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Issue 29 March 2017


CONTENTS Is this the end of the SY&D Branch?…………………………………………….3 Chairman’s Contemplations……………………………………………...………..4 From the Archive………………………………………………………………...….6 Tinsley Clean Up…………………………………………………………….………8 Doncaster Lock open day…………..……………………………………….……..8 Boating Season…………………………………………………………………....10 SY&D Brach AGM…………………………………………………………………12 1987 to 2017……………………..………………………………………………...14 Word Search…………………………………………………..…………………...15

Keels and Cuckoos is published on behalf of the South Yorkshire and the Dukeries Branch of the Inland Waterways Association byM 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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IS THIS THE END OF THE SY&D BRANCH In the November of 1985 issue of the then East Midland Region magazine “Aegre” Ruth Hawkins, the then Branch Chair, wrote that the branch would have no Chairman, Secretary, Publicity Officer or Social Secretary if on one volunteered to take on the tasks. In February 1986 she stated that there had been no response, but in May two people had taken up the challenge. In February 1987 after doubling up on committee posts the branch operated with a reduced committee, but because of these problems the branch committee decided upon a unanimous decision to resign en-bloc at the next branch AGM, with a message that this time it is really “OVER TO YOU”. This was when I and several others joined making a working committee of ten. February 1988 saw another appeal for members as two had had to stand down due to leaving the area with their employment. There have been several appeals for members to come forward and join the committee in both Aegre and Keels and Cuckoos since.

This brings us to today’s situation with the committee who have mostly served the branch steadfastly for over thirty years. This situation in all honesty cannot continue. The branch Chairman, David Dawson and his wife Helen have given notice that that they will be unable to continue after the AGM due to family commitments abroad. I have been on the branch committee as Branch Chairman, Branch Secretary, Membership Secretary and Keels and Cuckoos editor since 1986 and will be resigning at the AGM as will Dave Scott. Mavis Paul will resign if no new committee members come forward, John Shaw and Colin Crofts likewise. This will leave a branch committee of maybe three, which makes it virtually impossible to keep the branch alive. This is your branch and more volunteers are needed to keep it viable.

PLEASE COME FORWARD AND VOLUNTEER TO SAVE THE BRANCH FROM AN IGNOMINIOUS END.

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CHAIRMAN’S CONTEMPLATIONS If this edition of Keels and Cuckoos is a little late, then part of the reason is the imminent branch Annual General Meeting. The lengthy committee meeting on March 1st established that the future of the South Yorkshire and the Dukeries branch is on a knife-edge. Because of family commitments in northern France, Helen and I were planning to spend more time over there, otherwise our grandchildren may grow up not knowing that their roots are in the UK. Our departure would have created just two committee vacancies. However as you will read elsewhere Malcolm Fielding is standing down from his double role of secretary and magazine editor. Dave Scott is also retiring due to responsibilities in other places. Mavis Paul may finish, depending on the outcome at the AGM, wanting to spend more time in Norfolk although Pat Davies, Colin Crofts and John Shaw are prepared to carry on it is likely that Colin will be immobile for several months. So there is now a need for a few volunteers to “man the pumps”. But volunteer for what? Well, the committee meets just five times per year, recently at Tinsley Boat Club, twixt Sheffield and Rotherham, but a different venue is always an option. The Keels and Cuckoos magazine could continue as a quarterly publication, or the new editor could work alongside “Mile Post” of the West Riding branch, and together with another, produce a joint magazine thereby, easing the work-load of two people. A potential editor should have some keyboard skills and be able to communicate easily by digital means.

The secretary’s job is to deal with correspondence both electronic and on paper, responding to some, passing others to an appropriate colleague and liaising with IWA Head Office. The publicity officer’s job would be arranging branch meetings, should the members so wish, which includes finding a venue and a speaker. Public events such as boat rallies or heritage days could provide scope for a branch promotional stand, The AGM is a further

