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Issue 27 September 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.612245) Registered as a Charity (No.212342)

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CHAIRMAN’SCONTEMPLATIONS The IWA’s, National Trail Boat Rally came to our branch area and great fun it was. In its inimitable fashion the Chesterfield Canal Trust had managed to invite every civic leader from the route of the canal, and the number that attended on the Saturday morning, was sufficient to fill five of the CCT trip boats, three of which were trucked in to provide entertainment afloat for the weekend. The branch was to the fore, our marquee being waterside, between the main hospitality tent and the trip boat booking office. My thanks to out treasurer, Pat accompanied as always by Dave, our secretary Malcolm and my wife Helen for manning the display allowing me some time to visit other waterway exhibitors. A substantial number of boats attended and the variety of size, shape and colours was amazing. The Saturday and Sunday were typical waterway festival days, beer tent, ice cream, folk dancing, children’s entertainment, stalls, canoes, boat handling, trip boats and much more. Monday offered a different treat however. The CCT had organised a flotilla of boats to cruise to Tapton Lock, the “head of navigation”. However in the spirit of a “canal bust” from fifty years earlier, several boats including the Trust’s trip boat Seth Ellis and the Trust’s narrow boat Python, ventured beyond the top lock, through the flood lock and onto the River Rother itself. This took me back some forty years to the time that Helen and I, with out two small sons, canoed this length, and some years later, when involved with a Chesterfield Canal Society protest cruise, a small trail -able cabin cruiser was launched into the river from the towpath in the length that was adjacent to the then Arnold Lavers’ wood yard. Thinking back to those days I wonder if any of us considered just how long the restoration would take., if indeed, deep down, we believed that it would ever happen, but it did, it is and it continues. Much of the

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route of is in effect, a new canal, but such is the cloak of trees and vegetation now established that this is hard to grasp, at no point between Staveley and Chesterfield is there the slightest inkling that “civilization” is just over the fence. The waterway is truly idyllic. So where to focus the branch in the future? Looking round our branch area, we have the Chesterfield, of course, the Sheffield and South Yorkshire, the Dearne and Dove, The River Idle and the River Dun. In reverse order the Dun is the tidal lower river Don, not normally navigated, as more stable routes are alongside. The Idle still flows to Bawtry, which, in its town boundary signs, celebrates its historic status as a port, but today almost never features any boats on its river. The Dearne and Dove is in dire need of support, but with so little of the original route intact it may become a “new” missing link on a par with that proposed between Milton Kenyes to Bedford. The Sheffield and South Yorkshire looks to be in good order and the Chesterfield is in good hands. So what next or the branch? Again I ask you to tell me how to see the future. My appeal for your opinions about the future of branch meetings in the last edition of Keels and Cuckoos produced a totally zero response. This time I ask more in hope that expectation for your opinion on how we should focus on our local waterways to promote both the waterways and the branch. David Dawson

IWA SY&D Branch Chairman. WOW FACTS May 25th is Towel Day, in tribute to Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

There are enough restaurants in New York to eat out every night for 54 years and never visit the same one twice! The original word for broom was “besom”. Broom is the material they are made from.

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OCTOBER CLEAN UP Don’t forget The branch bi-annual Canal Clean Up . Again the clean up will be held in conjunction with Abbeydale Rotary Club will be held at Tinsley Marina spreading either way along the canal starting at 10.00. If you want to want to attend please let Mavis Paul know by telephone on 0114 268 927. We serve pie and peas after the event and we need to know numbers for catering. Litter pickers bag holders etc. are provided please wear strong shoes or boots and bring waterproofs in case of rain. See you on the day.

THORNE YACHT CLUB REGATTA Again the branch attended Thorne Yacht Club Regatta held at Stanilands Boat Yard at Thorne. We were going attend on Saturday August 20th but because the adverse weather forecast of high winds and heavy rain we decided to change to Sunday 21st . This proved to be a good move because the weather was better although rather windy plus people would not turn out to get wet through and blown to pieces. We bought some dog tethers that screw into the ground which proved very effective at holding. Down the gazebo. We bought some dog tethers that screw into the ground which proved very effective at holding down the gazebo. There were several stalls and charities in attendance including Yorkshire Air Ambulance and York River Rescue who were busy all day demonstrating rescuing people from the flooded dry dock. There were called on to retrieve a ladies shoe that fell into the canal when she tripped. We had a slow but steady flow of visitors and many leaflets and lots information was given out. The new gazebo & David Dawson talking on the local radio

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FROM THE ARCHIVE Taken from material rescued from the old S&SYN offices in Sheffield Basin before the basin restoration.

