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Issue 26 June 2016


CONTENTS Chairman’s Contemplations……………………………....3 Mary Crofts…………………………………………………..5 2016 Branch AGM…………………………………………..6 From the Archive…………………………………………….7 Spring Clean Up……………………………………………..10

Book Competition…………………………………………...12 Word Search…………………………………………………13 Anti Social Plea……………………………………………...14

Keels and Cuckoos is published on behalf of the

South Yorkshire and the Dukeries Branch of the Inland Waterways Association by M H Fielding, 1 Vicarage way, Arksey, Doncaster, DN5 0TG. Printed by Colour Image, Loudwater Views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of The Inland Waterways Association or of the South Yorkshire and the Dukeries Branch Committee The Inland Waterways Association: Registered Office Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA Website www.waterways.org.uk Email iwa@waterways.org.uk

Founded in 1946, incorporated in 1958 The Inland Waterways Association is a non-profit distribution company limited by guarantee (No.62245) Registered as a Charity (No.212343) Registered as a Charity (No. 212342)

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CHAIRMAN’S CONTEMPLATONS Having just completed my second year as your branch chairman, I confess to a feeling of disappointment. Some fifty-five years ago I joined the IWA, as a Sheffield resident, when it was the major centre of the then North-East Midlands branch. Despite the branch’s name, the committee was composed of mainly Sheffield people. The state of the waterways in those days was perilous. Central government was hell bent on closing and eliminating most of our canals, and local authorities had no interest whatsoever in local waterways. Given the massive task of changing public opinion, the IWA membership accepted the challenge and now fifty years on we see the outcome of that determination. We have waterways under restoration in the most unlikely locations and we have almost achieved the “Waterways Conservancy” (C&RT) envisaged by IWA pioneers, just after the second world war. Given the current waterways situation one could be forgiven for believing that having secured the impossible with so few activists, that IWA would now be steadily cruising into the future attracting support that usually follows outstanding success.

However, although at a national level, IWA goes from strength to strength, at a local level there is a marked lack of interest. Many of IWA’s branches are struggling to fill committee posts and even waterway events or presentation are so poorly attended that, as in the case of the South Yorkshire and the Dukeries and the Lincolnshire Branch they have ceased to be held. The branch AGM held waterside in the centre of Sheffield on May 11th attracted only three members despite advertisement in Keels and Cuckoos and again via e-mail. The three members, in addition to the committee members disposed (there being nothing contentious) of the business in hand and were royally entertained by Jonathan Harts-Woods of CRT.

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Jonathan spoke about invasive species, but began with rabbits and squirrels, deer and sycamore trees! He is convinced that incomers eventually find their place in nature and that committing time and money in vast quantities is not the long term answer. But back to the future of the IWA. If this is not at a local level how will it go forward? Is it time for a major re-think on branch and region structure ? Given that almost everyone has on-line access is there any value in local or even national printed magazines which are expensive to produce and even more expensive to distribute? With so many television channels to choose from will people actually venture out on a winter’s evening to attend an illustrated talk? I have my views but I would welcome yours. Write a letter to Keels and Cuckoos, send me an email or telephone me. Please let me know your feelings. David Dawson SY&D IWA Branch Chairman. May 2016 The next edition of Keels and Cuckoos will be published in September 2016. If you have any articles you would like to publish in the magazine let me have it by 1st August for inclusion, photographs on Jpeg could also be used. Contact details can be found on the back cover. The Branch committee would welcome some help with organising and running the branch. If you can spare some time please contact a committee member for information. Thank you Contact details on the back cover.