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task, but not onerous. The current committee is aware that it has fallen behind the real world, and a member able to help with a Face Book facility or maybe a Twitter presence would be very welcome, so that the branch can communicate more easily and speedily with its members. In a sense, with the creation of the Canal and River Trust, the IWA has almost achieved its goal of a “Waterways Conservancy” an ambition put in writing by our co-founder Robert Aikman some sixty years ago. Further the IWA has, over many years seen the successful establishment of canal societies often on waterways that were believed to be “long lost” when IWA was born. But much remains to be achieved and to progress these ambitions, IWA needs a new breed out in the fields, people who have communications skills, leadership skills, and a sharp eye on local planning. In IWA’s history it is true to say that many battles have been won and some lost. It is untrue to say that the war to save the waterways is over. IWA has much ahead of it, there are looming problems in EA waterways, and many seem to forget that waterways without navigators are simply strings of lily ponds, prone to silting and eventually loss, putting us back to the days when the Ordnance Survey maps showed “line of derelict canal”. If you can spare two hours per week, (that’s one episode of Midsomer Murders!) then you have enough time to not only make a difference to the branch, but to ensure that continues for many more years; to celebrate the bi-centenary of the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal in 2019, the completion of the restoration of the Chesterfield Canal in 2025(?) the reopening of the Dearne and Dove Canal in 2040(?) the building of the Trent Falls Tidal Barrage and hydro –power station in 2050(?).

Davis Dawson SY&D Branch Chairman

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

MANCHESTR,BOLTON& BURY CANAL I have found further information. A copy of a draft report from W H Pryce to C M Marsh, Divisional Waterways Officer, Northwich and dated October 13th 1949. The question of disposal is, therefore, important. The Bolton end has already been lost by what appears to be a most unfortunate sale prior to the transfer. The Bury end of the canal however, is still a considerable asset if only because of the considerable revenue to be derived from the sale of water. I understand that there is a reasonable prospect of income of at least £3,000 to £4000 or more provided that the Feeder from the River, the Elton Reservoir, the Feeder to the Canal and about 1 1/2 miles of Canal can be retained without inordinate expenditure. There are several firms who apparently dependant on the Canal for water and willing to pay a proper figure for this accommodation.

The Railway is also a user, and I gather that on the quantity they take, it would not be unreasonable to put their rental up to say £600 per annum: and even on Elton Reservoir, the Revenue from boating and fishing etc.; would add another £100 per annum. Mr Marsh is already looking into all this, and no doubt he will have something to report in due course. There is a section of the Canal near Radcliffe, which might be disposed of provided that any supply of water still needed could be piped. I understand that the Radcliffe Council (? Lancaster County Council) wish to drop the bridge at Radcliffe, and some favourable bargain might be made with them.

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The Canal from Ladyshore Colliery to Prestolee Locks should be closed altogether and Pretsolee Locks, which might be considered a danger to the public, specially for children, should not be left in their present state. I understand that there is of some prospect of selling the masonry from these Locks and if this could be done, they could then be filled in. The central section of the Canal from Prestolee Locks to the Clifton Aqueduct, most of which is de-watered, should be disposed off if possible. The lower length below the Aqueduct, which is fed by water from “Fletcher's Canal” may be worth retaining as a source of income from water rents, although this is not nearly so profitable as the Bury length. The Railway Executive is the party most interested and they should properly pay an amount of about £600 per annum altogether for several intakes. This however, is tied up with the question of “Fetcher’s Canal”.

I am looking into this: it seems to be a bit complicated and it will be necessary to be sure, on the one hand, that the water supply from this source is insured and reliable and, on the other hand, that we are not letting ourselves in for some possibly heavy expenditure in the future, which might throw the balance of profit against us. I hope to know more about this shortly. A part of this section is already piped and the dry bed of the Canal through which the pipe runs might be sold to adjoining works unless there is any other kind of income derived for retaining it unless the County Council were interested for other reasons - (i.e. as a means of laying public mains) - and other sections also might be piped if the land through which the pipes would run could be profitably sold. In all such cases, of course, the necessary rights and easements for piping and maintenance would have to be maintained.

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That is all I have on this canal. It seems to me that the powers that be were determined to disposed of the canal at all costs but still wanted to make a profit out of it. A somewhat impossible situation and one that needs, in this day and age to be heavily monitored.

Malcolm Fielding

TINSLEY CANAL CLEAN UP I am sorry but I made a mistake with the date of the Spring Clean, it will be held on MARCH 26 TH and not on April 30th as published.