MANCHESTER, BOLTON & BURY CANAL March 18th 1949 by W H Pryce First opinion after superficial survey‌.. At the Manchester end, the Canal and works, including the Lock structures, generally appear to be in excellent condition. The masonry of the Locks was perfect. I have never seen any better on any canal. In fact, had the inverts of the Locks been of masonry instead of brick, I should have classed them as the best Canal Locks I have seen. I noticed that other Locks higher up the Canal also were well made and (what I have not seen elsewhere) the Lock hills were backed by a double or outside masonry wall instead of the Lock hills running out into a bank.

Not only are the Locks of good size, able to take the full sized broad boats of the District, but the section of Canal itself generally appears to be good. Even where the Canal is narrow near Manchester, there appears to be such ample depth of water between walls of tow path and of bank, that two loaded boats are able to pass. I particularly asked about this and was assured on this point. The de-watered section on the Bury length near the burst also showed a very fine section of Canal with a very adequate channel area, deep walled on both sides with very little silting. The bottom at the site of the breach is concrete lined, with rail reinforcement and, on adjacent length a layer of concrete had been placed on the bed, although this had parted from the walls in some places leaving a gap of up to a foot..

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Only in the country sections did some of the de-watered parts appear to be of poor cross section, i.e. between Prestolee Locks and Clifton Aqueduct .

The de-watered section opposite the magnesium Works at Clifton, though not so deep, still appeared to be in such good state that it could be refilled with water, although the enclosed side puddle walls may not be watertight owing to drying out. On the Bury branch near the burst the original capital expenditure must have been very heavy; the Canal, although following the contour of the hills, was supported on the low side by an immense and massive retaining wall. I think the construction of this section of the Canal must have been as heavy as any canal I have seen. It seems tragic that so much magnificent work should be thrown away. Where the burst has occurred, reopening would involve heavy cost, although this could be minimised by a local narrowing of the Canal past the breach, and would not be impossible provided that further subsidence from coal workings can be avoided. One explanation given of the burst is, that adequate time was not given to maintenance staff for repairs of leakages lower than concrete bottom owing to need for refilling Canal for maintenance of water supplies for industrial and Railway use so that damage to retaining wall may have been caused by inadequate staunching of leakages. I noticed that running through the foundations of the collapsed retaining wall was, what appeared to be a culvert, apparently for taking land water under the Canal through the bottom of the retaining wall; this culvert might have become choked up causing the water, which it should have voided, to get into the base of the wall, so causing its collapse. Concludes in the next issue. .

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BRANCH BALSAM BASH After a walk last year along the banks of the River Don at Hexthorpe, Doncaster where we could not see the river because of Himalayan Balsam the branch committee decided that we organise a Balsam Bash in 2016 and June 5th was the chosen date. We took advice from Jonathan Hart - Wood, CRT environmental manager on how to manage and dispose of the cut balsam. Five hardy souls met at Hexthorpe Park and ventured into the affected area. Sight of the River Don was being obliterated by the tall pink flowered plants. In some areas it had eradicated most of the flora and fauna of the area. We worked at clearing and area to use as a disposal spot, piling pulled up balsam to enable it to rot down. We worked for several hours and also did a lot of talking to passers by who wanted to know what we were doing. Most of them were amazed we told them about the plants and have fast they grew and that they just outgrew any native plants robbing them of sunlight making it impossible for them to grow. We also met a lady who asked us to let her know when we will be having our next outing as she can muster more help. Although we cleared a large area there remains about 90% more balsam to clear. We think that this exercise would be suitable for offenders on the Community Payback scheme to help out with and are going to follow this up with the relevant authority.

In all an enjoyable and encouraging day which we hope to carry out again in 2017. Malcolm Fielding MORE WOW FACTS

If you were to remove all the empty space from the atoms that make up every human on earth, the entire population could fit into an apple. Barry Manilow’s No1 hit “I write the songs” was not written by him.

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Balsam bashing on the banks of the River Don at Hexthorpe, Doncaster.