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MARY CROFTS It is with sorrow that I have to report the death of Mary Crofts on Monday May 2nd, a valued member of the branch committee for many years. I first met Mary at a branch social held in Sheffield in the 1980’s. Colin and Mary had recently moved into their house at South Bramwith from the south of the country. Colin joined the branch committee taking on the post of planning officer. Mary followed shortly after taking over as branch sales officer. At the 1991 campaign rally, held in Sheffield, Mary helped Colin with publicity and production of the rally brochure . Comments from boaters attending said that it was one of the most friendly rallies they had attended. Mary had much to do with this. I remember Mary sat in one of the site offices handing out rally plaques. She had a short conversation with every recipient. She took her role as branch sales officer very seriously and attended many events. She ensured that we were never short of saleable stock. She was always a kind and loyal branch committee officer and continually attended committee meeting with Colin making appropriated comments and suggestions. Due to failing health Mary had to give the sales officer role but still remained a valued committee member. She will be sorely missed. Mary’s funeral took place on Friday 20th May at St Mary’s Church, South Bramwith, Doncaster. Our deepest condolence goes out to Colin and family. Malcolm Fielding .Did you know The Grand Western Canal was conceived as one of several competing schemes to build a canal between the Bristol Channel and the English Channel.

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IWA, SOUTH YORKSHIRE AND THE DUKERIES BRANCH AGM MAY 11TH 2016 The meeting took place in Arch 18, which is a waterside restaurant in what is now Victoria Quays, but used to be just “ Sheffield Basin”. Access was straightforward and parking almost on the doorstep, it was a mild evening and the venue proved to be ideal. We missed stalwarts, Colin and Mary Crofts. Mary had passed away a few days earlier and the members sympathy was extended to Colin at this difficult time for him and his family. Colin Crofts (in his absence), Dave Scott and John Shaw were re-elected en bloc. The remaining committee continue as before. Pat Davies reported that finances were still strong, although reserves were slightly reduced as there were no sales or promotional activities, due to lack of committee members to undertake these. John Shaw reported that the branch membership had fallen by the largest number for many years, but it was agreed that this is a problem common to many groups, as more on-line communications are available. The branch was pleased to welcome guests Elaine Scott, branch chair of the West Riding branch with husband Peter Scott, Regional Chairman, who gave a brief presentation on IWA’s national situation and appealed for more members to attend IWA’s AGM to be held in the autumn in Warwickshire. Jonathan Hart-Woods had been invited to speak on environmental issues and gave a spirited analysis of the flora and fauna that we see along the waterways. He identified rogue species and explained that eradication is not only financially impossible but that over future years, incoming species will most likely settle into the environment, as have recent arrivals such as rabbits and sycamore trees. If you have ideas or comments please advise any committee member, contact number are on the back cover,

David Dawson SY&D IWA Branch Chairman

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FROM THE ARCHIVE GRAND UNION CANAL

A ROMANCE OF CANAL TRANSPORT Reprinted from THE WORLD’S CARRIERS MAY 16, 1932. A development which has taken place during the past three years may correctly be described as the modern romance of canal transport. The great controversy at present raging between rail and road transport has almost led the general public to believe that no other forms of inland transport were in operation. This mistaken idea was completely dissipated by the able and instructive speech made by Mr. W. H. Curtis, the Chairman of the Grand Union Canal Company, at the annual meeting which was held recently. The last Royal Commission on Canal Transport which outlined grandiose schemes for development at a cost of some £70,000,000, making a cross of canals from Liverpool to London and from Hull to the Severn, instead of having the effect of encouraging canal development, had the precisely opposite result, and canals in the eyes of the general public were relegated to the distant past beyond hope of revival or recovery. The statement made by the Chairman of the Grand Union Canal Company at the annual general meeting, that, in spite of intense competition and in spite of the world depression, from which all commerce and industry is suffering, the last half year over that of twelve months ago shows what can be done by business enterprise, by up-to-date methods, and by whole hearted confidence in the strength and economy of the canal transport position.