Again we meet at Tinsley Marina at 10.00pm and will work both up and down the canal. Litter pickers, bags and bag holders are provided but please wear strong shoes and warm clothing. Pie and peas will be available after in Tinsley Boat Clubhouse. We will again be ably assisted by Abbeydale Rotary Club CRT and Tinsley Marina residents

DONCASTER LOCK OPEN DAY On February 25th Canal and River Trust held one of their popular lock open days at Doncaster Lock. The lock located near to the railway and Doncaster North Bridge can be overlooked by pedestrians crossing the North Bridge. The work being carried out is the replacement of life expired lock gates. The works are made extremely difficult because of the position of the lower gates directly under the East Coast Main Line railway bridge. Craning in the massive gates mean that the crane jib cannot be at a higher angle to position the gates into the quoins. Also there is problems positioning a mobile crane on site because of an adjacent buried gas main. CRT commissioned a company to design a craning method that can move the gates into their final lowering position. When you consider all this extra expense

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incurred it would have been far cheaper many years ago during the upgrading of the S&SYN to have moved the lock twenty five yards towards Power Station Bight thus making the whole lock an open accessible site easy to maintain. Dave Scott and his Scout Troop were there helping with visitors as were several waterway related organisations. Recorded visits were around the 560 mark for the day.

Views of the worksite at Doncaster Lock

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BOATING SEASON Ever since I joined the Branch Committee I have fought against the use of the term BOATING SEASON. In most meetings I have attended the term is constantly used by speakers. I have always brought to their attention that a person who buys a boat also buys a year long licence which entitles him or her to use their boat throughout its authorised time period anywhere on the system. In the Yorkshire Post on February 25th A small article was published celebrating the completion of some lock gate replacements on the Calder and Hebble Navigation. I quote. CANAL LOCK GATE WORK COMPLETED A £140,000 programme by the Canal and River Trust on the Calder and Hebble Navigation at Dewsbury will conclude by the end of February. Six of the huge lock gates that form the Figure of Three Locks at Thornhill have now been replaced. Eric Walker, the Canal and River Trust Construction Supervisor, said “We finished the two month project on time and we’ll be ready for the boating season which gets underway in March.” My reply to the article was published in the Yorkshire Post on March 2nd. It was good to hear in your newspaper of the conclusion of the lock gate works at Figure of Three Locks at Thornhill on the Calder and Hebble Navigation. I would like to take task the comment when Eric Walker of the Canal and River Trust said “the project will be finished ready for the boating season which gets underway in March. The Inland waterways Association and the various Societies and Boat Clubs in the country take exception to this much used statement by CRT and other Navigation Authorities personnel. Boats are licenced for a year meaning that they can be used on the country’s waterways

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between January 1st and December 31st and not restricted to a supposed boating season. Essential maintenance closures excepted.

If CRT and other navigation authorities keep pushing the boating season scenario how long will it be before this becomes the accepted norm with boaters paying for a year long licence but only being able to use their boats from say 1st March until 31st October as this would be the boating season. A totally unacceptable situation. Malcolm Fielding Secretary: South Yorkshire and the Dukeries. Inland Waterways Association

If you are at any function or meeting and you hear anyone talking about a boating season I would strongly advise you to pick them up sharply reminding them that the licence to use a boat on the waterways is for a year and that there is NO such thing as an official boating season. Malcolm Fielding

DID YOU KNOW Water supply problems on the Thames and Severn Canal were caused by springs breaking through the clay lining of the canal bed, leaving holes through which water was lost when the springs receded in summer. In its heyday, the Birmingham Canal Navigations contained about 160 miles (257km) of canals. Water from the River Ganges is put into the River Soar, making it an alternative holy site for the benefit of the Hindu, Sikh and Jain population. Early attempts to build the South Ferriby Forty-Foot Drain near Boston, Lincolnshire were destroyed and burnt by local landowners

