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Issue No. 21 march 2015


Contents Branch Chairman’s Chat………………………..3 New Members……………………………………5 Annual General Meeting……………………….5 Word Search……………………………………..6 Branch Clean Up………………………………. 7 From the Archive………………………………...8 IWA Press Release……………………………..12 Grant Award……………………………………..14 Tinsley Locks Repairs…………………………..15 Keels and Cuckoos is published on behalf of the South Yorkshire and the Dukeries Branch of the Inland Waterways Association by MH 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 but are published out of interest to members and others. The Inland Waterways Association : Registered Office Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA Tel: 01494 783453 Website www.waterways.org.uk Email iwa@waterways.org.uk Founded in 1946, Incorporated in 1958 The Inland Waterways Association is a non-profit distributing company

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Branch chairman’s chat In the last edition of Keels and cuckoos, I made reference to the need for volunteers to ensure the well being, and the well running, of the branch. This evening (January 13th) quite out of character I switched on the television at about 1845, the BBC was transmitting a programme called, I believe “Look North”. Within a few seconds of the picture swimming into focus, there, on screen, were wall to wall canals. It seems that the Canal & River Trust is also on the lookout for volunteers. Several people were interviewed in the clip, the commentator enthused over the scenery and majesty of our two-hundred year old waterways and narrow-boats seemed to be simultaneously locking up and locking down. No matter, the waterways are “on the telly” and that is a good thing. Another “good thing” announced recently is that IWA Head Office has made a substantial financial grant to our friends The Chesterfield Canal Trust. This is to provide assistance with the refurbishment of the Trust’s working boat Python. Python is one of a handful of ex BW work boats that remains “shortened” but also retains almost all of its BW identity. (Another “Naburn” can be found at Tinsley on the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal working with “The Adsetts Canal Project” ED). The Trust plans to rebottom the boat, she sank, albeit gracefully, on several occasions in 2013/2014 and overhaul the Lister diesel engine. The boat is expected to be used as a promotional tool on the Chesterfield Canal and other local waterways, and as a tug for the almost completed replica Chesterfield Canal Cuckoo boat built by Trust members using authentic hand tools throughout . Will 2015 bring “good things” to our waterways. Only time will tell, we have a General Election in May. With the Canal and River Trust in its early stages let’s hope that it does not become another political football.

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There is still talk of the transfer of Environment Agency waterways to C&RT. To me this seems a sensible, nay, obvious step. If Government Departments are actually short of funds why have duplicate navigational authorities? Combining to two under C&RT ought to save some money on higher management costs, freeing up funding to employ more people at the sharp end or reducing the call on us, the taxpayers. A “good thing” is that thanks to the combined efforts of IWA, C&RT and many others, the plans for HS” are being gently reviewed or revised. Huddlesford and Fradley Junctions will be destroyed by this new railway when (or if) it is built. The link to Manchester seems to get less publicity and the eastern route to Leeds (unless I am missing something) seems to be a lot further into the future than we thought only a few months ago. Of course it’s hard for any Government to loose face by announcing a change of mind but it seems increasing obvious that the few minutes saved on a rail journey from London to Leeds is hard to justify when eye-watering costs in cash and environment are acknowledged. The final “good thing” is that IWA will be campaigning, as always for the waterways, local and nationally. However IWA can only do this with two things, your continuing financial support through your membership, and your enthusiasm when you volunteer and “get stuck in”. See you at the AGM? David Dawson Branch Chairman

Laughter Lines Two fishermen rent a boat to go fishing in a local lake. Delighted at catching fifty fish one says “Mark this spot so we can come back tomorrow”. The other one carves a cross on the boat. “You idiot” said his friend, “What if we don’t get the same boat tomorrow”.

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New members We would like to welcome the following new members to the Branch. You are most welcome. Mr D Dunlavey and Family of Doncaster Mr S Johnson & Ms D Hemstock of Doncaster Mr D & Mrs H Thorpe of Worksop Ms S Weston & Ms K Beaumont of Sheffield Mr P Morris of Rotherham Miss N Banker & family of Matlock

Annual general meeting The Annual General Meeting of the South Yorkshire and the Dukeries Branch of the Inland Waterways Association will be held on Wednesday 17th April 2015 at the Red Lion Hotel, Todwick, S26 1DJ Starting at 19.00 (7.00pm). Agendas and minutes of the last AGM will be available on the night The Hotel is located on the A57 heading towards Worksop after junction 31 of the M1 motorway. Tea and coffee and biscuits will be available. The telephone number for the hotel is 01909 771654 if help is needed. The AGM will be followed by a presentation by David Lynham-Brown on the restoration of the Grantham Canal. Although not in out area, the Grantham Canal is a wide waterway and originally linked with the River Trent, so is a near neighbour. Restoration has been a lowprofile but a continuing exercise. Recently the canal has benefited from a substantial grant towards the cost of restoration of four locks. Davis will be looking at what has been achieved and what needs and can be achieved in the future. We do hope that you can make it to the evening you will be made most welcome.

