: 07578-753558 e-mail: SECRETARY: Nigel Long 7 Georgian Court, Peterborough PE3 6AF Tel: 01733 553782 e-mail: TREASURER: Michael Slaughter 45 Elstone, Orton Waterville, Peterborough PE2 5JZ Tel: 01733 390598 e-mail: MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY: Carole Chambers 52 Hereward Way, Deeping St James, Peterborough PE6 8QB Tel: 01778 344438 e-mail: EDITOR: Philip Halstead, 20 Cane Avenue, Peterborough PE2 9QT Tel: 01733 348500 e-mail: John Dudley, 1 Bellmans Road, Whittlesey, Peterborough PE7 1TY Tel: 01733 202581 Roger Mungham Boatmans Cottage, Workhouse Lane, Upwell, Wisbech PE14 9ET Tel: 01945 773002 e-mail: Roger Sexton, 2 Shaw Drive, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 9TB Tel: 01354 652329 David Venn, Bruffs Lodge, High Street, Nordelph, Downham Market PE38 0BL Tel: 01366 324102 Richard Fairman, The Old Railway House, Cowbit, Spalding, Lincs PE12 0XD Tel: 01406 380575


Proposed site for moorings at Three Holes

Three Holes Moorings The proposed site for the new moorings referred to on page 8 is shown above. Following discussions with the Middle Level Commissioners and Upwell Parish Council, the type of mooring proposed is similar to that recently provided at Benwick which is shown below. The final design will be subject to the various planning and statutory approvals.

Recently installed moorings at Benwick

Hereward Winter 2011  
Hereward Winter 2011  

The magazine of the Peterborough Branch of the Inland Waterways Association