When we know that this Company has a scheme of development in hand to cost £1,000,000, one can feel with confidence that those responsible have no doubt whatever that canal transport can still hold its own for certain kinds of traffic against any other form of transport in existence. Some few words about the development which has already taken place will be of interest. On January 1st 1929, an amalgamation of canal companies took place which has paved the way for the present advance. By means of two Acts of Parliament passed in 1929 a number of canal systems became one homogenous body. These comprised the Regents Canal and Dock and Hartford Union Canal, Grand Junction Canal and Branches, Grand Union Canal (old Grand Union), Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Canal, Warwick and Birmingham Canal, Warwick and Napton Canal, Birmingham and Warwick Junction Canal. Since then other canals have been acquired namely, Loughborough Navigation, Erewash Canal and Leicester Navigation. The whole of these inland waterways became the Grand Union Canal

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Company, having a through service from London to Birmingham and controlling the whole of such waterways with the exception of one small link, five and a half miles in length on the Oxford Canal, connecting the junctions of the Grand union Canal Company at Braunston and Napton. The Grand Union Canal Company have now acquired powers to develop this important connecting link, in this way facilitating the complete modernisation of the inland waterways under their control comprising nearly three hundred miles. The traffic last year originating on these canals, which were then two hundred and forty miles in length, amounted to 1,870,000 tons, and this tonnage could be easily increased many times over with the facilities such as those which the Company is now providing. Two great problems have had to be faced and overcome, the subject of dredging the beds of the canals, and the question of erosion. The plans which have been drawn up and are now being carried out , involve a minimum depth of 5 ft. 6 ins. For the canal system, and these improvements will involve a great deal of dredging. During the past year 120,000 tons of dredgings were taken from the canal, a figure which gives some idea of the enormous proportions of this factor in the efficient working of inland waterways. The problem of erosion is being overcome by building of concrete walls in place of earth banks, which up to quite recently were universal on inland waterways. The photographs which we reproduce show what has been in one part of the canal system and the resulting improvement can be readily perceived. The Plan, which we also reproduce, shows another great improvement which is being made in connection with building of these concrete walls, whereby the canal will be dug out to a depth of 5 ft. 6 ins from side to side enabling barges to float in deep water right up to the side of the canal. The building of these concrete walls will also have a material effect in reducing the amount of dredging required because the erosion will no longer take place. We were interested to learn in answer to a question that the major motor barges which are becoming an increasing method of propulsion on inland waterways, will to some extent act as a means of dredging the canal instead of, as was originally feared, resulting in then water overflowing the banks and causing increased erosion . It has been found that the action of motor driven barges is to sweep to one side the earth which tends to accumulate, and by means of specially prepared openings this can be automatically diverted from the canal A contract , which we understand will employ 1,000 men for two years and which amounts to approximately ÂŁ350,000, has recently been placed which involves the widening and reconstruction of the locks on the Warwick section of the Canal. When the contract has been completed barges in pairs, one motor driven and the other towed, carrying between them approximately 130 tons, will be able to pass anywhere

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along the canal from Regents Canal Dock, Limehouse, to Birmingham. It is interesting to record that before the amalgamation of these canals the maximum limit of barges was 65 tons capacity, but owing to the dredging campaign which has been carried out , barges of 86 tons are now able to go through from Brentford to Willesden on the Paddington Arm of the canal, and when the dredging is completed on this London section barges of 100 tons will be able to be utilised with the very large resultant decrease in the cost of goods carried. As the map which we reproduce shows, in addition to the Birmingham route, the Grand union Canal Company also has its waterways through the important county of Leicestershire to Nottingham where it links up with the canal systems covering this big industrial area. The headquarters of the Grand Union Canal Company are at 5 Lloyds Avenue, London, E.C.3, and any of our readers interested in Canal Transport can obtain further information on request.