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Word search In the grid below are the names of places visited by Tom and Angela Rolt on their 1939 cruise on Cressy. They are written forwards, backwards, vertically, horizontally or diagonally. Answers below.

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Answers Middlewich, Yelverton, Claydon, Somerton, Thrupp, Alrewas, Stone, Banbury, Bedworth, Foxton, Leicester, Shardlow, Audlem, Aylestone, Nuneaton.

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Join us for the Spring Canal Clean Up

The location …..Tinsley Marina, Lock House Walk , Off Shepcote Lane, Sheffield. Date…………….March 29th 2015 Time………………....10.00am Contact……….…………..Mavis Paul 0114 268 3927 Wear warm clothing and strong shoes. Pie and peas will be served after the event in the Club House of the Tinsley Boat Club . Please contact Mavis Paul if you are attending as we need to know how many people to cater for.

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From the archive The following article is taken from material found in the old head office of the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation Company in Sheffield, after nationalisation it became the DAIWE ( Docks and Inland Waterways Executive) North Eastern office. Log of the “Cressy” Hurleston to Ellesmere and Return 1947 July 9th -17th Between these dates we explored the canal extensively on foot between Frankton and Hindford and New Marton, also in the neighbourhood of Chirk. We also walked by towpath from Pont Cysylltau aqueduct to Llangollen where we travelled to the Horseshoe Fall and back by Roberts’ horsedrawn boat. The following information resulted: Towards Frankton Junction the weed had been cut and there appeared to be more water. Walking down the Welshpool—Newton arm from Frankton we found the infamous ‘burst’ which, by never being repaired, finally closed the canal to commercial traffic. It was a very minor breach. Stop planks had been dropped in the bridge-hole by the junction of the old Weston Branch, and the canal beyond was quite dry. Continuing along the line of the canal towards Llangollen, the section from Frankton to and beyond Hindford was extremely weedy and shallow. The old Bridgewater Canal Packet Boat DUCHESS COUNTESS, a survival of the greatest interest, is to be seen drawn up on the bank beside the canal just north of Frankton. Above the two locks at New Marton, the canal was very weedy and the water low. As we went further up towards the intake at the Horseshoe Falls, the level gradually improved until the canal was actually runni9ng weir. Cause of this phenomenon: dense weed holding back the water. At Chirk aqueduct the canal was not too bad, but in the cutting just north on the tunnel conditions were worse that anywhere else. Scours of silt from the slopes of the cutting (as a result of felling the timber on those banks) almost filled the canal in places, while timber which had fallen in the water almost blocked the waterway in places. Later, Ellesmere Depot informed me that this was to be dredged out, and when we last visited Chirk a manual dredger was moored at the south end of the aqueduct though nothing had yet been done. At Pont Cysylltyau the canal looked in much better shape, being deeper and

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reasonably weed-free. Apart from occasional obstructions in the way of large stones or logs, these remarks apply to the canal all the way to the Horseshoe Falls intake. A good job has been made of the serious burst which occurred at Sunbank and which washed away the G.W.R Barmouth line below. On mountain side sections where the canal is only a boat’s width, leaking stop plank grooves have been sealed by the clumsy expedient of tipping in clay puddle. There would be room for a small cruiser to pass these points, but they would prove a serious obstruction to a flat bottomed craft and might have to be dug away. Beyond Llangollen Wharf where Roberts keeps his boats there is a winding place for narrow boats. It was impracticable to sound it for depth, but it was not overgrown and looked reasonable. There is no turning place for boats of any size, beyond this point, Roberts’ pleasure boats being ‘either way’ craft. Roberts used to work down to Chirk and maintain a timetable, but now only goes to Llantisilio because , he says, he lacks experienced crews. His reaction to the canal’s abandonment was astonishingly apathetic. He remarked that ‘ he supposed it would finish him in the end’. He has been running this pleasure boat business for a great many years and owns a number of passenger boats as well as rowing boats and canoes. Despite wet weather on this occasion, the boat we travelled in was full and we passed two other boats also full to capacity. The intake from the Dee to the canal has hitherto been through a normal open type sluice, but owing to a dispute between the Canal Company and the Dee Conservators over the amount of water drawn off, the former were installing a venture flewmeter (flowmeter Ed) at this point . The Dee authorities maintained that the Company were only entitled to draw water for navigational purposes, whereas in fact they were drawing excessive amounts for sale to industrial consumers both on the Welsh Canal and on the MAIN Line between Nantwich and Ellesmere Port which the Welsh Canal supplies via Hurleston Reservoir. This contention has been upheld in a High Court Action, and as a result these industrial consumers have to make other supply arrangements within a given time. What effect this will have on the Welsh Section and on the Main Line it is difficult to foresee. One fact is evident. Since the Company’s policy drove all traffic off the Welsh Section it has become so choked with weed that it is no longer even an efficient feeder.