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DONCASTER TOWN FIELDS GALA An unusual departure for the branch was attending the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Kidney Association arranged Doncaster Town Fields Gala. This event had until two year ago been arranged by Doncaster Council but with funding cuts and other reasons the council although they wanted to keep running it found that they could only support the event in kind thus the kidney association took over its organisation. . The Doncaster Town Fields, is a vast track of land so close to the town centre is almost unique in the whole country it was gradually established from 1305 and it was thought that it would become a public park but in 1922 Doncaster Corporation purchased Elmfield House and grounds and these were opened as a public park. There was a public footpath across the field and this was incorporated into several new paths on the greater part of the field. Educational establishments used the fields for recreational purposes. Thus the fields use was for sport, various football fields were built and the people were encouraged to use the footpaths for exercise. Many football and rugby teams use the pitches and it also a favourite dog walking area. It was claimed by James Carter and Company in one of their catalogues as the finest playing field in the country. We had a pitch along the main aisle facing Town Moor Avenue. It was a hot day with a little breeze but none of the sudden gusts that last year destroyed 11 gazebos in less than a minute. There were many attractions including fairground attractions, South Yorkshire Fire Service who had a demonstration fire hazard and a fire engine that had to leave on an emergency but it returned later, Harvesters Archery, Endeavour Martial Arts, National Emergency Service Museum, St John’s Ambulance, bouncy castles, face painting, British Kidney Association and music all day plus many more. The SY&D Branch Stall had quite a few visitors asking various questions about the waterways and recalling their experiences of the waterways,

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As many organisations have mascots every year the gala runs a mascot race, This means many and varied costumes are in evidence and this year the race was although not long was run round obstacle's. All in all this was an enjoyable one day free event enabling us to encourage new people to the waterways and to further spread the waterways word.

Doncaster Town Fields Gala. Showing the branch stall, the start of the mascot race and the public just enjoying themselves. MORE WOW FACTS Radar images reveal that Mount Everest dropped by about an inch after last year’s earthquake in Nepal

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CANALS THE MAKING OF A NATION. The draw for the book competition in issue number twenty six took place on Monday the first of August 2016.

The answers were 1. Name the longest river in the UK? The River Severn 220 miles. 2. Name the longest canal in the England? The Grand Union 137 miles. 3. Name the longest canal built as a single unit in England? The Leeds & Liverpool Canal 127 miles.

4. Name the shortest canal in England? The Wardle Canal . 5. Name the oldest canal in England? Fossdyke Navigation 65AD

6. Name the newest Canal in England? The Ribble Liink 2002. The winner is Mr M J Farmer of Carlton-in-Lindrick, Worksop. Congratulations. MORE WOW FACTS The British eat more baked beans than the rest of the world combined. Polar bears are left handed. You are 20 times more likely to die of accident in the home than you are to win the National Lottery. 95% of the spiders in your house have never been outside.

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WORD SEARCH In the grid below are hidden the names of several townships found on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal . They are all single word names. They are spelt either vertically, horizontally, backwards or forwards. GOOD LUCK

B

L

A

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K

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D

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ANSWERS BANRNOLSWICK CHORLEY LIVERPOOL LEEDS

WIGAN BURNLEY AINTREE BINGLEY SKIPTON GARGRAVE NELSON BLACKBURN ADLINGTON SHIPLEY SILSDEN

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DAVID THURWELL BULLOCK 1935-2016 I am sorry to report the death of David Bullock just a few weeks before his eighty first birthday; David had been a long serving member of the IWA East Midlands Region Committee. He was born in Wakefield and lived in the area until 1974 when, following local government re-organisation, the family moved to Sheffield where David worked in the City Housing Department until he retired in 1985. Thus giving him more time for his hobbies of gardening, reading and boating. David was a founder member of the Chesterfield an Barnsley canal societies and also joined the Huddersfield canal society, when Pat Smith retired as Aerge Editor in 1978 David offered to take over. Davis was involved with the editing for a total of twelve about twelve years and in the early days David did the printing when they lived in a large house on Psalter Lane . Phil Dalton took over from David in the late 1980’s but after about two years Phil’s job moved to London and David took over again. In later years the printing was carried out by Terence Balchin in Nottingham but most of the collation was carried out in David’s house. David joined the IWA EM Committee in 1978 and continued until 1994, David’s wife Helen whom he had known and married in his Wakefield days later became Region Secretary and continues after they left Sheffield. David and Helen started travelling with their five children in a Volkswagen camper van; later transferring to a narrow boat “Psalter”. Their final move was to Wheaton Aston on the Shropshire Union Canal where they had a mooring within walking distance of their home until they finished boating. Our condolences to Helen, Jimmy, Sally, Deborah, Caroline and the grand and great grand children.

John Baylis

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SOME PICTURES FROM THE STAVELEY FESTIVAL AS AN ACCOMLIMENT TO THE FLYER ABOUT THE EVENT

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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 27, September 2016  
Keels & Cuckoo, Issue 27, September 2016