Top, showing the old and new profile of the canal to enable wide boats to pass. Centre, before and after the canal banks had been reconstructed and reinforced. Bottom. Work gangs widening and preparing for banking reinforcement at Walling –Haversham Road

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SPRING CLEAN UP SUNDAY 3RD APRIL 2016 It certainly seems to come around very quickly, it does not seem like six months ago we were gathering at Tinsley for the Autumn Clean Up but here we are again. We had plenty of volunteers, forty in all, from IWA, CRT, Adsetts Canal Project, Woodseats Explorer Scouts and our good friends The Abbeydale Rotary Club. We all met at Tinsley Marina for the usual safety chat given by Dave Walker of CRT. We split into three groups one group on the boat went up the Sheffield Basin to work down to The Don Valley Arena, the second group to work up to the Arena and the third group to work down the Tinsley Flight. The second group left all their collected rubbish at strategic locations on the canal to be picked up be the boat on its way back to Tinsley. The other groups rubbish was to be picked up during the week by Adsetts Canal Project personnel. There were litter hot spots along the canal where our volunteers concentrated their energies in clearing them up. It had been rather wet the preceding week which made the tow path wet and muddy in places so extra care had to be taken in these areas. The towpath was churned up in many places by the continued use by cyclists, who just ploughed through without a care for tow path walkers and joggers. We again supplied pie and peas to all our volunteers at Tinsley Boat Club. We will be carrying out our next clean up on Sunday October 30th, meeting at Tinsley Marina at 10.00am. So make it a date, we will be glad to see You.

BALSAM BASH Don’t forget the branch Balsam Bash on the river Don at Hexthorpe on Sunday June 5th. The site can be found on the road from Warmsworth and taking a left turn at Greenfield Lane. Hexthorpe Park is just over the railway bridge or take the Hexthorpe turn off Balby Road the park can be found at the end of this road. Car parking can be found on the park at the side road to the railway bridge. Walk down the path to Hexthorpe rowing club meeting at 10.00am. Don’t forget working gloves.

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Broughton Lane Bridge Stadium Bridge Scouts at Tinsley Park Road Part of the litter collected ready for disposal Lunch time at Tinsley Boat Club Naburn at rest

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CANALS THE MAKING OF A NATION. The recent BBC television series of the same name has an accompanying book again with the same name and written by Liz McIvor. Liz is the Curator of Social History and Technology at Bradford Museums and Galleries. You could win this book this book by answering the few simple questions below. 1.

Name the longest river in the United Kingdom?

2.

Name the longest canal in England?

3.

Name the longest canal built as a single unit in England?

4.

Name the shortest canal in England?

5.

Name the oldest Canal in England?

6.

Name the newest canal in England?

The book will be awarded to the first correct entry received. The editors decision is final . Send your answers on a sheet of paper to Malcolm Fielding at 1 Vicarage Way, Arksey, Doncaster, DN5 0TG . All entries must by received by 31st July 2016. The book will be posted to the winner by the 31st August 2016. The answers will be published in the next edition of Keels and CuckThe prize has been donated by Malcolm Fielding

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WORD SEARCH In the grid below are hidden the names of several IWA Branches . They are all single word names of either a district, Town, City or County e.g. Doncaster not Doncaster and District. They are spelt either vertical, horizontal, backwards or forwards. GOOD LUCK