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.INLAND

WATERWAYS ASSOCIATION

SOUTH YORKSHIRE AND THE DUKERIES BRANCH

NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND SOCIAL EVENING WITH GUEST SPEAKER The branch AGM with be held at 7.30pm ., on May 24th 2017 at THE RED LION HOTEL, SHEFFIELD ROAD, TODWICK, S26 1DJ This is easily found being about one mile east of the M1 junction 31, the intersection of the motorway with the A57 Sheffield to Worksop road. This makes access from Barnsley via the M1, or from Chesterfield via the link A617 and the M1 both very straightforward journeys. Similarly from Doncaster take the M18 south, merge with the M1 southbound and leave at the first exit on the M1, signed Worksop. The hotel is about one mile along this dual carriageway (the A57) in the direction of Worksop. The hotel has a private access road from the first roundabout that you encounter and some one hundred car parking places. The meeting room is ground level and readily accessible by people with mobility problems. There is a quality restaurant on site with snacks or full meals available should you wish to eat before the evening. The Red Lion is part of the Old English Inns Group and the menu can be found on their website (google :- oldenglishinns or The Red Lion Todwick). The AGM is planned to start promptly at 7.30pm. There will be no admission charge but drinks will be at members own expense. It will be followed by a presentation from Michael Edwards. Michael is a trustee of the Chesterfield Canal Trust, with responsibility for the replica Cuckoo Dawn Rose , and chairman of the CCT sub-group The Friends of Dawn Rose Michael was one of the team of hands-on builders that put Dawn Rose together using only authentic tools and methods. He hopes to have some of these on display, and has invited other of his fellow boat-builders to be with us. Michael is now involved with training of the horse “Knight”’, selected for its “good arse”, as the

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medium of propulsion for Dawn Rose. Michael is gifted and animated speaker and his interesting presentation will enhance the earlier AGM.

The branch is extending an invitation to friends of IWA members, together with both Retford and Worksop Boat Club and the Chesterfield Canal Trust members to attend the second part of the evening and hopefully they will be joining at 8.15pm. We hope that Michael will speak for about forty-five minutes, and there will of course be time for questions. If this event proves popular it could form the basis for social events into this summer. I for further information, please call me, David Dawson on 01777 704224, 07501 803918 by email at dawsondavida@yahoo.com David Dawson Branch Chairman SY&D IWA. Did you know. Although the Sankey Canal was opened in 1757, making it the first modern canal built in England, the Duke of Bridgwater claimed that distinction for his Bridgewater Canal, which was not authorised until two years later.

The Anglesey Branch of the Wyrley and Essington Canal was originally built as a feeder to carry water to the canal Chasewater Reservoir. An undershot waterwheel was built into an aqueduct on the Wey and Arun Canal to raise water from the river Arun into the canal. The 970 yard (890m) Berwick Tunnel on the Shrewsbury Canal was the first canal tunnel to include a towpath running through it.. Standedge Tunnel is the longest, deepest and highest canal tunnel in Britain.

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1987 TO 2017 It is hard to believe that I have been on the branch committee for thirty years, when you consider I joined in answer, as in this issue, to an appeal for committee members and holding several pots including Chairman, Secretary and editor of this magazine. Over the years much had happened mostly good but also some failure.

Looking back at the events that have happened it has been an enjoyable experience with a few disappointments. Starting back at the beginning there was the instigation of the Tinsley Lock boaters experience forms which were handed to BW which eventually led to the upgrading work on the Tinsley Lock Flight. Who can forget having to book passage through the flight with the BW lock keepers filling the canal with ashes trying to get a seal on the gate to stop them leaking. We then decided that we would look to organising a boat rally with a view to getting the remainder length of the canal upgraded to cruiseway status. This we did along with pressure from BW, we organised a letter campaign to the relevant government department. It was announced later that the campaign had been successful and the canal was upgraded. Then came the proposed redevelopment of Sheffield Canal Basin. This had quite a few attempts at getting started but most floundered along the way. Finally the Branch Committee decided that we would organise a campaign rally to show the powers that be that boaters would come to Sheffield via the canal. The rally was held in 1990 at the Don Valley Bowl. Held on the same weekend as the Lord Mayor’s Show with over 120 boats attending from all over the country, it was a very friendly and successful event which led eventually to the redevelopment of the basin, now called Victoria Quays. I have enjoyed my time on the committee and would like to thank everyone I have been involved with over the years. Thanks and Goodbye

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WORD SEARCH In the grid below are hidden the names of past and present British car manufactures. They are all single word names. They are spelt either vertically, horizontally, diagonally, backwards or forwards. GOOD LUCK

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ANSWERS ALLARD BENTLEY BRISTOL HUMBER JAGUAR JENSEN MORRIS ROVER SINGER TRIUMPH VAUXHALL WOLSELEY

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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 and Cuckoos Issue 29 - March 2017  
Keels and Cuckoos Issue 29 - March 2017