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Weeds hold up the water to such an extent that only a proportion of the water taken in at Llantisilio intake ever reaches Hurleston Reservoir. The rest runs to waste over weirs. For example in August 1947 the canal was at weir level at Llangollen while at the head of New Marton Top Lock, twelve miles away on the same level, it was 1ft. 6 ins. Below weir. This despite as much or more labour spent in weed-cutting by the Company’s staff as was expended in maintenance when regular navigation prevented weed growth. Under the L.M.S. Canals Act (1944) the highway authorities are empowered to replace road bridges by embankments and culverts. Such culverts would quickly become choked by floating weed whenever cutting was attempted, and so still further restrict flow. There are only two ways of overcoming the present impasse: (1) to convert the canal into a continuous pipe-line for its entire length. (2) to restore the canal to a condition suitable for navigation. The first plan would utterly destroy a once useful line of navigation and, from the amenity aspect, one of the most beautiful and historic waterways in Britain. The capital cost of the work would be high, but future maintenance costs would be virtually nil. It is also difficult to see how farmers along the route, who now depend on the canal fore watering stock, could be accommodated except at the considerable additional expense of branch pipeline to innumerable cattle bowls and troughs. The second plan would involve the repair of the defective locks already referred to, the dredging out of scours, maintenance of a full head of water., and systematic weed cutting followed by a resumption of the regular trade on the canal which was driven off by the Company’s default in 1936. There can be no doubt whatever that this trade would be considerably augmented by pleasure traffic, both public and private, during the summer months. Such traffic would automatically eliminate the [present weed trouble. Capital cost of this restoration would be low, but maintenance costs would continue. These would be low, however, because the locks are few, while water supplies have in any case to be maintained. The Canal Engineering Dept. close to our moorings at Ellesmere though old -fashioned is well equipped to undertake every branch of canal maintenance. It includes a fine saw mill and one of the best covered dry docks for the repair of boats that I have seen on any canal. The depot makes lock gates for the whole of the Shropshire Union and even for the Trent and Mersey, but owing to the stats of the Welsh Section these gates are transported by road and/ or rail.

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During our stay at Ellesmere I received the impression that the canal staffs at Ellesmere and Chester regretted the state of the Welsh Section and believed that it should have continued in use. They are powerless to affect the present position, however, because policy is dictated to them by Crewe who are not merely disinterested but actively hostile to any suggestion of maintaining or restoring the waterway in any respect. I was informed on reliable authority that when the burst occurred below Frankton and stopped the traffic, materials for repairing the breach were already assembled at Ellesmere when that were ordered by Crewe not to proceed. Another, possibly less reliable informant told me that a temporary repair was actually made to enable one boat to pass through the breached pound, but that it had to be removed on instructions from Crewe. There was considerable local feeling about the state of the canal. Ellesmere traders maintaining that it should be used, fishermen (who pay the Company for fishing rights) saying that the weed makes fishing impossible and farmers complaining that, owing to the Company’s failure to maintain a full head of water, the water for which they pay will not flow into the cattle bowls. As is often the case nowadays, unfortunately, no local person appears to have the initiative to organise these different interests to form a vigourous (vigorous ED) vocal body in the locality to protest against the present shameful state of affairs.

The british penny—European union directive No. 456179 In order to bring about further integration with the single currency, the Euro, all citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland must be made aware that the phrase “SPENDING A PENNY” is not to be used after 31st December 2014. From this date onwards, the correct term will be “EURONATING” It is hoped that this will be a great relief to everyone. 11


IWA Press release The IWA is pleased to announce that it has awarded a grant of £15,000 to the Chesterfield Canal Trust, to help fund the restoration of narrowboat Python. The grant has come from the Ayling Bequest (Keith was a former Chair of the Trust. He died in 2010.) Major works are needed to preserve the integrity of the historic narrowboat, owned by the CCT, which cannot operate in its present condition. Python use by the Trust as a publicity vehicle to promote its work, the volunteer crew engages with the public and boat owners at canal-side events. It is also used to help clear offside vegetation. Further volunteer activities were planned but have been postponed until necessary works could be carried out. To fund these works, the CCT applied for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2014; the Trust also hoped to use any money awarded to equip the boat with interpretation materials about its history. Despite support from many, including the IWA and CRT the application failed thus stalling the project. The IWA Finance Committee has deemed the project to be of significance in engaging the public with waterways, and has agreed to make a grant of £15,00 from the Keith Ayling Bequest to help fund the work. Gordon Harrower; IWA Finance Committee Chair said, “we are please to support this project , we believe it is a fitting use of Keith Ayling’s bequest as he was passionate about the Chesterfield Canal.” Robin Stonebridge; CCT Chair said Keith Ayling would be thrilled that Python is being given a new lease of life. This support will enable our work to carry and by using Python we will be giving hundreds of people pleasure in the use of a restored and historical waterway.