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ANSWERS CHILTERN,

CHELMSFORD, IPSWICH, LICHFIELD,

MANCHESTER, NORTHAMPTON, PETERBOROUGH, LINCOLNSHIRE, MIDDLESEX, OXFORDSHIRE AND WARWICKSHIRE

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ANTI-SOCIAL VANDALISM, A PLEA It has been known for some years that canals, canal pow paths, rivers and dykes have long been dumping grounds for unwanted items from households, businesses and the general public as a whole. Over the last few years the Sheffield and South Yorkshire navigation has suffered its fair share of these anti-social acts of discarding rubbish. In the early 1980’s when Sheffield canal basin was drained prior to its redevelopment many such items were found including fridges, chairs and a Ford Sierra car along with many smaller items. When locks have been drained for maintenance such things as wheelbarrows, bicycles, chairs, prams and car doors have been regular finds and have been removed to disposal. During the branch biannual Canal Clean Ups on the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal we have found many large items along the towing path. One year we even removed, with difficulty, a lorry body which the then BW disposed of. During my working life with Adsetts Canal Project we were asked to watch out for a car that had been driven into the canal in the Darnall Road area. It must have been a deep part of the canal because our boat, which draws three foot three inches passed over it several times before we located it. Another expensive removal job for BW (CRT). In the same area, a few years later, BW (CRT) staff had to remove a caravan that had been dumped into the water. The trip boat that used to run from Sheffield basin had also been dumped between locks three and four on the Tinsley flight In March a Restriction Notice was issued regarding two submerged cars at Hatfield Staithe , these cars were about fifty metres apart on the towing path side. Boaters were asked to stay in mid-channel in order to avoid them. More expense incurred for removal. The latest incident, again causing CRT to issue restriction notices was the closure of the towing path on the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal due to a

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stolen fork lift truck which had been abandoned there. As this was a crime scene the towing path had to remain closed until the police gave permission for its removal. More expense for CRT and inconvenience to their customers. All of these incidents course problems for CRT and their customers that have to be resolved, some at great expense, post haste. What is most annoying is the total disregard of some people for the wellbeing of the waterways and its users. It cost nothing to dispose of rubbish via a dustbin or at any local authorities Dump It Site or car scrapyard. These anti-social are costing you and I and the canal and river custodians a lot of money to clear up after their selfish acts. All I ask is that we who love our waterways keep a weary eye out for any acts of this and in fact all sorts of vandalism and report it to the authorities immediately so that the appropriate action can be taken and with any luck the culprits being caught. Malcolm Fielding Did you know Crofton Pumping Station on the Kennet and Avon Canal contains one of the oldest operational Watt style beam engines in the world dating from 1812. A narrow boat carrying coal on the Oxford Canal was drawn by a mule until 1958 , and was the last horse-drawn freight narrow boat in Great Britain. The Selby Canal was built in 1774 by the Aire and Calder navigation Company, to head off another proposal for a 23 mile canal linking Leeds directly to Selby and thus bypassing the Aire altogether. The site of the Shipley reservoir, which fed the Nutbrook Canal, was later occupied by the lake at the centre of The American Adventure Theme Park, until its closure in 2007.

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BRANCH OFFICERS CHAIRMAN David Dawson 21 Smeath Lane Clarborough Retford DN22 9JU

Tel 01777 704224 email dawsondavida@yahoo.com Mobile 07501 803918

VICE CHAIRMAN AND PLANNING OFFICER Colin Crofts Staddlestones South Bramwith Doncaster DN7 5SY TREASURER Pat Davies 55 Rockcliff Road Rawmarsh Rotherham S62 6LX

Tel 01302 841619 email cjcrofts@btinternet.com

Tel 01709 206856 email patdav54@gmail.com

SECRETARY AND KEELS AND CUCKOOS EDITOR Malcolm Fielding Tel 01302 873127 1 Vicarage Way email roc3brn9ros1ark4@aim.com Arksey Doncaster DN5 0TG MEMBERSHIP OFFICER John Shaw 72 Norton Lees Crescent Sheffield S8 8SR PUBLICITY OFFICER Dave Scott 17 Bowshaw Road Batemoor Sheffield S8 8EY COMMITTEE MEMBERS Mavis Paul 116 Sandygate Road Sheffield S10 5RZ Helen Dawson

Tel 0114 258 2535

Tel 0114 237 5327 email acp2004naburn@hotmail.com Mobile 07900 275327

Tel 0114 268 3927 email mavis.brian_paul@btinternet.com Mobile 07725 464611

as David Dawson

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Keels & Cuckoo, Issue 26, June 2016  
Keels & Cuckoo, Issue 26, June 2016