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Python came under the custodianship of the CCT in 2009 after becoming surplus to BW requirements, work of volunteers soon changed her from an unloved relic to a respectable looking boat. She is one of only four Josher narrowboats still in the format of a shortened BW workboat and is on the National Historic Ships register. Built at Yarwoods in 1929 at a cost of £366 to fulfil an order by Fellows, Morton & Clayton. Her sister boat Panther in owned by the Coventry Canal Society. Sold in 1949 to BTC (later BW) and used in the South East Division Carrying Fleet before being transferred to the Engineering Department for use as a maintenance boat, based at Bulls Bridge. She was shortened in the 1980s with a cabin rebuild. She became surplus to requirements in the 2000s and fell into disuse before coming to the Chesterfield Canal Trust in 2009 initially on a five year lease which then became permanent. The Trust is researching Python’s history and would welcome any information about her . Please contact python@chesterfield-canaltrust.org.uk

Keith Ayling (with beard) at West Stockwith with the volunteer crew of Python

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Grant awarded to Derbyshire county council News release 12 January 2015

A project to install new lock gates on the Chesterfield Canal in Staveley can go ahead thanks to a funding boost from The Veolia Environment Trust.. We have been awarded Derbyshire County Council a grant of £37,500 towards the manufacture and installation of the new gates. The work will be third phase of a project to construct Staveley Town Lock in Staveley Town Basin. The New lock will provide a centrepiece to the site. When it is completed, the basin will be a combination of water-space on the canal and open green space for dry-land exhibits to be used during regular canal festival events. The grant was one of 53 recently awarded by our board to community and environmental projects across the UK, with the grants totalling over £1.4m. This total represents our commitment to making a difference to communities and the environment, and people of all ages and backgrounds. Derbyshire CC’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and infrastructure, Councillor Dean Collins, says “Redeveloping Staveley Basin is all part of our plans to create a thriving local economy in Derbyshire to benefit everyone. This funding will help us to continue to restore the canal and make more if the waterway navigable as well as improving the area for visitors to help boost tourism”. The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, adds. “ The new lock gates will bring many benefits for Staveley , its residents and its visitors, and we look forward to seeing the start of the installation”

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Sheffield and tinsley canal, tinsley lock repairs If you take a walk down the Tinsley Lock Flight you can’t help noticing all the notices and fencing that has appeared. All this is in preparation for major repairs to lock numbers five and six, these locks are having cill repairs and new sets of gates fitted whilst lock ten is have a new bottom gates fitted. After a fish rescue the channel between locks three and lock seven/eight is to be drained. Many trees have had to be removed to allow access to the site for a large crane and a digger. The local company in the vicinity of the works had refused access via their roadway to the site, giving CRT a major access problem which has led to more trees being sacrificed than initially thought would be necessary. At the time of writing (03/02) it is not known if they can get this equipment onto the site. Towpath access has been maintained so if you wanted to view the works, provided you stayed on the towpath side of the fencing this is possible. The works are due, hopefully, to be completed by the end of March.

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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

Tel 01302 841619 email cjcrofts@btinternet.com

TREASURER

Pat Davies 55 Rockcliff Road Rawmarsh Rotherham S62 6LX

Tel 01709 206856 email patdav54@gmail.com

SECRETARY AND KEELS AND CUCKOOS EDITOR

Malcolm Fielding 1 Vicarage Way Arksey Doncaster DN5 0TG

Tel 01302 873127 email roc3brn9ros1ark4@aim.com

MEMBERSHIP OFFICER

John Shaw 72 Norton Lees Crescent Sheffield S8 8SR

Tel 0114 258 2535

PUBLICITY OFFICER

Dave Scott 17 Bowshaw Road Batemoor Sheffield S8 8EY

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

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Mavis Paul 116 Sandygate Road Sheffield S10 5RZ Helen Dawson as David Dawson Mary Crofts as Colin Crofts

Tel 0114 268 927 email mavis.brian_paul@btinternet.com Mobile 07725 464611

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Keels & Cuckoos, Issue 21, March 2015  
Keels & Cuckoos, Issue 21, March 2015  

IWA South Yorkshire & Dukeries newsletter Keels & Cuckoos, issue 21, March 2015.